Well, it took some time to digest the Iraq Study Group's report.
After gagging on several occasions, the job is accomplished.
And the study group gets a whopping big F.
Engage Iran and Syria in diplomacy? Forget about it, for several reasons:
1. Iran is following the Soviet strategy of engaging the U.S. and its allies in proxy wars (Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan) via its funding of various terror-driven organizations. There's no reason to negotiate with this particular enemy.
2. Even if there were reason to really negotiate with Iran and Syria, it would not succeed. There is only one kind of negotiations that Ahmadenijihad and his puppets would understand... it's at the business end of a small thermonuclear warhead. The old rules, the European rules, don't work with these guys.
3. If there are any nations to engage in this region, you're talking about Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and Turkey. All you have to do is say two words -- Persian Empire. That is the Ahmadenijihad dream. Islam plays into it, to be sure, but the dream is of a revival of the Persian Empire. You tell those guys, "If we walk away, Iran will export its terror operations to your back yards. And you can rest assured that we won't step in."
4. If you want to put a scare into Iran, you have to do one thing: threaten retaliation, then deliver on your threats. What would really scare Iran right now would be an independent Kurdish nation carved out of northern Iraq. Iran has a large Kurdish population in its northwest region which would be more than happy to fight a guerrilla/terror war to expand the Kurdish nation's borders. Nothing like giving the Ahmadenijihadists a taste of their own medicine... and keeping them occupied and less able to influence what's going on in the rest of their demented world. (The downside of this option is that Turkey also has a large Kurdish population, but with Turkey, traditional diplomatic measures are more likely to produce a positive result. Relocation grants, maybe a purchase of some land for the new Kurdish nation, or some combination thereof would likely help the Turks.) And the Kurds have been most supportive of the U.S. efforts in the Middle East and deserve some sort of award for that.
If Jimmy Carter had done the right thing 27 years ago, we wouldn't be in this mess right now. A rapid slapdown of Iran would have put a quick stop to the Ahmadenijihadists' power.
However, that had to be said here. You sure as hell won't see it in many other places.