Today’s news amplifies my comments yesterday; the Bush administration is finding itself behind the game in the Middle East; its shopworn and failed ISOG/Abrams tactics are rapidly becoming obsolete, in view of Blair’s statement, and Pelosi’s travels.
The 15 sailors and marines were freed after what British Prime Minister Tony Blair describes as “a bilateral dialogue.”
“It is correct that over the past couple of weeks there have been new and interesting lines of communications opened up with the Iranian regime, and it’s sensible for us to continue to pursue those,” he said.
Blair says the dialogue — while not a negotiation — created the possibility for a different relationship with Iran …even as the world’s attention turns, once again, to Iran’s nuclear enrichment program.
Pelosi’s trip continues to draw the utmost in venom from Bush, the leering press, and the rightwing blogs.
This cheap, artificial, mindless Charles Krauthammer/Bill Kristol/Ann Coulter/Dick Cheney chest-beating faux-warrior-against-the-world mentality is now really a distinctly fringe American phenomenon. It does not even exist to any substantial degree in one of America’s closest allies, Britain, the country historically most closely aligned with American political thought.
And yet the crux of our American media is beholden to that group, takes its cues from it, and treats it like it defines the mainstream. Hence, Nancy Pelosi’s belief in engaging the Syrians in dialogue — a belief endorsed by, among others: (a) the uber-establishment Baker-Hamilton Commission, (b) the Israeli government, and (c) the vast majority of American people (“By 64% to 28%, respondents favored the group’s recommendation to open direct talks with Iran and Syria“) — is, in American Media Land, depicted as some sort of radical and fringe idea, something which threatens to make Nancy Pelosi, two months after she took office, “the most controversial House Speaker yet.”
The whole transaction of exchange has put the US treatment of Iranian prisoners in a bad light, and Defense Secretary Gates scrambles to put some lipstick on that situation:
U.S. and Iraqi officials are working to give Iran access to the five Iranians detained by American forces in Iraq , Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday.
In the first detailed discussion of the plan by a senior U.S. official, Gates said the U.S. has no intention of releasing the five Iranian prisoners. They were captured during a January raid in northern Iraq.
And pathetically we have our poor imitation of a Secretary of State, Condi Rice, piping up, realizing that the train is leaving without her:
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is willing to meet one on one with her Iranian counterpart at an international conference on Iraq, the State Department said yesterday.
A bilateral meeting would be the highest-level such session since the United States broke diplomatic relations with Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Previous encounters have occurred at group gatherings, with other foreign ministers in the room.
Meanwhile, I just don’t hear a peep out of Elliot Abrams. I think he must be pouting.
Abrams: George, hey, we’re takin a beating out there…..the “Daddy is Going to Spank Iran” stuff we put out on the lobby table today is still there…not even ABC would touch it….
Abrams: George, Come ON…we’re losing the propaganda war to those namby pamby limpwristed Brits and Naggy Pelosi’s “Come Home to Momma” pitch…we need some terror alerts, some Iran poisoned our pet food kind of stuff…what can you give me?
GWB43: look, Elliot, I don’t care, I’m on vacay….look, I hereby confer on you the ability to declassify any document you want….go find some shit….I’m gonna make my chainsaw go vroom VROOM….
Abrams: George, this isn’t what we talked about when I came on board…listen, how about some of that internet porn you had the FBI put on Pelosi’s computer?
GWB43: nah, we’re savin that for the elections. Look, don’t bother me, I’m the president and I need a balanced life….from now on just call Karl. He was talking about photoshopping some pictures of Pelosi dancing the Hoochy koochy for Assad. Goodbye. Don’t call me again. I don’t give a shit about Iran….or the Saudis either….that f’**king “Prince of Araby”…who does he think he is, stiffing me… are we gonna take him out? I’m gonna ask Dick if we can do that….