Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Should we negotiate with Iran?

So this is the Iran that the Iraq Study Group wants us to negotiate with about Iraq?

Tony Blair said:
During his monthly news conference today, the British prime minister, Tony Blair, held out little hope of engaging Iran in constructive action in the Middle East, and expressed revulsion at the Holocaust conference, calling it “shocking beyond belief. It’s not that I’m against the concept of reaching out to people,” Mr. Blair was quoted by Reuters as saying, in a reference to efforts to include Iran in peace efforts. “The trouble is, I look around the region at the moment, and everything that Iran is doing is negative. You only have to see what is happening in Iran in the past couple of days to realize how important it is that all people of moderation in the Middle East try to come together and sort out the problems,” he continued. “I mean, they hold this conference yesterday which — you know, maybe I feel too strongly about these things — but I think it is such a symbol of sectarianism and hatred toward people of another religion. I find it just unbelievable, really.”

Attendees at the Iranian Holocaust conference included "Holocaust deniers, discredited scholars and white supremacists from around the world, who made presentations questioning whether Nazi Germany used gas chambers to exterminate some six million Jews and millions of other 'undesirables,' as well as other aspects of the historical record of the Holocaust." David Duke, former KKK leader, "asserted that the gas chambers in which millions of Jews perished did not actually exist."

Other well known Holocaust deniers also attended:
Among those attending the conference was Robert Faurisson, an academic from France, who said in his speech that the Holocaust was a myth. Mr. Duke invited conference participants to stand in honor of Mr. Faurisson and applaud him for standing up for his beliefs. Bendikt Frings, a psychologist from Germany, said Monday that he had come to the conference to thank Mr. Ahmadinejad for initiating discussion on the subject. And Frederick Toben, from Australia, said Mr. Ahmadinejad had opened an issue “which is morally and intellectually crippling the Western society.”

I don't see how we can have anything to do with this regime. If we negotiate with them over Iraq, we'll simply being playing into their hands and negotiating from a point of weakness.


  1. "So this is the Iran that the Iraq Study Group wants us to negotiate with about Iraq?"

    Given the crimes of the Soviet Union, would you also now say that, therefore, we should never have negotiated with them until the regime crumbled?

    And Mao, we should have continued to have not negotiated with China so long as they remained an unjust, one-party regime, which means we still shouldn't be speaking to them?

    We should never have negotiated with Vietnam?

    If we only spoke to regimes that were generally morally just, wouldn't we have to cease diplomatic contact with most nations on Earth? (Given Chechnya and Putin's autocratic rule, shouldn't we also not be speaking to Russia now?) (And wouldn't there be a fair argument for not speaking to the United States, or at least for everyone else not to do so?)

    Should the saying, then, be reversed: you don't negotiate with your enemies, but only with your friends?

  2. I know, I know. It is better to talk, generally speaking, than to bomb, I agree - but if we are going to negotiate with Iran, I certainly hope that among the Iranian negotiators are people who have a little stronger relationship with reality than Ahmedinejad.