According to his National Security Adviser Jim Jones, President Barack Obama may actually be willing to meet with Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “if the regime resumed negotiations over its nuclear programme,” according to The Telegraph.
“The retired general also indicated that the return of three American hikers held in Iran for the past year would be an ‘important gesture.'”
Ahmadinejad has expressed willingness, indeed eagerness to meet personally with President Obama. It is not hard to see why.
The Iranian regime has come under increasing pressure, not only from its own people, but from economic sanctions imposed by the world community. Iran is also under threat of military attack, either by Israel, the United States, or both working in tandem because of its drive to acquire nuclear weapons.
Iran has responded with defiance, boasting that it intends to destroy the State of Israel and daring anyone to try to stop it from building nuclear weapons.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would certainly want the legitimacy that a face-to-face meeting with the President of the United States. Ahmadinejad would certainly use a high profile summit to the maximum propaganda effect, making threats and boasts for the edification of the world media. One thing Ahmadinejad will not do is negotiate anything in good faith.
The problem is that President Barack Obama has a somewhat inflated view of his ability to charm or persuade people. His meeting with Ahmadinejad would be worse than Neville Chamberlain meeting with Adolf Hitler. Chamberlain knew Hitler was dangerous. He erred in supposing that he would be satisfied with swallowing up Czechoslovakia.
Obama, on the other hand, seems positively clueless about what sort of man Ahmadinejad is and what kind of regime he represents. Obama likely thinks that Ahmadinejad is motivated by some crimes or another inflicted on Iran by the United States, as well as discontent over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A little bit of mollifications, a few concessions (mostly extracted from Israel) and Obama thinks that a man like Ahmadinejad will be won over.
Obama does not realize that Ahmadinejad is motivated by an apocalyptic view of Islam that chills those who are familiar with it to the bone. Ahmadinejad believes that he can spark a nuclear holocaust in order to incite the return of the 12th Iman, a legendary figure in Shiite Islam who will bring about the world wide Caliphate. He does not care if most Iranians die in that conflagration if his understanding of Islam wins.
Obama meeting with Ahmadinejad would not only be the most craven act of appeasement since Munich, but also a betrayal of the State of Israel and the Iranian people. The only possible reason to meet with a man like Ahmadinejad would be to dictate terms of surrender, not to find common ground that does not exist. But sadly, it may be that Iran will be the ultimate ruination of Barack Obama, just as it was Jimmy Carter.
Barack Obama ‘may be prepared to meet Iranian president’, Robert Winnett, The Telegraph, August 10th, 2010