MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD IS MAKING SENSE. It's probably contrary to interest to point this out, but I think Iran's president is making a lot of sense in at least this portion of his letter:

If billions of dollars spent on security, military campaigns and troop movement were instead spent on issues including health and aid to the poor, he wrote, "would there have been an ever increasing global hatred of the American governments?"

This is curiously similar to my TAP Online column from last week. At any rate, say what you will about Ahmadinejad's anti-Semitism and the whole dictatoring business, he's still right about this. The White House, apparently, is dismissing the peace overture as a "ploy" to avoid U.N. sanctions. But of course the point of a diplomatic opening would be to forestall punitive action. That's the whole idea. Obviously, it would be dumb to just assume that that entering into talks would result in an acceptable agreement, but the Bush plan of simply assuming that a diplomatic settlement can't be found is about ten times as dumb.

--Matthew Yglesias

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