President Obama's policy of "engagement" with Iran can be viewed as an experiment. There was at least a chance that it was only President Bush - that swaggering, unilateralist cowboy -- with whom Iran's theocrats did not want to engage. But a year and half into Obama's tenure we should recognize the obvious: Iran is ruled by followers of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeni. For them, there is what Andy McCarthy, in his distressingly clear-eyed new book, "The Grand Jihad," calls "the imperative of Islamic domination." For them, as a matter of principle, there must no engagement with America. The goal must be to challenge, confront, humiliate and, in time, Inshallah, defeat the Great Satan.
President Bush's policy of "isolating" Iran - a policy President Obama did not discontinue - also has failed. Iran was never isolated in any serious sense and today its masters strut across the world stage as never before. My colleague, Claudia Rosett, has documented Iran's growing power at the United Nations, and how both Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, are being welcomed in one foreign capital after another.