Michael Ledeen writes in response to John’s “Say it ain’t so, W!”:
I entirely agree that it would be utter, disgusting folly to try to sell the American public on the theory that we could negotiate anything decent with the mullahs. But the whole theory comes from an alternate universe, since we have been trying to do just that for 27 years, more or less non-stop. I have been writing about it for years now. It was the great dream of Richard Haas and Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell in the first Bush Administration, and it failed. The Iranians want us dead or dominated, they don’t want to reach some kind of agreement, honorable or dishonorable.
Read Pollack’s long discussion in his book The Persian Puzzle. He was involved in efforts to make a deal for years and years, and it was just impossible. He finally concluded that the Iranians don’t want a deal. For the deal makers from Texas and Indiana to suggest that there is any reason to scrape their knees in Tehran and Damascus in order to get their lips onto the mullahs’ slippers is ridiculous as well as feckless. Finally, no less a “realist” than General Scowcroft himself tried to exchange thoughts with Iranian President Ahmadi-Nezhad a few weeks back, and came out saying there was no hope.
To suggest such a thing is politically stupid, as well, if I understand Americans at all; I don’t think there’s a big constituency out there for making nice to the heirs of the Ayatollah Khomeini. At least this side of the Carter Center…