The secretary of state crawled out yesterday from wherever it was she’d been hiding since the opening days of the Abdulmuttallab debacle to announce with something of the inexorable quality of Sadie Hawkins crossing the floor at the eighth-grade mixer that on nukes there’s just about nothing the mullahs of Iran can do to avoid being negotiated with by us. The door’s ajar, still, despite their daily efforts to kick it shut; as with the never-ending story that is the U.S. pursuit of “peace” in the Middle East, it’s hard to say what will bring this one to an end:
"We've avoided using the term 'deadline' ourselves," she said. "That's not a term we have used because we want to keep the door to dialogue open. But we've also made it clear we can't continue to wait and we cannot continue to stand by when the Iranians themselves talk about increasing their production of highly enriched uranium" and taking other steps toward possible production of nuclear weapons.
Just how long “we can’t continue to wait and we cannot continue to stand by” we shall see. But pressure, pressure, pressure is the goal of our currently chimera-only sanctions:
"I can't appropriately comment on the details of those discussions now, except to say that our goal is to pressure the Iranian government, particularly the Revolutionary Guard elements, without contributing to the suffering of the ordinary Iraqis [sic], who deserve better than what they currently are receiving."
Who knows what she meant by the “suffering” of those “who deserve better”? She clearly didn’t mean the suffering the Iranians have inflicted on ordinary Iraqis (and U.S. soldiers) by providing the weaponry to slaughter them at their roadsides, but it was a good slip.
She did, though, manage to take note of the suffering Iranians are inflicting upon their fellow Iranians right now without actually describing it as such, saying, in an amazing feat of Obamic elision:
"We are deeply disturbed by the mounting signs of ruthless repression that they are exercising against those who assemble and express viewpoints that are at variance with what the leadership of Iran wants to hear."
The people in whose hands our safekeeping rests right now see “mounting signs of repression” where bodies are hanging and blood is flowing in the streets, and hear “viewpoints” being “expressed” when “death to the dictator” and “Obama where are you?” are being screamed. And that's a viewpoint very much at variance with what we—and the rest of the world—want to hear.