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June 25, 2009
Why Obama changed his mind on hot dog diplomacy
Why did the Obama administration withdraw its offer of free hot dogs? The press is reporting that it is because the Iranians did not have the decency to RSVP whether they would be coming to the July 4th parties. This, of course, made it difficult for embassy party planners to know how many hot dogs and buns to buy.
But I think the real reason the invitations were withdrawn is because of what President Ahmadinejad said yesterday. He argued that Obama and Bush were two of a kind. Turns out a German news story from Der Speigel makes the same case today. There is nothing that hits harder at the Obama administration than such a charge. Call them foolish, misleading, dishonest, spendthrift, naive, even anti-Israel, if you like. But compare them to Bush? Unacceptable.
After all the kisses and hugs the Obama administration has sent to the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran the last few months, to be called Bush clones by Ahmadinejad, must really be grating. The Obama team was able to put up with arrest and shooting of protestors in Iran without getting too excited, and seemed not too agitated about Iran's near completed nuclear program. But being compared to Bush is beyond the pale. Are the Iranians saying they do not see change they can believe in? The more serious question of course, is whether the Obama charm offensive with Muslim nations (part of which includes distancing itself from Israel) ,is accomplishing anything.