Hitting A Nerve
By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Thursday, May 15, 2008 4:20 PM PT
Foreign Policy: Barack Obama claims he's not an appeaser. But when President Bush attacked those who "seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists," why was the senator sure he was talking about him?
"The lady doth protest too much, methinks" is the famous Hamlet quote referring to pleas of innocence that actually indicate guilt. Did Obama, the near-certain Democratic Party nominee for president, "protest too much" in complaining about Bush's speech to Israel's Knesset on Thursday?
Addressing lawmakers in Jerusalem in a special session of the legislature commemorating the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel, the president made comments with which few Americans could find fault.
"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," the president said.
"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.' "
According to the president, "We have an obligation to call this what it is — the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."
That infamous senator, William Edgar Borah of Idaho, wasn't even a Democrat; he was a "progressive" Republican, an isolationist who in 1919 helped wreck Woodrow Wilson's internationalist dream of a League of Nations. So why would Obama issue such a stinging statement in response to the president's remarks?
Obama called it "sad" that he used such a speech "to launch a false political attack." He added: "It is time to turn the page on eight years of policies that have strengthened Iran and failed to secure America or our ally Israel.
"Instead of tough talk and no action, we need to do what Kennedy, Nixon and Reagan did and use all elements of American power — including tough, principled and direct diplomacy — to pressure countries like Iran and Syria."
According to the senator, "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."
Judging from the standing ovations the president received, our Israeli allies — who have the most to fear from a nuclear Iran — disagree. Moreover, Kennedy's blockade of Cuba, Nixon's Vietnamization (reneged on by the post-Watergate Democratic Congress) and Reagan's years of defense buildup and "evil empire" saber-rattling before agreeing to a Soviet summit all belie Obama's invocation of those presidents.
Furthermore, the terrorists themselves know a President Obama will engage with them. The chief political adviser to Hamas' Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh is on record as saying, "We like Mr. Obama, and we hope he will win the election."
Earlier this month, Obama described the takeover of West Beirut by Hezbollah gunmen as a "power grab" and declared, "It's time to engage in diplomatic efforts to help build a new Lebanese consensus."
Letters found on the seized computer of Raul Reyes, the warlord with Colombia's Marxist-Leninist FARC terrorist group who was killed in an army strike in March, happily reported that "two gringos" he met assured him that Obama would win the election.
"Lord, if I could only have talked to Mahmoud" will be words of little comfort to future victims of nuclear terrorism.