Saturday, September 27, 2008

Obama Explains To McCain How To Talk To Iran

I've highlighted my favorite part of this exchange in red.

OBAMA: Look, I mean, Senator McCain keeps on using this example that suddenly the president would just meet with somebody without doing any preparation, without having low-level talks. Nobody's been talking about that, and Senator McCain knows it. This is a mischaracterization of my position.
When we talk about preconditions -- and Henry Kissinger did say we should have contacts without preconditions -- the idea is that we do not expect to solve every problem before we initiate talks.
And, you know, the Bush administration has come to recognize that it hasn't worked, this notion that we are simply silent when it comes to our enemies. And the notion that we would sit with Ahmadinejad and not say anything while he's spewing his nonsense and his vile comments is ridiculous. Nobody is even talking about that.
MCCAIN: So let me get this right. We sit down with Ahmadinejad, and he says, "We're going to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth," and we say, "No, you're not"? Oh, please.
OBAMA: No, let me tell...
MCCAIN: By the way, my friend, Dr. Kissinger, who's been my friend for 35 years, would be interested to hear this conversation and Senator Obama's depiction of his -- of his positions on the issue. I've known him for 35 years.
OBAMA: We will take a look.
MCCAIN: And I guarantee you he would not -- he would not say that presidential top level.
OBAMA: Nobody's talking about that.
MCCAIN: Of course he encourages and other people encourage contacts, and negotiations, and all other things. We do that all the time.
LEHRER: We're going to go to a new...
MCCAIN: And Senator Obama is parsing words when he says precondition means preparation.
OBAMA: I am not parsing words.
MCCAIN: He's parsing words, my friends.
OBAMA: I'm using the same words that your advisers use.
Please, go ahead.

************
Dr. Kissinger weighs in by way of The Weekly Standard's Blog

TWS Exclusive: Kissinger Unhappy About Obama
Henry Kissinger believes Barack Obama misstated his views on diplomacy with US adversaries and is not happy about being mischaracterized. He says: "Senator McCain is right. I would not recommend the next President of the United States engage in talks with Iran at the Presidential level. My views on this issue are entirely compatible with the views of my friend Senator John McCain. We do not agree on everything, but we do agree that any negotiations with Iran must be geared to reality."
Posted by Stephen F. Hayes on September 26, 2008 10:55 PM

4 comments:

Stella said...

Maybe, maybe not...

CNN's King reads Kissinger statement without noting accusation against Obama is false

KISSINGER: Well, I am in favor of negotiating with Iran. And one utility of negotiation is to put before Iran our vision of a Middle East, of a stable Middle East, and our notion on nuclear proliferation at a high enough level so that they have to study it. And, therefore, I actually preferred doing it at the secretary of state level so that we—we know we're dealing with authentic—with authentic proposals.

SESNO: To put at a very high level right out of the box?

KISSINGER: Initially, yes.

I, too, enjoyed the debate.

BostonMaggie said...

LOL, was that sarcasm? I did not enjoy the debate. I thought McCain did a poor job of exposing Obama's misstatements.

I fail to see what the point is of the link. I read it.
**************
Here is the actual statement in question

Obama & Anderson Cooper on July 23, 2007 -

QUESTION: In 1982, Anwar Sadat traveled to Israel, a trip that resulted in a peace agreement that has lasted ever since.

In the spirit of that type of bold leadership, would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?

COOPER: I should also point out that Stephen is in the crowd tonight.

Senator Obama?

OBAMA: I would.
****************
That's what McCain (and Clinton before him) is saying is dangerous. Obama is doing some fancy foot work to try to cover what is an incredible piece of naivete. He's dragged in other Presidents (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/05/obama_needs_to_study_history_b.html) and he has tried to *infer* that Kissinger agrees with him. McCain called him on it. Kissinger called him on it.

The point of the link you have seems to be that Obama never said directly that Kissinger *agreed* with him. No duh. *We* know that because we follow this stuff. Obama didn't out and out lie. What he did was more subtle. McCain criticized Obama's statement and Obama tried to drag Kissinger's name in to cover his tracks. Most people don't follow this crap closely enough. Most people could have been fooled. McCain and Kissinger had to come out and throw the flag.

