Some seem to believe we should negotiate with 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 only I could have talked to Hitler, all of 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.
And once again, we have to ask - whom are you speaking of, President Bush? Who do you know that says we should negotiate with terrorists? Now, I've heard people say we should have official talks with the leaders of countries (and yes, like Iran - last time I checked, they are a recognized nation). But nobody has said that we should be having "appeasement" talks with terrorists.
Of course, we all know whom he's speaking of. Obama has already come out with a statement:
It is sad that President Bush would use a speech to the Knesset on the 60th anniversary of Israel's independence to launch a false political attack," Obama said in the 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.
Joe Biden, though, has the most accurate comment on Bush's statement:
This is bullshit, this is 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.
And it is. We have Bush, who's administration decided that they didn't want to "reward" North Korea by being allowed to talk to them - and now North Korea has the nuclear bomb. They decided they didn't have to negotiate or talk with Iraq, or listen to the UN nuclear inspectors - nope, they knew better, and now years later, 4,000 American soldiers dead, many other Iraqi's dead, we still have no weapons of mass destruction.
But let's not end there. This is the same group that claimed that by ignoring sex and only teaching abstinence in schools, they could conquer teen pregnancy. Only problem? We have more kids getting pregnant than we did before Bush took office. OK - how about not actually looking at what's going on in the financial market? What's that - we're entering a recession and credit crisis? Well, color me shocked.
Nobody's talking appeasement to anybody (well, unless you're talking about immunity to telecoms for breaking wiretap laws) - but that maybe "If you're not with us, then you're against us" isn't a good starting point for negotiations.
But whatever you do - don't tell that to Defense Director Gates or Secretary of State Rice. As Mr. Biden says further:
If he thinks this is appeasement, is he going to come back and fire his own cabinet?” Biden asked. “Is he going to fire Condi Rice?
You know, actually, that would be a good start....