T Nation

Bush's Best Speech Ever?

This comes close:

“Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: ‘Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all 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.”

Substance! BHO, take lessons.

This speech may well have (unwittingly?) defined the 2008 campaign debate.

Bring On the Foreign Policy Debate
By JOHN R. BOLTON
May 19, 2008; Page A15

[i]President Bush’s speech to Israel’s Knesset, where he equated “negotiat[ing] with the terrorists and radicals” to “the false comfort of appeasement,” drew harsh criticism from Barack Obama and other Democratic leaders. They apparently thought the president was talking about them, and perhaps he was.

Wittingly or not, the president may well have created a defining moment in the 2008 campaign. And Mr. Obama stepped right into the vortex by saying he was willing to debate John McCain on national security “any time, any place.” Mr. McCain should accept that challenge today.

The Obama view of negotiations as the alpha and the omega of U.S. foreign policy highlights a fundamental conceptual divide between the major parties and their putative presidential nominees. This divide also opened in 2004, when John Kerry insisted that our foreign policy pass a “global test” to be considered legitimate.

At first glance, the idea of sitting down with adversaries seems hard to quarrel with. In our daily lives, we meet with competitors, opponents and unpleasant people all the time. Mr. Obama hopes to characterize the debate about international negotiations as one between his reasonableness and the hard-line attitude of a group of unilateralist GOP cowboys.

The real debate is radically different. On one side are those who believe that negotiations should be used to resolve international disputes 99% of the time. That is where I am, and where I think Mr. McCain is. On the other side are those like Mr. Obama, who apparently want to use negotiations 100% of the time. It is the 100%-ers who suffer from an obsession that is naïve and dangerous.

Negotiation is not a policy. It is a technique. Saying that one favors negotiation with, say, Iran, has no more intellectual content than saying one favors using a spoon. For what? Under what circumstances? With what objectives? On these specifics, Mr. Obama has been consistently sketchy.

Like all human activity, negotiation has costs and benefits. If only benefits were involved, then it would be hard to quarrel with the “what can we lose?” mantra one hears so often. In fact, the costs and potential downsides are real, and not to be ignored.

When the U.S. negotiates with “terrorists and radicals,” it gives them legitimacy, a precious and tangible political asset. Thus, even Mr. Obama criticized former President Jimmy Carter for his recent meetings with Hamas leaders. Meeting with leaders of state sponsors of terrorism such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Kim Jong Il is also a mistake. State sponsors use others as surrogates, but they are just as much terrorists as those who actually carry out the dastardly acts. Legitimacy and international acceptability are qualities terrorists crave, and should therefore not be conferred casually, if at all.

Moreover, negotiations �?? especially those “without precondition” as Mr. Obama has specifically advocated �?? consume time, another precious asset that terrorists and rogue leaders prize. Here, President Bush’s reference to Hitler was particularly apt: While the diplomats of European democracies played with their umbrellas, the Nazis were rearming and expanding their industrial power.

In today’s world of weapons of mass destruction, time is again a precious asset, one almost invariably on the side of the would-be proliferators. Time allows them to perfect the complex science and technology necessary to sustain nuclear weapons and missile programs, and provides far greater opportunity for concealing their activities from our ability to detect and, if necessary, destroy them.

Iran has conclusively proven how to use negotiations to this end. After five years of negotiations with the Europeans, with the Bush administration’s approbation throughout, the only result is that Iran is five years closer to having nuclear weapons. North Korea has also used the Six-Party Talks to gain time, testing its first nuclear weapon in 2006, all the while cloning its Yongbyon reactor in the Syrian desert.

Finally, negotiations entail opportunity costs, consuming scarce presidential time and attention. Those resources cannot be applied everywhere, and engaging in true discussions, as opposed to political charades, does divert time and attention from other priorities. No better example can be found than the Bush administration’s pursuit of the Annapolis Process between Arabs and Israelis, which has gone and will go nowhere. While Annapolis has been burning up U.S. time and effort, Lebanon has been burning, as Hezbollah strengthens its position there. This is an opportunity cost for the U.S., and a tragedy for the people of Lebanon.

President Bush is not running this November, no matter how hard Mr. Obama wishes it were so. Mr. McCain will have the chance to set out his own views on when and where diplomacy is appropriate, and where more fortitude is required. In any event, from the American voter’s perspective, this debate on the role of negotiations in foreign policy will be critically, perhaps mortally, important. Bring it on.[/i]

Mr. Bolton, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, is the author of “Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations” (Simon & Schuster, 2007).

This is BS though because there was no real problem with Hitler for the US before he attacked Poland.

[quote]orion wrote:
This is BS though because there was no real problem with Hitler for the US before he attacked Poland.

[/quote]

A gun pointed at your head is not a problem until the trigger is pulled.

How many people are aware that Hitler repeatedly tried to negotiate with Poland and was turned down?

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=76&t=136407

http://www.biodiversityforum.com/showthread.php5?t=33280&highlight=swedes

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
A gun pointed at your head is not a problem until the trigger is pulled.[/quote]

Here we go again. Hitler didn’t even want war with Britain, nevermind the US. He saw both nations as racial allies to the future reich.

[quote]Nominal Prospect wrote:
He saw both nations as racial allies to the future reich.[/quote]

ummm…and you don’t see this as a bit of a problem?

Err… so now Iran is one big nation of terrorists, huh?

Or did Obama say he’d like to have sit down talks with Osama Bin Laden? I missed that, I guess.

[quote]Nominal Prospect wrote:
How many people are aware that Hitler repeatedly tried to negotiate with Poland and was turned down?

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=76&t=136407

http://www.biodiversityforum.com/showthread.php5?t=33280&highlight=swedes

Zap Branigan wrote:
A gun pointed at your head is not a problem until the trigger is pulled.

