Thursday, June 01, 2006

So, things are looking up in the contretemps between the United States and Iran. Having realized that there was no support for military action without first exhausting diplomatic options, the United States has made a very reasonable proposal: as a precondition of any talks, the Iranians will immediately cease all disputed activity without compensation, despite their claims that they have a perfect right to keep it up under relevant treaties, after which we can have a perfectly civilized discussion about how they will further abase themselves. Indeed, behind the New York Times's paywall, David Brooks says that:

Even the rollout was masterful. I called experts around the world yesterday afternoon, and all of them seemed to have just gotten off the phone with a senior administration official (or two), and all were positive about what had been achieved.

It was almost as if they knew in advance which experts he'd be calling. Fancy that.

And yet, the news pages of the Times, on the very same day, report that approbation is not quite so complete:

...some participants in the drawn-out nuclear drama questioned whether this was an offer intended to fail, devised to show the extent of Iran's intransigence.