While delivering an address before the Israeli parliament commemorating the 60th anniversary of Israel, President Bush said that Sen. Barack Obama and Democrats favor a policy of appeasement toward terrorists. CNN reports that Bush was comparing Obama to “other U.S. leaders back in the run-up to World War II who appeased the Nazis.”
In his speech, 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.”
CNN’s Ed Henry reported that, while “President Bush never uttered the words Barack Obama,” his White House sources tell him it was clearly intended to be a partisan shot:
White House aides are acknowledging that this was a reference to the fact that Sen. Obama and other Democrats have publicly said that it would be ok for the U.S. President to meet with leaders like the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad.
President Bush may want to take up his head-in-the-sand views with his own Defense Secretary. Just yesterday, Robert Gates said the U.S. needs to “sit down and talk with” Iran:
“We need to figure out a way to develop some leverage…and then sit down and talk with them,” Gates said. “If there is going to be a discussion, then they need something, too. We can’t go to a discussion and be completely the demander, with them not feeling that they need anything from us.”
Bush’s cross-continental partisan assault upends the traditional notion that U.S. politics should stop “at the water’s edge.” Reacting to Bush’s comments, Obama issued this statement: “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. 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.”
On MSNBC this morning, Pat Buchanan asked, “Will McCain endorse this statement about Barack Obama that in effect he is an appeaser?”