So General Petraeus agrees with Barack Obama — and not John McCain — on the question of whether we should meet with hostile enemies?
In an interview that aired on CBS last night, John McCain, when asked which three living people he’d like to have dinner with most, promptly chose General Petraeus. McCain frequently hails Petraeus as an “American hero.”
McCain, however, might not enjoy that dinner so much if he heard Petraeus’ views on one of the leading foreign policy differences he has with Barack Obama.
In a case of comically awful timing, Petraeus yesterday gave a talk at the Heritage Foundation in which he more or less echoed Barack Obama’s views on negotiating with hostile foreign leaders — views that McCain has repeatedly subjected to criticism and ridicule.
The video is here…
Petraeus has been pretty tight on the political rhetoric before. I think in this case McCain would probably agree with him, although his statements do, obviously, appear to support Obama’s more negotiation-oriented demeanor.
He’s also right in saying that it was this ability that led to gains in Iraq and is something we’ll have to do in Afghanistan. I mentioned the most common way that negotiating “with pre-conditions” works is when you are negotiating a surrender in my video post last week (the part that hasn’t been uploaded yet…should be up in a day or so…).
I stand by that statement. When you refuse to negotiate with enemies until they capitulate to your demands, you have missed the entire concept of negotiating.