The first few steps into the 'Reality Zone' ? The estimable Graham Allison notes:
This represents a significant departure from the Bush administration's previously failed policy. And in that respect, I agree entirely with the statement John Bolton made yesterday [Tuesday] in criticizing this agreement, which, he said, “contradicts fundamental premises of the president's policy”. So I agree with Bolton, that this contradicts the fundamental premises of the failed policy followed by the administration and supported by people like Mr Bolton and Vice President [Dick] Cheney.
That approach had several key elements. First it demanded CVID - complete, verifiable, irreversible dismantlement - as a precondition for anything else. Disarm first. Effectively, they decided there would be no carrots for good behavior and actually - though it didn't say so - it demonstrated no sticks for bad behavior. Thirdly, it insisted that there would be no bilateral negotiations. I think that what we should learn from this is that it is a plausible but actually failed approach to problems. And I think maybe there are some lessons that could be learned that are relevant for the Iranian case.
Jim Lobe goes into more details here. We agree with Lobe that public gloating by Oppositionists will only galvanize those elements opposed to dialogue in Korea or Iran. Far more effective to press the matter by proxy. Hence, the usefulness of the ongoing Flynt Leverett offensive. While Rice is receiving shrapnel wounds, the main axis of advance remains Cheney's office and NSC elements such as Elliott Abrams. Meanwhile on another front, a counter offensive underway pushes back against the over hyped 'sloppy' briefings re the Iranian government's involvement arming insurgents in Iraq.
The good news? Now fairly evident the Warlord has not made a decision to attack Iran. The bad news? American policy (and strategy) remains a jump ball.
Tags: Iran,, Iraq,, Neocons,, North Korea