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Saturday, May 10, 2008
Yes, Obama Said He Would Meet Ahmadinejad Unconditionally

The New York Times attempts a rowback for Obama:

“Senator Obama wants to sit down and have negotiations and discussions with the person who just yesterday called Israel a quote ‘stinking corpse,’ ” he said, referring to Mr. Ahmadinejad, and “who continues to advocate quote ‘wiping Israel off the map.’ ”

Susan E. Rice, a former State Department and National Security Council official who is a foreign policy adviser to the Democratic candidate, said that “for political purposes, Senator Obama’s opponents on the right have distorted and reframed” his views. Mr. McCain and his surrogates have repeatedly stated that Mr. Obama would be willing to meet “unconditionally” with Mr. Ahmadinejad. But Dr. Rice said that this was not the case for Iran or any other so-called “rogue” state.

Oh, well, excuse us; we have just taken Obama at his word:

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. And the reason is this, that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them -- which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration -- is ridiculous.

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