How Should the P-5+1 Engage Iran Regarding Its Nuclear Program?

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
October 3, 2009
Iranian Delegation and P-5+1 Members Meet in Geneva

On October 1, members of the P-5+1 met with the Iranian delegation in Geneva, where they held a series of discussions. Iran has refused to talk about its nuclear program since July of 2008. These discussions marked the first time the U.S. engaged Iran in the P-5+1 as a full participant. Three themes emerged: the unity of the P5+1 group, the focus on the nuclear issue, and the beginning of an intensive diplomatic process that we hope will lead to Iran allowing the international community to verify that Iran's nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

How should the P-5+1 engage Iran regarding its nuclear program?

Comments

Comments

Peppi T.
|
New York, USA
October 3, 2009

Peppi T. in New York writes:

I find it amazing that there aren't pre-arrangements in place if certain conditions aren't met, along with a world wide standard for every country, no matter who they are, with the rest of the world backing it up.

We have so many highly educated and brilliant people in public offices around the world. All we need are standards for the whole world to live by so it is no surprise when the rest of the world freezes their assets.

Which is the key to any country, get them in the pocket book. Easier said, yes. But when a country refuses to comply with something that is so volatile, fragile and yet such a blatantly devastating weapon of mass destruction.

The Middle East has always been the center of Armageddon. How do you prevent something if it is enviable? You have my best wishes. Now get the support of other nations and freeze them out.

Emily
|
North Carolina, USA
October 3, 2009

Emily in North Carolina writes:

Let the IAEA do it's job, the UN should not be given authority to punish citizens of any nation with sanctions that historically strengthen those in power while weakening any attempt of its citizens to decide what they want for their own country or to take such actions in their own best interest.

Enough e.
|
Connecticut, USA
October 3, 2009

E.E. in Connecticut writes:

Its gone too far, cont and increase covert ops. including tightening sanctions.

Jack
|
New Hampshire, USA
October 3, 2009

Jack in New Hampshire writes:

DipNote,

Engaging Iran has been one of our thorniest foreign policy challenges, and the U.S. intervention in Iraq has made that challenge even more complicated. It seems that the most prudent way to practice diplomacy with Iran is to do so behind the scenes. Like all bilateral and multilateral negotiations, the substantive discussions need to take place behind the scenes. Any negotiations between the West and Iran need to allow both sides to feel as if they've saved face. President Obama has to appear strong in his negotiating posture, and Iran has to appear as if they are not caving to Western demands.

This requires us to adopt a different approach. If we want Iran to alter its course, we need to engaged them behind the scenes, or even in secret. That's really the only way we will be able to divine their true intentions and meet in the middle. Additionally, we need to ensure that the Iranian negotiator sitting across from us has real authority (from the top) to negotiate.

As I commented in a previous post: we must negotiate with those on the Iranian side that actually have the authority to really negotiate with the West. A few years back, Javier Solana's negotiations with former Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani failed, in part, because Larijani couldn't deliver the goods. I would strongly suggest to President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and Dennis Ross that any meaningful engagement with Iran needs to be with folks in the Supreme Leaders circle. The West can kvetch all they want about Ahmadinejad's Holocaust denials (yes, they do deserve rebuke), but anyone who knows Iran and is focused on the big picture knows that real power lies in the hands of the Supreme Leader.

So, how do we engage Iran? In short, we need to do so quietly, and with the man who calls the shots. That's Ali Khamenei.

Best regards,

Jack

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
October 3, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

(part 2)

So how should the p-5+1 engage Iran?

We don't want to give them the war they want nor expect....on their terms. We give them the war they are neither prepared for nor able to fight...on our terms.

How the President wishes to define that is his decision to make, and for the international community as well. However...

There's something in general to consider in the following that should wake folks up quicker than a strong cup of coffee in the morning:

---

On February 14, 2005 a leading member of Iran's Hizbollah, Hojjat-ol-Islam Baqer Kharrazi after years of silence delivered a harsh speech against the reformists and the administration in Iran, Iran Emrooz reported.

