Mindset Matters

David Brooks had an interesting piece in Friday’s New York Times concerning our defeat at the “negotiating” table with Iran regarding the latter’s nuclear weapons program. RTWT, but a couple of comments of his really jumped out at me as he explored how this administration’s failure came about.

The big question is, Why did we lose? Why did the combined powers of the Western world lose to a ragtag regime with a crippled economy and without much popular support?

The first big answer is that the Iranians just wanted victory more than we did. They were willing to withstand the kind of punishment we were prepared to mete out.

Further, the Iranians were confident in their power, while the Obama administration emphasized the limits of America’s ability to influence other nations.

As an aside, I say “this administration’s failure” when it was the “combined powers of the Western world” because we’re the big dog in that pack, or we used to be, and on top of that, French dissatisfaction with the way things were going was palpable. Had we actually been interested in a serious outcome, they could have brought the Germans along, and that would have left the Russians and Chinese having either to admit that they wanted a nuclear-armed Iran or to go along with us.

More important, though, is that mindset. President Barack Obama and his motorboat skipper SecState didn’t want to mete out sufficient pain to force Iran’s acquiescence to our nominal going-in position because those two gentlemen didn’t think that was an appropriate use of our ability to influence other nations. Even terrorist supporting rogue nations.

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