Tuesday, May 29, 2007

US and Iran Meet Over Iraq: Today's Cartoon

When two countries that have not held diplomatic relations in almost 30 years meet face-to-face for the first time to discuss a situation even worse than their own bitter rivalry, then regardless of what was said, the mere presence of both parties at that meeting automatically sets the bar of success at "positive" to begin with. So, to still be at that point despite talking for four hours to me indicates that while not a whole of progress was actually made, at least they still had an encouraging sound bite to fall back on.

I think an indication of the sort of difficulties which lay ahead for Iran and the US over the handling of Iraq, is determining exactly what each country's role is suppose to be. The United States has repeatedly accused Tehran of supporting the insurgency by supplying militias with weapons and training, yet Iran has also offered to train and arm Iraqi forces and form a trilateral security commission (with Iraq and the U.S.) to deal with the continuing crisis.

To me, it seems rather ironic that after nearly 30 years of diplomatic isolation, the U.S. and Iran traveled to Baghdad to try to reach "common ground", in the middle of a civil war. I guess it's a clever way to disguise any breakdown in talks between to the two nations. I mean, with all the sectarian fighting going on around them, who would notice that they couldn't agree on anything either?

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