Thursday, December 01, 2005

Preemptive surrender: Someone please call that freedom-loving president, please.

Michael Ledeen's article in NRO seems to be neoconservatives' first official reaction to the news of US approaching Iran for assistance in quenching the ongoing insurgency in Iraq:

...It's hard to imagine what President Bush expects to gain from this little announcement, or indeed from talks with the Iranians. The last time Ambassador Khalilzad went in for extended talks with the mullahs, he produced a triumph of unnecessary appeasement: the proclamation that Afghanistan would be called an "Islamic republic." It seemed to me at the time that this was not at all what the president had had in mind, but it seems to me now that I was clearly wrong. For if W. really intended to take a stand against the Iranian regime, he would not have approved Khalilzad's (shameful, in my view) preemptive surrender to Iran's most important diplomatic goal, nor would he have rewarded Khalilzad by sending him to Baghdad, nor would he approve of the public announcement of a new round of talks with the mullahs.


And this reaction from NY Sun which also questions US latest approach to Iran:

Get that. The man in charge of a military devoted to the violent spread of Islamic theocracy [Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi] has just said his side is winning in Iraq, not to mention Lebanon and Palestine. And America now wants to engage Iran in limited negotiations to cooperate in thwarting terrorism in Iraq. Let us pause to marvel at the wonders of foreign policy "realism."

This sort of diplomatic maneuver does not fit neatly into the "realism" of the president's new approach to Iraq. The realists will point out that there is no guarantee that support for Iranian democrats will yield regime change, let alone when this will happen. And in a sense they are right. It is next to impossible to predict the timing and success of non-violent democratic revolutions.