Discussion in 'Congress' started by AVG-JOE, Sep 26, 2008.
Easy question... just curious!
Go on... Vote! You know you want to!
What the hell does your poll question have to do with "precondition or no precondition'??
Its a stupid question with relevance to your topic...
Should the President be able to meet with anyone he wants to, without preconditions, if he feels that the meeting might be in America's best interest?
Do we want a president to have the stones to sit across from any other world leader, weather or not they think that they're 'nice'?
Do you believe that if the President negotiates with an asshole, he legitimizes the asshole?
... well, it was simple.
3 people voted no on this poll. I'm curious why they would want the top executive restricted in how he conducts diplomacy.
Now that I read this. I was able to give a yes vote!
Good point, although think of it this way.....
In a car dealership does the finance manager immediately meet with the potential car buyer? No, why not?
The potential buyer knows that the sales person has to consult with the higher powers(finance manager). If the finance manager was to meet immediately with the potential buyer, the manager would have to make snap decisions which would bind the car dealership to any deals the manager made immediately. There's a reason you get the run around at the dealership. Its so that the manager can carefully craft a deal with a buyer that gets the sale done as well as being as benefical to the dealership as possible.
The same is true in meeting with rogue nations. If the President meets directly and immediately with rogue leaders, then the President would have to make snap decisions, which very well could be concessions that are not in the country's best interest. Whereas, if surrogates for the President meet with these rogue leaders, the President can take the information ascertained and make informed decisions.
Sorry. My original post was weak. Never happen again
Do we really want the rest of the world to look upon us like we look on car dealers and finance managers?
Yes by meeting with the leader of the free world, rogue leaders could be legitimized. Not only that the meeting very well could be used as a propaganda tool for the leader.
Here's a good article written on the history of these types of negotiations.
But Kennedys one presidential meeting with Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet premier, suggests that there are legitimate reasons to fear negotiating with ones adversaries. Although Kennedy was keenly aware of some of the risks of such meetings his Harvard thesis was titled Appeasement at Munich he embarked on a summit meeting with Khrushchev in Vienna in June 1961, a move that would be recorded as one of the more self-destructive American actions of the cold war, and one that contributed to the most dangerous crisis of the nuclear age.
Senior American statesmen like George Kennan advised Kennedy not to rush into a high-level meeting, arguing that Khrushchev had engaged in anti-American propaganda and that the issues at hand could as well be addressed by lower-level diplomats. Kennedys own secretary of state, Dean Rusk, had argued much the same in a Foreign Affairs article the previous year: Is it wise to gamble so heavily? Are not these two men who should be kept apart until others have found a sure meeting ground of accommodation between them?
But Kennedy went ahead, and for two days he was pummeled by the Soviet leader. Despite his eloquence, Kennedy was no match as a sparring partner, and offered only token resistance as Khrushchev lectured him on the hypocrisy of American foreign policy, cautioned America against supporting old, moribund, reactionary regimes and asserted that the United States, which had valiantly risen against the British, now stood against other peoples following its suit. Khrushchev used the opportunity of a face-to-face meeting to warn Kennedy that his country could not be intimidated and that it was very unwise for the United States to surround the Soviet Union with military bases.
Kennedys aides convinced the press at the time that behind closed doors the president was performing well, but American diplomats in attendance, including the ambassador to the Soviet Union, later said they were shocked that Kennedy had taken so much abuse. Paul Nitze, the assistant secretary of defense, said the meeting was just a disaster. Khrushchevs aide, after the first day, said the American president seemed very inexperienced, even immature. Khrushchev agreed, noting that the youthful Kennedy was too intelligent and too weak. The Soviet leader left Vienna elated and with a very low opinion of the leader of the free world.
Kennedys assessment of his own performance was no less severe. Only a few minutes after parting with Khrushchev, Kennedy, a World War II veteran, told James Reston of The New York Times that the summit meeting had been the roughest thing in my life. Kennedy went on: He just beat the hell out of me. Ive got a terrible problem if he thinks Im inexperienced and have no guts. Until we remove those ideas we wont get anywhere with him.
A little more than two months later, Khrushchev gave the go-ahead to begin erecting what would become the Berlin Wall. Kennedy had resigned himself to it, telling his aides in private that a wall is a hell of a lot better than a war. The following spring, Khrushchev made plans to throw a hedgehog at Uncle Sams pants: nuclear missiles in Cuba. And while there were many factors that led to the missile crisis, it is no exaggeration to say that the impression Khrushchev formed at Vienna of Kennedy as ineffective was among them.
If Barack Obama wants to follow in Kennedys footsteps, he should heed the lesson that Kennedy learned in his first year in office: sometimes there is good reason to fear to negotiate.
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