by Bill Siegel
Barack Obama’s Watertown response to President Bush’s Knesset speech is precisely what Obama himself accuses Bush and John McCain of engaging in: a dishonest divisive attack, or perhaps better stated, a dishonest, distorting, divisive projection of his own thinking.
President Bush said: “Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them that they have been wrong all along. We have heard this before. 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.”
The following is the text of Obama’s response, annotated to point out just some of the dishonesty and distortion that animates much of Obama’s rhetoric:
I do want to say something about yesterday. You know, after almost eight years I did not think I could be surprised about anything that George Bush says. But I was wrong. Yesterday George Bush was before the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, to help commemorate the 60th anniversary of Israeli independence. That’s a wonderful occasion and a time for celebration.
It is also a time to demonstrate that he understands the dangerous conditions in which Israel finds itself and that he understands fully the dangerous types of thinking that pervade America and the West that can and have paralyzed the West from taking the actions necessary to adequately assist Israel.
But instead of celebrating and offering some clear ideas about how to move the situation in the Middle East forward,
Bush had presented the Road Map and, rightly or wrongly, is currently actively engaged in what is often called a “peace process.” What is Obama’s idea other than to sophomorically suggest that his magical persuasive powers and desires for “change” will bring about a resolution? The arrogance embedded in this position is precisely that suggested in Bush’s historical reference.
the President did something that presidents don’t do – and that is launch a political attack targeted toward the domestic market in front of a foreign delegation.
The intended target is most sensibly the world, including (i) the Israeli population to show that Bush has a certain grasp of the futility of never-ending appeasement, (ii) Europe and others which are often stuck in the thinking Bush has outlined, as well as (iii) Israel’s enemies. To limit the target to our domestic market is Obama, himself, taking a global issue and using it for his own political objectives – the very projection he uses against Bush himself.
On a day when we were supposed to be celebrating the anniversary of Israel’s independence, he accused me
Again, on the surface this seems simple naïve narcissism for Obama to claim victimhood here. Needless to say, an attack on a thinking pattern is being construed as an attack on Obama himself. Additionally, it can appropriately be seen as an attempt to elevate himself to being on a par with Bush, rising above Hillary Clinton, and starting to take the mantle of being the Democratic nominee. Finally, Obama is twisting the outgoing president’s global remarks on foreign soil into his own accusation – another maneuver of projection.
and other Democrats of wanting to negotiate with terrorists, and said we were appeasers no different from people who appeased Adolf Hitler. That’s what George Bush said in front of the Israeli parliament.
Despite arguments by cable “news” faces who differentiate “appeasing” from “talking,” this is a correct statement concerning Obama. In simple terms, appeasement consists of rewarding the enemy’s unsatisfactory actions in an effort to induce it to stop such behavior. This is precisely what Obama and his Democrat partners do when they neuter all of our applications of force while allowing Iran to stall “negotiations” and continue to advance its nuclear program. Iran couldn’t be clearer with its frequently stated proposition that it will never cease its nuclear program.
Now that’s exactly the kind of appalling attack that’s divided our country and that alienates us from the world.
Embedded in this remark is a laundry list of distortions about our recent history. This “talk” is not at all what divides or supposedly “alienates us” from the world. Rather, we are divided as a country in large part based on the very thinking Bush described. The accurate history is that within months of our successful liberation of Iraq, the Democratic base, assisted by many in the State Department, CIA, and the media did all they could to interfere with Bush’s original plan. That plan was to liberate Iraq from the tyranny of Saddam and have the Iraqis quickly install their own government and then leave. As described in numerous accounts, including Doug Feith’s War and Decision, and Ken Timmerman’s Shadow Warriors, those plans were systematically deconstructed, sabotaged, and discredited. This description does not excuse Bush, as he is the ultimate executive. Nonetheless, our divisiveness exists in large measure because of the great political anti-Bush efforts made by those who currently support Obama. As for alienated allies, having vetted all of the self-interest connected with many European votes against our efforts in Iraq (as well as their having now experienced directly the effects of liberal policies towards Shari’ah motivated Muslims), many of those same European countries are returning to more conservative leadership.
And that’s why we need change in Washington. That’s part of the reason I’m running for President of the United States of America.
Now that was frustrating enough, but then John McCain gives a speech. He gave a speech in the morning where he talked about the need for civility in our politics. He talked about elevating the tone of the debate in our country. He talked about reaching out in a bipartisan fashion to the other side.
And then not an hour later, he turned around and embraced George Bush’s attacks on Democrats. He jumped on a call with a bunch of bloggers and said that I wasn’t fit to protect this nation that I love because I wanted to sit down and negotiate with tough diplomacy with countries like Iran. He accused me of not being fit to protect this nation, a nation that my grandfather served in World War II, this nation that has given me everything that I have. So much for civility.
Civility? As if Obama and his “community organizer” hit men have not been constantly beating up on McCain, deceitfully attaching McCain’s name to Bush’s at every opportunity and attacking McCain’s age and so forth. These tactics, while perhaps expressed in a civil tone, are anything but the type of campaign Obama claims he and the name of “change” stand for. Again, he does precisely that which he claims is a part of the “old” system he will change.
Speaking of names, Obama’s followers attack anyone who cites his middle name “Hussein”, again charging a lack of civility and even racism for suggesting Obama is Muslim. As far back as Cassius Clay, blacks have changed their names to Arab-Islamic ones precisely to demonstrate that they are Muslims. Obama’s given name makes clear that he was a Muslim at least at birth. He certainly realized the significance of his name when, in his younger years he changed and went by “Barry.” If he so wants to dispel any issue today, he is free to change his name again to Barry rather than holding the rest of the world responsible for ignoring and overlooking the obvious.
