Engagement - remember, this was the mantra two years ago. Bush didn't engage the enemy, the Democrats would. Talking was good. Talking was a sign of civility. Talking would produce results. After all, liberals pointed to a terrorist, who when asked questions nicely, responded with answers. Talking not torture, engagement not isolation, multi-lateral, not unilateral.
What a world we have traversed since then. Engagement has been tried with Iran every day since November 2008. Obama bent over backwards several times, restrained himself on many other occasions from saying anything negative, and in fact went out of his way to be kind and open to Iran. He raised the possibility of high level talks. Iran snubbed their nose at him. Obama threatened sanctions and possible military action. Russia and China stepped in and said Iran would behave. Iran snubbed their nose at Obama. The UN investigation of Iran's nuclear program came back with startling revelations about the military applications of the programs and the extent of the nuclear programs within Iran. The Iranians laughed. The UN threatened sanctions unless Iran complied. Iran laughed.
Faced with the overwhelming evidence of Iran's nefarious plans, secret nuclear sites, lies, obfuscation, and delay tactics - the UN moved ahead with plans to impose sanctions on Iran. Iran said it would take sanctions as a declaration of war. Russia and China stopped, and said they would have to consider the evidence. Obama said the US might have to take military action. Russia and China said they would force Iran into line - Iran would sell its nuclear waste to Russia - and that would satisfy the UN and all would be happy, and if they didn't Russia and China would consider supporting sanctions against Iran.
Obama smiled, sat down and sighed. Things were looking up.
China then said it would never support sanctions.
Russia said it would never support sanctions.
Now Iran says it will not comply with any demands by the UN, as those demands violate the sovereignty of Iran.
Obfuscation, delay tactics ...
December 31, 2009 is the deadline for Iran to comply with the UN, or sanctions will be imposed, and military action by Israel, and or the US could occur. Already the US is straining relations with allies by unilaterally taking on financial companies in Germany and throughout Europe who engage with Iran. Rather than working with our allies, as Democrats so often howled, the Obama administration has begun punitive actions against companies doing business with Iran (recent case by US against the Swiss resulting in $536 million settlement).
I would look for Russia and China to make statements over the next 3-4 days to stall the UN, Iran to take bold steps either toward Iraq or with its fledgling military / missiles / nuclear testing.
I would look at Israel for an indication and ignore Obama - he will be overwhelmed by events and will quite possibly be two or three steps behind the actions.
All this in the next 96 hours - and the end to the multi-lateral, talking, and engagement silliness Obama touted as his planned course for his administration. I hope the Retardicans have taken notice.