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Taken overall, the Harper government's response to the Iranian deal is symptomatic of its wider foreign policy, which has abandoned any sense of realism. Instead of welcoming the accord as a major breakthrough and a potential chance to help stabilize the Middle East, Canada appears intent on mirroring Netanyahu's futile zero-sum, intensely hostile approach to Iran.
The charmless Ahmadinejad disrupted the mutually beneficial dynamic with his inability to strike the right balance between genocidal banter and diplomatic pillow talk. His unremitting anti-Semitism -- ringing with historical authenticity -- laid bare the pathological Jew-hatred of the Khomeinist creed, and amplified the threat of a unilateral Israeli response.
Will Barack Obama strike Iran to stop its nuclear program? The president is claiming that the "only way" -- not the cheapest way, nor the fastest way, but literally the "only" way -- to reach a permanent solution is for Iran to abjure weapons "themselves." Which suggests that the answer to the question at the top of the column is "no."
Once again, as if to fulfill the prophecy of banners endlessly waved about on Iranian ships and small craft harassing American vessels in the Straits of Hormuz that crow: "The US Can't Do a Damn Thing," the Obama administration is trying to suck and blow at the same time.