U.S.-Syrian Backchannels

In the latest indication that the Bush administration has abandoned its “see none, hear none” approach to the Axis of Evil, a delegation of Syrian diplomats will meet with a State Department official in Washington later this week. A State Department spokesman specified that the group, in town for a Brookings Institution event, would be visiting in their “private capacity,” which means that the meeting is not an “official” one. But since the group initially included the Syrian’s lead negotiator in their mediated peace talks with Israel (he’s reportedly since been kept back in Damascus), that’s just diplospeak for, “Whatever you do, don’t tell Bolton.”