09/16/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

No Way to Conduct Foreign Policy

"Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century."-----George W. Bush, 8/15/08, on Russia's military offensive into Georgia.

Indeed, Mr. Bush. Demanding that Iran forgo uranium enrichment, a right enshrined in the NPT to which it is a signatory, before diplomacy and negotiations are started to resolve disagreements over its nuclear policy (bullying), and threatening unilateral military action ("all options are on the table") by the world's most powerful military against a sovereign state with limited defensive capabilities (intimidation) to force them to give up that right because we say so, are unacceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century.

When Iran returns to the top of your foreign policy agenda; when bullying resumes at the UN Security Council (Ambassador Khalilzad pressuring the council to go along with further US-sponsored sanctions), and intimidation goes into high gear in the campaign season (Messrs. McCain and Obama echoing your threat that the military option remains on the table), perhaps the Russians will remind us to listen again to your own words. Or did Mr. Putin's eyes tell you, in Beijing, something we don't know? Well done, Mr. President.