Gates refuses to defend Bush’s ‘appeasement’ remark.

During a Senate appropriations subcommittee hearing today, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates if President Bush is “correct when he says that it’s appeasement to talk to Iran?” While Gates tried to wiggle out of the question, saying “I don’t know exactly what the president said,” Specter took the opportunity to chide Bush for his comments he made recently to the Israeli parliament:

SPECTER: [I]t’s not appeasement, and that the analogy to Neville Chamberlain is wrong. And we’ve only got one government to deal with there. They [Iran] were receptive in 2003. I’ve had a chance to talk to the last three Iranian ambassadors to the U.N. And I think there is an opportunity for dialogue.

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Specter noted that one day prior to Bush’s “appeasement” speech in Israel, Gates had said that the U.S needs to “sit down and talk with” Iran.