Wednesday, December 05, 2007

talk to iran? or just bomb them anyway?

One of the most surprising things I've seen in the aftermath of the judgment by the intelligence types that Iran stopped its military nuclear program in 2003 is this: Robert Kagan, hawkish neocon and a key cheerleader for the project to reorder the Middle East by war starting with Iraq, has a suggestion for the de facto Bush Administration - talk to Tehran.

That surprises me. But I agree with Kagan (a sentence I don't expect to write usually). As Kagan said, you can talk to a country while trying to seek changes, exactly as we did with the USSR back in the Cold War days. Talking doesn't mean you are condoning anything the other country is doing - hey, we talk to China too, doesn't mean we endorse single party rule and the harvesting of organs from prisoners.

But the anonymous editors of the Post, who were right by the side of the neocons like Kagan in insisting on war with Iraq, don't see it the same was as Kagan, choosing to focus on a lower degree of certainty about whether Iran has re-started its nuclear program. They see this as an "odd time" to start a dialog with Tehran. Well, it would reduce the odds of war, and the Post editorialists don't want that, do they?