Obama accuses Bush of smearing him as appeaser
'It is sad President Bush would use a speech to the Knesset on the 60th anniversary of Israel's independence to launch a false political attack,' says leading contender for Democratic nomination, believing US president's speech contained veiled criticism of his policies. White House: World does not revolve around Obama
Democrat Barack Obama accused President George W. Bush on Thursday of launching a "false political attack" with a comment about appeasing dictators.
The Democratic presidential candidate interpreted the remark as a slam against him but the White House denied that the comment was in any way directed at Obama.
In a speech to Israel's Knesset, Bush said that "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 an obligation to call this what it is - the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."
Responding with a statement, the Obama campaign seized on Bush's remarks even as it was unclear to whom Bush was referring.
"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," Obama said in the statement.
"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 White House said Bush's comment wasn't a reference to Obama.
"It is not," Press secretary Dana Perino told reporters in Israel. "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 the president, President Bush, thinks that 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."
Obama, citing past US diplomacy with the Soviet Union and China, has said that as president he would personally negotiate with Iran and offer economic incentives and a chance for peaceful relations if Iranian leaders would forgo their pursuit of nuclear weapons and their support of terrorists.
At the same time, he has said he would strongly reject Iran's development of nuclear weapons, its anti-Semitic rhetoric and terrorist support.
For a lame duck, President Bush still can play the political game. It is of course true that the Bush remarks which caused the Barry H.O. campaign to lash out were aimed squarely at Barry. But to whom the Bush comments and Obama lash outs actually help is uncertain. While the Bush comments demonstrate consistency of thought for the administration and give some footing for John McCain to continue the WoT, the Obama people were probably chomping at the bit to take another shot at the president. Both sides may have scored some useful points in this episode.
Clearly Barry must know that his policy statement to enter negotiations with the enemies of the US is an appeasement based policy and at best appeasement-lite. And it is not at all a stretch to say that he was waiting for this opportunity. President Bush for his part is bearing the brunt for campaigning against the Obama policy and thereby doing McCain a favor insulating him from the attack politics of the Obama posse. This is, of course the same Obama team which never cowers from a contradiction in the most fashionable liberal style (Ex. Wright being a mentor but not knowing what he really believes all the while ridiculing Geraldine Ferraro for observations of race-politics.) Therefore, it is perfectly acceptable to say that the illusion of Pres. Obama would be a strong President, thwarting aggressors all the while having kumbaya with the enemies of America.
Any realistic observer of arabia and islamic fundamentalism knows that seeking negotiations without a crushing victory is a sign of weakness and is interpreted as a kowtow. Yes, Barry you would be a hero for Paul Tsongas's pander bear fantasies. And yes, my holy Jewish friends, Obama would be a disaster for Israel.