20 06 2008

You tell us, what do YOU think?


Nazi Appeasement

16 05 2008

Yesterday, amid the 60th anniversary of Israel’s proclamation of statehood, President Bush reminded us of his willingness to isolate US diplomatic efforts from our enemies.  What may be the first attack by an American against a domestic political rival from foreign lands, Mr. Bush compared Barack Obama to Nazi appeasers leading up to World War II.  Bush stuttered, “As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: ‘Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.'”  It is probably worth noting the quote was originally said by a Republican, William Edgar Borah (a Republican who believed in small government, open market economies and frequently shed the yoke of party loyalty opting to remain loyal to his own principles).   Many leftist bloggers will write pages and pages on Bush’s “malarkey,” as Senator Biden put it, but I want to focus on what strikes me as the more dangerous issue: this administration’s unwillingness to communicate with our country’s enemies. 

The President consistently refuses to speak to those that are not our friends and allies.  He said in Israel Wednesday (paraphrasing) that he can’t understand why one would negotiate with an entity that has promised to kill you, a la Iran’s expressed wish to annihilate Israel.  This is something those on the Right (and Hillary for that matter) insist on lambasting Obama on as he has said he would be willing to meet with Iran without preconditions.  Obama said he would “”I think it is important for us to send a signal that we are not hellbent on regime change, just for the sake of regime change, but expect changes in behavior. And there are both carrots and there are sticks available to them for those changes in behavior.”  Obama suggested he would sit down with North Korea and Syria without preconditions as well.

Ironically Obama’s attempts at peace are limited to what he deems as states.  In mid-April as people from all sides of the political spectrum condemned President Carter for meeting with Hamas, Senator Obama reminded us that even his ideas of “change” stray into hypocritical territory.  “We must not negotiate with a terrorist group intent on Israel’s destruction.  We should only sit down with Hamas if they renounce terrorism, recognize Israel’s right to exist and abide by past agreements,” Obama said.  Was Hamas not elected by the people?  Are we not seeking democratic revolution across the Mideast?  Democracy is ok so long as we like and/or can pick the winners.

The point is if a mugger came up to you and pointed a gun at your face, would you not plead and offer your wallet in hopes of sparing your life?  Would you not negotiate?  Why are Israel’s and the United States’ foreign policies so hellbent on refusing diplomatic relations?  Of course Iran is beligerent.   Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may be insane for wishing for the nuclear obliteration of Israel, but calling him crazy does little for the cause of negotiating peace.   It is worth noting that Mussolini’s son-in-law, Galeazzo Ciano, had many conversations with Manfred Jonas, 1940’s US ambassador to Italy leading up to World War II, and yet nobody called him a fascist appeaser.  Let’s talk about our disagreements rather than let them fester, which will only lead to increased animosity between all parties involved.  Let’s pull our collective heads out of the sand (and our asses)!  Some might call that appeasement, The BBD calls it a chance at peace.


UPDATE: Found this bit on Slate after the post.  McCain asked, “What does [Obama] want to talk about with Ahmadinejad, who said that Israel is a stinking corpse? Who said that he wants to wipe Israel off the map, who is sending the most explosive devices into Iraq killing Americans? What does he want to talk about?”  I don’t know Senator McCain, maybe he wants to talk to Ahmadinejad about his alienating rhetoric. Maybe Obama wants to encourage the Iranian President to pursue a productive path toward global participation.  Maybe they will have a laugh about how Obama’s middle name is the same as the former Iraqi dictator.  Nice one John, way to keep it classy.

-Z- (again)