Monday, May 28, 2007


One negotiation technique frequently used by irrational people is to suggest something that will give them an advantage and make you worse off but expressing it as if they were giving you a concession. And the less they think of your mental capacity, the more blatantly transparent they will be about it.

Iran's move during today's shameful talks with the U.S. is a prime example of this tactic:

The United States ambassador in Baghdad said he and his Iranian counterpart agreed broadly on policy toward Iraq during four-hour groundbreaking talks on Monday, but insisted that Iran end its support for militants.

The Iranian ambassador later said the two sides would meet again in less than a month.

Hassan Kazemi Qomi, the Iranian envoy, also said that he told the Americans that his government was ready to train and equip the Iraqi army and police to create "a new military and security structure."

In other words: The fox has expressed its readiness to serve as a guard in the henhouse.

Kazemi did not elaborate nor would he say how U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker responded.

If I were made such an offer, I would give the joker a response he wouldn't want to relay at a press conference either. But the U.S. Ambassador continues to play it polite:

Crocker described the session as businesslike and said Iran proposed setting up a "trilateral security mechanism" that would include the U.S., Iraq and Iran, an idea he said would require study in Washington.

The Iranians are making fools out of both themselves and the Americans--and the Americans are trying desperately to keep up the appearance of "businesslike" talks, making fools out of themselves in the process.

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