By Juan Cole
Pundits and diplomats nearly got whiplash from the double take they did when George W. Bush sent the No. 3 man in the State Department to sit at a table on July 19 across from an Iranian negotiator, without any preconditions. When Bush had addressed the Israeli Knesset in May, he made headlines by denouncing any negotiation with "terrorists and radicals" as "the false comfort of appeasement." What drove W. to undermine John McCain by suddenly adopting Barack Obama's foreign policy prescription on Iran?
Peacenik watched a bit of the movie Downfall the other day with an insane Hitler screaming in his bunker about General Steiner saving the day, and he couldn't help imagining Bush, Rice, Cheney et. al. in comparable roles.