A milk bone for al-Maliki

February 28, 2007

I was elated when I heard that the U.S. had agreed to a sit-down with Iran and Syria, as part of a regional conference organized by the Iraq government. It was the first sensible thing they’d done in months, and just might allow peace to shovel it’s dainty camel’s nose under the tent.

But it seemed odd. Sy Hersh’s latest bit of blockbuster journalism (and despite its length, everyone in America should read the whole thing) says that the Busheviks have decided to start shoveling money to Al Qaeda affiliates, in their zeal to isolate and crush Iran. How did this fit? Does the administration’s far right hand know what its right hand is doing?

Presumably, Condi Rice was behind the change of heart. And yes, Sy’s piece says that she’s been cut out of the strategic discussions over switching sides to make defeating the Shi’ites into Job One. So, I figured, now the State Department has joined the Pentagon in pushing back against the Persian War.

I was too sanguine. Leftcoaster points to the fine print in today’s NYT story on the embrace of jaw-jaw. The money paragraph:

Iraqi officials had been pushing for such a meeting for several months, but Bush administration officials refused until the Iraqi government reached agreement on pressing domestic matters, including guidelines for nationwide distribution of oil revenue and foreign investment in the country’s immense oil industry, administration officials said.

In other words, there has been no change of heart. A one-time show of diplomacy has been granted to al-Maliki as his “what a good boy are you” reward for finally granting American majors a lock on the control of, and the lion’s share of the profits from, Iraq’s oil fields for the next thirty years.

<> Tony Snowjob almost gave himself rugbeater’s elbow today, whacking down expectations of any results from this meeting. Clearly, the American “negotiators” will have their instructions: Show up. Look pretty for the cameras. Offer nothing, accept nothing, trumpet anything Iran says that sounds intransigent or belligerent. Make sure there is no followup meeting. Come home. Maliki sat up and begged for this meaningless concession; now his job will be to roll over whenever Exxon gives the signal.

It was Bush and Cheney, the Oil Patch Kids, behind this cosmetic move, not Condoleeza. As I should have known from the first, given the contempt Condi has lavished again and again on the very idea of ever talking to Tehran.

The rush of hope was sweet while it lasted.


One comment

  1. […] of confirmation that the new leaf of diplomacy the Administration turned over with Iran was, as I reported last week, only a […]

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