The current attempt to shift Iran's nuclear policy is the latest desperate move by a regime seeking to ensure that any path toward normalization will be accompanied by a U.S. guarantee not to follow a policy of regime change.
Could it be that Obama's supposed weakness and vacillation is actually an "aha" moment, the first glimmer of wisdom in the dark tunnel of disastrous policy decades since we seized the poisoned chalice of the "world's sole superpower?"
Stopping a military intervention is one thing. It's quite another to resolve the three overlapping struggles in Syria: the fight against a tyrannical regime, the civil war among various domestic factions, and the regional struggle for dominance.
Using blanket terms like "Islamist" to describe any non-secular Muslim group or individual is a lazy way to simplistically term an enormous spectrum of people and attitudes and philosophies and histories.
Will the U.S. still be meddling in Afghanistan 30 years from now? If history is any guide, the answer is yes. And if history is any guide, three decades from now most Americans will have only the haziest idea why.
As Americans we should make the effort to reach out to Iran and show them that we want better relations as much -- no, more than -- our government.
Who ever heard of a presidency already into its second term that, according to just about all observers, has only one significant achievement, and clearly hasn't a hope in hell of getting a second one?
Ever fewer countries, allies, or enemies, are paying attention, much less kowtowing, to the once-formidable power of the world's last superpower. The list of defiant figures -- from Egyptian generals to Saudi princes, Iraqi Shiite leaders to Israeli politicians -- is lengthening.
Talk about missing the point. And no, I do not refer to the mindless mainstream media (who apparently don't know the difference between "a filibuster" and "a 21-hour ego trip").
What has this story to do with the Syrian situation? Once you get beyond the observation that Obama and Chamberlain were both political leaders, the similarities become obscure. America is clearly the strongest nation in the world. Unpreparedness is not an issue here.
The fact that LGBT rights violations were, for the first time, the subject of a ministerial meeting was widely noticed by diplomats, the media and other observers. It's a sign of the increasing visibility of these issues, and of the political importance that many countries now attach to them.
Barack Obama is only the latest in a jostling crowd of candidates, politicians, and minor figures of every sort, not to speak of a raging horde of neocons and pundits galore, who have felt compelled in recent years to tell us and the world just how exceptional the United States really is.
Some in the U.S. concluded that at long last, Tehran desires a thaw in its relations with Washington and a normalization. I remain skeptical, hoping they are correct, but unwilling to make that leap for a number of reasons.
Had President Obama ordered missile strikes on Syria, Iran's ally, the moderate forces in Tehran might well have been undercut to the point that they couldn't have made the concessions necessary to achieve that kind of deal.
While foreign-born "natives" imagine India with grand religious tradition or Bollywood songs, to people in places like Sri Lanka, India is a neighborhood bully -- an interfering sibling at best and a manipulative oppressor at worst.
The West is still mystified by the Arab World. Absent real understanding, our public discourse and, too often, our policy debates are informed by crude myths and negative stereotypes of the region, its culture and its people.