Hoagland is right on his major point, namely that in responding to Iran's diplomatic thrusts the White House needs to maintain a broad base of international support and not allow itself to get trapped by categorical rhetoric. Related is his subsidiary point on dealing with Hamas: imposing deprivation on the Palestinian people is a failure for U.S. policy. If Hamas fails, it must be seen to have failed by its actions not by the spiteful diplomacy of an American government disgruntled by an election result that it did not anticipate.
Thinking Outside the Iran Box: "So Bush is right: He should not take any option off the table -- including talking to Ahmadinejad or Hamas in certain circumstances, or to Vladimir Putin at the Group of Eight summit in July. That will be the last chance for a U.N.-blessed deal on Iran's nuclear ambitions.
'We are in a who-blinks-first game,' Bush said of Iran to a recent White House visitor. It is in fact a who-thinks-first, and best, game."