Entering negotiations carries with it the responsibility to do something if they fail. The E.U. Three understood that when they took on the mullahs a couple of years ago. Bilateral U.S.-Iran talks are the perfect way to get Europe off the hook. They would preempt all the current discussions about sanctions, place all responsibility for success on the negotiations and set America up to take the blame for their inevitable failure.Read the whole column: it's perfect. You'll love me for recommending it. Have I ever steered you wrong?
It is an obvious trap. We should resolutely say no.
Except on one condition. If the allies, rather than shift responsibility for this entire process back to Washington, will reassert their responsibility by pledging support for U.S. and/or coalition military action against Iran in the event that the bilateral talks fail, then we might achieve something.
You want us to talk? Fine. We will go there, but only if you arm us with the largest stick of all: your public support for military action if the talks fail. The mullahs already fear economic sanctions; they will fear European-backed U.S. military action infinitely more. Such negotiations might actually accomplish something.
That's our condition. Otherwise, the entire suggestion of bilateral talks is a ploy that should be rejected with the same contempt with which it was proposed.
Friday, May 26, 2006
Please read Charles Krauthammer's column in Friday's Washington Post. I'm not always a huge fan of the sometimes sour Krauthammer, but he absolutely nails it with his explanation of why the US absolutely should not engage Iran in one-on-one negotiations, unless Europe agrees to one condition: