A return to sanity?

July 21, 2008 - 0:0

The fact that the U.S. sent its third highest ranking diplomat, William Burns, the undersecretary of state for political affairs, to Geneva for talks with Iran on Saturday has been interpreted as a change of policy by Washington.

There are a number of reasons which could explain why the U.S. administration decided to send its envoy to the talks: realities on the ground; an attempt to make a face-saving exit from an impasse caused by the transparency of Iran’s nuclear program; the fact that U.S. officials’ harsh rhetoric has gotten them nowhere; the weakness of the ultra-neoconservatives; a return to sanity on the part of the White House (yes this one is highly unlikely); the trouble the U.S. economy is experiencing due to skyrocketing oil prices and other factors; the fact that the U.S. presidential election is approaching, which will bring in a new administration; a combination of some of the above; or all of the above.
Whatever the case may be, the United States has made a constructive move and hopefully will continue this trend.
When two countries have a dispute, it is only through dialogue and a commitment to the principle of respecting others’ rights that a compromise can eventually be reached that will satisfy each side in the end.
Life should not be a battleground for trial and error, and, as history has shown, departures from sanity always lead to catastrophe if there is no timely course correction.
U.S. officials must not try to reinvent the wheel, especially since the past seven and a half years of the Bush administration has led to a debacle which it may take the United States many years to extricate itself from