May 2, 2017

Trump reaching out to Duterte and Kim Jong-un — isn't it like what Obama said in the CNN/YouTube debate of July 2007?

Here's Obama, saying "the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them... is ridiculous":



Transcript:

QUESTION: In 1982, Anwar Sadat traveled to Israel, a trip that resulted in a peace agreement that has lasted ever since. In the spirit of that type of bold leadership, would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?...

OBAMA: I would. And the reason is this, that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them -- which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration -- is ridiculous. Now, Ronald Reagan and Democratic presidents like JFK constantly spoke to Soviet Union at a time when Ronald Reagan called them an evil empire. And the reason is because they understood that we may not trust them and they may pose an extraordinary danger to this country, but we had the obligation to find areas where we can potentially move forward. And I think that it is a disgrace that we have not spoken to them. We've been talking about Iraq -- 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 because they're going to have responsibilities if Iraq collapses. They have been acting irresponsibly up until this point. But if we tell them that we are not going to be a permanent occupying force, we are in a position to say that they are going to have to carry some weight, in terms of stabilizing the region.
The questioner then said he'd like to know what Hillary Clinton has to say about that, and she said:
CLINTON: Well, I will not promise to meet with the leaders of these countries during my first year. I will promise a very vigorous diplomatic effort because I think it is not that you promise a meeting at that high a level before you know what the intentions are. I don't want to be used for propaganda purposes. I don't want to make a situation even worse. But I certainly agree that we need to get back to diplomacy, which has been turned into a bad word by this administration. And I will purse very vigorous diplomacy. And I will use a lot of high-level presidential envoys to test the waters, to feel the way. But certainly, we're not going to just have our president meet with Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez and, you know, the president of North Korea, Iran and Syria until we know better what the way forward would be.
Obama got lots of criticism for what he said. Here's the way John McCain used it in an ad:

50 comments:

Earnest Prole said...

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

buwaya puti said...

It is curious they dislike Duterte this much. In his own way he is a natural fit as a sympathetic figure for the ideological proclivities of US bien-pensants.

buwaya puti said...

Duterte is as close to Hugo Chavez as an electable Filipino can be. And they loved Chavez.

Drago said...

Obambi is a Democrat and dreamy to many lefties and potential boyfriends so it's okay if he said it.

Matthew Sablan said...

It is, but the left trusted Obama. They don't trust Trump, so they think he'll do something stupid like give away a pile of uranium or pallets of cash.

David Begley said...

Obama = Good. Trump = Bad, insane.

David Begley said...

Genius post by Althouse. Expect CNN and MSNBC to discuss it tonight.

Tank said...

As Steve says, nobody remembers anything that happened before yesterday ... except Althouse !

John said...

A bit off topic and perhaps hijacking the thread so Ann delete if necessary

Matthew mentioned the pallets of cash. I suspect that the serial number of every bill on those pallets was recorded and, as they turn up around the world, can be traced.

Perhaps giving traceable cash rather than gold dubloons or electronic blips was actually a clever honeypot so we can see who Iran does business with.

John Henry

Mike said...

No, when Obama does it it's smoove. When Trump does it it's just plain wrong. I'm sure someone can go deeper in that vein for you... and will.

Yancey Ward said...

If Obama said eating a turd was a good thing, the media would spin that, too, as something wonderfully insightful.

Though I think Obama in 2007 was actually correct.

Matthew Sablan said...

"I suspect that the serial number of every bill on those pallets was recorded and, as they turn up around the world, can be traced. "

-- Maybe. But, how'd that work out with the F&F guns?

DanTheMan said...

>>Obama = Good. Trump = Bad, insane.

Too specific.

Democrat = Good. Republican = Evil.

Chuck said...

Althouse, as usual, makes a fair point. But of course nobody ever uttered the bland stupidity that they'd be "honored" to meet with such dictators. Nobody, until Trump:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/05/01/trump-says-hed-be-honored-to-meet-with-north-korean-dictator/?utm_term=.8ff9e2cbfe3b

And isn't that too a habit with Althouse? Selecting part of this story (the willingness to talk, and how not talking may be an odd and ineffective punishment of our foes) but avoiding the part where Trump is inexcusably dumb.

Yancey Ward said...

Well, Chuck, perhaps Trump won't bow to them when they show up.

AJ Lynch said...

