May 13, 2007

Iran And The US, Together Again

Washington and Teheran have apparently agreed to hold talks about the security of Iraq and will meet in Baghdad soon. It represents a turnabout for both nations, and both nations have taken pains to ensure that people understand that they only have a mutual interest in Iraq:

The U.S. and Iran said Sunday they will hold upcoming talks in Baghdad about improving Iraq's security — a historic political turnabout for the two countries with the most influence over Iraq's future.

Expectations of progress remain low, however, with tough issues at stake and mutual suspicions running high. Even as it announced the talks, Iran lashed out at Vice President
Dick Cheney's weekend warnings about its nuclear program, saying it would retaliate if the U.S. attacked it.

Yet the two sides said they were setting aside such differences to focus on a narrow issue — Iraq's continued violence and sharp political deterioration.

"The purpose is to try to make sure that the Iranians play a productive role in Iraq," said Gordon Johndroe, the White House's National Security Council spokesman.

Cheney's spokeswoman, Lea Anne McBride, also confirmed the upcoming talks, saying the vice president supports the move as long as they focus solely on Iraq.

The Bush administration has finally decided to engage Iran over Iraqi security concerns. That looks like retreat and will likely play that way in the region, but at this point the White House has little to lose. The Iranians will not offer much to our liking anyway, and the talks will result in few changes beyond the superficial.

However, it may kick the Nouri al-Maliki government in the rear by removing one of its favorite excuses. Maliki has pressed the Bush administration on Iranian engagement just as much as we have pressed him on reform, and neither went far in getting what they wanted. Now that Bush has agreed to meet with the Iranians, Maliki will have even fewer excuses to dawdle on reconciliation with the Sunnis and the Kurds.

At the moment, the timing remains unclear, with estimates putting the meeting within the next few weeks. Ryan Crocker, the ambassador to Iraq, will most likely handle the American side of the talks. He has made informal contact with the Iranian foreign minister Abbas Aragachi, but Aragachi would probably not conduct the meetings himself unless Condoleezza Rice participated.

Could anything useful come out of these talks? One never knows, but unless Iran has suddenly decided to give up its dreams of hosting the new Caliphate from the heart of Persia, it's doubtful. The US may have more to win politically from this meeting than tactically or strategically.


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Comments (4)

Posted by kend727 | May 13, 2007 10:43 PM

not so much a failure for America i would think. War is always plotting 2 or 3 steps ahead. The loss of Al-Anbar along with new developments in Diyala seems to me the Iranian proxies are in retreat. The Awaking Councils are spreading further than Anbar. It's always possible this could be a father-son time to give up make your peace with Jesus so to speak kinda chat. I seriously doubt Mr. Cheney would be the one to send to make nice with the Irainians

Posted by rbj [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 14, 2007 7:14 AM

A stable, pluralistic, democratic Iraq is not something the Iranian government wants.

Posted by rbj [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 14, 2007 7:16 AM

A stable, pluralistic, democratic Iraq is not something the Iranian government wants.

Posted by Ralph Diamond | May 14, 2007 7:21 AM

Fort Dix: The Backlash that Wasn't By Robert Spencer | May 14, 2007
It’s worthwhile in light of this to step back and consider some of the media reports we are not seeing. Amid the steady stream of backlash articles, there has not been even one article about Muslims pledging to redouble their efforts to teach against the jihad ideology in American mosques. While many have reaffirmed that Islam is a religion of peace and scolded authorities for linking Islam with militancy, no Muslims have explained how this peaceful religion keeps being so outrageously misunderstood by those who are often its most devout adherents, or what they propose to do to keep this from happening in the future. No reporters – consumed as they are with their search for backlash incidents -- are even asking questions like this.

On 9/11 nineteen good Muslims slaughtered 3000 Americans for the greater glory of the god of their prophet Mohammad and there has been no, repeat no opposition to this ever increasing evil from Muslims in terms of Islamic theology. Find one Muslim cleric who will condemn Muslims killing themselves in order to kill unbelievers, in the hope being rewarded with eternal fornication, and will do so publicly, unconditionally and in terms of Islamic theology. You cannot find one because their prophet promises them such rewards for such evil.

The GOP contenders debate tomorrow on Fox. Will the refusal of the Muslims that live amongst us to repudiate the ever increasing evil done in the name of their god even be addressed? Nuclear Pakistan is rocketing towards an openly jihadits regime. Do we have any idea how close Iran is to obtaining nukes? Do we know what North Korea will do with their nukes? Our national intelligence services have been dysfunctional since the American hating Left emasculated them in the 70s, the same American hating Left that now rule us from congress. The leaks of the last six years have been devastating but they will pale now that the Democrats have oversight power. What will these GOP presidential contenders do to discipline the Dems into something that passes for responsible behavior? Our military has been undercapitalized since Clinton and not funded at all for 90 days. Our borders are wide open and we are infested with aliens here illegal, an unknown number of who want to kill us in the tens of thousands

We must secure our borders but that alone will not be enough. Today or tomorrow or the next decade good Muslims will attempt to nuke us. The nuke might come via a missile or good Muslims living amongst us might detonate one on our streets. Yet where in the States are good Muslims attempting to build nukes? After 9/11 cannot suffer any Islamic polity to posses nuclear weapons. After 9/11 we cannot suffer Muslim aliens in our county. After 9/11 I am very much afraid we can no long suffer Muslims to live amongst us.

What is more important to our survival as a free people? Spending billions subsidizing growing corn and women who have children out of wedlock? Or should a once free people spend whatever is required to field a viable missile defense and fund enough cops to round up and ship out ALL aliens in our country illegally? The welfare state is a millstone on the back of Lady Liberty.

Is there a Truman out there with the compassion to bring these hard and terrible truths home to the followers of a religion whose founder's founding acts were manifestly evil? Is there a leader with the will to rally Americans to do what must be done to prevent good Muslims from reducing an American city to radioactive rubble? Some how I don’t think talking to the mad Mullahs of Iran will help a whole hell of a lot.

What city do you think good Muslims will nuke first?