President Bush set off a firestorm of political comments during a speech in Jerusalem yesterday, during his weeklong Middle East visit. In a speech to Israel’s Knesset marking the 60th anniversary of that country’s independence, Bush said,
“Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: ‘Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided.’ We have an obligation to call this what it is—the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.”
Democrats and the mainstream media appeared to take this as a direct attack on Barrack Obama. Senator Obama issued this statement: “George Bush knows that I have never supported engagement with terrorists, and the president’s extraordinary politicization of foreign policy and the politics of fear do nothing to secure the American people or our stalwart ally Israel,”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, calling Bush “the engineer of the worst foreign policy in our nation’s history,” called the statement a “reckless and reprehensible round.”
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph R. Biden Jr. said Bush’s remarks were “bullshit, … malarkey. This is outrageous, for the president of the United States to go to a foreign country, to sit in the Knesset … and make this kind of ridiculous statement.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized Bush and called on McCain to distance himself from the president’s remarks. “We have a protocol, sort of a custom, informally around here that we don’t criticize the president when he is on foreign soil. One would think that that would apply to the president that he would not criticize Americans when he is on foreign soil,” said Pelosi.
And Rep. Rahm Emanuel, issued a statement noting that traditionally, “when a U.S. president is overseas, partisan politics stops at the water’s edge. President Bush has now taken that principle and turned it on its head: For this White House, partisan politics now begins at the water’s edge, no matter the seriousness and gravity of the occasion. Does the president have no shame?”
Noting that “many” have suggested talks with representatives of terror organizations or dictators who support terror, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino told reporters in Israel, “I understand when you’re running for office you sometimes think the world revolves around you. That is not always true. And it is not true in this case.”
- Speaker Pelosi, herself, made a point of meeting with President Assad of Syria in an obvious political move aimed at embarrassing the Bush administration stating that “the road to Damascus is a road to peace.”
Former President, Jimmy Carter has often criticized the Bush administration while overseas and recently met with representatives of the terrorist organization, Hamas. While in England in 2005, Carter said the detention of terror suspects at the Guantanamo Bay Naval base was an embarrassment and had given extremists an excuse to attack the United States.
Carter also criticized the U.S.-led war in Iraq as “unnecessary and unjust.” I think what’s going on in Guantanamo Bay and other places is a disgrace to the U.S.A.,” he told a news conference at the Baptist World Alliance’s centenary conference in Birmingham, England.
“I wouldn’t say it’s the cause of terrorism, but it has given impetus and excuses to potential terrorists to lash out at our country and justify their despicable acts.”
At A July 2007 Debate, Obama Announced He Would Personally Meet With Leaders Of Iran, North Korea, Syria And Other Hostile Nations “Without Precondition.”
Question: “Would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?”
Obama: “I would. And the reason is this, that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them — which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration – is ridiculous.”
In Columbus, Ohio, Republican John McCain said he took the White House at its word that the president was not referring to Obama specifically, but also criticized Obama for his stance.”It shows naiveté and inexperience,” McCain told reporters. Noting that Obama has said he is willing to sit down with regimes not friendly with the United States, McCain said, “My question is, what does he want to talk about?”
And Sen. Joe Lieberman, an Independent from Connecticut and a staunch McCain supporter, said that Bush “got it exactly right today when he warned about the threat of Iran and its terrorist proxies like Hamas and Hezbollah. It is imperative that we reject the flawed and naive thinking that denies or dismisses the words of extremists and terrorists.” Lieberman, the Democrats’ 2000 vice presidential candidate, added, “It is critical to our national security that our commander in chief is able to distinguish between America’s friends and America’s enemies, and not confuse the two.”
I would suggest that Democrats in general and Senator Obama in particular should make their interest in this issue a very short stay. The more Obama speaks on foreign policy, the more he will show his lack of knowledge of the issue and give the opposition the opportunity to exploit his weaknesses in this area.