December 17, 2010 | CUNY Lecture Series, Graduate Center
To present a “kinder and gentler United States,” Barack Obama has retreated from the hard rhetoric of the Bush administration to one of engagement, and, in the case of Iran, he has chosen a dual track–a readiness to negotiate, while, at the same time, pushing for economic sanctions. “By offering a deal, I think it put Iran on the defensive in a way it was not in 2006, 2007 or 2008,” says George Packer, staff writer for The New Yorker, about diplomacy surrounding the Iranian nuclear program. “What Obama has done is isolate Iran–I think the sanctions are an achievement that we have to acknowledge.” Packer was joined by panelists Christopher Hitchens, contributing editor for Vanity Fair; and Peter Beinart, senior political writer for The Daily Beast and associate professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism; in a discussion entitled, “Is Obama’s Foreign Policy Working?,” at the Graduate Center.
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