Diplomacy's Remote Chance
There may be a few such leaders who are amenable to reason, but Ahmadinejad is not one of them. His "wrong direction," as it affects us, falls into two categories: a nuclear threat and his own illegitimacy as president.
With respect to the former, diplomacy and negotiation are appropriate as long as they promise any chance of success, but our long history with such approaches show that that chance is remote. Genuinely punitive sanctions must be the next step, relatively promptly. At the same time, we must consider some form of military attack, conditioned on a realistic appraisal of its chances of success and of its consequences. That approach should not be left to Israel alone.
So far, however, we have been disgraceful failures by reason of our refusal to back constantly and vigorously those brave Iranians who continue to demonstrate at great risk to themselves for the right to fair elections and to back candidates of their own choosing. Our failure does nothing but strengthen the clerical tyranny and to cause it to be more dismissive of our efforts to limit its nuclear ambitions.
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