"I kept silent over the past 14 years, because Hizbollah needed to be restructured and I was busy with training the forces. Although no Iranian media reflected Hizbollah leaders' recent meeting with head of Iran's State Expediency Council, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, I should say we elaborated on Hizbollah's activities for Rafsanjani in detail and the former president was amazed with our progress." Kharrazi claimed.

"We don't need any guardian. And if necessary we will select our own president, ministers and parliament members. For without the Hizbollah forces the Islamic Revolution will collapse from within." the hardliner added.

Referring to the Sunni population in Iran's western, eastern and southern borders, Kharrazi said: "Presently the country's borders are controlled by Sunnis. We have to counter their growth in the country."

On Iran's nuclear issue, Kharrazi noted: "We have oil, gas and all other natural resources and thus we don't need interaction with other countries. We are able to produce atomic bombs and we will do that. We shouldn't be afraid of anyone. The U.S. is no more than a barking dog"

---

So now they throw the dog a bone in hopes that we back off? Will folks chew on it, or bury it in the backyard I can only wonder?

What we did to win WW2 was not the action of a "barking dog" over 60 years ago, but of a nation at war. And let no one now have any illusion that winning the war on terrorism, as supported by many nations and many UN resolutions, is any less grave an undertaking in nature in the furtherance of the "larger freedom" ensconced by the UN charter, and civilization itself, than it was years ago in the winning of WW2.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
October 3, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

(part 1 of 2 combined posts on the subject):

"This is not about singling out Iran. This is not about creating double standards. This is about the global non-proliferation regime, and Iran's right to peaceful nuclear energy, just as all nations have it -- but with that right, comes responsibilities."

-President Obama,October 1, 2009

(In reference to):

Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)
http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Infcircs/Others/infcirc140.pdf

---

I cringe every time Iran's "rights" are mentioned in context to this phrase, "peaceful purposes"....and there's good reason why I do:

ARTICLE IV
1. Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I and II of this Treaty.

---

The weakness of the NPT can be fully understood by the paradox contained in the wording of Article 4.1 above, wherein it states on one hand that "Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties..", and concluding with the caveat, ..."and in conformity with Articles I and II of this Treaty."

The President is correct, "Words must mean something."

The preamble to the NPT clearly states:

"Recalling that, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, States must refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations, and that the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security are to be promoted with the least diversion for armaments of the world's human and economic resources,"

I figure this is one of those "responsibilities" the President was referring to. If not, it should be.

Now from an international legal standpoint, either nations may freely violate all the articles and concepts of the NPT and still claim a "inalienable right" even when engaged in hostile threats against other UN member states, and I WILL single out the government of Iran as having demonstated over the past 30 years anything but a peaceful intent towards other nations by word and deed ( the list of threats voiced and terrorist activities sponsored is too long to go into here); Or a nation that violates the NPT in spirit or actuality ...voids their "inalienable rights" to atoms for peace automaticly via the process of violating what they signed onto.

A nation can't have it both ways, and must choose one path or another.

Some find it distasteful that this Admin. would seek negotiation with a the world's leading state sponsor of terror on any level.

OK fine, be that as it may. What I find highly dangerous to the security of the world is that the gaping legal loophole in Article 4.1 that has helped Iran and other nations "game the system".

"Atoms for peace", as proposed by President Eisenhower in 1953, and the NPT (1970) were not created in a world fighting global terrorist networks, or under threat of a terrorist org. obtaining nuclear weapons.

As long as the leading sponsor of terrorism exists as safe haven next door to the fledgling democracies we've helped establish over the last 9 years, no amount of troops, no amount of diplomacy, and no amount of money spent in nation building will change the dynamics of the instability created by those who want, and have been engaged in an undeclared war with the US over several decades.

That said, I am in full agreement with President Bush when he said,

"And the Shia extremists have achieved something that al Qaeda has so far failed to do: In 1979, they took control of a major power, the nation of Iran, subjugating its proud people to a regime of tyranny, and using that nation's resources to fund the spread of terror and pursue their radical agenda."

(Excerpt from speech-President Discusses Global War on Terror Capital Hilton Hotel ,Washington, D.C.)

