Us and Them

US AND THEM….You already knew this, but the Bush administration is nuts. Here’s exhibit #3,886:

America’s sometimes-freewheeling ambassador to the United Nations ran afoul of his superiors by taking part in unauthorized debate with two high-ranking Iranian officials during a conference of world leaders last week in the luxury Alpine resort of Davos, Switzerland.

Zalmay Khalilzad made an unscheduled appearance Saturday at a World Economic Forum discussion of Iran’s controversial nuclear program, whose participants included Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and Mojtaba Samare Hashemi, a top advisor to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

….”Ambassador Khalilzad’s appearance with the Iranian foreign minister and presidential advisor was not authorized,” said a State Department spokesman, who declined to be identified while discussing a personnel issue. He said officials would speak to Khalilzad about the infraction.

It’s dumb enough that we have a policy of refusing to speak to Iran in the first place, as if merely talking to them would give us geopolitical cooties. But to repeatedly get bent out of shape by the mere possibility of an American diplomat saying a few words to an Iranian even in an unofficial setting is stark raving mad. Tell me again how many days are left until next January 20th?