The Whole Mishigas about Bush’s Speech in Israel.

This is worth reading. It only takes about a minute—a minute well-spent.

I’m an Obamadmirer, but I can’t deny the writer Peter Wehner makes a compelling and fair-minded point concerning the brouhaha over Bush’s Knesset speech.

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3 Comments on “The Whole Mishigas about Bush’s Speech in Israel.”

  1. Rovronr says:

    ‘Appeasement’ is commonly used to describe Chamberlain’s concluding an agreement conceding part of the physical territory of Czechoslovakia to Hitler.
    In its original context, it’s clearly a description of the result of a negotiation, not about the initiation nor about the conducting of a negotiation.
    If ‘Appeasement’ is now going to be used to describe the initiation of negotiations to solve thorny issues, then both the American government has been an ‘Appeasement’ government since 1776. If now the initiation of negotiations, the conduct of negotiations, the resolution of negotiations in a way favorable to the interests of the United States is now off the table, then we’d better pull up our socks for eternal conflict and continuous war.
    If any state found it a significant existential advantage to negotiate with Iran, Syria, anybody in the world that poses a terrorist threat I find it impossible to believe that they would decline to do so. And that includes the Bush Administration.
    We all know what Bush meant. What he meant is simply, “It’s O.K. for me, but not O.K. for you.” It was the basest form of pandering, and his audience ate it up. There, and here.
    Treason, no. Completely out of line? Yes.
    The fact that he didn’t name names is no defense.

  2. tnaron says:

    You make great points–I can’t argue with any of them.

    But when I think about what Obama really seems to be saying (“I would sit down face to face with Ahmadinejad”), I wonder what good could possibly come of it. There are only two possible outcomes. One, Ahmadinejad would be defiantly hostile; or two, Ahmadinejad would be surprisingly charming and conciliatory. If it were the latter, would we believe it for a second, or would we reject it as the ruse it undoubtedly was?

    He would either say, “You know what, I still plan to blow up Israel”–in which case, where would that leave us?–or he would say, “You know what, you’ve convinced me, Israel is great, got no problem with them anymore”–in which case he certainly would be lying for our benefit.

    So I’m thinking, let’s keep the lines of communication with Iran open (as we are now doing through various subchannels), but let’s not do what Obama says he wants to do (direct summit talks, head to head), because no good can come of it. And a whole lot of bad.

  3. Rovronr says:

    Let’s not fall into the trap of assuming that on the second day of his Presidency (before the champagne bubbles are dry on his lips, as Greg used to say) he’s off to Reagan International with a ticket to Iran in his hot little hand.
    Let’s assume that there are many uses for an offer to negotiate directly. A few come to mind:
    1. A carrot to tie to a stick.
    2. If ‘What’s his face that I still can’t spell or say his name’ says “yes”, he will be discredited among his nasty peers. (Including his enemy O/B/A/Q)
    3. That a failure to meet U.S. terms for a talk could give allies (Maybe even Russia) cover to back off support for Iran
    4. Oh, yeah. Hey, what if they actually meet and make progress? …Nah.
    5. And those are only the ones this poor Irish rube can think of before coffee.
    The point I was trying to make in my original post is that diplomatic hijinks are a very traditional way to drive opponents crazy, and don’t always backfire. Obama’s tactics so far, including jamming Bush back on his heels on this ‘appeasement’ issue have been fresh and really fun to watch. Kerry would have waited, oh, a month or so before responding. Clinton didn’t have a good response at all. But Obama shoved it back in Bush’s face. Fast. Causing the Republicans to become defensive and reactive. I loved that. More of it, more of it! Let’s get aggressive…and think positive, America! And Ted!


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