Diana West

Marvelous, isn't it, that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice traveled to an Egyptian resort for a summit on stabilizing Iraq that was attended by, among other "neighbors" and interested parties, Iran and Syria. I mean, who better to discuss stabilizing Iraq than the very countries that are actually trying to de-stabilize it?

Such wily statecraft. Now I see how it works: Only honest-to-goodness state sponsors of terrorism like Iran or Syria can really understand what it takes to stabilize a country, since it's only honest-to-goodness state sponsors of terrorism like Iran and Syria that really understand what it takes to destabilize it -- what it takes to smuggle into Iraq men and munitions, including deadly IEDs; what it takes to organize and sustain resistance to our utopian efforts. Iranian and Syrian expertise on such matters will prove invaluable to those same utopian efforts, right? After all, as Rice put it, "Iraq's neighbors have everything at stake here. Iraq is at the center of a stable Middle East or an unstable Middle East. We should therefore align our policies in ways that contribute to stability."

"Therefore." Isn't that brilliant? Never mind that Iran and Syria are in many ways responsible for the unstable Middle East Rice is talking about. Let's "therefore align our policies" just the same. Meanwhile, why haven't we thought of talking with terror-states before?

At least we're starting at the top with Iran. In time for the conference, the State Department issued its annual global terrorism survey, crowning Iran the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world. (Congrats, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad!) Let's hope Condi remembered to take along a copy to present to Manouchehr Mottaki, the Iranian foreign minister she was supposed to "bump" into somewhere or other at the resort -- at the conference table, or was it the pool? Or was he supposed to "bump" into her? What was it the president said again?

"Should the foreign minister of Iran bump into Condi Rice, Condi won't be rude; she's not a rude person. I'm sure she'll be polite," said Bush. "She'll also be firm in reminding the representative of the Iranian government that there's a better way forward for the Iranian people than isolation."

Polite ... firm ... better way forward. Clearly, the Great Satan lives. As Condi later roared, all fire and brimstone, "If we encounter each other then I am certainly planning to be polite and see what that encounter brings."

Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).