The announcement last night by the US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, in testimony to the Senate appropriations committee, reverses one of the central parts of the Bush administration's Middle East strategy.
The proposed meeting follows growing pressure on the US government to agree to talks with Tehran and Damascus, something recommended late last year by the Iraq Study Group.
So the Bush Administration is not entirely immune to pressure. Eventually, when the horrible weight of their mistakes finally impresses itself upon them, they change course. Good. On this issue, that's possible, but don't look for it on Iraq. The Iraq War is President Bush at this point. He will never fold.