Let us wave the bullshit flag on President Bush, his press secretary, and any American gullible enough to believe the latest round of White House rhetoric.
During a speech to the Israeli parliament, Bush asserted, "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."
Speaking as if diplomacy were a bad thing, he continued, "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."
When specifically called on it by Barack Obama, the White House (although not Bush specifically, because that would have been, well, too specific) denied it was an attack on Obama’s foreign policy preference for diplomacy. White House press secretary Dana Perino refuted the suggestion by saying, “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."
It's interesting that Perino suggested Obama thinks the world revolves around him as a defense of what Bush said, because she doesn’t go on to say what Bush did mean. This leaves the American public in the precarious position of naming every last dead and alive American until Bush says, “Yes, that’s who I meant.” Since that isn’t going to happen, and Bush knows it, he can once again skirt responsibility, accountability, and any relevance when it comes time to write him into the history books as anything other than the worst president ever.
We can be sure Bush was not (purposefully) speaking of his own father’s diplomatic experiences when he said negotiation had been “repeatedly discredited by history.” Nor, presumably, did he mean Reagan and his relationship with Mikhail Gorbachev.
Not long ago Bush was called a “poor student of history” when, in 2006, 21 former generals and high ranking national security officials said Bush should stop what he’s doing and try something else – like negotiation, specifically with Iran, Iraq, and North Korea.
Retired Lt. General Robert Guard, who served as special assistant to Defense Secretary Robert McNamara during the Vietnam War, said, “…Ronald Reagan was willing to negotiate with the Soviets even though they were the Evil Empire. One wonders why George Bush can't negotiate with the Axis of Evil."
Morton Halperin, former director of Policy Planning for the State Department, agreed with Guard, and said it’s the same with North Korea. "The North Koreans want to talk to us directly. Their concern is about getting security assurances from us and about getting diplomatic recognition. We should not be afraid to talk to our opponents."
Someone else in history addressed fear. Maybe Bush was talking about that guy.
Could all this boil down to our president being a big ‘fraidy cat?