Lawrence L.
|
Alabama, USA
October 3, 2009

Lawrence L. in Alabama writes:

I believe that we should engage Iran just as we should have engaged Iraq in 2003 regarding their WMD. Inspections, monitoring, and a firm commitment to a massive US/NATO retaliatory strike (not ruling out nuclear) should Iran ever use a WMD against another state. This has worked reasonably well in North Korea -- they have the weapon but they know what would happen next if they used it. The President should also be much more vocal in condemning the miscarriage of the recent election. The moderates would be much less likely to launch on a neighboring state.

JOE
|
Tennessee, USA
October 3, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

Options are limited in actuality: If you place sanctions that will negitively affect the citizen base, we may lose the gains that have been made as it will provide a propoganda base for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Any facts will be used as evidenced by his press release: Iran's president said Saturday that President Barack Obama made a big mistake when he accused the country of hiding a newly...

Educated leaders realize that personalization is often an attempt at redirection; but, the unfortunite fact is we are not dealing with a stable educated leader. This is compounded his appearent lack of concern for the economic gains of his people in general. Sanctions which will hurt the people will not help.

I would center on: What can the International Community provide for Irans People IF THEY DO NOT CONTINUE on the path their leadership wants. Show them, tell them what COULD BE...enlighten the citizen base and the business community. Crack the nut from the outside.

What happened to involving the people, rather than centering on a persona who thirves on his situation of control to begin with?

Personally, I think we should have let Israel take care of this situation long ago, before they installed the updated Russian S-300 Russian ground-to-air radar systems in 2008.

T.J
|
United Kingdom
October 3, 2009

T.J. in the United Kingdom writes:

ALL negotiations will fail this time too if not backed by tough words. Appeasing the Mullah will only empower their propaganda machine further, although , we can see that, the ruling clergy is divided and is fighting amongst itself.

The Iranian people must be encourged to bring down the tyrants of Tehran. This is not interference.

Military action and regime change must remain an option.

Ron
|
New York, USA
October 4, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

P-5+1= P6?

By definition, the organization of world leadership is fragmented and unsettled. This is reflected in our nuclear policies, and in many other areas of international security concern. Iran would not be in a position to hold the world hostage to nuclear threats if UN were unified in the charter's mandates. Reality is....the train has left the station....now it is a matter of stopping what seems an inevitable nuclear strike against Israel, and the U.S. by extention.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
October 4, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ T.J in UK, The regime has sown the seeds of civil war, but still manages today to rule by dictatorial edict.

In the process, they have created their own "Abu Graib" embarrasment in the eyes of the world by their treatment of the Iranian people.

I personally don't think we need to encorage the opposition, as they have all the incentive they need right at home to bring that change about.

However at some future date, the likelyhood of their success may very well depend on whether the regime forces an option to be put on the table that levels the playing field for the opposition as a byproduct of our removing an imminent threat to international peace and security from the world stage.

All the people's valiant efforts to bring their voices to bear and have a say in the matter is to be respected and supported ( that's what democracies do best), but the world simply does not have years to wait for them to bring thier desired change to reality.

The clock's run out.

Change will come inevitably one way or another, rest assured.

It would be wise for those nations that have considerable trade with Iran to realize that the only way to keep the peace, may only be in the elimination of all trade ( except food and medicine) for existing sanctions to be effectively stengthened to the point where coercive diplomacy proves an effective tool for peace.

And if sanctions are to be given chance, they need to be total and universally implemented to stand a chance of proving effective in the short time left for that option to make an impact on diplomacy. I would at that point also suggest total diplomatic isolation from all fora (if the talking has proven fruitless and "next steps" are being decided upon).

Funny, I find myself in agreement with the Russian President as regards sanctions, but for probably different reasons.

Short of holding an H-bomb above the Ayatollah's head like the Sword of Damacles, sanctions are the international community's best bet to arrive at a working negotiated solution.

All options being on the table as it were, diplomacy has a little bit further to go before it becomes totally exhausted. But not much, and that's self-evident.

Ron
|
New York, USA
October 4, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

"Iran leads the world on Nuclear Peace...."

Iran is in full compliance with IAEA on peaceful uses of nuclear energy. If P-5+1 believes this, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I would like to sell them.

