Here's the truth: the Soviet Union had thousands of nuclear weapons and Iran doesn't have a single one. But when the world was on the brink of nuclear holocaust, Kennedy talked to Khrushchev and he got those missiles out of Cuba. Why shouldn't we have the same courage and the confidence to talk to our enemies? That's what strong countries do, that's what strong presidents do, that's what I'll do when I'm president of the United States of America.
So, you know, for all their tough talk, one of the things you have to ask yourself is what are George Bush and John McCain afraid of? Demanding that a country meets all your conditions before you meet with them, that's not a strategy; it's just naïve, wishful thinking. I'm not afraid that we'll lose some propaganda fight with a dictator. It's time for America to win those battles, because we've watched George Bush lose them year after year after year. It's time to restore our security and our standing in the world. [emphasis added]
—Barack Obama responding to
W's and McCain's jingoistic attacks
on the practice of diplomacy