Delivering an address before the Israeli Knesset today, President Bush said that Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and Democrats favor a policy of appeasement toward terrorists.
Obama quickly responding, criticizing Bush for using the “60th anniversary of Israel’s independence to launch a false political attack.” As MSNBC reported, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), a strong supporter of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), has also now issued a statement, saying that he wholeheartedly agrees with Bush’s comments:
President Bush got it exactly right today when he warned about the threat of Iran and its terrorist proxies like Hamas and Hezbollah. It is imperative that we reject the flawed and naïve thinking that denies or dismisses the words of extremists and terrorists when they shout “Death to America” and “Death to Israel,” and that holds that — if only we were to sit down and negotiate with these killers — they would cease to threaten us. It is critical to our national security that our commander-in-chief is able to distinguish between America’s friends and America’s enemies, and not confuse the two.
In an interview with MSNBC, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) sharply criticized both Bush and Lieberman, saying that the President should apologize to the public for politicizing the 60th anniversary of Israel:
What an irony to have the current president in Israel blasting Democrats from the Knessett when his policies have actually seen al Qaeda get strengthened. They have seen al Qaeda be reconstituted. They have seen al Qaeda get stronger, Hamas get stronger, Israel more threatened, Iran is stronger, and Iraq is in chaos.
This is a disgraceful statement by the President. It really is. He ought to apologize to the American people for going to Israel and using the Knesset and the celebration of the 60 anniversary of a state and a people that we all support and that we’re all proud of, and using it for politics.
Kerry also noted that if Bush is saying that he is against talks with Iran, then he should “come home and call for the resignation of his own cabinet, because the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense have both favored negotiations with Iran.”
Brian Katulis explains the three ways in which Bush’s comments are disconnected from his own policies.