Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Hey! Iran! Maybe we should, like, talk

Rather surprising, the administration has reversed itself and agreed to talk to Syria and Iran about the situation in Iraq.

The move was announced by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in testimony on Capitol Hill, after Iraq said it had invited neighboring states, the United States and other nations to a pair of regional conferences.

Okay, it was grudgingly. And they were boxed in by the Iraqi government, which doesn't share Washington's aversion to actual diplomacy and is scrapping for survival. But better late than never.

Rice says the U.S. doesn't want to be subjected to extortion. But it's silly to think Syria or Iran will lift a finger to help if we don't actually talk to them. Yeah, they're going to want something. But it sure doesn't hurt to listen to what it is -- and make a few demands of our own.

As in the past, the administration's knee-jerk reaction to ideas it doesn't like is to stonewall. But unlike in the past, the administration is showing new willingness to reconsider that reaction in the cold light of morning. A willingness to talk brought a deal in North Korea; an acknowledgement that more troops are needed appears to be bringing some success with the surge. We shouldn't get our hopes up too high over the decision to talk to Iran, but it sure can't hurt.

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Anonymous Hamilton said...

Well it makes perfect sense. The United States has repeatedly said that it wants the Iraqi government to stand on its own legs and decide its own fate.

Despite what many in the Middle East might believe, hanging around and establishing a puppet democracy is not at all interesting to America.

So, if Iraq makes some smart political moves, the US should oblige.

2/28/2007 10:14 PM  

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