Of course they are right. We respond to media driven events and have no long term vision of how to deal with the Middle East; nor a strategy do deal with Tehran. Bush blew an opportunity to start working with the Iranians when they cooperated on our Afghanistan invasion. We routinely break relations and impose sanctions even knowing that such policies strengthen hostile regimes and harm any hope for subsidiary institutions. We do so because politicians want to “do something” to respond to the latest media frenzy. Would being nice help? Of course not, but having embassies everywhere and trade restrictions only on certain technologies, would enable us to gather better intelligence, and have better deeper relations with oppositions.