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Obama ’07: Syrians Don’t Respond Well To Bluster

From the archives of the New York Times:

Interview With Barack Obama – New York Times

November 1, 2007

The following is a transcript of an interview by Michael Gordon and Jeff Zeleny of The New York Times with Senator Barack Obama, conducted on Wednesday afternoon at his campaign headquarters in Chicago…

Q. The Bush administration has little influence on Iranian behavior in Iraq. How would you elicit cooperation from Iran and Syria that the Bush administration has failed to obtain? Would we offer assurances that we would not be engaged in a policy of regime change. What would you do?

A. … "The Iranians and the Syrians are acting irresponsibly inside Iraq. They perceive that it is a way to leverage or impact or weaken us at a time when they’re worried about United States action in a broader context.

I’ve already said, I would meet directly with Iranian leaders. I would meet directly with Syrian leaders. We would engage in a level of aggressive personal diplomacy in which a whole host of issues are on the table.

We’re not looking at Iraq, just in isolation. Iran and Syria would start changing their behavior if they started seeing that they had some incentives to do so, but right now the only incentive that exists is our president suggesting that if you do what we tell you, we may not blow you up.

My belief about the regional powers in the Middle East is that they don’t respond well to that kind of bluster. They haven’t in the past, there’s no reason to think they will in the future." …

That’s funny. It’s now the future, and Obama seems to think that the Syrians will respond to his kind of bluster.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Monday, September 9th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

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