Argument: US has a history of meeting rogue leaders without preconditions

Issue Report: Obama, meeting with hostile foreign leaders without preconditions


Barack Obama said on May 16th, 2008 – “But what I have said is that at some point I would be willing to meet. And that is a position — I mean, what’s puzzling is that we view this as in any way controversial when this has been the history of U.S. diplomacy until very recently.[1]

The approach I am suggesting, the tough but engaged diplomacy that I am suggesting is the kind that was carried out by John Kennedy, it was carried out by Richard Nixon, and it was carried out by Ronald Reagan. There is a strong bipartisan tradition of engaging in that kind of diplomacy. You mirror military strength with aggressive, effective, tough diplomacy. That’s what’s been lacking.”[2]

Barack Obama said on “meet the press” in November, 2007. – “strong countries and strong presidents speak with their adversaries. I always think back to J.F.K.’s saying that we should never negotiate out of fear, but we shouldn’t fear to negotiate. We remain the most powerful nation, by far, on earth. Our military capacity is unequaled. We should not hesitate to go ahead and initiate the kinds of discussions that are required.”[3]