I’ve been saying to a few friends that Obama’s words, while deceitful, are not self contradictory: he has quietly maintained a legalistic distinction between “preparation” and “precondition” that allows him to appear to say two things at once. Tom Friedman now calls Obama on this:
Op-Ed Columnist – Thomas L. Friedman – Itâ€™s All About Leverage – Op-Ed – NYTimes.com
Barack Obama is getting painfully close to tying himself in knots with all his explanations of the conditions under which he would unconditionally talk with Americaâ€™s foes, like Iran. His latest clarification was that there is a difference between â€œpreparationsâ€ and â€œpreconditionsâ€ for negotiations with bad guys. Such hair-splitting word games do not inspire confidence, and they play right into the arms of his critics. The last place he wants to look uncertain is on national security.
The next paragraph describes some “Bush III”-like promises from Obama. The rest of the article is pretty good, too.