Yesterday ended the worst month of the Obama presidency.
The Syrian diplomatic and political debacle was bad enough, but last week at the UN President Obama embarked on a campaign for "progress" with Iran that will prove much more dangerous for American interests.
Just as Vladimir Putin had played him for a fool over Syria, Barack Obama was initially snubbed by Iranian President Hassan Rowhani despite frantic White House efforts to produce a handshake.
On Friday, after a brief Obama-Rowhani telephone call, Obama said that a "comprehensive solution" between countries is possible.
And this despite the previous day's meeting of foreign ministers, including Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran's Mohammad Javad Zarif, that was little more than a photo-op.
Obama's yearning fits smoothly into the PR campaign by President Rowhani, Iran's new frontman.
The campaign has included showcasing Iran's only Jewish parliamentarian (a staunch opponent of Israel), offering dialogue with the West (catnip for the gullible), and a soothing Washington Post op-ed.
Separating propaganda, hype and disinformation from Iran's real objectives is critical.
Unfortunately, too many already believe that Rowhani's election marked a substantive rather than a cosmetic policy shift. Instead of blustering about Iran's nuclear program and threatening Israel, Rowhani has sounded conciliatory, carefully using his first weeks in office to cloud Western memories of his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
President Rowhani knows what his Western audience wants to hear. As Iran's chief nuclear negotiator in 2003-05, he followed the same playbook and it worked. By offering what appeared to be concessions, Iran acquired precious time and legitimacy to overcome scientific and technical glitches in its nuclear-weapons program.
In articles and speeches, Rowhani boasted of his successes. In 2006, he taunted the West, saying "by creating a calm environment, we were able to complete the work on (uranium-conversion facility) Isfahan".
Even such open disdain has not triggered enough US or European embarrassment to protect against being suckered again. Iran's "moderates" are now targeting the Obama soft spot in Western opposition to Iran's nuclear program - and methodically exploiting it.
In marked contrast, Obama enters negotiations gravely weakened by his Syria failures. Yet soothed by his media choir, he seems unaware how deeply he has been wounded. He confidently believes he is well-placed to deal with the ayatollahs despite a series of foreign-policy failures.