October 2, 2009
Obama’s French Lesson
By Charles Krauthammer
“President Obama, I support the Americans’ outstretched hand. But what did the international community gain from these offers of dialogue? Nothing.” — French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Sept. 24
WASHINGTON — When France chides you for appeasement, you know you’re scraping bottom. Just how low we’ve sunk was demonstrated by the Obama administration’s satisfaction when Russia’s president said of Iran, after meeting President Obama at the U.N., that “sanctions are seldom productive, but they are sometimes inevitable.”
You see? The Obama magic. Engagement works. Russia is on board. Except that, as The Washington Post inconveniently pointed out, President Dmitry Medvedev said the same thing a week earlier, and the real power in Russia, Vladimir Putin, had changed not at all in his opposition to additional sanctions. And just to make things clear, when Iran then brazenly test-fired offensive missiles, Russia reacted by declaring that this newest provocation did not warrant the imposition of tougher sanctions.