Think about it. McCain says "Obama you said *A*". Obama says "Well Kissinger says he thinks *blah, blah, blah*". Well all most Americans hear is "McCain thinks one thing and Obama thinks another and Obama just cited Kissinger and Kissinger is brilliant."

McCain and Kissinger had to keep Obama using Kissinger's name from being misconstrued as an endorsement of Obama's statement.

It's not a huge thing but it really steams me. Obama is not defending his own statement. He is not correcting his own statement. He is disguising his own statement. He is dissembling.

And Media Matters is trying to take the sting out of Obama being caught out. I don't need them to tell me that Obama didn't outright lie. Media Matters can't help themselves. They are aptly named. The Media does matter in this election. They are a serious force for Obama.

Obama and his nonsense of citing Kennedy's "“Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.”

For crying out loud! Do you imagine McCain is closed off to negotiations with our enemies?????? He *normalized* relations with Viet-fucking-Nam!!!!!

There is a time for war. There is time for sanctions. There is a time for neotiations. You need a leader to know which is which. Obama does not have the experience to know. McCain has *proven* that he knows.

BostonMaggie said...

Blogger chopped off my link

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/05/obama_needs_to_study_history_b.html

Stella said...

Sorry, Maggie, sarcasm unintended. I tend to enjoy political programming even when I don't agree. And I did watch Fox after the debate before switching to Countdown.

I think it's far more dangerous NOT to talk to our enemies. I think McCain made his point clear when he said, "I've been friends with Henry Kissinger for 35 years, and I know he wouldn't agree." I give Kissinger and Nixon credit for their work to balance relationships with China. And I am well aware McCain was involved.

But Kissinger clearly stated he's in favor of "very high-level negotiations" with Iran at the Secretary of State, rather than the presidential, level. Better negotiation than an unnecessary war. And Obama was right: Afghanistan was the real problem, not Iraq.

I do believe McCain is closed off to negotiations with our enemies That was a different era and a different McCain. He absolutely worked to normalize relations with Viet Nam. He thought for himself until the Bush Administration. He's just not the same man, Maggie.

I tell you this publicly: If McCain were the maverick he was in 2000, I might have voted for him. I considered doing so when he ran for office back then. Although, off-topic, his record on women's rights is atrocious. Nominating a woman solely because she's a woman is sexist. You and I may not agree, but we are both strong, intense, educated women far more interested in issues than gender. I didn't support Clinton's VP nomination due to disagreements I had with her policies.

I greatly enjoyed the Real Clear Politics article, but the conservative mantra "Liberals don't know history" repetition is insulting and untrue. There was a clear undercurrent of inappropriate dismissiveness in the article.

I've got two Masters' degrees and resent the "liberals are stupid" subtext. My father has a double Masters' in Poli Sci and History, and is one of the most informed people you'll ever meet in those fields.

Liberals don't off-handedly cite conservatives such as Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, or Richard Nixon as stupid. You may not like Clinton, JFK, and Gov. Ann Richards, and I understand, but they deserve to be recognized for their intelligence.

During FDR's Administration, the U.S. was coming out of a terrible depression: both Bush and Hoover created one. The point in this article is FIRST, FDR talked to Axis leaders. So, in fact, negotiations were FDR's first option.

Further, we were in an isolationist period to shore up the infrastructure of the nation and help American citizens get on their feet. FDR's focused on social policies for Americans.

Bush has gone in the exact opposite direction and Halliburton, KBR, and Bechtel lost trillions of dollars in this war, as noted by House Oversight Committee documentation.

I am well aware FDR's policy once war began was unconditional surrender. WWII was not Iraq, even though our nation was attacked as it was on 9/11. The difference is that FDR went after the right targets. Pearl Harbor was attacked, and he knew we'd have to intervene in Europe because Hitler was taking over the region. I agree that we needed to fight in WWII; I have no such feeling about Iraq.

FDR did not have first-hand experience of knowing the difference between sanctions and negotiations. He also had little experience when he assumed office and hadn't had a chance to prove himself. Yet, he was one of the greatest presidents in history. I would be loathe to sell Obama short, even though I did not vote for him in the primaries.

In any event, I will apologize again for unintended sarcasm. I did enjoy the debate thought both candidates did a good job, maybe not what we wanted, but a good job.