Zharkov
|
United States
October 4, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

I thought only the Israeli government should be on tranquilizers when discussing Iran, but it seems they are not the only people with an obsession about it.

Why do we have problem with Shia A-Bombs but not Sunni A-bombs or Israeli A-bombs? Does it matter so much who kills us? Pakistani A-bombs are acceptable but not Iranian A-bombs? Or do we have a bigger problem with a crazy theocracy running a country rather than what kind of bombs they want? Is Brazil's A-bomb program acceptable? What about Venezuela?

It is obvious that our problem is with the form of government these "evil" nations have rather than what kind of weapons they choose for themselves.

Let's not forget who allowed the nuclear genie to escape the bottle - it was us. It is entirely our fault that the worst countries want atomic weapons. We created the technology, we distributed the technology to make bombs, and we are guilty of their spread. In any private sector setting, our poor performance would destroy all credibility on the subject of preventing proliferation.

Indeed, we should allow the IAEA to do its job - that is what we pay them to do, and if we believe they are so incompetent that we should distrust their work, then we should stop paying them.

Iran agreed to the NPT, and we should continue to observe its provisions and stop threatening them with war based on our mere suspicions alone.

Just because some Iranian official says they will someday have atomic bombs doesn't make it happen. We have people working in our government who also say crazy things, such as mass casualties will come from swine flu, climate change, and disabled veteran's terrorism - none of which anyone takes seriously because the facts show they are wrong and merely political drama queens looking for a headline.

Cutting through the mass media propaganda, we see Iran complying with IAEA requests, regular inspections occur, and no A-bomb tests have happened anywhere in Iran, so what proof do we have?

It's a fact that our government tells lies. The Pentagon lied about how Pat Tillman was killed. The State Department lied about who started the war in Georgia. The FDA lied to our soldiers about the safety of Anthrax vaccine. The White House lied about there being an Iraqi Uranium purchase in Africa. The Federal Reserve lied about the solvency of the banking system. They even lie about the unemployment rate. Presidential candidates always lie about what they will do once elected. We are lied to constantly about almost everything that is important.

How can anyone trust the word of any U.S. official about Iran's intentions when the IAEA is saying the opposite, our own intel reports say the opposite, and even Israeli intel agrees that Iran has not made an atomic bomb yet?

Assuming that Iran, which said it wants the Middle East to be free of nuclear weapons, is also lying, who can we believe?

What we need is a neutral party, the IAEA, to evaluate the risk of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons. Until Iran detonates a test nuclear device, we should rely on the guys we hired to do that.

If Iran tests an atomic bomb, then Israel should have no delay in forcibly ending their nuclear program with an immediate attack - that means no U.N. committee meetings, no resolutions, no waiting to discuss policy, and no U.S. involvement.

Attack on test detonation should be the Israeli policy and that would save us a lot of paperwork, media noise, and the rest of the baggage that goes along with worrying endlessly whether Iran wants the bomb or not. If Iran ever does develop a bomb, they will wish they had not. But America should not go to war over something that may never happen and we certainly do not presume guilt without proof of wrongdoing.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
October 4, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

(AP soundbite)

"'I see that we are at a critical moment. I see that we are shifting gears from confrontation into transparency and cooperation," said Mr. ElBaradei, according to AP.

---

If he actually said this, I would hope Mr. El Baradei will at some point before he leaves his position with the IAEA, realize that we haven't seen nothing till we've seen results.

Time to take of the rose-colored glasses.

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
October 4, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

While you keep having talks with Iran, they will continue building up it's Nuclear program. Sanctions on Iran, doubtful it will work. The Iran Leader was laughing at the United Nations because he already knows, what weapons he purchased from Russia. Which means you might be putting sanctions on them but what has the United Nations done about dealing with countries like Russia who sells Nuclear equipment to Iran? A slap on the hand, don't do it no more?

How many other countries has Russia sold Nuclear material, equipment or even Nuclear Weapons too and your only working on Iran? Satellites are wonderful toys, but really if your going to have an impact on what will happen in future, consider all those who deal with Russia before striking.

