As a Foreign Service officer and academician, John Stempel should offer unique insight into international relations. However, I have come to realize that he is not a believer in realpolitik. His May 26 praise of Iran is just the latest example of a naïve, Pollyanna-ish view of the world today.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani did not, by any stretch of the imagination, “defeat the forces of Supreme Ayatollah Khamenei.” All candidates, including Rouhani, were approved by Khamenei. And the $400,000 ransom paid by the United States is certainly available to the ayatollahs if they desire since Iran’s theocracy allows an elected government to exist only for public relations purposes.
Stempel’s criticism that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson does not consult his staff is very difficult to believe. Anyone who successfully ran a major integrated oil company certainly learned to lean on the expertise resident in the various components of the company.
Stempel is really bemoaning the loss of progressive passivity in the conduct of our foreign policy. I say good riddance.
David L. Patton