Diplomacy, what is it good for?

by twit

According to President Bush, absolutely nothing. From CNN on May 15, 2008:

In his first address to Israel’s parliament Thursday, President Bush reiterated the United States’ “unbreakable” alliance with the Jewish state and denounced calls to negotiate with “terrorists and radicals.”

In a speech before the Knesset, Bush compared calls to talk with unnamed terrorist groups as a “foolish delusion” that was suggested before World War II.

“As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared, ‘Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided,’ ” Bush said. “We have an obligation to call this what it is — the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.”

We already know that the Bush Administration doesn’t follow this rhetoric when implementing its actual foreign policy. We’ve already seen Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice talk about how “very supportive” the United States is of the government in Lebanon, despite its ties to Hezbollah and the US condemnation of this “terrorist organization.”

The latest development in diplomacy is reported by The Guardian on July 16, 2008:

The US is planning to establish a diplomatic presence in Tehran for the first time in 30 years, a remarkable turnaround in policy by president George Bush who has pursued a hawkish approach to Iran throughout his time in office.

The Guardian has learned that an announcement will be made in the next month to establish a US interests section in Tehran, a halfway house to setting up a full embassy. The move will see US diplomats stationed in the country.

But who will the Republicans criticize now? CBS News reports on July 9, 2008:

Obama has been criticized by Republicans for being too eager to engage enemies of the U.S. in talks.

… Obama, while calling Iran a threat, criticized the Bush administration for using bellicose language against the Iranian government while increasing exports to the country.

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that U.S. exports to Iran grew more than tenfold under President Bush in spite of his criticism of its government as a sponsor of terrorism and warnings against any efforts to develop a nuclear weapon.

“It’s that kind of mixed signal that has led to the kind of situation that we’re in right now,” Obama said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

update: perhaps this McCain campaign statement about Iraq is a sign of what is to come from the McCain camp about Iran:

The McCain campaign is taking their effort to distance their candidate from the unpopular President Bush to a whole new level: McCain’s advisers are now openly attacking Bush on Iraq — and not only that, they’re also saying that Barack Obama is the one who is like Bush on the war!

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