Friday, May 16, 2008

A Burning Hat Issue

Reports the NYT:-

President Bush used a speech to the Israeli Parliament on Thursday to liken those who would negotiate with “terrorists and radicals” to appeasers of the Nazis — a remark widely interpreted as a rebuke to Senator Barack Obama, who has advocated greater engagement with countries like Iran and Syria.

Here's the exact quotation:-

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. 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." We have an obligation to call this what it is -- the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.

Gee, to me that could have been a reference to that peanut famer, Jimmy Crater. Why should Obama take affront?

In Hebrew we say "על ראש הגנב בוער הכובע" which translates as "the hat is burning on the thief's head". Or, in this case, I guess Obama easily identified himself.


Found this backup:-

John Podhoretz of Commentary magazine wonders what the hullabaloo says about Mr. Obama. He wasn’t mentioned by name — maybe he’s just too sensitive?

Is this smart politics, getting his base riled up on his behalf? Is he trying to use Bush as a wedge to make the case to the Jewish community in the United States that the bad man in the White House is mischaracterizing him and therefore Jews should like him more? Is he trying, for the millionth time, to rule any criticism of himself out of reasonable bounds by complaining about something that isn’t even criticism of him?

Or is this just another example of Obama’s thin-skinned-ness?

Mr. Podhoretz’s sentiment seems to echo what most conservative bloggers are writing. Something along the lines of “Wait — really, you’re getting upset about this?”

Adds Pejman Yousefzadeh at

Indeed, there is nothing whatsoever in the statement that even remotely refers to Obama, who should have just let the statement go. But evidently, it is more important to fire up the masses with furious protestations that Team Obama Must Not Be Offended. The masses respond dutifully. Joe Biden swears. Nancy Pelosi stammers. I expect that this evening, Keith Olbermann will burst a blood vessel.
I’m gobsmacked at the idea that an issue should have even been made of this speech. The only thing this furious nonsense has done is to make clear to the McCain people that Team Obama can be easily rattled and made to–dare I write it?–lose its bearings.



Q There's some question about his comment here about "some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong" — you know the passage. And he talks about the "false comfort of appeasement." This is being seen in some quarters as a slam on Senator Obama. Is this in any way directed at Senator Obama

MS. PERINO: It is not. And I would think that all of you who cover these issues and have for a long time have known that there are many who have suggested these types of negotiations with people that President Bush thinks we should not talk to. I understand when you're running for office you sometimes think the world revolves around you — that is not always true and it is not true in this case.

Q This is part of the election cycle, though -- was he stepping into the political cycle?

MS. PERINO: Of course he's not -- the President is President, regardless of an election cycle. And he's going to be the President of the United States until January 20, 2009. And we are not going to change policy based on the '08 election. We're not going to stop talking about the ideals and the values of the United States because there's an '08 election. They can fight it out for themselves over there, but this is not new policy that the President announced and it should come as no surprise to anybody that the President would talk about this. He talks about it in almost every interview, and in particular when he's talking about the issues of Hamas and Hezbollah, al Qaeda, the Taliban, Iran, other state sponsors of terror. It's long-established United States policy.


Suzanne Pomeranz said...

In English, with apologies to Mr. Shakespeare, we say:
"I believe the man doth protest toooooooo much!"

Anonymous said...

Good Job! :)