A standing ovation for the long and thoughtful interview Sen. Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaDemocrats ramp up pressure on Lieberman to drop out of Georgia Senate race The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden on Trump: 'He'll leave' l GOP laywers brush off Trump's election remarks l Obama's endorsements Trump pledges to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, designate KKK a terrorist group in pitch to Black voters MORE (D-Ill.) gave to The New York Times outlining a credible, thoughtful and important challenge to the Bush policy on Iran. Obama is absolutely right: Diplomacy requires direct presidential involvement, a presidential commitment and drive that combines carrots and sticks, rewards and punishments.

This is the kind of debate that is long overdue in this shallow and vapid primary campaign.

The initial reaction was the usual "this will appeal to the anti-war left." Yes it will, but it will also appeal to military families and middle America and thoughtful voters of all political persuasions who favor diplomatic solutions rather than the endless rush to unwise war.

Today there is no diplomacy that matters towards Iran, only low-level initiatives at the ambassadorial level that everyone in Washington and throughout the Middle East knows are not credible or serious.

Obama's plan is serious, credible and urgently needed, with the president speaking of World War III, with some in Washington fomenting a hysteria about Iran, and with Republican presidential candidates sounding like war-fevered dilettantes who know nothing about the military, appealing to radical rightist audiences, having learned nothing from the carnage and chaos unleashed in recent years.

Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) was right about Giuliani, an armchair general who was thrown off the Baker-Hamilton group because of lack of interest and expertise, who made mistake after mistake before and after Sept. 11, 2001, and who surrounds himself with the most catastrophically wrong neoconservative war hawks who, like Rudy, know nothing about military affairs.

A word about Tim Russert's preposterous question during the last debate, asking for guarantees about Iran's
future nuclear status. Candidates and presidents cannot give these guarantees in the real world. That was a low-concept "gotcha" question that was ignorant in its very conception, and hopefully in the next debate Obama and the other candidates will say so, bluntly and honestly.

Kudos to Obama and the debate he has now initiated about a serious, rational policy towards Iran. He offers a voice of reason, substance and judgment at a critically dangerous time, and a profound debate will now be joined.

Barack is right; applause to him; may he escalate his voice of reason and elevate the campaign and this act of leadership on Iran sensible, smart and right.