This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
“President Rouhani is sending strong signals that he will dispatch a pragmatic, experienced team to the table when negotiations resume, possibly next month. That’s when we should begin to see answers to key questions: How much time and creative thinking are he and President Obama willing to invest in a negotiated solution, the only rational outcome? How much political risk are they willing to take, which for Mr. Obama must include managing the enmity that Israel and many members of Congress feel toward Iran?”
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We’ve read our share of editorials in the New York Times, but it’s hard to recall a paragraph to match the above, issued Sunday under the headline “Reading Tweets From Iran.” It’s not altogether surprising that it took the new Persian president, Hassan Rouhani, only a few keystrokes on the social media to send the Gray Lady into a swoon of appeasement. But the suggestion that for President Obama this “must” include “managing the enmity that Israel and many members of Congress feel toward Iran”? Neville Chamberlain call your office.
The idea that the little difficulty with Iran has something to do with an enmity that Israel and many members of Congress feel toward Iran is just a classic of Timesian logic. What does the Times figure — that the poor, innocent mullahs were promulgating their peaceable revolution when the dastardly Israelis turned on them for no good reason other than bigotry, and the Congress the Times must imagine was bought and paid for by the Zionists suddenly turned against the Iranians? Just out of plain anti-Persian prejudice?
Maybe the Times figures that it’s similar to the enmity that FDR (and the Jews, for that matter) maintained for Nazi Germany. We understand that the Times strove to maneuver itself above that fray, too; it thought our enmity could be managed. But one would have thought that history would have taught it a lesson. The mistake wasn’t just the sacrifice of Czechoslovakia. It was the going to Munich in the first place. That was the mistake. The way we have put it before is that the talking is the appeasement.
As for President Obama, he rode into office on a promise of good will. He went to Cairo and reached out to the Muslim world. He said he would meet with the Iranians, and he’s taken every opportunity to talk to probe for possibilities. He pulled out of Iraq and is retreating in Afghanistan. This vast display of good will has delivered a Middle East in flames, a region where America’s standing is lower than at any nadir ever reached by any previous president. The fact is that a deal with the mullahs would be a defeat for freedom. Wisdom for Mr. Obama can only start with the comprehension that whatever enmity fuels this fight, it did not begin in either Israel or the Congress of the United States.