I can not, for the life of me, begin to understand the thinking behind this. This is a victory for political Islam. Iran is behind much of the terror in Iraq. Iran is Hezbollah. Iran is Hamas, Iran is Islamic Jihad and Syria is Iran's organ grinder's monkey. Visions of Neville Chamberlain dancing around my head. By G-d have we gone mad?
Iran, Syria invited to Iraq ‘neighbors meeting’ MSNBC
Announcement by Rice reveals shift in U.S. approach to regional talks
WASHINGTON - The United States and the Iraqi government are launching a new diplomatic initiative to invite Iran and Syria to a “neighbors meeting” on stabilizing Iraq, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Tuesday.
“We hope that all governments seize this opportunity to improve their relations with Iraq and to work for peace and stability in the region,” Rice said in remarks prepared for delivery to a Senate committee. Excerpts were released in advance by the State Department.
The move reflects a change of approach by the Bush administration, which previously had resisted calls by members of Congress and by a bipartisan Iraq review group to include Iran and Syria in diplomatic talks on stabilizing Iraq.
UPDATE: From the notoriously jihad loving AP (hat tip ginku)
BAGHDAD - U.S. Army officers said Monday that they had discovered a factory for assembling sophisticated roadside bombs from Iranian-made components - the first such facility uncovered in Iraq.
The officers, who displayed weapons for reporters at a U.S. base in Baghdad, said the find provides more evidence that the Iranians are providing weapons used to kill Americans. They include EFPs - explosively formed projectiles - that fire a slug of molten metal capable of penetrating armored vehicles and have been blamed for killing more than 170 U.S. and coalition soldiers since 2004. .
UPDATE FEBRUARY 28TH: Over at Frontpage, P. David Hornik tries to make sense of CONDI'S LEARNING CURVE, in my mind it's not a learning curve but a learning disability (being kind here, Einstein said insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.)
Rice’s anger suggests that she has sincerely believed that Abbas is a constructive force who is worth American coddling and encouragement—even to the extent of funding, training, and equipping his militia. The anger, in other words, seems to be a case of empiricism catching up with delusion and denial. It must especially sting that it was the Saudis—whom Rice, the State Department, and the U.S. generally are always trying to impress by demonstrating their tenderness toward the Palestinians—who pressured Abbas into formally capitulating to Hamas and further enshrining the latter as the Palestinian standard-bearer.
It’s hard, after all, to see why Rice—ostensibly a conservative and not a fluttery-hearted liberal—got so disappointed in her Palestinian charge. There has always been much information available showing his lack of moderacy and total lack of interest in complying with the road map.
There is the fact that, since becoming PA president in January 2005—a year before the elections that swept Hamas to victory—he has never lifted a finger to “arrest, disrupt, and restrain individuals and groups conducting and planning violent attacks on Israelis” as the road map requires.
Even under Arafat’s rule terrorists were sometimes arrested and jailed before being let out through the revolving door. Under Abbas, not even that much. Instead, the Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade of his Fatah movement remains a central and active component of Palestinian terror. Just last January 29 it openly took credit along with Islamic Jihad for the suicide bombing in Eilat.
When Abbas made statements in recent weeks like “We should put our internal fighting aside and raise our rifles only against the Israeli occupation” and “We must unite the Hamas and Fatah blood in the struggle against Israel as we did at the beginning of the intifada,” Abbas-opponents who still thought facts played any role in this debate hoped some of the Abbas-backers—Rice, for instance—would take heed. But she didn’t, and so is outraged that he not only signed the deal in Mecca but, when she confronted him, defended it.
[...] America is supposed to be fighting a War on Terror. Would it openly embrace as an ally someone who had worked in close cahoots for years with Bin Laden or Hassan Nasrallah? Would it expect such a person to behave peaceably and responsibly and then be shocked when he openly formed an alliance with other terrorists?
Whatever the extent of Rice’s frustration, it is not yet great enough for her to kick the Abbas-habit. She told the “traveling US press” that “both the U.S. and Israel want to deal with [Abbas’s administration] for as long as they can, in the hope that it will eventually bring about a change” in the Hamas-dominated government and legislature. Olmert, for his part, said “both he and his staff would keep meeting Abbas and his staff.”
One wonders what Abbas would have to do for Rice and Olmert finally to see him differently.
A nuke apparently.