Another assassination in Lebanon, by the same Syrian thugs who have killed so many in Lebanon-and long ago were de facto invited into that country to offer "order" by the same Bakerism that has now returned. One of the great achievements of the present Bush administration was forcing Syria out of Lebanon and allowing democracy a chance there. Do we really wish to undo all that by offering protocols and concessions to those who are aiding in the killing of our soldiers in Iraq? What I like about the Bush administration is its principled resolve: as the hawkish liberals bailed, so they stayed the course; as the paleos condemned them as naifs and worse, they kept trying to push reform in the Middle East; when many of the Neocons bailed on the war they so long wanted, they still were firm. But after going through all that, would they really sit down with murderous regimes in Iran and Syria, whose intelligence operatives are daily killing reformers from Beirut to Baghdad, and who are the archetypes of all that they abhor in the Middle East? Say it ain't so.Source: The Corner - RE: Syrian Strategy (Victor Davis Hanson)
I see little harm in talking, at least in principle. However, it would have to be done with the understanding the talk would be just talk.
Who thinks granting concessions to Syria and Iran would really solve anything? Yes, it would create some stability (unless of course one lives in Lebanon or Israel) in the short term but would it really create long term stability? No, the talk would have to be the sort of talk Iran engages in (with the exception of how it talks about Israel which is determined and clear) talk designed to stall.
The idea is to make it look like talk is actually happening. After all we talked & negotiated with the Japanese despite their action in China. Look what that got us. Fortunately, for FDR his administration was not seriously charged with bungling talks or not talking seriously.
So sure, we can talk with Iran, Syria, North Korea, et al even Beelzebub himself, however don't be so naive to think the talks would dissuade the Syrian and Iranian crocodiles from anything they are intent on.