I mean, if this is what passes for realism these days, I think I'll have to opt for idealism... or xanaduism... or something.
I mean, if engaging this guy and asking for his help in putting Iraq back together again is ridiculous on the face of it - given the fact that he's the one with pushing Iraq off the wall (to keep with the Humpty-Dumpty metaphor).
Oh, and have I mentioned that President Tom is completely insane and wants to kill us all?
Follow God or vanish, Ahmadinejad tells WestIran's telling us that they're going to kill us with nukes and we're relying on the French Foreign Minister's determination as to the extent of sanctions against Iran? PEACHY!!!!
Dec 06 5:14 AM US/Eastern
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has warned Western leaders to follow the path of God or "vanish from the face of the earth".
"These oppressive countries are angry with us ... a nation that on the other side of the globe has risen up and proved the shallowness of their power," Ahmadinejad said in a speech in the northern town of Ramsar, the semi-official news agency Mehr reported Wednesday.
"They are angry with our nation. But we tell them 'so be it and die from this anger'. Rest assured that if you do not respond to the divine call, you will die soon and vanish from the face of the earth," he said.
The outspoken president also maintained Iran's defiance over its controversial nuclear programme, saying it was on course to fully master nuclear technology.
"Thank to God's help, we have gone all the way and are only one step away from the zenith.
"We hope to have the big nuclear celebration by the end of the year (March 2007)," Ahmadinejad said, echoing comments he has made on numerous occasions in recent months.
A defiant Iran has refused to suspend its uranium enrichment work, a process that the West fears could be extended to make nuclear weapons.
Iran however insists its nuclear programme is solely aimed at generating energy.
France's Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said Wednesday after a Paris meeting on Tehran's nuclear programme that the UN Security Council is agreed "there will be sanctions" on Iran, though their extent is yet to be decided.
I know, I know... there isn't anything that can't be worked out diplomatically. As the Iraq Study Group points out on page 37:
Dealing with Iran and Syria is controversial. Nevertheless, it is our view that in diplomacy, a nation can and should engage its adversaries and enemies to try to resolve conflicts and differences consistent with its own interests. Accordingly, the Support Group should actively engage Iran and Syria in its diplomatic dialogue, without preconditions.I guess we'll have to stop shipping all of our precious goods & services to Iran... I mean, we have a lot of economic disincentives that we can use as leverage.
The Study Group recognizes that U.S. relationships with Iran and Syria involve difficult issues that must be resolved. Diplomatic talks should be extensive and substantive, and they will require a balancing of interests. The United States has diplomatic, economic, and military disincentives available in approaches to both Iran and Syria. However, the United States should also consider incentives to try to engage them constructively, much as it did successfully with Libya.
Listen... let's face facts. We've got nothing. They think we're too chickenshit to act militarily in either Syria or Iran... Until they have a real fear that that might happen, what would incent them to help us one iota?
What turned Libya around? Was it our diplomatic efforts? or was it the fact that we just ripped through Iraq in 3 weeks? This isn't rocket science, but if you put 10 Washington "players" in an air-conditioned room for a year, it might just look like rocket science.
NRO's John Podoretz has this excellent observation about the "realism" of Jim Baker in the Corner:
The Delusional James Baker [John Podhoretz]
"As for Syria, Baker said that as Secretary of State to President George H. W. Bush he made 15 trips there in the early 1990s, 'and we made them change 25 years of policy.'" This sentence appears in today's Los Angeles Times. And it's interesting. Because Syrian policy changed in no way during the first Bush administration. Rather, it was Baker who muddied U.S. policy for the purpose of sucking up to Syria so that he could claim its support, or at least its refusal to oppose, the Persian Gulf War. To that end, Baker criticized his own State Department's inclusion of Syria on the list of states that sponsor and commit acts of terrorism. Quoth Baker at the time: "We believe that, so far, Syria was put on the list without any justification." Syria's inclusion, he complained, was "meant for political objectives rather than analyzing an objective situation.”
Syria, then and now, is one of the world's two leading state sponsors of terrorism, and Baker knew it, and he lied through his teeth. But the key thing to note here is that Syria did nothing differently after Baker's suck-up from what it had done before. Nothing.
If Baker really believes his actions changed Syrian policy during his tenure as Secretary of State, then he's not the clever and cynical man I took him for. Rather, he's a delusional fool.
ARC: St Wendeler