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Two Weeks After Rejecting Talking to Enemies in Iran and Syria, US Revives Carter's Good Neighbor Policy

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RUSH: As far as I'm concerned, the big news today is this -- and it happened after the program yesterday, at least the news of it was reported after the program yesterday. "Iraq and the United States Invite Syria and Iran to Meet." Condoleezza Rice, during a Senate appropriations committee hearing, said this:
RICE: We hope that all governments will seize this opportunity to improve their relations with Iraq and to work for peace and stability in the region. I'm pleased that the government of Iraq is launching this new diplomatic initiative and that we will be able to support it and participate in it. The violence occurring within the country has a decided impact on Iraq's neighbors -- and Iraq's neighbors, as well as the international community, have a clear role to play in supporting the Iraqi government's efforts to promote peace and national reconciliation within the country.
RUSH: I am floored. I am stunned. I am taken aback. I'm sorry, folks. I'm going to try to explain this to you, but I don't think I can give you what I think the reasons for doing this are, but I don't understand them and I certainly don't agree with them. From the sound of her sound bite here, it sounds like the Iraqis are running our foreign policy. Look, the Iranians are sending weapons and personnel into Iraq, as well as the Syrians, and they are killing US soldiers. Those are acts of war. We're pretending that they're not? It was just six weeks ago that the Bush administration said that talking to Iran and Syria was the equivalent to extortion, and now they're reversing course. We keep drawing lines in the sand and then drawing new lines in the sand. How can you talk to a despot like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who insists the Holocaust never happened? What are we going to say to him? Actually, what I've since learned is, we're not going to be talking to him. We're going to be talking to the Iranian foreign ministry. From what I've been able to gather, the Iranian foreign ministry is about as impotent in determining the foreign policy of Iran as if the United States were talking to me about Iranian foreign policy.

But the line here that Secretary Rice used: "We hope that all governments will seize this opportunity to improve their relations with Iraq and to work for peace and stability in the region. I'm pleased the government of Iraq is launching this new diplomatic initiative"? "I'm pleased that Iraq is..." What, Iraq is running our foreign policy? They launched the initiative? We're just going to go along with it? I know that Maliki has said to us that he's going to have diplomatic relations with Iran regardless what we do, either before we leave or after we leave. Well, after we leave, fine and dandy. But for us to allow him to dictate our foreign policy is something that just boggles my mind, folks. I have to shoot straight and be honest about this.
Now, how can you say six weeks ago that talking to Iran and Syria was off the table, we'd never do it, rejected that recommendation from the Iraq Surrender Group? Now, the only way this can be is if what you said six weeks ago was tactical, just a tactic and not strategic. In other words, if you just said this to scare the mullahs in Iran. If you just said this just to bring them out, to force them to make a move or something, that's a tactic as opposed to something being strategic. I have read that Maliki told the White House he's going to have relations with Iran regardless, and apparently one of the stories is the White House said okay, if you're going to do that, then we demand something in return -- and that is the unity agreement in oil revenues for the country that was announced yesterday, which was a meaningful, serious agreement.
But still, when you strip all that away, what we're left with here -- based on the way Secretary Rice testified before the Senate appropriations committee yesterday -- was that Maliki is now dictating US policy. I can't imagine FDR negotiating with Germany and Japan before victory. I remember Truman demanding unconditional surrender. The question is, are these regimes killing US soldiers or not? Well, they are. Iranians are killing US soldiers! So the consequence of this is to talk? Can you imagine if Bill Clinton did this, what our reaction would be? We would be on the ceiling. You'd have to be peeling us off the walls if Bill Clinton did this. Now, you can attempt to justify the change of position -- the White House and the administration are clearly doing that -- but it doesn't work. You can't keep drawing lines in the sand only to keep redrawing them. You know what this is like? You know what this reminds me of?
I hate to say this, folks. Some people might be very upset with me on this, but let me tell you what this is. This is the Carter doctrine. The White House has adopted the Carter doctrine. We're going to have a neighbors policy, a good neighbors sit-down! We're going to have tea? We're going to have crumpets? We're going to have couscous? Good neighbors, that's what Jimmy Carter did. He talked and he talked and he talked and he talked and he talked, and it made these guys stronger than they were. Reagan came into office and they gave up the hostages. How can you say that what's going on here is any different than what Jimmy Carter would have done? I'm stupefied.
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I don't know how this can happen. Six weeks ago, you say, "We're not going to talk to Iran. We're not going to talk to Syria."
Then Maliki says, "Well, I am. I'm going to have a meeting. I'm going to have a good neighbor's meeting, tea and crumpets, a little coffee thrown in there and maybe some espresso."
And we say, "Oh, okay! We'll join you if it's your talks. We'll join you, and we'll have a good neighbors meeting," and so forth and so on.
Now, one of the analyses to explain this has been to say that we have drawn Mahmoud Ahmadinejad out and sort of exposed him as a fraud and he's lost some of his power base with the Iranian mullahs, the ayatollahs. Amir Taheri today writing in the New York Post says the exact opposite is the case -- and because of the way Mahmoud has run rings around the world on these nuclear negotiations, that he is stronger than ever with the mullahs. Philip Zelikow, who recently departed from the senior staff of Condoleezza Rice at the state department, told the New York Times that the intent of the rhetoric six weeks ago -- that is, ?We're not meeting with you. We're not talking. We're not going to have any meetings with you guys,? the intent of that rhetoric -- was to get the Iranians to take us seriously. Zelikow said, "We saw the effort of that this week in Ahmadinejad's loss of face over his own careless rhetoric," but Amir Taheri says there has been no loss of face.
Anyway, the state department theory is that now that the Iranians understand that mean we mean business, we can do business with them, and this is what I think... (laughing) I don't know. This is na?ve! As though we're dealing with rational people! These are Islamofascists. How many times do they need to tell us what their plans are and how they intend to annihilate us before we realize that talking to them is not going to stop them? I don't know how this word got out that Ahmadinejad lost face anyway. He's run circles around the UN; he's run circles around the European Union over their nuclear arms issue. He has successfully enlisted the help of the Russians. He?s been able to arm the Hezbos, which fought the Israelis to a standstill because of the weak leadership in Israel. This guy is a hero! Ahmadinejad is a hero of Islamofascism.

