What do politicians do when they run out of ideas? They propose to talk to somebody.
This is happening with Iraq, the issue that helped Democrats gain control of the US Congress and Senate last week.
Having proposed no alternative to President Bush's stay-the-course policy, the Democrats are trying to hide behind the Iraq Study Group.
Its head, James Baker III, says he is working on "elegant solutions".
Last week he dined with the mullahs' ambassador to the United Nations in New York, encouraging "cut-and-run" rumours in Washington and London.
The message to those in search of "elegant solutions" is simple: This is a war, stupid!
There are few elegant solutions in war.
The road to peace does not pass through Tehran.
In Iraq, Tehran is part of the problem, and cannot become part of the solution.
At best, talking to the mullahs would be like casting the wolf as the grandmother.
The most the mullahs can offer is to stop making mischief in Shia provinces by curbing Muqtada Al Sadr, their wild card in Iraq.
However, they have no control over Saddamite bitter-enders or al-Qaeda terrorists who are the real threat to new Iraq.
Do the advocates of the "talk-to-the-mullahs" hope that the Islamic Republic would send troops to fight the Saddamites and al-Qaeda, once the Americans begin to leave?
With the US election over, it is time to have a real debate about Iraq, starting by a definition of the problem, before "elegant solutions" are offered.