The Blog

What Now?

3:58 PM, Dec 22, 2009 • By RACHEL ABRAMS
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What becomes of the end-of-year sanctions deadline, set down--together with all of brave UN-ified Europe--by Mr. Obama's towering foreign-policy geniuses to incentivize the Iranians to lay down their arms, now that that country's illegitimate president has thrown down the gauntlet instead? "We told you that we are not afraid of sanctions against us and we are not intimidated," says Mr. Ahmadinejad. "The people of Iran and the government of Iran are 10 times stronger than last year." Do we send Robert Gibbs out to warn them or do we give them an extension and invite them back to the negotiating table--again?

And what becomes of our human-rights policy, set down--in language remarkable for its passionlessness--in a tour d'horizon by the U.S. secretary of state, with the mullah masters of Tehran proving ever more obdurate as the post-election revolt against them refuses to die, overseeing the beatings and slaughter of demonstrators in broad daylight and the executing of them in prison, the murder of doctors who refuse to doctor autopsy reports on dead protesters, and the holding of American hostages? Do we shake our finger at them and tell them their brutality is "appalling," and beg them to meet with us--again?

Is there possibly something more to be said to a dictatorship armed with the bomb and brutalizing to its own citizens that could shake the despots and hearten the dissidents, if even only a little? Natan Sharansky would assure us there is.