It also means your approach to dealing with Iran might come down to elminating the threat without the use of weapons. WHAT DO ALL NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS NEED AND CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT? ANSWER THIS RIDDLE AND YOU HAVE THE IDEA ON HOW TO DEAL WITH IRAN PEACEFULLY.

The heart of this problem, source of our headaches is with Russia, isn't about time someone consideres that maybe Russia has a reason why they want Iran to have Nuclear Weapons? What weapons did Russia sell Mr. Chavez, or in China?

The global threat that exists for the United Nations and the United States along with our allies, look at this picture getting larger.

- Russia
- China
- Iran
- Venezuela
- North Korea
- Afghanistan
- Iraq

When Iran is testing missiles, means he means business, not party talks at the United Nations.

joe
|
Tennessee, USA
October 5, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

You may need to add another one:

Burma. Last week valid intelligence has them negotiating for WMD technology from North Korea; the problem is growing well past Iran. Update: Global Security Newswire - ‎4 hour?s ago:::‎
U.S. officials and others have also expressed worries that North Korea is aiding Myanmar's effort to build underground nuclear facilities that could...

The fact Iran installed in 2008 the new Russian S-300 Russian ground-to-air radar systems showed they had no intent to stop production at any period prior to the election.

I believe it is the People of Iran who need to be addressed to react to their leadership in the appropriate manners which would be more developmental for everyone. The people of Iran are well educated and cultured beyond what is represented by the press, as the DOS well knows. They are the best allies the world has in this situation and we need to find a better path to reach them and support them.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seems to have no reason or desire to alter his course and given the results with North Korea, why should he?

Ron
|
New York, USA
October 5, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

DIPNOTES Greatest Hits:

Is it too early to do the Dip-Hits? We should roll out some winning posts from the early days...the transition...and some current winners...I seem to recall this USG--N.Korea-Russia-Pakistan-Israel-India-No-Nukes-Talk...Now it is Iran...next year...AQI?...FARQ?....Bottom line remains..Nuclear Waepons have become the gold-standard for "respect" by the world's leaders..."Ask the man who owns one"....So..it is way passed time to walk back slowly away from the edge, and incentivize each step for all parties.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
October 6, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Ron in New york wrote: "Is it too early to do the Dip-Hits? We should roll out some winning posts from the early days...the transition...and some current winners...I seem to recall this USG--N.Korea-Russia-Pakistan-Israel-India-No-Nukes-Talk...Now it is Iran...".

I suppose we could ask the Dip-staff if they have framed any "keeper posts" and hung them on the wall for grins and giggles so any senior official that may stop by the editorial desk can appreciate fully all the hard work we the public make them do in the process of culling through mounds of public opinion....(chuckle).

So Ron, what critria do you think we should use for submission into the "greatest hits" catagory?

This could be a fun little side track for exploration, but perhaps the staff will do a "year in review" topic post like they did on year-1 so we have a place to dedicate more thought to your idea.

I wonder if the staff keeps a "rogues gallery" of particular posts that they can't bear to publish....Lol!

Now that would be entertainment, eh?

Ron
|
New York, USA
October 7, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

DIP-HITS and DIP-NOPES:

Sure....DIPNOTES is great global insider baseball... This would be the best of the best....maybe ideas that moved the global ball forward...or opened a new line of diplo-discussion....some of the comments
have been somewhat cynical; but that kind of energy serves to spur enthusiatic and positive response... Who knows...we could see t-shirts and fridge magnets with the Word's Greatest Dipnotes!

Sharon H.
|
Iowa, USA
October 7, 2009

Sharon H. in Iowa writes:

YES

I believe that P-5+1 Should engage Iran in talks about it's nuclear program. It shows the world the we are trying to understand what they are attempting to do. In front of their neighboring countries and the rest of the World we are allowing them to show that they are not intending to use their nuclear energy for weapons of war.

If in fact we do discover that they are intending to use nuclear energy for war purposes it will give us a legitimate reason to take action against them. This time other countries will not see us as bullies or war mongers, instead I believe that they will support us in what ever tough penalties we apply to Iran.

