While in Manhattan, NY, yesterday, Senator Obama was asked about his comments in months past about him meeting with and negotiating with controversial foreign leaders, such as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Obama responded to the comment by saying, “I think people understand the notion of talking to our enemies. If FDR can meet with Stalin and Nixon can meet with Mao and Kennedy can meet with Khrushchev and Reagan can meet with Gorbechav, then the notion that we can’t meet with some half-baked dictator is ridiculous. I’m not worried about losing a propaganda war with Ahmadinejad. That guy opens his mouth and I think people see there are problems there.”
Here’s the video from the debate in which Obama originally said that he would meet with leaders of countries who we don’t have great relationships with:
I agree with Obama here – there’s NO reason that we shouldn’t meet with leaders – we shouldn’t negotiate with them, but there’s no harm in meeting with them, and a meeting is only going to help (as long as the 2 leaders don’t go at each other).
But the next President may have to do more than just meet – who knows, military action may be needed – at this point, I don’t think any of the countries (Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea) listed in the debate question are nearing a level of danger that defies military intervention, but the next President will be in there for 4-8 years, and a lot can change in that time. I hope that military action won’t be necessary (and I don’t think that it will), but I’m not going to say for certain that it won’t.
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