Having Obama meet with Ahmedinejad accomplishes one major U.S. pressing strategic interest: to show the rest of the world that there is a new leader of the free world who is actually going to be a serious participant in promoting peace, not a hegemon asserting domination through military means over all others. That being said, however, Obama wouldn't be stupid enough to pull military options off the table in talking to Iran, and Iran knows that. Obama will let Ahmedinejad prance about, as though his sitting at the table with the Americans means he's now a serious player, because everyone else knows how ridiculous that idea truly is. When the doors close and the reporters wait outside, Obama will calmly lay out for Ahmedinejad ways for him to accomplish his goals without a fight with the U.S. The Supreme Leaders in Iran are not Sunni death-cultists like al Qaeda; they aren't yearning for martyrdom (however, they are fine with giving money to those who do). Ultimately, I believe they want to be big players on the stage in the Middle East and they want to be on an equal footing with Israel, whom they perceive to be a threat (and rightly so).Still their nuclear ambitions are clearly unacceptable, and I believe they can be persuaded to abandon them if they see that the US will deal with them at a high level. Under Obama's leadership, the world will make the conditions possible for this to happen.I'm pretty happy with how that reads!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Meeting Iran Without Preconditions
I wrote this on June 20: