Obama’s diplomacy of change is not getting America anywhere 

The Obama administration has seen a frustrating lack of progress in diplomatic relations. After spending so much time bashing the Bush administration for failing to achieve unity in matters of great international importance, this administration is failing to realize the types of diplomatic gains they predicted.

Repeatedly, anything claimed as a success has involved movement on America’s part, not on the part of a foreign power, be it friendly or hostile.

The current iteration of America’s disappointing negotiations involves China. Recently, American officials have indicated China might be open to placing new sanctions on Iran.

But in complete contradiction to American hopes and the Obama administration’s claims, this week China renewed their opposition to sanctions on Iran.

Moreover, in exchange for Iranian oil to fuel their growing economy, China has poured money and technology into Iran.

China is not the first country to back out of proposed sanctions. Just last week, the president of Russia told the world that there was only so far they would go with Iranian sanctions — and it wasn’t as far as American leaders has pushed, nor the victory they had claimed.

We cannot afford to step lightly on this issue. As president, my father knew how to confront international threats. He did not incite conflict, and he did not rampage against the rest of the world. But he made American intentions clear, and he did not back down.

President Barack Obama has scored PR points, and a Nobel Prize, with his emphasis on curbing nuclear weapons. I concur in the assessment that nuclear weapons, in the wrong hands, are an active threat to the security of all humanity.

But Ronald Reagan showed us all how a leader can oppose nuclear weapons, work actively for disarmament, develop strong alliances, and captivate the imagination of the world, while still keeping America safe, strong and secure. President Obama still has much to learn on that front.

This world is a dangerous place. The threats against us are real. We cannot afford to let other nations call the shots. I believe in the value of international cooperation, but on some issues we simply must not  compromise.

Michael Reagan, the elder son of the late President Ronald Reagan, is chairman and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation (www.reaganlegacyfoundation.org).

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