Linked Up: Bashir hosts, R2P, and Talking with Iran

Who says an indicted war criminal doesn’t make a nice guest? Eritrea has pointedly invited Omar al-Bashir of Sudan to Asmara for a little cup of tea (support for opposing rebel groups couldn’t possibly be an item on the agenda, could it?). A Sudanese rep has already set a busy schedule for his boss, who he says “will attend all Arab summits and all African summits.”

Law of War blogger (and self-averred neocon) Ken Anderson offers a contrarian perspective on the “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine, asking what the big fuss about “R2P” is really about, given that the bombing of Kosovo in 1999 pretty much established the ability of NATO to go around the Security Council and intervene in a country.

And a few pieces from a couple days ago all make the case for the Obama Administration to engage with Iran: Mohammed Hassan Khani, a professor in Tehran, urges both sides to drop the confrontational vocabulary, be honest about interests, and make genuine efforts; this LA Times editorial counsels communication and confidence, not confrontation and contempt; and Joshua Gross, in The Christian Science Monitor, says the best place to start a “constructive dialogue” is right here at home, with Iranian-Americans.