Gerald B. Helman, Former US Ambassador to the UN, writes a guest op-ed in the Informed Comment website. Excerpt below:
That is not to say that decisions have been made regarding substantive concessions. It is to say, instead, that all of the participants are experienced diplomats. Burns’ participation certainly was notified and “cleared” in advance at the highest levels, so there would be no surprises. It may all fall apart. Nevertheless, everyone is aware that they may well be embarking on something of real consequence and are prepared to give it a try.
The decision to send Burns certainly was made by President Bush, who certainly is well aware of the controversy it will arouse domestically from his own partisans and is also well aware of the thus-far successful North Korean model. He also would know that his decision undercuts John McCain’s position on Iran and his claim to superior experience, and validates Barack Obama’s judgment favoring the negotiating track. The President must also know that the multilateral process will take time to unfold and any useful results might not be realized until after his term in office. So, for a change, cheers for George Bush.
Irancove @ July 18, 2008