Thursday, January 18, 2007

Sec. Def. Gates Flip Flops

This is from an AP article on January 18, 2007 written by Robert Burns. In the article, Gates flip flops on his previous position in the 2004 Council on Foreign Relations report calling for engagement with Iran. In this article, he also tries to disassociate himself from the Iraq Study Group. But, I think most of us knew this was coming. Gates was involved with the Iran Contra. We know he flip flops for political access.

"Asked about the prospects for military conflict with Iran, whose nuclear program is seen by the Bush administration as a growing threat to U.S. interests, Gates said, 'There are many courses of action available that do not involve an open conflict with Iran — there's no need for that.'

"Gates said that although he had publicly advocated negotiating with Iran as recently as 2004, he now advises against that.

"'Right at this moment, there's really nothing the Iranians want from us,' he said. 'And so, in any negotiation right now we would be the supplicant,' asking Iran to stop doing such things as enriching uranium for its nuclear program.

"'We need some leverage, it seems to me, before we engage with the Iranians,' Gates added. 'And I think at some point engagement probably makes sense.'

"Until the Iranians are persuaded that, despite being bogged down in Iraq, 'the United States is in fact a formidable adversary, there's not much advantage for us in engaging with them,' he said.

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