General Question

phoenyx's avatar

Should a U.S. president talk to U.S. adversary leaders?

Asked by phoenyx (7380points) June 3rd, 2008

Does it legitimize them? Is it negotiating with terrorists? Is it good to understand your enemy? Is it an effective punishment? Is it naive?

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12 Answers

jlm11f's avatar

Yes. Yes. No. Yes. what do you mean? and No. Obama ‘08 The best politicians (and presidents) are diplomats, not military leaders.

jrpowell's avatar

I think you might be placing to much importance on the President of the United States. Do you really think other leaders really care if the President won’t talk to them? I wouldn’t. I would actually tell him to “fuck off” if he wanted to talk to me.

Does it legitimize them? They are already the leader of their country. I’m sure they already feel legitimate.

Define terrorist? Some would see talking with us as negotiating with terrorists.

It would be best to have a conversation with our “enemies.” Maybe they will stop be our enemies after a glass of wine and a hot stone massage.

Like I said. I’m not sure if anyone considers it a punishment. I don’t really care when a child gives me the silent treatment.


ebenezer's avatar

I always use the silent treatment to get what I want. Seems now I have no one else to use it on now… I’m sure people on fluther will really regret getting on my bad side when I just stop talking all together.

wizard's avatar

@ebenezer, Not talking vs. Not visiting. same thing

ebenezer's avatar

Wizard- I can still visit.

sinscriven's avatar

I think it’s pathetic that we as a society degenerated to the point where diplomacy is considered pandering or a weakness.

iwamoto's avatar

terrorists…or freedom fighters? , it all depends on you alignment of good and evil

seVen's avatar

I think there should be spies infiltrating your enemy territory first in order to find out what’s up, especially in todays’ nuclear power world .there’s no room for any error .

Harp's avatar

Frankly, the “silent treatment” is often intended more as a message to U.S. constituencies than to the governments we’re snubbing. That’s clear from the inconsistent way we apply the policy. Does our new buddy China really have more claim to legitimacy or a better human rights record than does Cuba? We take a hard line on Cuba to appease the Florida Cubans. Likewise, much of our posturing in the Middle East is about maintaining our image as good supporters of Isreal, again because a sizeable voting block is at stake. It seems that Isreal can do no bad in our government’s eyes.

The rest of the world sees right through all of these inconsistencies, which in effect weakens our diplomatic leverage.

Vicseay's avatar

Yes….and make it plain that if they mess with us…we will kick their butts!

iwamoto's avatar

aaah, good old ignorant patriotism, these topics are real comedy gold

WestRiverrat's avatar

What the President is doing is often a smoke screen for the serious negotiations being conducted by the State Department and its employees behind the scenes.

The president should not be seen as getting involved in negotiations until the deed is almost done.

Take Israeli-arab negotiations for instance. Carter earned a Nobel Prize for bringing Begin and Sadat together at Camp David. When the Camp David accords were just the window dressing for the previous years of negotiations conducted by the State Department under Nixon, Ford and Carter. The conduct of the Egyptian troops in the Yom Kippur War had an immense impact on bringing Israeli/Egyptian negotiations.

Contrast that to Clinton’s handling of the Palestinian/Israeli negotiations. They brought them out into the public eye prematurely so both sides had to back off and take a hard line to keep their citizenry from throwing them out.

If Clinton would have brokered the talks but kept them out of the front pages, they may have had a chance of working. If they folks on the ground were introduced to an almost done deal, they would have had less time to object violently.

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