Obama and Meeting Ahmadinejad
Debate: Not for a Meeting without Pre-Conditions
Obama's Website: For a Meeting without Pre-Conditions
Is Barack Obama for or against meeting Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, without pre-conditions?
Depends on when Obama's asked the question.
During the first presidential debate, Obama certainly sounded like it was preposterous for John McCain to even suggest that Obama would meet the man who's vowed to "wipe Israel off the map" without pre-conditions.
From Marc Ambinder: In July of 2007, Barack Obama was asked by a video questioner: "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?....."When Senator Hillary Clinton attacked Obama over that stance, Obama operative, David Axelrod started the backing and filling.
"I would," he answered.
"What he meant was, as a government, he’d be willing and eager to initiate those kinds of talks, just as during the Cold War there were low-level discussions and mid-level discussions between us and the Soviet Union and so on. So he was not promising summits with all of those leaders."
A visit to barrackobama.com says the exact opposite, however.
"Obama supports tough, direct presidential diplomacy with Iran without preconditions."
From Yes, Obama supports direct presidential talks with Ahmadinejad:
In friday's debate, Obama continuously denied that he supported direct talks with president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad without preconditions. According to Obama's own website:Diplomacy: Obama supports tough, direct presidential diplomacy with Iran without preconditions. Now is the time to pressure Iran directly to change their troubling behavior. Obama and Biden would offer the Iranian regime a choice. If Iran abandons its nuclear program and support for terrorism, we will offer incentives like membership in the World Trade Organization, economic investments, and a move toward normal diplomatic relations. If Iran continues its troubling behavior, we will step up our economic pressure and political isolation. Seeking this kind of comprehensive settlement with Iran is our best way to make progress.
It's no wonder that Obama runs from positions he took when he was trying to win the Democrat nomination--he had to appeal to the DailyKOS/Code Pink wing of the party. During the national election, he has to appeal to a much broader electorate.
But according to his own website, Obama would meet with Ahmadinejad without pre-conditions.
Ahmadinejad has repeatedly stated that he will "wipe Israel off the map" the moment Iran possesses the nuclear capability to do so. Some on the Left has said that Ahmadinejad did not really say that--that he was merely quoting the Ayatollah Khomeini. Google "myth of wiping Israel off the map" and over 57,000 results are returned.
At the same appearance in Tehran, Ahmadinejad also spoke of the "fairy tale of the Holocaust".
"Now in the West insulting the prophet is allowed, but questioning the Holocaust is considered a crime," he said, accusing Europaeans of not allowing "neutral scholars" to investigate "the truth about the fairy tale of Holocaust."
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today echoed his earlier threats to "wipe Israel off the map" by telling a mass demonstration in Tehran, commemorating the 27th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, that Palestinians and "other nations" will remove Israel from the region...
Meanwhile, the crowd chanted, "Death to America," "Death of Israel," "Death to Denmark."
Ahmadinejad doesn't want to annihilate Israel; John McCain "mischaracterized" Obama's position.
Ahmadinejad did say he would "remove" Israel from the region--as many maps in the Arab world have already done.
It little wonder the Mainstream Media doesn't fact-check Barack Obama: first, he's their chosen candidate; second, pinning down a lawyer on exactly what he stands for or against is no easy task--even when you're trying.
Obama has said--more than once-- he would meet Ahmadinejad "without pre-conditions".
Regardless of what Obama said in the first presidential debate--on national TV, trying to appeal to a national audience--he's still insisting on his own website, that a no pre-conditions meeting is his position.
hat tip: rizzuto
image: Alex Wong; CNN