Blair Suggests Syria, Iran Could Play "Constructive" Role In Middle East Peace Process
British Prime Minister Tony Blair said in a television interview that Syria and Iran could play a "constructive" role in the Middle East.
Blair said it was absurd to suggest that talking to the countries amounted to "appeasement."
The interview was conducted by Sir David Frost for the new al-Jazeera English-language television channel.
It's quite a different philosophy from the Bush Administration, which has long favored tough talk to diplomacy with countries it considers evil. It hasn't worked, but that hasn't stopped our leadership from, er, staying the course.
As John McLaughlin, CIA deputy director from 2000 to 2004, noted in July: "(E)ven superpowers have to talk to bad guys. The absence of a diplomatic relationship with Iran and the deterioration of the one with Syria ... leave the United States with fewer options and levers than might otherwise have been the case."
Will the Bush Administration listen to Blair, one of its staunchest allies in the "war on terror?" My guess is no.