Hagel Implies Bush Is A Fool Over Iran
Whatever GOP unity on foreign policy that existed on Iran evaporated today, when Chuck Hagel basically said George W. Bush was a fool for suggesting that “all options are on the table” in dealing with Iran. While touring his home state, a state that still strongly supports Bush, Hagel said in essence that Bush was being foolish by letting the Europeans talk directly to the new Iranian leadership while we stay off to the side making veiled threats we and the Iranians know we can't back up. Hagel is calling for bold strokes with the new leadership in Tehran, and is advocating direct dialogue between Washington and the Iranians, as he has with Cuba.
Hagel’s approach makes loads of sense, not only with Iran, but also while we’re at it with Cuba, North Korea, and even Venezuela. In the past, I had been against rewarding Pyongyang with direct talks, but valuable time is wasting away under this Cheneyesque foreign policy of ignoring regimes we don’t like, while we do harm to our strategic interests. North Korea has gone nuclear under Cheney’s nose, Iran has become the regional power PNAC crowed it would prevent due to Bush’s disastrous war, and China has forged an alliance with Venezuela in our own backyard while we have tried to topple Chavez. Instead, we are bogged down in Iraq, floundering in Afghanistan, and frankly letting Saudi Arabia and Israel drive our foreign policy. It is a theme I will return to early next week when I review a great new book “Sandstorm” (available for purchase on the left of this page) and interview the author Leon Hadar.