I’m embarrassed to say I forgot about this when I wrote that post about Ahmadinejad demanding an apology from The One. Or did I just repress the memory?

I wonder if the mullahs remember and simply want us to grovel again. To let them know we really mean it this time.

The Clinton Administration tried this tactic. President Clinton confessed in “unprompted” remarks that “Iran … has been the subject of quite a lot of abuse from various Western nations. And I think sometimes it’s quite important to tell people, look, you have a right to be angry at something my country or my culture or others that are generally allied with us today did to you 50 or 60 or 150 years ago.”

Then in 2000, at a state dinner in Washington, Secretary of State Madeline Albright directly apologized for specific past American actions toward Iran, from our role in orchestrating the overthrow of Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddeq, to our backing of the Shah, to our backing of Iraq in its war with Iran. Albright also highlighted President Clinton’s personal belief that America “must bear its full share of responsibility for the problems that have arisen in U.S.-Iranian relations.”

The bit about Albright comes from this old page-one LA Times story, lest you doubt its veracity. I’m strangely glad to find out we’ve been down this road before: Not only does it increase pressure on Obama not to repeat the gesture, but it’s a neat microcosm of how long and fruitless the “dialogue” has been. How keenly aware of that is he? Maybe more keenly than we think.

Here’s a timely reminder of the mindset we’ll soon be engaging. Could be worse, I guess.

Tags: Barack Obama