In the New Republic today, Leon Wieseltier, TNR’s literary editor writes:
There is a new government in Tehran, isn’t there?
No, there isn’t. There is only a new president. Hassan Rouhani is an improvement over Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, since he is not a lunatic. He does not deny that the Holocaust happened, which for the Islamic Republic counts as a breakthrough in enlightenment. But it is important to remember, during this explosion of good feelings, that Iran is still the Islamic Republic, a theocratic tyranny ruled by a single man, a haughty cleric who subsumes the state beneath religion and his interpretation of it, and maintains his power by means of a fascistic military organization that brutalizes the population and plunders the economy—liberticide and prey, as a poet once wrote about another dictator. This same mullah-king supports the murderer in Damascus and the murderers in Lebanon and Gaza, and remorselessly pursues a foreign policy animated by anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism and intra-Muslim hatred. We may have extended our hand, but the Supreme Leader—the title itself is repugnant to decent modern ears—has not unclenched his fist. The smiles of his president and his foreign minister must not blind us to the scowl that is the true face of this cruel and criminal regime.
This does not mean that we must not negotiate with it. I appreciate the need for a diplomatic exploration of the Iranian nuclear challenge, though I prefer a deal that represents a strategic decision by Iran to renounce nuclear weaponry, not a strategic decision by Iran to find a cunning way out of the sanctions, and I resent the suggestion by the White House that anybody who is skeptical of its interim agreement is for war.
Wieseltier concludes his article by writing that Mr. Obama “is withdrawn and we have withdrawn. We are leavers. We leave to pivot, but we do not pivot.* We respect others too much to help them: how would contempt differ? Our friends doubt us, our enemies play us. We stand for too little and we stand for too few. The post-American world is here: behold it and weep.”
The post-American world? No one on the left can’t say he wasn’t warned by Obama in 2008 that crafting it was one his intentions:
As Kyle Smith wrote yesterday in the New York Post on those surprised by the punitive tactics of leftists such as Obama, and New York State’s one-two punch of Bill “Bane” de Blasio and Andrew Cuomo:
The conservative British writer Peter Hitchens has a clever phrase for those who insist on seeing no connection among events that might appear at a glance to have something in common: These people, says Hitchens, are coincidence theorists.
Or simply, “Rubes.”
* Pivots, you say?