Which brings us to Mr. Obama. It would be unfair to say that the president’s outreach to Tehran has been unprecedented. What’s depressing is that it is too-precedented. It would also be unfair not to acknowledge the “unprecedented” sanctions he has imposed on Iran. But again, the depressing fact is that they are more campaign prop than policy tool—which explains why he has been waiving their provisions at every opportunity.

And now we have the New York Times story, whose chief interest, assuming (as I do) that it is true, is that the administration remains wedded to the idea that Iran’s leaders want to bargain away the nuclear program they have sacrificed so much to develop and are now within sight of acquiring.

Maybe the president thinks decency obliges him to give diplomacy another chance. But it is from an excess of decency that 33 years of Iranian outrages have gone unavenged, and Iran now proceeds undeterred. Sensible policy on Iran begins not with the question of how to avoid a war—that war was foisted on us in 1979—but how to win it. Anything less invites further t