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View Diary: Khatami is In--This is a Clear Signal (309 comments)

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  •  Funny, many in the international media (9+ / 0-)

    say the same thing about the transition form Bush to Obama. Who do you suppose knows more? OR Maybe subtle shifts in the long run do matter.

    You may find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife and you may ask yourself, "How did I get here?"

    by FrankCornish on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 07:53:29 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Overseas, there is a (7+ / 0-)

      giant exhale. I have friends in the Subcontinent, Central Asia, Turkey, Thailand and Tibet who all are far more hopeful with Obama as president that there can be more peace and cooperation in this world. Interestingly, they also realize it's not because of Obama in particular, but that he is something of a catalyst.

      "Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it." ML King

      by TheWesternSun on Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 08:15:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Biden's comments in his speech (8+ / 0-)

      in Munich on 7 February look like the same old foreign policy line we've seen in the past, possibly toned down just a tad, regarding Iran.

      "The Iranian people are a great people. The Persian civilization is a great civilization. But Iran has acted in ways that are not conducive to peace in the region or to the prosperity of its people; its illicit nuclear program is but one of those manifestations. Our administration is reviewing policy toward Iran, but this much is clear: We will be willing to talk."

      "We will be willing to talk to Iran, and to offer a very clear choice: continue down your current course and there will be pressure and isolation; abandon the illicit nuclear program and your support for terrorism and there will be meaningful incentives."

      If Biden knows something about an "illicit" nuclear program in Iran perhaps he should inform the IAEA and the Intelligence folks who put together our December 2007 NIE report that stated that Iran has no nuclear weapons program. As signatories to the nuclear non-proliferation pact they have a right to enrich uranium to levels permitted for peaceful purposes. Thus far there is no evidence to the contrary and there is nothing illicit or illegal about their nuclear program.

      From the NIE report  (pdf)

      2007 National Intelligence Estimate
      Judge with high confidence that in fall 2003,
      Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program. Judge
      with high confidence that the halt lasted at least
      several years. (DOE and the NIC have moderate
      confidence that the halt to those activities
      represents a halt to Iran's entire nuclear weapons
      program.) Assess with moderate confidence
      Tehran had not restarted its nuclear weapons
      program as of mid-2007, but we do not know
      whether it currently intends to develop nuclear
      weapons. Judge with high confidence that the halt
      was directed primarily in response to increasing
      international scrutiny and pressure resulting from
      exposure of Iran’s previously undeclared nuclear
      work. Assess with moderate-to-high confidence
      that Tehran at a minimum is keeping open the
      option to develop nuclear weapons.

      I don't see that much has changed but will continue to hope that there will be change. At least "Axis of Evil" seems to have disappeared from the discussion.

      Time will tell.

      •  Biden seems to be filling the "Big Hat, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Johnny Q

        No Cattle" shoes of the former administration. Saber rattling in the fine old American tradition.

        Found it interesting that he read reportedly read his speech word for word, and that it did include some change in rhetoric.

        However, with Petraeus still on board there is little cause for rushing to celebrate a new day.

        I found this description of what happened quite interesting, though:

        Two years ago, Vladimir Putin used the opportunity to slam U.S. policy in Iraq; for its part, the U.S. presence has been led and largely defined by Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman--neither of whom was present this year, due to the stimulus votes in Congress. Their absence helped reinforce an abrupt shift in tone: the U.S. delegation, led by Joe Biden, was all reason and light...and nuance. This seemed to both please and confuse our NATO allies, and boggle the rest of the world. Indeed, the U.S. responded not at all to the anachronistic rantings of the Iranian Ali Larijani, said to be a "responsible" conservative and known to be very close to the Supreme Leader. It was Britain's Foreign Minister David Miliband who chastised Larijani--in the driest, most elegant way imaginable: "It's not going to get better than this," he said, referring to Biden's offer of an open hand. In other words, you'd better stop your public ranting and take advantage of the moment.

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