Negotiations between belligerents after a war has commenced usually involve terms of surrender. That is why leaders of counties at war with each other are unwilling to negotiate until victory has been decided. Once victory has been achieved, negotiations are fairly straight forward: The victors simply dictate the terms of surrender to the conquered. In cases in which victory has not been decided, negotiations can only be considered, to turn a phrase, war by other means.
The real problem in negotiating with Middle East terrorists and their client states -- Syria and Iran -- is that there is no clear cut victor in the battle between the United States and the terrorist network.
Bush, not to put too fine a point on it, is not disposed to surrender; neither are the leaders of Syria and Iran, though both Bashar al-Assad of Syria and Mamoud Amadinajad of Iran – as well as the much arrested Cindy Sheehan, citizen of the world -- would dearly like to dictate terms of surrender to the United States.
In the universities of Iran, students are hanging on to the 21st century by their bleeding firgertips, striving not to fall back into the 10th century. According to one report, pro-democracy students at the Amir Kabir University heckled their president and burned his picture. They are not content with surrender either.