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Negotiating To Lose

Thursday, Jun. 1, 2006 1:48 AM

Numerous media outlets declared that the White House is about-facing their earlier intransigence and offering to sit at the table with Iran. Bush, according to at least one analyst, is realizing that diplomacy is his only option.

Let's go to the instant replay, shall we?

"Thus, to underscore our commitment to a diplomatic solution and to enhance the prospects for success, as soon as Iran fully and verifiably suspends its enrichment and reprocessing activities, the United States will come to the table with our EU-3 colleagues and meet with Iran�s representatives," said Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.

In other words, before we negotiate with you, we want you to give up the issue you want to negotiate about.

This is nothing more than the latest round in slam-the-door politics. Iran isn't likely to give up a working program, whether it's peaceful or not. China and Russia aren't buying the Security Council resolution game, with Russia specifically stating its concerns that this mirror the ramp-up to war against Iraq.

If Iran refuses to talk, we get to hear Condi lament how the U.S. offered to sit at the table, but Iran didn't want to cooperate.

If the Security Council issues a resolution that imposes sanctions, we get to hear President Bush beat the war drums about our needing to enforce that resolution, whether or not the other members of the Council agree.

The media needs to pay attention to what is being said, and how it is being said, before they start praising the diplomatic advances coming out of the White House.

In the equivalent of a Freudian slip over at the White House website, the transcript of this morning's swearing-in of new CIA Director General Michael Hayden omits the words of the oath of office.

And as of this writing, the multimedia video clip that would (hopefully) contain the omitted portion was unavailable.

I guess they don't want us to hear Hayden swear to uphold the Constitution, when we know he hasn't, and won't.

And in President Bush's remarks during the event, Mr. Bush solemnly stated, "Much of your work is secret, and American lives depend on that work remaining secret."

Well, gosh. A little late for that, aren't we?

And the hole being dug over the alleged massacre of unarmed civilians in Haditha by U.S. Marines just keeps getting deeper. The final report by investigators has concluded that false reports were filed and superior officers failed to give those reports adequate review.

An investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) is still ongoing and expected to conclude sometime this summer.

President Bush offered a stale-sounding, "If in fact, laws were broken, there will be punishment."

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki wants investigations of Haditha and other incidents.

"There is a limit to the acceptable excuses," he said.

In the What The Hell Were You Thinking Department, the city of Deadwood, South Dakota has put the kibosh on the idea of having a bison stampede, similar to the annual running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.

"(City Commissioners) were mostly worried about liability insurance," said the city's finance officer, Mary Jo Nelson.

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