As a result, Bush is unable to bring the standoff to a conclusion, and is instead reduced to setting the stage for the next President by trying to build an international consensus for action against Iran. But even that course has drawn criticism, thanks in part to the President’s history in the region and the politics of the campaign season. Critics on the left are calling for a new diplomatic initiative that they know Bush lacks the credibility to deliver. Conservative hawks insist that the best gift Bush can give his successor is a decisive military strike. “We’ve long passed the point where sanctions can work, so you’re pushed in the direction of a targeted use of military force,” says tJohn Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and now with the American Enterprise Institute.