During the Cold War, in the course of pursuing perhaps the most successful long-term foreign policy strategy in human history -- containment of the Soviet Union -- the United States did a lot of stupid, cruel, counterproductive things -- overthrow elected governments, prop up corrupt autocrats, support quasi-fascist insurgencies. It did all of them, though, in the perceived national interest, however short-sighted or ruthless the calculus of the decision-makers -- even when, in the case of Nixon, that perceived national interest was avowedly a matter of national prestige.
Imposing new sanctions on Iran now would be in a different category of foreign policy malfeasance. The Times editorial board's wording casually captures what's cockeyed:
A rare opportunity for a diplomatic resolution to the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program is at risk because many lawmakers, urged on by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, are insisting that Congress impose tougher economic sanctions, perhaps next week as an amendment to the defense bill.
'via Blog this'