I just remember all the Kremlin watchers. (You have to look at history here.) All during the seventies and eighties, and even prior to that, remember all the Kremlin watchers and how they would read things into dictators' body language or press releases or trips that they take or what have you? I have no doubt that there are great intentions here, but it's delusional. These people are who they are, and I'm floored by this. I?m still stunned over this reversal of course on such a fundamental strategic issue as talking to the enemy. I don't know. This is not the way you win a war. I know you don't win wars with words. You don't win wars with words. You don't win war with good neighbor policies. You don't win wars with tea, crumpets, and all of this. In the midst of this we have the Democrats and some feeble minded Republicans trying to undermine us here at home, and now Bush and Rice are out there steadfastly maintaining, ?We're not going to talk to the Iranians. We're not going to talk to the Syrians. We're not going to bring them into this.?
They have reversed course. The signal that sends has yet to be determined, and we'll have to see how people react to it. Jimmy Carter talked to them 'til he was blue in the face when he was president. The UN's been talking to them about nuclear weapons and so forth to no avail. The EU has been talking to them and has gotten literally nowhere on this. I don't know what we expect to come of this. What do we expect to come of it? (interruption) H.R., you support this? What do you expect the result of this to be? (interruption) No, I'm not calling it a sellout. Look, it all depends whether this is tactical or strategic -- and that, we don't know. If this is a tactic and there are things I don't know, I'm withholding judgment. I'm just saying that as an ordinary, common, average Joe, I listen to what they say publicly and I watch what they do -- and how it seems to be a 180 degree reversal -- and I'm perplexed. I have to share my doubts and questions here with you. I'm not going to sit here... (interruption) Well, I don't know about the North Koreans. I've just been asked if I thought they reversed on North Korea.
I just saw a news story today that North Korea's got a missile capable of reaching us. There are people that do think that it was a sellout to North Korea. Some of the so-called conservative intelligentsia in the think tanks and the media think that it was a sellout. That's tougher to say because if the North Koreans backtrack on this, they're also insulting their patrons, the ChiComs, and they were involved in all this, but that remains to be seen. It boils down to whether this is a tactical move or whether it signals a new strategy. If it's tactical, and if there's something going on here -- like we expect this not to work and then allow us to move further after that...? Because the state department crowd, everybody wants to just talk, talk, talk. We just want to sit there and jawbone these people to death. Talk, talk, talk. That's all they do. That's their job, and anything more than that, they feel threatened. The state department would always talk, talk, talk rather than fire, fire, fire. The state department, to me, is not the repository where you go out and find a recipe for victory over the nation's enemies.
At any rate, in spite of all this -- maybe in concert with all of this -- the timing of this is so screwy.

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RUSH: Here's Jim in Flint, Michigan. Welcome, sir. You're up first today. It's nice to have you with us.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush. Listen, in regards to the talks or the negotiations or whatever they want to call them with Iran and Syria, if there's one thing that the president and Ms. Rice have been consistent on, it's foreign policy and the war on terror. I've gotta believe that they know this is not going to work, and I think that they're just doing it so they can be on record as having tried everything before some sort of military action is taken.
RUSH: I understand your wanting to say that. I understand the fact that you did say that. What you're saying is basically that this is administration is making a point, right? "We're going to talk. Everybody wants us to talk. Jim Baker, the Iraq Surrender Group, wants us to talk. We're going to talk and then when it doesn't work we're going to say, 'See? We told you it doesn't work.'? All right, let's put it on the table. Let's say that's the real thing. I still -- as a supporter of the president and somebody who wants to support the administration because they are exactly what you said: consistent in the war on terror -- I don't know why you draw a line in the sand six weeks ago and say we're not going to do it, and then you say we're going to do it.
You're saying that this is basically a tactical move, not strategic, and I hope you're right, but there are other factors here, and you cannot eliminate them. One of the factors is that Maliki told us he's going to talk to them regardless, either while we're there or after we leave, but he's going to talk to them. We're saying, ?Iraq, you're a sovereign government, and that's what our desire is. So, Maliki, we can't stop you.? That wouldn't look good, but it still boggles my mind. We're not going to throw him under the bus. We're not going to throw him overboard. So we've said, "Okay, we're going to get on board," but the story is that we exacted a price from him, and that is there must be a unity agreement on the sharing of oil revenues for all of the various groups in Iraq: the Kurds, the Shi'ites, and the Sunnis. That was announced yesterday, and that supposedly is the price that we exacted from Maliki in order for him to go ahead with the good neighbors. I feel like it's a State Farm Insurance policy, "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is theeeere." (Laughing.) Good neighbors? (Laughing) Call it something else! Good neighbors?

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