President Bush has repeatedly denounced assertions by Barack Obama that under his administration, the Untied States would engage in discussions with nations such as Iran and Syria. Bush and Senator John McCain have made plain any attempt to enter into discussions with nations listed as supporting terrorism would be appeasement of terrorism. Last week, the Bush administration dispatched a high ranking State Department official to participate in discussions with Iran. This week, the United States said it was ready to hold talks with two key visiting Syrian officials. Riad Daoudi and Ahmad Samir Al-Taki, are in the United States to participate in a forum organized by Search for Common Ground. The visiting Syrian diplomats will also have a meeting with representatives of the State Department.
The rhetoric of defiance which postures with strong words of defiance is a meaningless gesture whose audience is more likely right wing Republicans than the world outside. Barack Obama’s emphasis on talking and negotiating apparently has become accepted by the Bush administration.