Simply stated, the President's heart is in the right place, but his head is out to lunch. One reason is The Monk's first rule of delegation: your orders are only as effective as the person who carries them out.
Another reason is The Monk's first rule of (modern) Republicans: GOP members who seek positive media coverage must abandon their principles to obtain it.
Let's see how these principles work in real life, in reverse order.
(1) Disarming Iran: this is a complete failure and has been since the plan to use the "EU-3" as negotiators to get Iran to give up its nuclear weapons ambitions. The Bush Administration acquiesced to the media's and international arena's demand to not "go it alone" on this issue, with one caveat: if the talks fail, the US will do what it deems necessary to keep the nukes away from the Iranians. The talks failed, as The Monk knew they would. But the Bush Administration has poured gasoline on this fire:
The Bush administration is offering Iran a diplomatic package including cooperation on civil aviation, increased international trade and investment, and agricultural and telecommunications assistance. The package’s most stunning provisions, though, are nuclear. These include building Iran more “state of the art” power and research reactors, assuring a “buffer stock of up to 5 years supply of nuclear fuel,” and suspending “discussion of Iran’s nuclear program at the U.N. Security Council.”
Wow. Now the Iranians can party as if they were North Koreans in 1994!
(2) This is at least as bad and shows the problem with the delegation principle. And Exhibit 1 as the poor delegate is Secretary Rice. This quote [HT: LGF] would be laughable if the subject matter were not so serious.
"I don’t think there is an expectation that this [UN] force is going to physically disarm Hezbollah," Rice told USA Today. "I think it’s a little bit of a misreading about how you disarm a militia. You have to have a plan, first of all, for the disarmament of the militia, and then the hope is that some people lay down their arms voluntarily."
If Hezbollah resists international demands to disarm, Rice said, "one would have to assume that there will be others who are willing to call Hezbollah what we are willing to call it, which is a terrorist organization."
Yes, calling Hizb'allah a terrorist organization is EXACTLY the prescription for neutering it. When that's true, there will be barbecue pig roasts in Mecca.
When I filled in the circle for Bush in the PRESIDENT box of my ballot two years ago, I must have misread something. Or else Bush is merely Texanspeak for "Clinton".