The Obama campaign said it may be necessary to balance the Bush administration and the way it isolated hostile countries and alienated allies.
"I don't think [what Obama's proposing] is that much of a difference from what U.S. policy used to be." said Anthony Lake, a senior foreign-policy adviser to Sen. Obama and a national-security adviser to President Bill Clinton. "It's just different from what the other candidates are saying."
Sen. Obama has sought to cast his candidacy as a rebuke of the hawkish foreign-policy line he sees as having led to the Iraq invasion and the diplomatic stalemates undermining U.S. efforts to end Iran's and North Korea's nuclear programs.
In speeches, Sen. Obama has said Washington's global standing has plummeted in the past eight years, in part because of President Bush's unwillingness to directly engage leaders such as Mr. Ahmadinejad or North Korea's Kim Jong Il. Sen. Obama has said he would be willing to directly hold talks with these leaders during his first year to underpin efforts to stabilize the Middle East and Northeast Asia, provided proper preparations were made.and
"The notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them...is ridiculous," Sen. Obama said in a debate last year. "One of the first things that I would do in terms of moving a diplomatic effort in the region forward is to send a signal that we need to talk to Iran and Syria."Nope, I got it right.
The article further discusses how freely given talks with the likes of Ahmadinejad will in fact give him a boost for his next election.
Middle East experts said Obama's strategy holds potential pitfalls. In Iran, they said, Sen. Obama could strengthen Mr. Ahmadinejad if as U.S. president he moves too quickly to hold direct talks with Tehran's leader. They note Mr. Ahmadinejad is facing presidential elections in 2009 and could use a summit with Sen. Obama as proof of his enhanced stature. They said Mr. Ahmadinejad also could seek to sell to his people that talks with Washington were a direct result of his hard-line stance.The article doesn't discuss the fact that such talks would also boost the terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda because it would boost Iran's standing in the region rather than balancing the power structure. The ability to stabilize Iraq and Afghanistan would become even more problematic. But then, there isn't much need to have concern on that since Obama just wants to play the Abandonista and pull out of Iraq.
"If Obama comes into office in January 2009, I wouldn't advise him" to hold talks with Mr. Ahmadinejad quickly, said Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran specialist at Washington's Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, who said he is generally supportive of Sen. Obama's agenda. "Only two things can rehabilitate Ahmadinejad politically: bombing Iran or major efforts to engage" him ahead of the vote.
Another reason not to vote for him.