Bush Adopts Kerry's Strategy for Iran
Maybe that Kerry guy knew what he was talking about
In the 2004 presidential race, John Kerry offered a very clear approach as to how the United States should deal with Iran: have the international community offer Iran nuclear fuel to be used in a peaceful nuclear energy program. As Kerry put it at the time, "We should call their bluff and organize a group of states that will offer the nuclear fuel they need for peaceful purposes and take back the spent fuel so they can't divert it to build a weapon."
Nonsense, said the Bush gang, which argued such an approach would effectively be "appeasement." Condi Rice dismissed Kerry's approach, telling Fox News, "This regime has to be isolated in its bad behavior, not quote-unquote 'engaged.'" Frank Gaffney Jr., a former Pentagon official and Bush ally, knocked Kerry's plan in an op-ed entitled, "Kerry's Nuclear Nonsense." Gaffney boasted, "Mr. Bush understands the folly of going that route." National Review ran an item calling Kerry's proposal "ignorant" and "dangerously wrong."
But Kerry was unyielding, insisting that this was the best approach, even working his idea into an answer in one of the presidential debates. ""I think the United States should have offered the opportunity to provide the nuclear fuel, test them, see whether or not they were actually looking for it for peaceful purposes. If they weren't willing to work a deal, then we could have put sanctions together," Kerry said. "The president did nothing."
That was 2004. Now, suddenly, after deriding Kerry in the campaign for his dangerous ideas, Bush is staring to think, "You know, maybe that Kerry guy was on to something."
President Bush's endorsement of a plan to end the nuclear standoff with Iran by giving the Islamic republic nuclear fuel for civilian use under close monitoring has left some of his supporters baffled.
One cause for the chagrin is that the proposal, which is backed by Russia, essentially adopts a strategy advocated by Mr. Bush's Democratic opponent in the 2004 election, Senator Kerry of Massachusetts.
"I have made it clear that I believe that the Iranians should have a civilian nuclear power program under these conditions: that the material used to power the plant would be manufactured in Russia, delivered under IAEA inspectors to Iran to be used in that plant, the waste of which will be picked up by the Russians and returned to Russia," Mr. Bush said at a news conference yesterday. "I think that is a good plan. The Russians came up with the idea and I support it," he added.
Maybe so, but he was against the idea before he was for it.
Just out of curiosity, any chance we'll see National Review blasting Bush's new approach to Iran as "ignorant" and "dangerously wrong"? Or maybe Condi Rice will explain why the idea rewarded Iran for bad behavior when Kerry recommended it, but it's brilliant leadership when Bush recommends it?