In the Arena

Morning Questions

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Why is it that the neocons always assume that when Barack Obama says he wants to talk to the leadership in Iran, he’s talking about the clown Ahmedinejad, who has no power over foreign policy or the nuclear program?
Isn’t it possible that Obama is talking about meeting with Iran’s actual leader–indeed, it’s there in his title: Supreme Leader–Ali Khamenei?
Could it be that the neocons want to associate Obama with the relatively powerless, Israel-hating Ahmadinejad for other reasons?
Is it possible that such sophisticated foreign policy thinkers as Bill Kristol, who yet again cited the Iranian “President” in his latest column, don’t understand that Ahmadinejad is spewing hate mostly to draw (Iranian) public attention away from his dismal economic record?
Do these brilliant strategic thinkers–starting with George W. Bush–worry that their over-the-top rhetoric only serves to empower the mullahs and assorted cave-dwelling extremists by making the Great Satan into a bellicose cartoon in the eyes of the Islamic world?
Indeed, whom do we think Hamas and Hezbollah and Ahmadinejad are really supporting in the 2008 election–the candidate who increases their street cred by demonizing them, or the candidate who increases our street cred by proposing talks?
Finally, are talks capitulation? Didn’t Churchill say something about preferring jaw-jaw to war-war? And did Obama say anything to indicate he wouldn’t use force where necessary–as in Afghanistan? Didn’t McCain criticize Obama for proposing that we go after the Al Qaeda infrastructure in “our ally” Pakistan?
Did McCain read this regarding Pakistan this morning?

Just asking.

Extra Credit Question: Why is it okay for McCain to say one thing in Davos and the exact opposite in the 2008 presidential campaign?