Subscriber Services

Thursday, July 26, 2007


I was not terribly surprised when Sen. Barack Obama said in the Democratic presidential debate Monday that he would sit down with Cuba's Fidel Castro and Venezuela's Hugo Chávez if elected president. He had told me so a day earlier -- and much more -- although with a very important caveat. He told me that he would sit down with the Venezuelan president ''under certain conditions.'' Read the entire column here, and let us know what YOU think.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

from: Paul Thørsen

åndêrš, Barack Obama is right. I think the ideology he is referring to is how Latin Americans think they would have blown away the world by 1774 and would have sent a man to the moon by 1583 at the latest if not for USA/"Anglo" interference in their region.
I think he wants you people to develop your own money making industries instead of forcing your way into the USA and robbing us blind of all our wealth.
As long as you people think the "Anglos" held you back, nothing will ever change in Latin America. The sad truth is, the "Anglos" saved the Hispanick race of people from dying out and then becoming a footnote in history books. If the Anglos didn't allow you people to sneak in here and smuggle tens of billions out of the USA, you Hispanicks would have died off long ago.

10:40 PM  
Blogger guayames said...

Obama sounds like another snake oil salesman type of politician, telling those who hear him what they want to hear. No policy, no ideas, no solutions!

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Oppenheimer,

Thanks for an excellent article. It's interesting how differently people heard that debate question and the answers the candidates gave. When I heard the question, I immediately assumed that the type of precondition the questioner was referring to was the kind Bush has used to intentionally sabotage any hope of successful negotiations with countries like Iran, Iraq, North Korea, etc. One of the signs of a successful negotiation is that both parties walk away from the table feeling as if they've traded something of value for something of equal or lesser value. When one of the parties starts from the position that the other party must first humble themselves before any talks can take place, one can be fairly certain that the negotiation will fail. Not only that, but it's safe to assume that the party making the unreasonable demands *intends* for the negotiations to fail. There is always an ulterior motive for making this sort of a demand, and Bush knows it well. I think Obama understands the dynamics of negotiation, and I took his answer to mean that he would enter in to talks with the goal of achieving success, rather than failure.

Bush's preconditions aren't preconditions at all, really. They're booby traps, intended to humiliate and alienate, but not much else. Take his absurd insistence before the Iraq invasion that Saddam Hussein prove a negative: "Saddam must prove to the world that he does not possess weapons of mass destruction." It was a ridiculous demand from a president who had no intention of allowing the inspectors to do their work any longer. There was no proof Saddam could have offered that would have satisfied the demand. What was he expected to do? Take them to the empty holes? No, Bush's precondition was put forth for no other reason than to provide a casus belli while giving the impression to our allies that he was still open to negotiations. There was never any chance at all of not invading Iraq. He's now making ridiculous demands of Iran, and he's doing it for the very same reason. He plans to invade, and he plans to try to make it appear that he had no other choice. It's an old, obvious, pathetic stunt, but it's the best our obvious, pathetic president has got.

Obama answered that he would be *willing* to meet without precondition. I'll assume he's intelligent enough to understand what the questioner meant. We're not talking about tablecloths or seating arragements here--we're talking about making absurd, destructive demands that kill any chance for success. I took Hillary's answer at the time to be similar to Obama's but she, of course, was required to give a "non-Obama" answer. I would have been very interested to see how it all would have played out if Hillary had been the first to answer. And I would also be extremely interested to know what the original questioner thinks of all the hoopla his question has created, and what he did, in fact, mean when he used the term "precondition".

Thanks again for giving us a little more insight and perspective on this whole affair. Clearly, the Democrats have a couple of fighters in their ranks. It sure can't do them any harm.

8:50 AM  
Blogger guayames said...

Precondition means precondition, like the word IS meant IS. It is a pity how lawyers can turn an apple into an orange. We have too many sleek ones running for President, and they will be trying to tell us what we want to hear, until they make their flipping, and believe you me, they all do. We are a 15 minute type of society and forget what lawyers do wehn they become Presidents and we go back to them every 4 to 8 years. It seems our cycle is getting us into another one of them. Fortunately they only stay for 8 years or less until they are found out!

6:28 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home