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Jun 25, 2008 7:27 pm


RICE TO OBAMA'S AID



If president Bush made Condi Rice a secretary of state in the hope that she can tame Foggy Bottom, he over estimated her. She is now as house broken as has predecessor has been. Either that or race is thicker than water. How else can one explain her hand in floating the trial balloon that the US considers opening interests section in Iran that would be 1st diplomatic post in 3 decades in the middle of the election season.

The interests section concept is an old idea now being revisited by a very small group of diplomats and political officials at the State Department, with the blessing of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Let us not forget that Obama advocates a change in the accepted US policy with Iran. He advocates direct negotiations without any preconditions. McCain rejects the idea as do many Democrats.

What does Rice do? She takes the sting out of Obama's discredited notion by suggesting that it is time the US entrust a new group of American diplomats to Iran's tender mercies. Just an idea, her people say. Nothing imminent. It is designed to help Iranians get American visas. Why? To make sure they do not get annoyed at the clerics for blocking their access to American visas. A more self defeating policy has yet to get invented.

As could be expected, the State department spokesperson denies any knowledge of such plans:

Asked about the possibility of opening the office, State Department spokesman Tom Casey said he was not aware of any such plans.

"I can't guarantee you that there aren't people somewhere in the U.S. government talking about it, but it's certainly not anything that's been decided nor is it anything that I would expect to see decisions on in, you know, the near future," Casey said.

No, nothing except making Obama's ideas seem less"naive." If the balloon also underlines the validity of Ahamdinejad's boast that"America can do nothing," that is a price Rice is willing to pay in order to help Obama make amends for America's"original sin."

And I really thought she was better than that.




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