Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bush Remarks Hit the Mark

Was I the only one who noticed Obama wearing a flag lapel yesterday as he was calling McCain a hypocrite? Listening to his diatribe, I had to wonder why he so vehemently reacted to the President's statements before the Israeli Knesset. The manly Obama openly challenged Bush and McCain to an open debate on foreign policy even though he ducks Hillary's challenge to debate at every opportunity. Are we really on the path to America's first "affirmative action" President?

President Bush touched a nerve yesterday when he went before the Israeli Knesset and criticized those who "believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals" as engaging in a "foolish delusion."

Judging by the outrage from Barack Obama, and many other major Democrats, it looks like Bush's barb hit the mark.

Obama, not surprisingly, immediately declared the president's remarks to have been aimed directly at him and branded them "a false political attack."

The White House insists otherwise and, of course, his words are entirely consistent with the principled position that Bush long ago staked out.

"Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them that they have been wrong all along," said Bush.

"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," Bush declared.

Well said. And entirely correct.

What exactly is it about those sentiments with which Obama takes issue?

It must be his willingness to sit down with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - a man who, as presumptive GOP nominee John McCain put it yesterday, "is the head of a government that is a state sponsor of terrorism, that is responsible for killing brave young Americans, that wants to wipe Israel off the map [and] who denies the Holocaust."

Because while Obama insists that he has "never supported engagement with terrorists" - specifically citing Hamas - he has no problem meeting with those who pull the strings of groups like Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad.

There's no disagreement about that.

Last July, during a Council on Foreign Relations-sponsored Democratic debate, Obama was asked directly whether he would be "willing to meet separately, without preconditions, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea." (Emphasis added.)

His response: "I would" - adding that "the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them . . . is ridiculous."

But as McCain rightly asked: "What does he want to talk about?"

Is Obama so convinced of his powers of persuasion that he thinks he can personally turn Ahmadinejad from Hamas' banker into a flag-waving Zionist?

Or does he not understand that to treat with terror is to send the message that bloody-handed murder is a potential path to political success?


Or lack of depth and understanding?

Scant comfort, either way.

No wonder Obama was so reflexively defensive.

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