China insisted Tuesday that it has not shifted its approach on Iran's nuclear program, despite White House claims on Monday that Beijing had become more open to sanctions on Tehran.This is an example of double wishful thinking. Obama is operating under two sets of false assumptions. First is the idea that sanctions are going to do anything to stop Iran's nuclear program. Despite all evidence to the contrary, the administration continues to pretend that Iranian nuclear ambitions can be derailed through some sort of sanctions. In reality, there are only two things likely to disrupt Iranian plans: war, or some sort of radical change inside Iran itself. But the Obama administration isn't just content to cling to the comforting delusion that sanctions can solve the problem. It has to go further, and engage in wishful thinking about the involvement of countries like China.
Jiang Yu, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told reporters in Beijing that "China has always believed that sanctions and pressure cannot fundamentally resolve the issue" of concern about Iran's nuclear program, according to the official New China News Agency.
The Chinese have made it clear that they aren't interested in applying any sort of harsh sanctions to Iran, let alone ones that even in theory might have some chance of halting its nuclear program. Making a false statement that the Chinese are on board, only to have China come out and directly contradict the administration, is just one of the many illustrations of the bumbling incompetence of Obama's foreign policy. It's not the first time he's engaged in such a pretense about sanctions, only to be publicly contradicted.
The White House has recently asserted common ground with Moscow on the issue. Yet last week, in an appearance with Obama in Prague, Czech Republic, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stressed that there were limits to the sanctions that his country was willing to impose.Wishful thinking about a policy based on wishful thinking. That's what passes for foreign policy in the Obama administration.