Todd wrote this morning at 10:56AM on your earlier post re Andrew Jackson:

"I am sorry but I am 100% sure that if that same comment was tagged as having come from Obama, it would have been lauded by these very same historians as being so insightful and nuanced and what a brilliant "read" of the period it was."

Rae said...

> But of course nobody ever uttered the bland stupidity that they'd be "honored" to meet with such dictators.

"The fat dictator makes my skin crawl, but yeah I'd meet with him." Yay, diplomacy!

exiledonmainstreet said...

" But of course nobody ever uttered the bland stupidity that they'd be "honored" to meet with such dictators."

It's a bland courtesy. What is bland (and utterly predictable) stupidity is your bitching about everything Trump says or does.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Being honored" to have someone visit is just being gracious. I'm fine with meeting with horrible people, if it means we might avoid the more horrible results of them rampaging about.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Chuck reminds me of Inga.

That is not a compliment.

Bob Ellison said...

Yes.

But talking to them is not a cure. Never has been.

We didn't talk to Hitler. Well, Chamberlain did. What an idiot!

We didn't talk to Pol Pot. It's not a cure. Secretaries of State are paid to talk, as though that's some kind of cure. They're the psychoanalysts of world history. Talk, talk, talk! John Kerry, relieve us of this global warming!

Yancey Ward said...

If you don't want a meeting to occur, you issue an invitation that has zero chance of being accepted. Indeed, you word the invitation in such a way that it can't be accepted.

Now, is Trump open to a meeting? I don't know, but he definitely didn't reduce the probability to zero with the North Korean, though the probability is still remote.

Yancey Ward said...

The dislike of Duterte on the Left arose from his comments about Obama last year. Nothing more or less.

wendybar said...

Rae said...
> But of course nobody ever uttered the bland stupidity that they'd be "honored" to meet with such dictators.

"The fat dictator makes my skin crawl, but yeah I'd meet with him." Yay, diplomacy!

5/2/17, 2:27 PM


But enjoying a Baseball game and doing the wave with Castro is diplomacy??

exiledonmainstreet said...


Blogger Yancey Ward said...
The dislike of Duterte on the Left arose from his comments about Obama last year. Nothing more or less."

Exactly. His great sin in the eyes of the left is that he dissed President Boyfriend.

AJ Lynch said...

Wendybar wins the thread at 2:38PM!

Unless of course, the wily Obama got a bunch of Yuge concessions from Castro that we don't know about yet?

Freder Frederson said...

Talking is one thing. Inviting murderers, human rights abusers, and advocates of extra-judicial killing to the White House is an entirely different kettle of fish.

Bob Ellison said...

The rider would be entertaining reading. Nobody shall look Kim in the eye. There must be fifteen kittens (or puppies; either way will do) worth blending at all times, along with a sufficient blender.

Binoculars will be present at all window sills.

I like Gogurt. Wait, did I dictate that? Delete it or I will blend you.

furious_a said...

If Obama said eating a turd was a good thing..

...our media would order it toasted at Quizno's with chips and a drink.

Yancey Ward said...

"Talking is one thing. Inviting murderers, human rights abusers, and advocates of extra-judicial killing to the White House is an entirely different kettle of fish."

Really, who was the last occupant of the White House who didn't violate two of those tenets?

furious_a said...

Inviting murderers, human rights abusers, and advocates of extra-judicial killing to the White House is an entirely different kettle of fish.

Indeed, indeed.

So is traveling to their house to kiss their ass.

buwaya said...

"Talking is one thing. Inviting murderers, human rights abusers, and advocates of extra-judicial killing to the White House is an entirely different kettle of fish."

They let Winston Churchill actually stay over in the White House, imagine that.

JohnAnnArbor said...

"Inviting murderers, human rights abusers, and advocates of extra-judicial killing to the White House is an entirely different kettle of fish."

We hosted and met with Soviet leaders all the time.

Bob Ellison said...

Yancy Ward, that's a tough call, but I'm gonna say it's going back to, I dunno...gotta be a while back. Even Woodrow Wilson wasn't dumb enough to call in dictators for tea.

I'd say it's likely that no POTUS has ever violated two of those tenets.

Freder Frederson said...

We hosted and met with Soviet leaders all the time.

It wasn't all the time (four to be precise) and except for the Eisenhower Khrushchev meeting, it was always to sign major treaties (INF, Chemical Weapons Ban, Agreement on the Prevention of Nuclear War).

buwaya said...

