I’ve looked very carefully at what Obama, Clinton, and Edwards have said about Iran of late and there is no substantive difference between their positions. All support direct engagement with Iran. And all three, including Obama, have said that “all options [are] on the table,” which is code for not ruling out military intervention. And not one of them, alas, has yet made it a campaign or leadership priority to prevent the expansion of America’s war in Iraq into Iran.
Hmmm. There are differences of tone and emphasis that suggest to me that Obama has been better on this subject than either Clinton or Edwards, but Garance has a point when she reminds us that Clinton’s comments about negotiating with Iran came at an AIPAC dinner, which certainly counts for something.
In any case, it may be that trying to parse political language on Iran too finely is a mug’s game. After all, even George Bush claims that he’s open to talks and has no plans for a military strike. What’s more important by far is trying to get a sense of a candidate’s foreign policy judgment, and on that score I’m still agnostic. Leaning toward Obama, though.