First the Bush administration and company were ridiculing Sen. Obama for saying he would negotiate directly with Iran – even with the Mad Man from Tehran if terms were right. The level of acrimony was intense, but the poo didn’t stick. In other words, Americans are far more worried about their paycheck and their jobs and how far their house values have fallen, to care that much about whether Iran is in our diplomatic orbit. Pundits on the left and right aside, this issue slide off the table, caused Obama no hard – except among hawkish folks that don’t trust him anyway.
Next we had the news last week that Burns was going to a meeting with Iranians in Europe. Burns is the number 3 person at the State Department:
In a departure from long-standing policy, the State Department announced Wednesday Under Secretary of State William Burns, the third-highest US diplomat, will join the EU-led discussions with Iran’s nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili.
Of course State were quick to point out that Burns will not look at the Iranians, or even toss spitballs.
And now was have leakage of a story about the possibility of opening a diplomatic post in Iran.
PARIS: The Bush administration is considering establishing an American diplomatic presence in Iran for the first time since relations were severed during the 444-day occupation of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran nearly three decades ago, European and U.S. officials said.
The idea would be to open a so-called interests section, rather than a fully staffed embassy, with U.S. diplomats who could issue visas to Iranians seeking to visit the United States. But the officials, who spoke Thursday on the condition of anonymity under diplomatic rules, cautioned that the idea had not been approved by the White House and could be delayed or blocked by opposition within the administration.
The general Bushistic approach to diplomacy with Iran —rejection, isolation, name-calling, middle finger wagging— is crumbling faster than you can say “reduction in Gulf tensions will result in a drop in oil prices which would help certain folks get elected to the white house.”
Ok. That might not be what is going on here. What matters is that Bush & Co. slandered Obama for his position on Iran – be it good, bad, or other – and now is pursuing the same course. Yes, Burns is not President, but it’s a slippery slope. It goes something like this:
First you have friends that want to set you up, and you tell everyone that you would never date someone like that. Finally, you realize that your obstinacies and stubbornness have not gotten you where you want to be, so you reconsider and ask your friends to set you up. You will not go out with them, but you suggest that you should meet at a party. Less pressure, not so obvious.
So they set up a party where you get a chance to see them across the room. You pretend not to be too interested, but end up speaking in a corner, hoping not to draw to many stares and attention. After all you had told everyone that you would never ever ever date someone like that.
When you get home you make a few phone calls, and before you know it you are on a date going out for coffee. We all know where this is going….