We may be tolerant of religious beliefs, but the Iranians most certainly are not, or at least their leaders are not.Predominantly Muslim nations trade with us on a regular basis......all the while knowing that the US harbors a degree of intolerance or even disdain towards the more radical elements of Islam or perhaps even for Islam in general, depending on which US public officials you talk with. Many have made the claim that US foreign policy under Bush wasn't necessarily "Muslim Friendly" (I don't disagree)..........but did it stop those nations from willingly doing a great deal of business with the US..........no.
You see, my original point was that the only religion that really matters when targeting foreign policy, is the "Church of the Almighty Dollar." Our Foreign policy goals should be centered on Economic interests, as well as security interests which directly impact the US and its citizens.
Going into negotions with our hands stuck out, trying to convince another nation that we Americans are all a bunch of completely tolerant folks, ready to fully trust and to embrace their foreign ways and beliefs with fervor is just......well........is being dishonest. Any world leader with access to the internet and a shred of common sense would identify these lame gestures as patronizing.
Do we tell them how much we love them anyway? Sure we do.....for PR reasons and to be Politically Correct.....especially during an election year. Does anyone with sense recognize it as nothing more than patronizing?........I should hope so. The REAL foreign policy negotiations begin when both side begin to lay NUMBERS down on the table.
In an ideal world, your argument may hold water..............but you should remove the rose colored glasses for a moment and see foreign policy, and international diplomacy/negotiations for what they truly are.
Obama has already used this "We are tolerant" approach with Ahmadinejad. How well has it worked? Has it stopped the threats and hate speech from Iranian leaders or has it changed the hearts and minds of the Iranian people? Come on, be completely honest. How comfortable would you feel walking the backstreets of Tehran with your arms open wide sharing with all you meet that you are a tolerant American?
The world needs idealists like you......the US just doesn't need them designing our foreign policies.