NEW YORK Democrat Barack Obama says he probably wouldn't have invited Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak at Columbia University but would be willing as president to meet with the Iranian leader as a way to protect U.S. interests. "The hateful lies that he may utter about Israel, the Holocaust -- the answer is for us to promote the truth and show the world the values and ideals that we hold dear," Obama said Monday. "One of the values we believe in is the value of academic freedom. He has a right to speak." Obama earned a bachelor's degree in 1983 from Columbia, where the Iranian president spoke on Monday. The Illinois senator was asked about the appearance at a news conference where he was endorsed by New York City's Correction Officers' Benevolent Association. Columbia has come under heavy criticism for providing a forum to Ahmadinejad, who has called the Holocaust "a myth" and has said Israel should be "wiped off the map." Democratic candidate John Edwards said Monday of such statements: "I find all those things abhorrent." He added, "I think this is for Columbia to decide whether they want a man like this to speak at their university." http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/2007-09-24-1364154241_x.htm "Senator Obama does not agree with President Carter's decision to go forward with this meeting because he does not support negotiations with Hamas until they renounce terrorism, recognize Israel's right to exist, and abide by past agreements. As President, Obama will negotiate directly with the head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas." http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/04/obama-contrary.html The U.S. State Department has called Iran the worlds most active state sponsor of terrorism. U.S. officials say Iran continues to provide funding, weapons, training, and sanctuary to numerous terrorist groups based in the Middle East and elsewhere, posing a security concern to the international community. U.S. Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell told CFR.org in June 2007 there is overwhelming evidence that Iran supports terrorists in Iraq and compelling evidence that it does the same in Afghanistan. For these reasons, news reports in August 2007 cited U.S. officials as saying that the United States would consider adding Irans Revolutionary Guard to the State Departments list of foreign terrorist organizations. Iran has repeatedly denied involvement in helping attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. http://www.cfr.org/publication/9362/ Hmm...Do you think there is a contradiction here? Obama won't meet with Hamas without pre-conditions but will meet with Iran without pre-conditions. Iran, which is a country that is widely acknowledged to support terrorism and harbors terrorists.