Negotiating with Terrorists

Step one: Say it loud and say it proud. Restate pre-emptive doctrine.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Undaunted by the difficult war in Iraq, President George W. Bush reaffirmed his strike-first policy against terrorists and enemy nations on Thursday and said Iran may pose the biggest challenge for America.

In a 49-page national security report, the president said diplomacy is the U.S. preference in halting the spread of nuclear and other heinous weapons.

“If necessary, however, under long-standing principles of self defense, we do not rule out the use of force before attacks occur — even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy’s attack,” Bush wrote.

Step two: Wait for the evil doers to show up on your doorstep

Iran’s top nuclear negotiator said Thursday that Teheran was ready to open talks with the United States over Iraq, marking a major Iranian foreign policy shift.

This is the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution that Iran is officially calling for dialogue with the United States, which it has repeatedly condemned as “the Great Satan.”

“To resolve Iraqi issues and help establishment of an independent and free government in Iraq, we agree to (talks with the United States),” Ali Larijani told a closed meeting of the parliament Thursday.

Both of these things occurred today. The Jerusalem Post item on Larijani follows up with

But on Thursday, President George W. Bush, undaunted by the difficult war in Iraq, reaffirmed his strike-first policy against terrorists and enemy nations on Thursday and said Iran may pose the biggest challenge for America.

(emphasis mine)
The item from Iran is too new so I can’t find the timing of it, but I suspect that Iran was given a copy of Bush’s speech in order to allow the Iranians a little “save face” time in the timing of their offer.

Good signs

David Ignatius is finding reasons to be optimistic in Iraq.

The Iraqi political dialogue will move into a new and potentially fractious stage soon, when the leaders begin bargaining over who will hold top positions in the new government. Those negotiations could blow apart the fragile hopes for a unity government. But, for a change, pessimism isn’t necessarily the right bet for Iraq.

I have not read his stuff for a while so I didn’t realize that pessimism HAD been the right bet for Iraq.

In the meantime the BBC notes the spirit of cooperation from the current leaders there as Jaafari agrees he’ll step down if needed.

“If my people ask me to step aside I will do this,” Mr Jaafari said, shortly after attending the much-delayed inaugural session of Iraq’s parliament.

The Shias’ nomination of Mr Jaafari has been a major sticking point in forming a government as he lacks wider support.

He has been criticised for not doing more to curb Iraq’s violence.

Signs of maturity here that have made me optimistic on most days.

Iraq the Model while disappointed in their leaders, thinks they will assure better decisions next round!

But that’s not the politicians’ mistake, it’s in my personal opinion the people’s mistake for they have elected those unqualified politicians and now the people must accept the fact that they will have to live with a government below their expectations for four years but I have hope that the people will learn from this experience and make better choices when the next time comes…that’s if Iraq survived these four years and I believe it will.