Monday, May 14, 2007

US, Iran to talk about Iraq

From the Boston Globe:

The White House announced yesterday that the US ambassador in Baghdad would meet with Iranian officials about stabilizing Iraq, probably in the next several weeks, as the administration embraced a tactic outsiders have long recommended as essential to reducing sectarian violence in Iraq.
This is a huge shift in policy for the administration. It looks like desperation is forcing Bush to do what he despises: negotiate with an unpleasant regime. Note the inevitable neoconservative complaint:

A prominent supporter of the Iraq war, however, blasted the Bush administration's decision to hold talks with Iran, saying it will be seen in the Mideast as a sign of US weakness. "I think it's foolish to believe that Iran sees its interests as compatible with American interests in Iraq," said Richard Perle, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative-oriented think tank. "I don't think they are interested in stability. Iran has been contributing to instability. That is a deliberate policy and I don't expect it to change. So it's not clear what we hope to achieve."

You know what else is seen as a sign of American weakness? Losing the war in Iraq. I wholeheartedly approve this belated move. That isn't to say that I have much faith in the Iranian government; odds are that nothing much will come of this. It's just that if there is any possibility that the Iranians could be convinced/bribed to tone down their activities in Iraq, we should find out. Maybe the price would be too high; maybe they really are totally committed to creating chaos in Iraq. But the only way to know for sure is to talk to them.

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