Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Condiplomacy

Condi had a news conference today so she could threaten and intimidate Iran. You could almost feel sorry for Iran. But she had a carrot as well as a stick. The US will join in talks with Iran if it can “persuasively demonstrate that it has permanently abandoned its quest for nuclear weapons.” This is of course inherently unprovable.

But what, you may ask, is there left to talk about if the Iranians have to agree to our demands before the talks even start? Well, Condi says, “we have many issues of concern with Iran that do not relate to the nuclear issue. ... Iranian behavior in Iraq... the terrorism that Iran continues to support...” Gosh, who wouldn’t do whatever they had to do to get into talks like that!

There’s a lot more about the things she’s unwilling to give Iran: diplomatic recognition (she is planning to enter into negotiations with a regime she will not accept as the de facto government of Iran?) or even a security assurance, a
simple promise not to attack Iran.

Indeed, she warned that “If the Iranian regime believes that it will benefit from the possession of nuclear weapons, it is mistaken. The United States will be steadfast in defense of our forces and steadfast in defense of our friends and allies who wish to work together for common security.” I think she just threatened to nuke Iran.

“I think the last year and half or so -- year or so has really been about creating a climate of opinion about what is demanded of Iran. That we have done.” That climate? Arrogant with a 90% chance of hectoring.

And there’s more like that. It’s not about Iran giving up a nuclear program (I’m leaving to one side the not entirely irrelevant question of whether it actually has one), it’s about how Iran will do so: by a complete, abject, and very visible surrender to the awe and might of the world’s only superpower. This is all much more about America’s place in the world than Iran’s.

I don’t know what she does to Iran, but she scares the piss out of me.

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