One doesn't normally head to Shelby Steele for wisdom on foreign
affairs.  But here in the morning's Wall Street Journal is a
provocative and counter-intuitive
by Steele which is headed by the
surprising (for Steele) line, "Obama Is Right On Iran."  Yes, it is
more than a bit patronizing.  Still, it does make a complicated argument
that candidate Obama does not make.  "Diplomacy," Steele, writes is "now
the most glamorous word in the Democratic 'antiwar' lexicon."  But
Democrats somehow do not see -- or admit -- the possibility that diplomacy will
fail.  Most diplomacy fails.

But Steele's logic is to recognize this fact...and also the fact that the
world and also many Americans, alas, do not recognize the moral authority
of our strategy.  So: "Were an American president (or a secretary of state
for the less daring) to land in Tehran, the risk to America, prestige would
be enormous.  The Mullahs would make us characters in a tale of their
grandeur.  Yet moral authority would redound to us precisely for making
ourselves vulnerable to this kind of exploitation."

Imagine if Jimmy Carter would have gone to Tehran...