Sunday, February 04, 2007

Ezra Klein Interviews John Edwards

Edwards On Iran
TAP talks to John Edwards about America's foreign policy challenges in the Middle East. By Ezra Klein

Before the interview officially begins, John Edwards asks for time to lay out "where he is" on Iran and then extends an offer to Mr. Klein to ask anything he'd like to ask. This is important because Senator Edwards has been the center of a discussion about the position he may have held after concerned internet readers saw Ron's Raw Story report, which reiterated some of the statements from the Senator's appearance at the recently-held Herzliya conference. A chief concern among the netroots was Senator Edwards' statement about keeping the military option "on the table" on the Iran issue.

Here is an excerpt that I think will be effective in helping concerned netroots citizens to understand where Senator Edwards is on the issue:
EDWARDS: I think the reason people react the way they do -- I understand it, because, when George Bush uses this kind of language, it means something very different for most people. I mean when he uses this kind of language "options are on the table," he does it in a very threatening kind of way -- with a country that he's not engaging with or making any serious diplomatic proposals to. I mean I think that he's just dead wrong about that.

KLEIN: So we should, first step, talk to Iran, try to open up negotiations?

EDWARDS: Correct

KLEIN: Do it, if necessary, bilaterally?

EDWARDS: Absolutely
I can scarcely believe that a 2008 Democratic candidate has to so carefully defend his position on Iran because the public is so jumpy after six years under a Bush near-dictatorship - incompetent and increasingly unpopular - but in reality, it has come to just that.

John Edwards is trying to assure us that he will not support Bush's sabre-rattling, nor will he support Bush's determined tactics of "no diplomacy with Syria and Iran."

This is a case of good internet reporting and follow-up by Ron, by Ezra, by all concerned netroots participants who cared enough to ask for clarity, and especially Senator Edwards, who cared enough to get out there and offer that clarification.