David Sanger reports in today’s New York Times that the Baker-Hamilton panel’s draft report on Iraq “urges an aggressive regional diplomatic initiative that includes direct talks with Iran and Syria but sets no timetables for a military withdrawal, according to officials who have seen all or parts of the document.” The Bush administration has of course already agreed to talk to Iran on the condition that it suspend its uranium enrichment program.
Put to one side the question of what we have to gain by jabbering with the mad mullahs of Iran, who have been waging war against the United States for 27 years, or with the kidnapper-in-chief who was, so to speak, present at the creation. The Baker-Hamilton draft report must deem the abandonment of this condition a matter of no consequence.
How should the Bush administration respond to the proposal? I think it should reject the proposal, should take the opportunity to explain how its diplomatic initiatives regarding Iran have failed, and should elaborate on what the failure of those initiatives represents. It should explain Iran’s depredations against the United States since 1979 to date.
On the other hand, if the Bush administration feels that political considerations compel it to accede to the panel recommendations, it could take up the proposal and offer to meet with the Axis powers in Munich. President Ahmadinejad might appreciate the opportunity to take American negotiators on a field trip to expound on his insights into German history. Perhaps we could go whole hog and also offer to serve up Secretary Rumsfeld to defend himself on the war crimes charges that the German authorities are mulling over, discussed by Cornell University Professor Jeremy Rabkin here. Why settle for half measures when surrender is obviously the order of the day?
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