Nixon's debate with Kruschev didn't mean squat. Even so, Kruschev was considerably more sane than Amaddogonjihad.
With all due respect I think it DOES hurt us that we will not talk directly with North Korea and Iran.
We ARE talking directly with North Korea and Iran, and frankly, talks are about as useful as teats on a bull. North Korea's problem is it just doesn't want to talk directly its neighbors, while the US position is we'll talk if the people most concerned get the oppotunity as well. But talk gets us nowhere.
We'd be better of just interdicting their ships without wasting our breath on them- that is what we'd have to do if they were happily talking anyway. North Korea is isolated and so long as they are hostile that's a good thing. The only reason to talk to them is to trick them into letting us snoop, or to please the peace-pansies out there who get off on the illusion that anyone can reason with a nutjob dictator of a terrorist state if only the lips are moving on both sides.
Iran wants a war because they perceive us as weak- and they are correct, the most vocal Americans are very, very weak and are just begging to get raped. There is no talking to Iran, either, because they have hope of getting their way if they can just out wait the administration and then have to deal with a White House staffed by Iran's allies. We'd be better off bypassing the Iranian government entirely and going to their people- not through the stilted and BS format of the sort of debate Iran would approve of, but directly, by blasting them with our message [not some silly arse moderated debate] on radio waves on every frequency.
I wish the President would go live on a debate broadcast over all news networks; Nixon would have, Kennedy would have, Reagan would have.
This isn't an issue that is debatable- Iran wants nukes and that's all there is to it; the Iranian government as it is is ALWAYS going to use terrorism and its reach is already worldwide. We cannot allow that, though we are likely to talk long enough to see a nuclear Iran if we keep up the verbal charade, and once it goes nuclear we're just going to have to eat any terrorism it throws at us. Preventing this is a matter of national survival- there is no negotiable halfway point, no middle ground to seek out, nothing to debate, and stalling puts us in peril. Debate should take place among Iranians, not foreigners, but the Iranian people cannot debate so long as the regime remains in power.
Bush's speeches are on the web for the whole world to see. Amaddogonjihad's on the record too. There is no point in wasting more time on talk unless the goal is to use the talk as a distraction - as Iran is doing- to gather enough intel for a strike to take out the regime.
Take the advice of your own tag line.