Actually, money talks. Is it time our critics put their money where their mouth is?
In a surprise turnaround announced by US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, America will attend the security conference that is planned for March 10 and is expected to include Syria and Iran.
Iraq has said “we will attend the conference if it is expedient.”
This is just my own personal opinion, but we should attend, sit down, listen to all our critics, and shut up. This isn’t some sort of anti-American apologia. It’s the only strategy I can think of where we can win.
Whether we like it or not, the talks won’t be a forum for us to promote the well-known American position on Iraq and the Middle East. So we should sit down, listen and take notes.
The talks won’t be a forum to hear for the first time what Iraq, Syria and even many of our own allies would like us to do. It’s highly doubtful that anything approaching a majority of even the Iraqis themselves would like the US to stay and continue attracting Sunni car bombers and paramilitary terrorism.
Our position should be: “You know what we want to do. We know what you want us to do. We are just here to hear your proposals on what you would do to bring security and stability to the problems of Iraq.”
If Iran and Syria have no proposals to bring to the conference, their criticism of any US participation in the process rings hollow before an expectant world. If they have credible proposals that other countries could consider supporting, then the ball’s in their court. While we can’t guess the intentions of Ms. Rice and the American entourage, this is Iran and Syria’s chance, as it were, to put up or shut up.