Newsday's Ellis Henican: Obama's Right to Talk to America's Enemies

Friday, 13 Dec 2013 09:35 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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The Obama administration is right to reach out to America's enemies, including Iran and Cuba, according to Newsday columnist Ellis Henican.

"There are 190 countries in the world, probably half of them, say, are run by dreadful people who do awful things to their citizens, who don't have our Bill of Rights and our level of freedom. And so you're left with a choice," Henican told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

Story continues below video.



"You can insult them and turn your back and poke your finger in the eye or you can try to engage them," Henican said.

In recent weeks, the United States hammered out a controversial nuclear disarmament deal with Iran and revealed it has had informal talks with Cuba.

Henican — co-author with former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist of the upcoming book, "The Party's Over: How the Extreme Right Hijacked the GOP and I Became a Democrat" — admitted the strategy doesn't always work.

"Engaging is always frustrating. It's never perfect, and the other side uses it for propaganda," he said.

"But in the long run, haven't we learned that by and large [to try] to engage people even when we don't like the way they run their country?"

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