Monday, December 24, 2007
The hope is that U.S. diplomats are smart enough to recognize diplomatic doubletalk when they hear it. Monday's news from Iraq that our good friends in Iran want further talks with U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker should be greeted with the proper amount of skepticism. Three rounds of talks held already have apparently yielded little progress — no surprise there. Iran says the U.S. is not giving it enough credit for slowing the flow of its weapons to insurgents in Iraq, as if slowing the illegal exports of bombs and other weaponry aimed at killing U.S. servicemen and women is the same as stopping it or having never permitted it in the past. This is on its face ludicrous and, in practical terms, an insult. Sure, talking is better than fighting, but if Iran wants to sit at the grownup table, its government had better start acting like a responsible adult and disavow the rhetoric of the dangerous Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. Iran only wants talks because it knows the United States still has too much integrity to attack it while diplomatic contacts are in progress, not because it wants to behave like a civilized nation.