HOWDY, BOYS...IS MY BURKHA IN HERE?
So it was a relief to not see Iran in the web-news this morning. Anywhere. As in nowhere to be found. I've had my own wacky ideas on what's going on behind the kabuki shades, but I went over to where the wonkish people go, you know, in order to confirm my views. But first, before going to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where I knew the ever-reliable soothsayer Anthony Cordesman, that delphic oracle, would have something risk-free yet salesworthy to say, I blew 20 minutes looking for Condi in a bikini. C'mon, you knew she had to be in there somewhere, right? Thar she blows in her next negotiating outfit. Now just compare that delightful eyeful to the title of Cordesman's article, "Iranian Nuclear Weapons? Options for Sanctions and Military Strikes," and you'll make the right choice.
What's really going on is that Condi has the Preznit's ear, and is preaching the message of sanctions buy-in. She's sent her very capable and sane under-lackey Nick Burns to talk with the other Security Council reps, and it's his job to keep a sanctions package in the realm of what's doable, and dangle the Nuclear Franchise Package (we build the power plants, you give the money, like India just got only better) a little more appealingly under Iran's nose. Burns is saying to his diplomat buddies, "You don't know what it's like, man. These people are in-saaane! Rummy and Cheney are wearing black hoods and running around the Pentagon with light sabers! We've got to make a deal while there's still time." The real negotiation is with the Russians, and Burns has to convince them to go along with sanctions that can be sold back here. As a signal to what's going on, the US granted a visa to former Iranian moderate President Khatami, who's coming to D.C. for tea on September 7th. Take a wild guess at who he'll be meeting with. (Thus this morning's Condi graphic.)
Meanwhile, Rummy and Cheney really ARE wearing black hoods and running around the Pentagon with light sabers. Pausing occasionally to suck down some more nitrous oxide. Rummy and Dickie, if you or your minions ever read this, remember: Iran's mullahs could let your oil companies in just for the satisfaction of nationalizing them. Again. Out of nostalgia for the good old days.
If you're not willing to accept all this for the prescient gospel it is, go over and check out Steve Clemons at his excellent policy blog, The Washington Note (www.thewashingtonnote.com).