The sun rises and sets on U.S.-Iran talks.


The “historic” talks between U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker and Iranian Ambassador Hassan Kazemi Qomi, the first in 27 years, concluded at 2:30 P.M. Baghdad time [6:30 AM EST] after only four hours with no conclusions reached. Accounts differ about plans for follow-up talks. According to the AP, Ambassador Kazemi expects talks to continue within a month while Ambassador Crocker denies any timetable. As the talks were winding down, a car bomb exploded in the Sinak market area just across the Tigris River from the Green Zone where the talks were held. Tweny one people were killed.

The notion of having diplomatic talks with Iran while holding large military excercises off the Iranian coast reminds me of scenes from gangster movies. Two guys enter a store to talk to the owner about “fire insurance.” The well dressed guy does the talking. The big guy says nothing as he lights matches. The difference in the current circumstance appears to be that any offers made COULD be refused.

Mainstream media are hailing the talks as “historic”. I suppose it’s good to accentuate the positive. But do these talks represent a substantial change in the direction of the winds? Probably not. There are more winds blowing toward war than I knew. John Tirman of AlterNet1 points to a report by ABC news that Bush has authorized the CIA to “destablize” the Iranian government. The main focus of the article is the use/abuse of Iranian American Middle East scholar Haleh Esfandiari2, jailed in Iran, as a geopolitical pawn, because The Right Wing Itches to Strike Iran.

Do the talks mean anything? If Steven C. Clemons is right, it depends on which parts of the government answer to “W” and which parts answer to “Shooter” Cheney3. Whether or not Clemons is right, it ultimately depnds on which parts of the government answer to the American people.

1Those who view internet publications as suspect might be placated by noting that Professor Tirman is also the Executive Director of the MIT’s Center for International Studies.

2Tirman is refreshingly candid about the intellectual world’s focus on itself.

3Cheney’s shooting career goes back before his assault on his long time friend Harry Whittington, to at least Sept. 11, 2001 when he issued the “shoot down” order for aircraft believed to be a threat to the nation’s capitol. It remains a question whether that order was carried out.

The Winds All Blow Toward More War …
Stand for Security: Settlement?

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.