Nancy
|
California, USA
October 14, 2009

Nancy in California writes:

Carrot, then stick. Offer to trade with them if they allow full inspections and then dismantling of nukes. Give them a good deal on uranium enrichment for energy purposes from the U.S. Then, if they don't play along. Sanctions which include Russia. If sanctions don't work and they get aggressive with nuclear tests, let Israel blow them up.

sanja
|
India
October 14, 2009

Sanja in India writes:

interesting stuff. shld have been there earlier. what better than this way of free thinking in debating and discussing issues.

sanja
|
India
October 7, 2009

Sanja in India writes:

I suppose the whole world would go about business in the usual manner without realising that whatever diplomacy that you may indulge in, these countries - Iran, North Korea, Myanmar etc would continue to go their way irrespective of the implications. There is a certain amount of resistance among these countries to what the west calls `diplomacy'. They mean `business' and `serious business'. To deal with them t here needs to be a combination of diplomacy with strong intelligence. you need to penetrate their systems every which way. I bet there is a lot happening in these countries and between them and others of which no one is aware and I am sure there is no other way to realise this. The traditonal method thus is not going to pay dividends. Much more than this is required. Cheers.

Farbod
October 14, 2009

Farbod writes:

IS there any way of engaging the Islamic Regime in regard to "Human Rights" related issues, on the agenda, while pressing for Atomic concerns to be met?! Or, maybe the P5+1 would rather not comment on that at all, for the time being...?! If So, is this policy going to work in the years, ahead?

A package of policies and strategies are needed to be wisely set, in order for P5+1 to hold the Islamic Regime accountable on all its policies, which have been already utlilizing throughout the Middle East, as well as inside Iran and the Nuclear issues and ambitions they seek to pursue....This is simply cannot be a one topic basis engagement, but rather it is a multiple basis controversy in nature, human rights included one, that should be set forth on the agenda. We should not forget how Iran, under the Shah`s monarchy, was called the "Stability Island" and this island became upside down within a year, afterwards. Making any atomic deal with such a regime cannot necessarily bring about stability and long-term security and prosperity, while the Regime in Tehran is unwilling to compromise on its malfunctioning revolutionary in nature, policies which are fundamentally set upon following the policy of non-alignment. Human Rights and the rigged election and the 4 year old power transition in Tehran from Clergies to military figures just entered its new phase of completion on June 12th ,2009 and yet the world is highly likely to face with a new sort of Pakistani governance which is not a U.S. ally, indeed.
The world would face a nightmare, whether negligent to admitting to the facts that nothing in Tehran has revealed a sound change, but for worse. Excluding Iran`s domestic socio-economic crisies, including the 10th presidential election and its consequences, from the negotiating table and policy analyses and decisionmaking processes related equation neither solves the lingering problems, nor does it make any accord, sustained and secured in the long run.

Susan
|
Florida, USA
October 8, 2009

Susan in Florida writes:

Well, one thing I do know is that sanctions don't work. Hasn't Cuba taught us that?!! There are always other countries that are going to ignore our sanctions and "do business" with the country we are isolating. All sanctions do is cause the citizens, especially the poorest ones, to suffer more. So this time around, with Iran, why don't we make it clear that we are willing to deal with them only if they are willing to be transparent about their nuclear program. That, I am sure, sounds too simple. But actually it is not. If they refuse, then, we must decide what our next step will be. Military action? What choices do we really have? So many of these situations are "stand offs". Very frustrating.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
October 9, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Ron in New York,

Being a Red Sox fan, I'm not about to pick any winners.

But I guess the State Dept. can give itself a pat on the back because the fellow they implement the policy of just got himself nominated to win one of those Nobel Peace prizes.

See what happens when folks read Dipnote?

(chuckle)

---

@ Susan in Florida,

Thing about beurocracy is the amazing ability for redundancy and contingincy combined in the form of a defense dept. that can dust off probably a hundred war fighting scenarios and take its pick of updates and mission parameter options from any half dozen that seem promising.

I sometimes think the reason folks in gov. don't like talking about hypotheticals in public is because they spend so much time thinking about them on the job.

Maybe they should dwell in the realm of possibility once in awhile lest the public and the press come to a mind, thinking it's the blind leading the blind down a dark alley.

(Food for a spokesman's thought processes.)

.

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