In a world where the media trumped up the Asian trip as full of humiliating moments and failures (accurately covered and debunked by James Fallows' blog http://jamesfallows.theatlantic.com/ [he covers things from currency issues to emission discussions, etc.) and the Right saying that Obama is a neophyte amateur who has gone on global apology tours, we are starting to see some very small, but significant movement on the Iranian issue in a global sense. "Russia and China Endorse Agency's Rebuke of Iran" http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/28/world/28nuke.html This is the first such censure in almost 4 years. Now it is naive to argue that this would automatically transfer to a Security Council Resolution or that such a resolution would have any major impact on the situation on the ground in Iran concerning their nuclear program. This, however, demonstrates two significant points. 1. The onus is back on the Iranians after the previous administration's failure to place the onus of responsibility on Teheran. Moving forward, there is a higher chance of some semblance of international credibility against the Iranian nuclear program. 2. The Obama administration has clearly advanced the national interest through engaging the other major power centers in the world. Diplomacy is not a sign of weakness, but is an important and powerful tool in the country's international arsenal. Simply, engaging down a diplomatic path with powerful countries (Russia and China) gives us greater leverage down the road should diplomacy fail. If the Republicans are serious about the point in their "purity test" on containing Iran, they should support the administration down this path as much as possible. They should pressure the administration slightly on the human rights issue revolving around the opposition, but realize that American leverage with that group is minimal. They, do, however, need to fully support this diplomatic framework as a powerful containment strategy for Iran includes all of the following: giving minimal moral support to the opposition to force the regime to focus its efforts internally as opposed to externally; kick the nuclear question down the road far enough that an implosion around the domestic situation might have time to foment; have a strong Euro-American opposition to the nuclear question; lukewarm Russian opposition; and tacit Chinese non-interference. Anything less, and the Republican party continues to demonstrate themselves to be inherently unserious.