Also Lee Kwan Yew of Singapore -

https://www.whitehousehistory.org/press-room/press-timelines/singapore-state-visits-to-the-white-house

Park Chung Hee and Chun Doo Hwan

https://history.state.gov/departmenthistory/visits/korea-south

And Ferdinand Marcos -

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=42990

And, of course, a whole lot of Chinese leaders, bloody hands and all -

https://history.state.gov/departmenthistory/visits/china

buwaya said...

Augusto Pinochet

https://history.state.gov/departmenthistory/visits

Josip Broz Tito

https://history.state.gov/departmenthistory/visits/yugoslavia

Nicolae Ceauscescu

https://history.state.gov/departmenthistory/visits/romania

Alfredo Stroessner

https://history.state.gov/departmenthistory/visits/paraguay

and on and on .....

tcrosse said...

"Inviting murderers, human rights abusers, and advocates of extra-judicial killing to the White House is an entirely different kettle of fish."

Sanctimony. How very Canadian.

n.n said...

All manner of abortionists, [class] diversitists, and social justice adventurists have been invited to the White House. It seems the concern for purity is a pretense, similar to the demand for separation of Church and State, human rights, civil rights, etc.

buwaya said...

Both Sukarno AND Suharto

https://history.state.gov/departmenthistory/visits/indonesia

Mahathir Mohammed

https://history.state.gov/departmenthistory/visits/malaysia

Various leaders of Vietnam's despotic government since 2000 -

https://history.state.gov/departmenthistory/visits/vietnam

furious_a said...

it was always to sign major treaties (INF, Chemical Weapons Ban, Agreement on the Prevention of Nuclear War

So since they brought pen and paper that was different? Or they never spoke to one another? or...???

furious_a said...

inexcusably dumb.

There's Chuck, with Kristol and Krauthammer and McMullin and Will and the Bush Family all bunched in a knot gaping at the paint dry around them...

...and there's Trump across the room holding a bucket and a brush and grinning like a chimp.

Big Mike said...

@buwaya puti, Yancey is right, but only partly. The other part is that Duterte has promised to kill drug dealers and eat their livers; American lefties are all pot heads.

furious_a said...

Chuck and Co. will still be spinning up sick burns about "Andrew Jackson" when Trump brings the Philippines back into the fold of Directional China Sea nations gathering to contain Mainland Chinese expansionism.

Like VP Pence's kind words about Indonesia's "moderate Islam".

FullMoon said...

Chuck said... [hush]​[hide comment]

Althouse, as usual, makes a fair point. But of course nobody ever uttered the bland stupidity that they'd be "honored" to meet with such dictators. Nobody, until Trump


I suppose threatening to give his titty a twist would be more in line with your thinking.

eric said...

The point of the question, at that time, was to slam Bush. Which is why the question is phrased in such an odd way, without preconditions. What the hell? Who would meet with other such leaders without preconditions?

Which is also why Hillary answered as she did. To remind the audience that the question was a set up to slam Bush. His administration. Because the Bush administration began the us vs them mentality (because history always starts after a Republican is elected).

They were trying to say, we are so much more enlightened! We aren't like that dummy, that monkey, Bushilter! We are nuanced. We will meet with the leaders of these bad countries. Because we aren't Bush!

And now Trump is saying, Hey I'm not Bush either!

And the media and Democrats (I repeat myself) laugh and point fingers and say, what a dummy! Reminds me of that monkey Bushilter!

All the while, McCain is probably the only consistent person on this. He wouldn't meet with them then and he won't meet now.

eric said...

Blogger Freder Frederson said...
We hosted and met with Soviet leaders all the time.

It wasn't all the time (four to be precise) and except for the Eisenhower Khrushchev meeting, it was always to sign major treaties (INF, Chemical Weapons Ban, Agreement on the Prevention of Nuclear War).


Do you change your mind now that your ignorance has been alleviated?

I'm super curious.

Bob Ellison said...

White House visits are not the same as some despot setting foot at the United Nations HQ.

MPH said...

Whataboutism is not a good look.

Jupiter C. said...

Trump doesn't have a choice in the matter, otherwise it appears that he's a warmonger intent on military action. There's no need for this kind of 3rd rate hysteria, which mirrors (exactly) the talking points on the Left.