Saturday, September 27, 2008


Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard tries to play gotcha:

Henry Kissinger believes Barack Obama misstated his views on diplomacy with US adversaries and is not happy about being mischaracterized. He says: "Senator McCain is right. I would not recommend the next President of the United States engage in talks with Iran at the Presidential level. My views on this issue are entirely compatible with the views of my friend Senator John McCain. We do not agree on everything, but we do agree that any negotiations with Iran must be geared to reality."

Here's what Kissinger actually said two weeks ago:

In a foreign policy forum on Sept. 15, Kissinger said: "I am in favor of negotiating with Iran." He went on to say, "I actually have preferred doing it at the secretary of state level" and the U.S. should go into the talks with "a clear understanding of what is it we're trying to prevent. What is it going to do if we can't achieve what we're talking about? But I do not believe that we can make conditions for the opening of negotiations. We ought, however, to be very clear about the content of negotiations and work it out with other countries and with our own government."

Also go here, here, and here if you doubt that he favors high-level talks without preconditions.

Obama was careful not to say last night that Kissinger advocated talks on a presidential level (he used the word "we," saying Kissinger believes "we should meet with Iran -- guess what -- without precondition" and "we should have contacts without preconditions").

OK, fine. Kissinger now says his position and McCain's are "entirely compatible."

The Obama campaign knows how to play this hand. If the McCain people persist in making an issue of this, the Obama camp's next question is: "So, if your position is 'entirely compatible' with Kissinger's, does that mean you also favor face-to-face talks at the secretary of state level without preconditions?"

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