Both CNN and Barack Obama sound outraged that George Bush might conclude that Obama wants to offer a program of appeasement to Iran, North Korea, and other dictatorships. Speaking in Israel on the 60th anniversary of that nation’s independence, Bush warned that people still have not learned that negotiations with genocidal lunatics produces nothing but more genocide. Hitler proved it in 1939, but 69 years later, some still live in a pre-Munich mindset:
In a particularly sharp blast from halfway around the world, President Bush suggested Thursday that Sen. Barack Obama and other Democrats are in favor of “appeasement” of terrorists in the same way U.S. leaders appeased Nazis in the run-up to World War II.
“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,” said Bush, in what White House aides privately acknowledged was a reference to calls by Obama and other Democrats for the U.S. president to sit down for talks with leaders like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
“We have heard this foolish delusion before,” Bush said in remarks to the Israeli Knesset. “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.”
Team Obama wasted no time in twisting its own knickers over the speech:
“Obviously this is an unprecedented political attack on foreign soil,” Obama Communications Director Robert Gibbs told CNN’s John Roberts on American Morning Thursday, adding that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates had been quoted Wednesday making remarks about dialogue with Iran that were similar to the Illinois senator’s.
“Let’s not confuse precondition with preparation,” said Gibbs of any talks with Iran. “Obviously these meetings would be full of preparation. But we’re not going to sit down and engage Iran, unless or until they give up their nuclear weapons program.[“]
Really? Let’s go back to the tape, from which Obama has run the last few weeks:
Without preconditions. That means without Iran guaranteeing anything, let alone the big prize of their nuclear program. Gibbs’ statement makes absolutely no sense in context of Bush’s remarks or Obama’s previous statements. If Iran gave up its nuclear weapons program today, Bush would open diplomatic contacts with Iran and might even consider a summit. He’s made that very clear over the last few years, holding out WTO sponsorship and normalized relations in exchange for just that concession.If Obama now says he won’t meet with Iran until they surrender their nuclear-weapons program, how exactly does that differ from Bush? And how does that fit with his previous statements about having talks “without preconditions”?
Beyond that, Obama has never explained how talks with Ahmadinejad would convince Iran to stop being, well, the lunatic mullahcracy that it is. Instead of supporting the grassroots efforts at real reform, Obama would simply give credence to the sham “reformers” the Guardian Council approves as part of its oppressive control over the political process in Iran. Meeting with Ahmadinejad, who has held regional conferences extolling a world without Israel or the US, would give the hard-liners a boost in stature while reducing our credibility with Iranians looking to rid themselves of the mullahcracy and establish real representative government. They don’t want us to bomb Iran into submission, but they also don’t want us to abandon them for a Neville Chamberlain-like illusory diplomatic exchange that changes nothing.
If Gibbs wants to eliminate the confusion on these points, then he needs to start with Barack Obama, who apparently has no clue what preconditions mean. Maybe he should have learned that before running for President.
Update: CNN changed its Political Ticker post to remove the Gibbs quotation, but here it is in another link:
GIBBS: No, John, let’s not confuse precondition with preparation. Obviously these meetings would be full of preparation. But if we’re not going to sit down and engage Iran, unless or until they give up their nuclear weapons program, how are we ever going to sit down with them to get them to give up their nuclear weapons program?
But Obama now says that he won’t meet with them until they give up funding terrorists and put aside their nuclear program. Those are (reasonable) preconditions, not preparation. Further, the EU has had meetings with Iran for five years, with our support and with offers of WTO sponsorship by the US as benefits, and Iran still hasn’t given up nukes or terror funding. How will Obama’s meeting with Ahmadinejad produce different results — unless Obama has further concessions in mind? That’s what McCaon wants to know, and what American voters should know before the elections.