The Qom revelation prompted what appeared to be a new consensus for united action against the Iranian regime. French President Nicolas Sarkozy went so far as to say: "I support the Americans' outstretched hand. But what did the international community gain from these offers of dialogue? Nothing."
In the U.S., Democrats, long opposed to confronting Iran, appeared to set aside their internal divisions over health care reform to howl in unusual unison. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, long admired for her pacifism, ominously warned: "An Iran with nuclear weapons is simply unacceptable. ... We must use the tools at our disposal -- from diplomacy to sanctions -- to stop Iran's march toward nuclear capability."
Even the Iranians suddenly appeared to be more pliant. On Oct. 1, at a much-hyped meeting in Geneva, Tehran's nuclear negotiators sat down with U.S., British, French, Russian, Chinese and German officials to discuss "continuing activities within the framework of the Non-Proliferation Treaty." There the Iranians agreed that in exchange for Russian "enrichment of nuclear material for electrical generation," they would sit down for another chat in Vienna on Oct. 19 and "invite" International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to visit the previously undisclosed Qom enrichment facility Oct. 25.
Now we know it was all for show. On Oct. 9, cleric Mojtaba Zolnour, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's representative to the Revolutionary Guard, said, "Should a single American or Zionist missile land in our country, before the dust settles, Iranian missiles will blow up the heart of Israel." Then on Monday, Oct. 12, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi said: "We have announced repeatedly that our nuclear rights are not negotiable. Threats and sanctions are useless."
It's not just the Iranians who are doing damage to the Obama "image." On Tuesday, Oct. 13, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met in Moscow with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to discuss a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty and the "Iranian nuclear problem." Afterward, Lavrov told the press, "Threats, sanctions and threats of pressure in the current situation, we are convinced, would be counterproductive."
That's reality. And to make sure the O-Team got the message, on Wednesday, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, speaking from Beijing, added: "If we speak about some kind of sanctions now, before we take concrete steps, we will fail to create conditions for favorable negotiations. We believe that we should treat this issue with caution, and there is no need to scare the Iranians."
Mr. Obama has trotted the globe burnishing his image -- and apologizing for America. He already has visited 16 countries. Next month, he will visit four more. He's already the legitimate winner of the "Most Traveled President Award." It's time for him to face reality -- before it is too late.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.