During the election year of 2008, Republicans were full of “tough talk and bluster” as they warned Obama that his plan to negotiate with rogue regime’s like Iran was a very bad idea.
John McCain put out a press release in May of 2008 suggesting that Obama’s desire to negotiate with rogue regimes was a product of his naivete of how these types of regimes operate.
After Senator Obama’s own advisors and supporters backtracked from his stated desire to hold summit meetings with the leaders of the world’s worst regimes, Senator Obama himself has begun to reinterpret his stand. He now claims that some ‘fear’ to ‘negotiate’ with the likes of Iranian President Ahmadinejad, who has called Israel a ‘stinking corpse’ or Ayatollah Khamenei, who called Israel a ‘cancerous tumor.’
I have news for Senator Obama: I have met some very bad people before in my life. It is not fear that drives my opposition to unconditional meetings with Ahmadinejad, Khamenei, Kim Jong Il, and Raul Castro; rather it is my clear understanding that such a course will fail to eliminate the threat posed by these rogue regimes. I don’t fear to negotiate. Instead I have the knowledge and experience to understand the dangerous consequences of a naive approach to Presidential summits based entirely on emotion.
Although Bush did not mention anyone by name, the Obama campaign took his comments personally, accusing Bush of making a “false political attack.”
Bush told the Israeli Knesset that the alliance between Israel and the United States is “unbreakable” and that “America stands with you” in breaking up terrorist networks, denying sanctuary to extremists and opposing Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions.
“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,” Bush said. “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.”
Obama issued a statement in response: “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. 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,” the Illinois Democrat said.
Obama has campaigned on a promise to renew American diplomacy. He has criticized the Bush administration for refusing to talk to “leaders we don’t like.”
According to Obama’s campaign Web site, “Not talking doesn’t make us look tough — it makes us look arrogant, it denies us opportunities to make progress, and it makes it harder for America to rally international support for our leadership.”
Conservative pundits here and abroad have been comparing the Obama administration’s nuke deal with British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler in Munich in 1938 when he allowed Nazi Germany to annex parts of Czechoslovakia.
Found the video:
Bush’s words caused much anger and gnashing of teeth on the left. Watch this video for a montage of left wing reactions.
*Bush’s speech before the Knesset actually took place in May of 2008. The headline has been corrected to reflect that.