It's not easy to divert the Obama administration from its pursuit of "engagement."
The timing could hardly have been worse: Just days after President Obama shared a chummy hamburger with Russian president Dmitri Medvedev — the better to dramatize our newly "reset" relations — the FBI announced the arrest of eleven "deep-cover" spies who have been paid and plied by Moscow Center for decades.
The Obama administration seemed more embarrassed about it than the Russians, rushing to reassure the world that this will not affect our new relationship with
It's not easy to divert the Obama administration from its pursuit of "engagement." Not even repeated slaps in the face will do the trick.
Consider another diplomatic initiative — that toward
This is merely the latest signal of contempt by
Since January 2009, a procession of high-level officials, including Under Secretary of State William Burns, Sen. John Kerry, and George Mitchell (three times) has trooped to
Others drank the Kool-Aid as well. Newsweek magazine praised the engagement initiative as recently as February, saying, "President Bashar al-Assad may finally be ready to play ball. . . . Those small steps (like Ford's appointment, for example) are exactly the thing [sic]
Or not. Just a day after Secretary of State Clinton conveyed to Damascus President Obama's hope that the Syrians would draw closer to the
Apparently Assad was too subtle for this crowd. For even after this, and even after the SCUDS, and even despite the radar, the Obama administration truckling continues. According to the June 15 Wall Street Journal, "The State Department has dispatched a high-level diplomatic and trade mission to Syria, according to senior U.S. officials, marking the latest bid by the Obama administration to woo President Bashar al-Assad away from his strategic alliance with Iran."
This is beyond naïve. This is profoundly dangerous. Who can possibly fail to notice that the Obama administration not only imposes no costs on those who cross it, but redoubles its efforts to appease?
Mona Charen is a nationally syndicated columnist.
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.