I’m with Mark Levin on this one, Andrew. First, I’m in favor of talks even between hostile nations – talks in the back rooms far from the cameras between hard men from the respective parties laying it on the line to each other. But talks at a presidential level are a photo-op, and in according one to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad you’re helping respectabalize him.
Cuba in 1959 had not spent the previous three decades seizing foreign embassies, or openly declaring cash bounties on foreign nationals, or blowing up community centers in foreign capitals, or nurturing terrorist proxies around the world. Cuba in 1959 was not killing American soldiers in American-protected territory right there and then.
Shortly after Kurt Waldheim was elected President of Austria, he was found to have committed a (by the standards of his comrades) relatively minor sin of biographical omission relating to his military service in a war that had ended four decades earlier. Nevertheless, the president of a friendly nation was declared persona non grata in the United States and put on a list of people forbidden to enter the country. President Ahmadinejad has stated publicly that he wishes to wipe an American ally off the face of the map. His agents are trying to kill Americans and those civilians under the protection of US forces right now. We expelled Kurt Waldheim from polite society for what he did as a footling foot-soldier half-a-century earlier but now want to admit to polite society Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for what he’s doing as head of state right now.
“President Obama” will look as ridiculous as that Bollinger guy at Columbia, trying to bring up gay rights while Ahmadinejad insists straight-faced there are no homosexuals in Iran and such a creature is indigenous only to the American landscape. To meet with him under the conditions Senator Obama is proposing communicates only profound weakness by the United States.