From: The Progress report -- September 28, 2009:
THE RIGHT WING'S PREDICTABLE REACTION: Conservative senators reacted to the news of Iran's secret facility in predictable fashion, echoing much of the rhetoric coming out the the Bush administration over the last eight years: "regime change." "What we're trying to do here eventually is to get a regime change with a group of people in there that are more representative of the Iranian people," Sen. John Kyl (R-AZ) said yesterday. "At a certain point, talking is counterproductive rather than productive because time is not on our side," he said, adding later that "the carrot approach does not work with these people." Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) pushed regime change yesterday too. "We have to have strong sanctions, economic sanctions that can force either a regime change or the Ayatollahs to change their policy," he said.
But it's clear now that the Bush administration's refusal to engage Iran (at least only until the waning days of Bush's tenure) and its "regime change" rhetoric served only to embolden Iran's hardliners within the country. And instead of accepting -- or even responding to -- Iran's offer of engagement in 2003, President Bush lumped the Islamic Republic into the now infamous "axis of evil." Eight years of the Bush administration's disengagement with Iran has only led to its nuclear program growing in size and scope. "The U.S. right wing accused Obama of a failure of nerve," Cole noted, "But in fact his move was shrewd and gutsy, since he predisposed Russia to increased cooperation." Jon Ward of The Washington Times writes, "Not only did the president look strong, he looked cunning."