Today’s WSJ thumbsucker Gates Talks Suggests Relations With Iran to Remain Tense contains the usual bla-bla about the plus ca change plus c’est la meme back and forth between Iran and the US. Evidently this week Obama & Co. are looking more askance on the fanatics in Tehran with an Obama face-to-face with A-jad less likely.
Mr. Gates, in a speech to be delivered Saturday, accused Iran of fomenting instability in Iraq and continuing to pursue both nuclear weapons and long-range missiles. Iran’s “every move seems designed to create maximum anxiety in the international community,” Mr. Gates said, according to the prepared text of his remarks.
Well, duh, when did they not? What’s missing from this farcical will-she-won’t-she game about face-to-face negotiations is the ever obvious super gigantic elephant in the room. Ahmadinejad is not the leader of Iran in the first place. Ayatollah Khamenei is and has been since long before Ahmadinejad was in office and probably will be long after (if the Ayatollah’s health cooperates). What then is the point of the US President ever meeting with Ahmadinejad? It’s a farce–he doesn’t have real authority–and should be refused flat out.
I am aware, of course, as most of us are, that this is all a dumb show and we have been negotiating with the Iranians for years through various back channels. But wouldn’t it be amusing if we played it honestly for once and Obama offered to negotiate directly with Khamenei? It would be fascinating to see what the mullahs would do. [Don’t expect Obama to do that. He’s from Chicago. Their politics is super conservative. -ed. What word did you just use? I meant traditional.]