The Corner

Blair’s Bargain

Tony Blair now seems to be on board with the Iraq Study Group’s “grand bargain” strategy for the Middle East. I talk about the problems with such an approach today in “Doves Fly Toward Iran.” You could summarize my point this way: Blair’s message to Iran is, “…if you stop supporting terrorism, if you stop trying to acquire nuclear weapons and don’t breach your international obligations, then we are willing to have a partnership with you, but if you export terrorism around the region and destabilize democracy in Iraq, we will confront you.” The problem is that the “we will confront you” part of this message is rapidly losing credibility, especially since President Bush and Prime Minister Blair no longer control the apparatus of confrontation. That is now in the hands of the French, the Germans, the Russians, the Chinese, and America’s Democratic Party. It’s now up to the world’s doves to give the “or else” in Blair’s message some bite. If they don’t, we are unlikely to get even a questionable “grand bargain” out of Iran.