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Obama Stumbles Out of the Batter’s Box

Haven’t read David Sanger’s entire account [1] of Obama’s cyberwar activities [2] against Iran, but it’s pretty dispiriting for those who thought Obama was going to try to turn the page on U.S.-Iran relations and explore seriously whether a detente was possible.  I mean this–trying to destroy Iran’s nuclear program cybernetically–is the opening gambit for a new era?  Steve Walt [3] gets to the heart of it:

Remember back in 2009, when Obama supposedly extended the “hand of friendship” to Iran? At the same time that he was making friendly video broadcasts, he was also escalating our cyber-war efforts against Iran. When Iran’s Supreme leader Ali Khamenei reacted coolly to Obama’s initiative, saying: “We do not have any record of the new U.S. president.  We are observing, watching, and judging.  If you change, we will also change our behavior. If you do not change, we will be the same nation as 30 years ago,” U.S. pundits immediately saw this as a “rebuff”  [4]of our supposedly sincere offer of friendship. With hindsight, of course, it’s clear that Khamenei had every reason to be skeptical; and now, he has good grounds for viewing Obama as inherently untrustworthy. I’m no fan of the clerical regime, but the inherent contradictions in our approach made it virtually certain to fail. As it did.

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Comments Disabled To "Obama Stumbles Out of the Batter’s Box"

#1 Comment By Jack Ross On June 7, 2012 @ 12:57 pm

This is not a defense of Obama, but I’m sure this sort of saying one thing and doing another is hardly limited to Iran.

#2 Comment By TomB On June 7, 2012 @ 5:55 pm

Yeah but ain’t it impressive how a guy like Sanger, by not making clear what it is he found, can make the routine indulgence by the U.S. in acts of war against another state just seem … a juicy little tidbit at best?

Sort of like … when it suits them they can make a relatively tiny thing like the Martin/Rodriguez thing in Florida into a cause celebre.

Or sort of like when they somehow never manage to discuss the causes of 9/11.

If it’s been American politicians who are the primarily guilty in so much of our mess, it’s the elite media who ought to be on the gibbet next.