Wow: Even lefties at Slate want Obama to walk away from Iran

Meanwhile, according to NPR’s Deborah Amos, U.S. officials visiting Damascus in the past few days—in the wake of Lebanon’s more satisfying election—have emerged with happy faces from meetings with their Syrian counterparts. The details aren’t yet clear, but this might be an opportune moment to start luring Syria away from its Iranian alliance. Without its Syrian middlemen, Iran would have a much harder time influencing events in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.

Obama has backed the idea of diplomacy with Iran because Iran is too powerful in the region to ignore. Ahmadinejad said, after he was officially declared the winner, that his victory was the harbinger of a further hardening of foreign policy. So if diplomacy is likely to be futile as well as unseemly, an alternative course might be to take steps to make Iran less powerful, its rulers less comfortable. Hold out the prospect of normal relations if a new election, or at least a real vote count, is held. But in the meantime, tighten the screws.