During the debate Friday evening, Barack Obama correctly made the assertion that Henry Kissinger had called for high-level talks with Iran and other nation states with whom the U.S. has differences without pre-conditions.
John McCain scoffed at the remark suggesting that Henry Kissinger would never call for such talks without pre-conditions having been met. This sounds consistent with Republican, Neo-Conservative thinking that, sadly, we’ve come to know all too well. John McCain is incorrect about what Henry Kissinger advocated. And, Henry Kissinger’s statement via the McCain Campaign after the Friday debate is at odds with his own words. Perhaps both were having a “senior moment.”
John McCain also suggested that it would not be appropriate to start those talks at the Presidential level. Barack Obama agreed with him on that point during the debate, but, it may have been lost in the storm around McCain’s response.
Here’s what FactCheck.org confirms:
Kissinger did in fact a few days earlier at a forum of former secretaries of state that he favors very high-level talks with Iran – without conditions:
Kissinger:Well, I am in favor of negotiating with Iran. And one utility of negotiation is to put before Iran our vision of a Middle East, of a stable Middle East, and our notion on nuclear proliferation at a high enough level so that they have to study it. And, therefore, I actually have preferred doing it at the secretary of state level so that we — we know we’re dealing with authentic…
CNN’s Frank Sesno: Put at a very high level right out of the box?
Kissinger: Initially, yes.But I do not believe that we can make conditions for the opening of negotiations.
After the McCain-Obama debate, however, Kissinger issued a statement saying he doesn’t favor a presidential meeting:
Kissinger: 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.
So, there you have it. McCain was mistaken; Kissinger is mistaken. Barack Obama represents the leadership we need.
Enough! Obama-Biden in 2008. Democrat Dave