Here we go again. Hitler didn’t even want war with Britain, nevermind the US. He saw both nations as racial allies to the future reich.[/quote]

Negotiate with Poland. I think you are missing th epoint of this thread.

[quote]Beowolf wrote:
Err… so now Iran is one big nation of terrorists, huh?

Or did Obama say he’d like to have sit down talks with Osama Bin Laden? I missed that, I guess.[/quote]

Bush was talking about Carter’s negotiations with Hamas but I found it very interesting that Obama assumed Bush was talking about him.

Either Obama thinks of himself as an appeaser or Obama thinks the world revolves around him.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:

Bush was talking about Carter’s negotiations with Hamas but I found it very interesting that Obama assumed Bush was talking about him.

Either Obama thinks of himself as an appeaser or Obama thinks the world revolves around him.[/quote]

lol…yeah, I’ve been thinking the same.

You know what they say about making assumptions…

but come on…everyone know exactly what W was trying to imply.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Bush was talking about Carter’s negotiations with Hamas but I found it very interesting that Obama assumed Bush was talking about him. [/quote]

Carter isn’t in the Senate anymore, now is he?

[quote]Nominal Prospect wrote:
How many people are aware that Hitler repeatedly tried to negotiate with Poland and was turned down?

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=76&t=136407

http://www.biodiversityforum.com/showthread.php5?t=33280&highlight=swedes

Zap Branigan wrote:
A gun pointed at your head is not a problem until the trigger is pulled.

Here we go again. Hitler didn’t even want war with Britain, nevermind the US. He saw both nations as racial allies to the future reich.[/quote]

I can’t believe I actually clicked on those links.

You are a deeply flawed individual,NP.Your only redeeming feature is the fact that you’re very young and may perhaps one day see your way clear to leaving all this blatant lunacy behind you.

[quote]lixy wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
Bush was talking about Carter’s negotiations with Hamas but I found it very interesting that Obama assumed Bush was talking about him.

Carter isn’t in the Senate anymore, now is he?[/quote]

But he was the one negotiating with Hamas, wasn’t he?

Why didn’t McCain blow his top? Obama and McCain have made similar statements about discussions with Hamas.

[quote]Neuromancer wrote:
Nominal Prospect wrote:
How many people are aware that Hitler repeatedly tried to negotiate with Poland and was turned down?

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=76&t=136407

http://www.biodiversityforum.com/showthread.php5?t=33280&highlight=swedes

Zap Branigan wrote:
A gun pointed at your head is not a problem until the trigger is pulled.

Here we go again. Hitler didn’t even want war with Britain, nevermind the US. He saw both nations as racial allies to the future reich.

I can’t believe I actually clicked on those links.

You are a deeply flawed individual,NP.Your only redeeming feature is the fact that you’re very young and may perhaps one day see your way clear to leaving all this blatant lunacy behind you.[/quote]

Your post made me click on them. A lot of stupid people in this world.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
But he was the one negotiating with Hamas, wasn’t he? [/quote]

Yeah, but Bush’s spoke of a “senator”.

Dunno. Could it be because Bush endorsed McCain?

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Neuromancer wrote:
Nominal Prospect wrote:
How many people are aware that Hitler repeatedly tried to negotiate with Poland and was turned down?

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=76&t=136407

http://www.biodiversityforum.com/showthread.php5?t=33280&highlight=swedes

Zap Branigan wrote:
A gun pointed at your head is not a problem until the trigger is pulled.

Here we go again. Hitler didn’t even want war with Britain, nevermind the US. He saw both nations as racial allies to the future reich.

I can’t believe I actually clicked on those links.

You are a deeply flawed individual,NP.Your only redeeming feature is the fact that you’re very young and may perhaps one day see your way clear to leaving all this blatant lunacy behind you.

Your post made me click on them. A lot of stupid people in this world.
[/quote]

Stay on topic. People usually attempt to change the subject when they sense they’re about to get crushed. The topic is the links that I posted, not my age or some other BS. You just made an unfounded accusation. It’s time to back it up.

Let’s get a move on:

What, exactly, is your problem with the links?

I noticed that you gave no explanation at all. How do you expect me (or anyone) to change when you can’t even be bothered to point out the “error of my ways”?

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Your post made me click on them. A lot of stupid people in this world.
[/quote]

Who is stupid? Why is it that both you and Neuromancer have seemingly taken opinions without explaining them? Do you expect the rest of the forum to you read your mind? Why bother posting at all if you won’t reveal your opinions?

Can you imagine how stupid I would sound if I made a habit of posting the way you did?

I work very hard to explain all of my beliefs. Everyone who reads my posts knows where I stand. With you? Not so much.

It seems as if you’re trying to create an aura of mystique in order to compensate for the weakness of your arguments.

It’s worth mentioning that verbal obliqueness is a characteristic female tactic, as verbal directness is characteristically male.

Simon Sheppherd claims that males can be indoctrinated into using female tactics, and I think we’re seeing an example of that here.

I believe that humans beings and fish can coexist peacefully.

[quote]lixy wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
But he was the one negotiating with Hamas, wasn’t he?

Yeah, but Bush’s spoke of a “senator”.
[/quote]
Not in the quote above - do you mean another part of the speech?

[quote]Nominal Prospect wrote:
Let’s get a move on:

What, exactly, is your problem with the links?

[/quote]

NP, okay, I followed those links too. What is it that we are supposed to learn from them?

You say above, that Hitler “saw both nations as racial allies to the future reich.” I’ll ask you again: don’t you see this - in and of itself - as problematic? WTF do you mean by “racial allies”? Etc.