So the other day, George II made some comments saying there are those who wanted to negotiate with “terrorists and radicals” basically wanted to engage in “appeasement”. Naturally, he made these comments in Jerusalem and might as well have said we were wanting to kotow to Hitler (and, indeed, he made mention of Hitler by name, which at least one blogger has said means our President is now a practitioner of Godwin’s Law).
Now, I wonder. This is an election year. Who do you think, perhaps, the President might’ve had in mind when he made those remarks? McCain, possibly? Could be. Condoleeza Rice? I mean, she is the SecState, and her job is one of engaging in diplomacy, though she seems unaware of this sometimes.
But I wonder, though, if he might’ve had someone else in mind?
Mr. Bush did not mention Mr. Obama by name, and White House officials said he was not taking aim at the senator, though they were aware the speech might be interpreted that way. New York Times, 5-16-2008
What?! Really?! People might’ve thought he meant… Obama?! No, say it isn’t so! I mean, how could you possibly dervive that from Bush’s remarks? At least one commentator on CNN (forgive me, but I don’t remember her name. She’s the black apologist they’ve been sending out more and more lately now that Obama is the likely nominee), seemed amazed the Democrats would think this, and made some remarks along the lines of “methinks they doth protest too much”.
Of course, it’s a no-win for us, right? I mean, if we’d stayed silent on this issue, the GOP could’ve sat back smugly and said to themselves, “Ah-ha! So that is what they have in mind!” But by responding, they can appear all wounded, and wonder why the media is so eager to paint them as a villain. After all, Bush never said Obama’s name during the speech! Again from the Times article:
“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,” Mr. Bush said, in a speech otherwise devoted to spotlighting Israel’s friendship with the United States.
“We have an obligation,” he continued, “to call this what it is: the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.”
For those who don’t know, “appeasement” generally refers to efforts by the Allies, most notably UK Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, to stave off a massive war in Europe by giving Hitler what he wanted in return for, as Chamberlain famously said, “peace in our times”. This didn’t work, though arguably it did buy the Allies some time to prepare for the oncoming war. Which they won.
But there is a difference between talking with ones enemies and appeasing them. Through the Cold War, administrations both Democractic and Republican engaged in talks with people like Nikita Kruschev and other Soviet leaders, as well as several other more odious people. Simply talking with your enemies, learning what they want and their point of view, is not a bad thing. As Obama said the other day:
I constantly reject this notion that any hint of strategies involving diplomacy are somehow soft or indicate surrender or means that you are not going to crack down on terrorism.
Exactly. Talk is not surrender. Talk is not appeasement. Talk is… talk. Diplomacy. There’s nothing wrong with it, despite what Bush and company might think.