Monday, June 02, 2008

Obama favors talking to our enemies

There was a rally for Barack Obama today at a high school in Troy, MI and wizardkitten from BFM was there to take pictures and do some live blogging. At least that was the plan, until her internet connection went down and we were forced to go with plan B - me. I found two live streaming sights that were quirky and kept stopping and starting, but I managed to live blog a good portion of his speech and the Q & A session that followed. Click the BFM link above if you're interested in reading about it.

One of the questions asked today came from an Egyptian-born woman who is now a citizen. She asked Barack what we could do to change public opinion about us abroad. Obama said we needed to initiate more aggressive diplomacy by talking not just to our friends, but also to our enemies.

That opinion is shared by a majority of Americans according to a recent Gallup Panel survey:
Large majorities of Democrats and independents, and even half of Republicans, believe the president of the United States should meet with the leaders of countries that are considered enemies of the United States. Overall, 67% of Americans say this kind of diplomacy is a good idea.
This sentiment applies to Iran too.
About 6 in 10 Americans (59%) think it would be a good idea for the president of the United States to meet with the president of Iran. This includes about half of Republicans, a majority of independents, and most Democrats.
McCain? He mocks the idea of presidential talks with enemies. McCain is as out of touch with what Americans want as the rest of his Republican pals.


K. said...

I don't know when or how the idea that the president meeting with rival world leaders was a bad idea. Not that I'm a fan of his, but Nixon's visit to China was a watershed moment for both countries. Kennedy's meeting with Krushchev may not have turned out as well, but it served both men during the Cuban missile crisis. Even Reagan met with Gorbachev.

Lew Scannon said...

Not speaking to Iran has only increased tensions that have helped oil prices to increase, which has hurt many Americans. This is the failed policy of the Bush administration, and if Mccain is really the agent of change he has been claiming to be as of late, he would be better served by talking to those who have been perceived as our "enemies".

Kathy said...

K, all good examples of leaders who believed in using diplomacy. I think the neo-cons pushed the idea that talk was a sign of weakness in order to sell their idea of preemptive war.

Lew, from what I hear about McCain, his temper always threatens to erupt at any moment. He definitely needs to sit down and talk before making any major decisions, especially ones precipitated by a temper tantrum.