What that answer hinted at was the massive propaganda benefits for dictators that result from meetings with American leaders. Opposition exists within Iran, Syria, Venezuela and even North Korea. The dictators of those countries seek to demonstrate to the opposition that their cause is hopeless. Should an American president make a personal appearance with Ahmedinejad or Kim Jong-Il (even a silly, ineffective president such as B. Hussein Obama or Hillary!), such appearance would signal to the internal opposition that the United States will not help them and that resistance is hopeless. Kim Jong-Il, Chavez and Ahmedinejad need the American leadership to give them legitimacy internally. We should not play into their hands.
This is especially true where we know that those dictators are committed to world revolution in any case.
Salvador de Madariaga
As I do in many cases, I find it useful to cite an old book. In 1960, Salvador de Madariaga wrote "The Blowing Up of the Parthenon." In this book, which focused on the cold war, the author warned of the dangers of American-Soviet summit meetings, as they tended to demoralize the internal opposition within Russia.
[It is ironic that a book dedicated to helping the West fight the cold war would bear a title related to the destruction of the Parthenon due to Islamic storage of munitions.] If I thought that a little history would make a difference to the Democrats, I would recommend that they read Madariaga's book. At least it might help the rest of us keep the issues straight as the Democrats give the appearance of fighting with each other.
Barry Goldwater echoed these thoughts when he wrote that "the only summit meeting that can succeed is one that does not take place." Why Not Victory? (1962), p. 65. Goldwater wrote that the communists do not attend a summit unless they believe they hold the upper hand or can use the meeting for propaganda purposes:
They come to the conference table with two things in mind - possible real or propaganda advantage to them. And when we come to that table seriously seeking agreements in areas of contention, we automatically conceed them the advantage because they don't care about agreeemnts.
[Leftists stopped reading this post the moment they saw the word "Victory."]
It took decades to win the cold war. This victory was won despite Democrat and leftist obstruction. Today, it is apparent that most of the left has forgotten the lessons of the cold war, while some on the left will do no more than hint at those lessons solely to gain temporary political advantage.