Sunday, February 18, 2007

Off the Table

Digby points out Bill Richardson's approach to dealing with Iran:
Bill Richardson figured out a way to talk about Iran without sounding like he's talking underwater.
...we will not tolerate ill-conceived and unauthorized aggression against Iran. It would be a mistake for the US to take military action in Iran before exhausting all diplomatic avenues. Tough, direct diplomacy backed by strong international alliances can work. This is exactly the strategy that worked in North Korea and it can work in Iran.

I demand this administration start direct diplomacy with Iran immediately and stop the irresponsible aggression.

This administration has stubbornly refused to pursue real, honest diplomacy in Iran and engage our allies around the world to help negotiate a solution. Instead, they are pursuing a strategy of non-negotiation and threats of possible US military action. We are clear and united - we want negotiations now and no unauthorized and unwarranted attacks in Iran.
See how easy it is to not sound like like a Republican asshole? And to think he did it without making a fetish of saying "all options are on the table." Why, someone might even think the man has some experience doing this type of thing.
That last point is a slap at John Edwards and Hillary Clinton, both of whom used one of George Bush's favorite talking points to prove their mettle against the Iranians:

Although Edwards has criticized the war in Iraq, and has urged bringing the troops home, the former senator firmly declared that "all options must remain on the table," in regards to dealing with Iran, whose nuclear ambition "threatens the security of Israel and the entire world."
Clinton told some 1,700 AIPAC supporters that the US must take any step to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

"U.S. policy must be clear and unequivocal: We cannot, we should not, we must not permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons," she said. "In dealing with this threat ... no option can be taken off the table."
JERUSALEM (AP) — In a stern warning to Iran, President Bush said "all options are on the table" if the Iranians refuse to comply with international demands to halt their nuclear program, pointedly noting he has already used force to protect U.S. security.
This is an important distinction, the Democratic candidate must be able to define foreign policy issues, not simply react to George Bush's assertion of the threats against us. Considering both Clinton and Edwards now claim they were deceived by the president into voting for the Iraq war, they should be particularly sensitive on this point.

No comments: