· In a debate among candidates for the Democratic nomination for President in Charleston, SC the Associated Press reported that Senator Barack Obama
was asked by a questioner via YouTube if he would be willing to meet - without precondition - in the first year of his presidency with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea.
"I would," he responded.
· That set off rhetorical fireworks that rivaled the display on the National Mall on the Fourth of July.
· Senator Hillary Clinton said in an interview with the Quad-Cities Times in Davenport, Iowa, "I thought that was irresponsible and frankly naïve."
· Clinton, as we remember, went on to be Secretary of State under President Obama, responsible for representing Obama's "irresponsible and naïve" foreign policy to the rest of the world.
· Fast forward to 2015. March 2, 2015 to be exact.
· The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, gave a speech before a joint meeting of the U.S. House and Senate urging - demanding - that any deal with Iran that ultimately led to international approval of its building nuclear weapons was unacceptable.
· The next day, March 3, 2015, Bloomberg.com reported:
"Iran has cleared the biggest hurdle to creating a nuclear bomb: learning to make the fissile material that fuels the massive blast ? While Iran has insisted for a decade that it's not building weapons, the country's history of deception has led the United Nations to demand more accountability."
· On March 17, voters in Israel re-elected Netanyahu by a wide margin after Netanyahu said he would not accept the long-sought two-state solution: A Palestinian State and Israel side-by-side.
· Two days later, on March 19, CNN reported that the Obama Administration was in a fit of pique with the Israeli result and headlined the article "U.S. could abandon Israel at the U.N."
"The U.S. typically uses its veto power to swat away any anti-Israel resolutions or Palestinian attempts at reaching statehood through the U.N. Now, American diplomats could instead authorize some resolutions after edits or abstain from voting on them."
· Over the weekend, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) suggested that the President would do well to "get over his temper tantrum."
· On CNN's State of the Union, McCain said, according to Reuters:
"The least of your problems is what Bibi Netanyahu said during an election campaign. If every politician were held to everything they say in a political campaign, obviously that would be a topic of long discussion."
· While the Obama Administration appears to be trying to understand how Israelis could, in effect, say to him "You're not the boss of me," current Secretary of State, John Kerry, is in Europe trying to get a deal with the Iranians prior to March 30.
· Negotiations appear to be going in the wrong direction.
· According to the U.K. Guardian newspaper the hardliners are the French who "want to offer only a symbolic easing of the punitive measures imposed over the past decade" rather than the phased-in reductions of UN sanctions favored by Obama.
· "Tehran," the Guardian article goes on to say,
"is reluctant to accept sanctions relief based on milestones, but diplomats say the French position would be a complete deal-breaker.
They say the Iranians would be very unlikely to admit past weapons work, which if revealed would demonstrate that the country's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, had misled the world."
· Looking for good news? Don't look at Yemen. On Sunday's "Meet the Press" moderator Chuck Todd said,
"We start with Yemen a country once touted as a success in America's counter-terrorism by President Obama is spinning out of control. Yesterday special forces were withdrawn as Iranian backed Shiite rebels pushed south today seizing the third biggest city Taiz.
"Yemen's president has been kicked out of the capital holed up in the south in January, is now appealing for intervention from the United Nations."
· On Saturday, the U.S. State Department issued a press release that began:
"Due to the deteriorating security situation in Yemen, the U.S. Government has temporarily relocated its remaining personnel out of Yemen."
· On Sunday, the BBC reported that some of those "personnel" were U.S. military:
"The United States has evacuated its remaining military personnel from Yemen because of the deteriorating security situation, US officials have confirmed.
"On Saturday, Yemeni officials said about 100 US troops were leaving an air base near a southern city that was stormed by al-Qaeda fighters on Friday.
· At some point someone has to ask Hillary Clinton: Given the current state of U.S. foreign policy, have you changed your mind about Obama being "irresponsible and naïve?"
· On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Links to all of the stories listed above so you can read the context and background.
Also a sign in a California supermarket that got my attention.