Nov 13, 2008 9:31 am


Krauthammer is right. The drumbeat can be heard around the globe - engage with Iran demands David Ignatius. Only if the current negotiators would presign to a military action if the negotiations fail, retorts Krauthammer.

I would like to know who would decide what failure is and whose fault it is. Philip Stephens is right to argue that even when Europe and the US agree on the objective, as in the case of preventing in the case of Iran from going nuclear, there remains a great distance between the American impatience for action and"the European predilection for thumb-sucking." Hence, it is doubtful whether the two would ever see the development/failure of negotiations through the same lens. Consequently, such a condition would merely further undermine the fragile Atlantic alliance.

The real question is not what the West will do but which Iranian faction will win. For a country that craves war is sure to get it. And some Iranians do. I cannot but remember Judith Miller's report about an intercepted discussion between two Al Qaeda members prior to 9/11:

"And they had been talking to one another, supposedly expressing disappointment that the United States had not chosen to retaliate more seriously against what had happened to the Cole.

"One al-Qaida operative was overheard saying to the other,"Don't worry; we're planning something so big now that the U.S. will have to respond.'

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