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Talabani Does What Bush Won’t

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani visited Tehran this week to discuss getting Iran's help in stabilizing Iraq. This is sort of like asking a pitbull to guard your nursery, but diplomacy was inevitable and, given the dire state of affairs Talabani's … Read More

By / November 28, 2006

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani visited Tehran this week to discuss getting Iran's help in stabilizing Iraq. This is sort of like asking a pitbull to guard your nursery, but diplomacy was inevitable and, given the dire state of affairs Talabani's country is in, it should hardly be seen as an act of cynical "realism" over one of shrewd necessity.

Mr Talabani was given a red-carpet welcome by Mr Ahmadinejad at Iran's presidential palace and inspected a guard of honour.

Iranian television quoted the Iraqi president as saying: "We are in dire need of Iran's help in establishing security and stability in Iraq."


Sadr City attacks
The trip was delayed by the Sadr City bomb attacks on Thursday

The US and UK have repeatedly accused Iran of impeding efforts to stabilise Iraq.

But Mr Ahmadinejad said a secure, progressive and powerful Iraq was in the interests of Iran and the whole region.

 

So, yes: Our ally and friend, a Marxist Kurd, is making nice with a Holocaust-denying marionette of the mullahs. But does anyone think Iran will not obtain a nuclear weapon at this rate? If it does, will having a democratic, federated Iraq as a negotiating partner be a boon or blight to the region, and to the United States? How's that for yet another layer of historical irony: The country we liberated, then fucked up supremely, becomes our greatest asset in geopolitical maneuvering with one of the remaining "evils" in the axis.

That's the optimistic surmise. The pessimistic one is that Talabani's hand was forced by the war-with-dishonor machinations of the current Washington glitterati, Robert Gates and James Baker. If they want neighboring countries to shoulder the burden of Iraq because the U.S. isn't interested in doing so anymore, then who can blame Iraq for seeking out this end independently?

By the way, anyone remember those nefarious back-channel negotiations between Ahmad Chalabi and Iranian intelligence? Ahmad can now expect a call from the Defense Department: "No hard feelings for those office raids. Now, who can you put us in touch with, old pal?"

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