President Obama's remarkable ability to combine his liberal inclinations on humanitarian issues with expertly wielded applications of America's economic and military superiority was presaged in an article published by Harvard Magazine before ballots had been cast in the 2008 election. When professor of international relations Joseph S. Nye Jr. boldly declared that "the old distinction between realists and liberals needs to give way to a new synthesis that you might choose to call 'liberal realism'"4, (2008, pg. 36), he
3 Douthat, Ross. "Obama the Realist." The New York Times, February 07, 2011.
4 Nye, Joseph S. "Toward a Liberal Realist Foreign Policy: A memo for the next president." Harvard Magazine 110 (2008): 36-38.
provided a startlingly accurate prediction of President Obama's methodically effective strategy of relying on liberalist motivations to enact firmly realist foreign policy directives in relation to Iran.
Other commentaries on American public opinion towards Iran have focused on the shifting political landscape in the Middle East, and even within the Iranian power structure itself. As Dina Esfandiary observes in a 2012 report on the Iranian public's growing dissatisfaction, the regime's policy of exchanging the attainment of nuclear weapons for mass starvation via sanctions has become increasingly untenable. Esfandiary surmises that "as Iranians continue to face economic sanctions and tough talk from abroad as well as economic and political turmoil at home, their support for a nuclear program will likely continue to drop," before asking "whether or not this changing opinion will trickle up into the regime itself"5 (2012, pg. 1), a question which suggests that Iran's supposedly liberalist domestic motivations for pursuing nuclear capability may simply be a convenient cover for a more realist policy of offensive preemptive aggression. James Zogby, founder of the American Arab Institute, views the conflict between the U.S. And Iran from a uniquely realist perspective, writing in a recent Op-Ed on his extensive polling in the region that "the invasion of Iraq and American support for Israel's war against Hezbollah in 2006 enraged Arab publics, and Iran seemed to be the only country willing to resist American hegemony ... (and) as such, it enjoyed enormous rewards in public opinion"6 (2013, pg. 1). In Zogby's appraisal of the situation, the realist theory of international relations is
5 Esfandiary, Dina. "Why Iranian Public Opinion Is Turning Against the Nuclear Program." The Atlantic, March 16, 2012.
6 Zogby, James. "Iranians quickly wearing out their welcome in the neighborhood." Detroit Free Press, May 05, 2013.
demonstrated by Iran's regional allies and their divergent actions in relation to American foreign policy in the Middle East. Finally, in a review of Vali Nasr's book "The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat," reporter Warren I. Cohen finds that "Nasr argues that President Obama's policies, especially toward Afghanistan and Iran, are not based on strategic considerations but rather are designed to satisfy public opinion" (2013, pg. 1), alleging that the President's foreign policy is truly liberalist in nature, despite widespread evidence to the contrary.
6 Cohen, Warren I. "The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat' by Vali Nasr." The Washington Post, May 03, 2012.
Cohen, Warren I. "The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat' by Vali Nasr." The Washington Post, May 03, 2012. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-dispensable-nation-american-foreign- policy-in-retreat-by-vali-nasr/2013/05/03/b7b01178-ac14-11e2-a198- 99893f10d6dd_story.html (Accessed May 4, 2013).
Douthat, Ross. "Obama the Realist." The New York Times, February 07, 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/07/opinion/07douthat.html?_r=0 (Accessed May 5, 2013).
Esfandiary, Dina. "Why Iranian Public Opinion Is Turning Against the Nuclear Program." The Atlantic, March 16, 2012. http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/why- iranian-public-opinion-is-turning-against-the-nuclear-program/254627 / (Accessed May 5, 2013).
Nye, Joseph S. "Toward a Liberal Realist Foreign Policy: A memo for the next president." Harvard Magazine 110 (2008): 36-38. http://harvardmag.com/pdf/2008/03- pdfs/0308-36.pdf (Accessed May 4, 2013).
Sadedin, Sahar. "A Cross-Cultural Study of Attitudes toward Iran's Nuclear Development Program." The International Journal of Arts and Sciences 6, no. 1 (2009): 272-299. http://openaccesslibrary.org/images/MAL223_Sahar_Sadeddin_I_.pdf (Accessed May 3, 203
Sherrill, Clifton W. "Why Iran wants the bomb and what it means for U.S. policy." The Nonproliferation Review 19, no. 1 (2012): 31-49. http://cns.miis.edu/npr/pdfs/npr_19- 1_sherrill_iran_bomb.pdf (Accessed May 5, 2013).
Zogby, James. "Iranians quickly wearing out their welcome…