Friday, May 16, 2008

Biden Calls It

Apologies for the long silence here - nothing had quite gotten me incensed enough to write for a while. But President Bush has managed (it was only a matter of time). The portion of his Knesset speech yesterday which equates diplomacy with appeasement was a shameful display of Karl Rovian-style politics at its worst, and just goes to show just how far off the rails this administration has driven America's foreign policy.

This is, of course, just the sort of straw-man attack that we are going to have to expect will be leveled against Barack Obama over the course of the rest of this campaign. But for the president of the United States to go overseas and fling this shovel-ful of political b.s. is nothing short of outrageous.

First, it must be made clear that discussion, dialogue and negotiation are not appeasement (as a right-wing radio moron learned to his stammering dismay yesterday afternoon courtesy of a bloviating but in-this-case-correct Chris Matthews). Second, no one is suggesting that any terrorist organization be granted concessions of any sort. Here's what Obama told David Brooks this week:

"The debate we’re going to be having with John McCain is how do we understand the blend of military action to diplomatic action that we are going to undertake. 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. Those are the terms of debate that have led to blunder after blunder."

Never negotiate out of fear, but never fear to negotiate (JFK). He was right then, and the quote still applies. Of course appeasement is out of the question, but trying our damnedest to find peaceful solutions to the world's problems sure shouldn't be.