I want to be perfectly clear with George Bush and John McCain and with the people of South Dakota. If George Bush and John McCain want to have a debate about protecting the United States of America, that is a debate I am happy to have any time, any place. And that is a debate that I will win, because George Bush and John McCain have a lot to answer for.
Rhetoric and debate are his strong suits. Perhaps this is why he goes around saying he will talk to anyone. “Talk” is precisely all he stands for and all that his Messianic worshippers “hope” is necessary to rid our world of evil and solve our problems. Again, that is precisely part of the thinking Bush was describing.
George Bush and John McCain have a lot to answer for. They have to explain why we are now entering our sixth year of war in Iraq. We were supposed to be going over there for weapons of mass destruction that we never found.
Not true. We went into Iraq for a variety of reasons. The most often expressed reason was the failure of the UN to take sufficient action on 17 Security Council Resolutions. WMD was also a reason, given that most who saw the intelligence believed WMD to exist. Even today, numerous sources believe there is clear evidence that WMD were shipped out of Iraq before the liberation. More profoundly, as Obama insists he is the only one who had the good judgment to know in advance that the war was a mistake. Did he somehow know the almost universally accepted intelligence stating Iraq did have WMD and WMD programs was faulty? Or was the “judgment” he trumpets the conclusion that assuming the intelligence was correct, there was insufficient reason to go to enforce the Resolutions. In either case, his tactic of whining that no WMD was found disguises his real philosophy; that which Bush was outlining to the Knesset.
We were told that it was going to last a few months and cost a few billion dollars.
This was the plan until the State Department, under the influence of Democrats, sabotaged its execution and stretched the liberation into an occupation.
We have now spent over 600 billion dollars. Thousands of lives lost, and we have not been made more safe.
Safe by what measure? Obama inappropriately conflates the realities that truly threaten us with conditions that were caused by Bush’s supposed failures. This is where he demonstrates either ignorance or naïveté as to the real threats the West has faced for decades or he is deliberately abusing the truth to sell his candidacy. For all the hardship that has been incurred during the Bush years, it is foolish to think this decades-long battle will be easy. At least a significant portion of America has woken up to and become aware of the powerful force that confronts the West. That is as critical to our safety as any military or police victory.
They’re going to have to explain the fact that Osama bin Laden is still at large and is sending out videotapes with impunity. They need to answer for the fact that al Qaeda’s leadership is stronger than ever because we took our eye off the ball in Afghanistan. They’ve got to answer for the fact that Iran is the greatest strategic beneficiary of our invasion in Iraq. It made Iran stronger.
What has made Iran stronger after the Iraqi liberation was America’s show of deep ambivalence with any use of force. It was this fear that Obama’s Democrat cohorts used to paralyze any effective stance against Iran. With the liberation, much of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard had so feared an attack on Iran that they moved themselves and/or their assets out of the country. This was the time that Iran was offering to assist us with efforts against Al Qaeda and the time we had maximum leverage because of our use of force against Iraq. Once America’s Left taught Iran that it was unwilling to take a right turn and deploy force against Iran, the regime became emboldened and began to ignore every attempt to “negotiate” for the cessation of Iran’s nuclear program. Bush is responsible ultimately for inaction but the anti-Bush forces are what informed Iran that it could get away with endless stalling and lying. America has so blatantly communicated its fear of being militarily aggressive against Iran that Iran has done simply that which is expected-been unwilling to negotiate or give anything, stalled, and continued to advance its nuclear program.
George Bush’s policies. They’re going to have to explain why Hamas now controls Gaza, Hamas that was strengthened because the United States insisted that we should have democratic elections in the Palestinian authority. They’re going to have to explain why it is that Iran is able to fund Hezbollah and poses the greatest threat to the United States and Israel in the Middle East in a generation.
That’s the Bush-McCain record on protecting this country. Those are the failed policies that John McCain wants to double down on, because he still hasn’t spelled out one substantial way in which he’d be different from George Bush when it comes to foreign policy.
I’m a strong believer in civility and I’m a strong believer in a bipartisan foreign policy.
This completely misrepresents his record of virtually no bipartisan efforts. He “talks” well but his actions (specifically the lack of bipartisan action) belie his words.
But that cause is not served with dishonest, divisive attacks of the sort that we’ve seen out of George Bush and John McCain over the last couple of days.
Again with the projection – Obama is very skilled at divisive dishonest attacks, all packaged with a soothing voice and face.
John McCain has repeated this notion that I am prepared to negotiate with terrorists. I have never said that.
This is simply false as his debate responses have made clear- unless he wants to make the evasive distinction between terrorists and state sponsors of terrorism. If he relies on that distinction, he is more naïve than generally thought.
I am adamant about not negotiating with Hamas, a terrorist organization that has vowed to destroy Israel and won’t recognize them. In fact, the irony is that just as John McCain was making these attacks, a story broke that he was actually guilty of the exact same thing that he was accusing me of, and in fact was saying that maybe we need to deal with Hamas.
That’s the kind of hypocrisy we’ve been seeing in our foreign policy. The kind of fear-peddling, fear-mongering that has prevented us from actually making us safer.
Actually, it is Obama and his “community organizer” cohorts who have mastered fear-peddling and fear-mongering. Obama’s “change” campaign is code for “revolution” as has been so thoroughly articulated and mastered by Obama’s “community organizer” guru Saul Alinsky. One of Alinsky’s tactics, mastered by Obama, are to personalize the target and describe it as 100% evil. Obama has done that perfectly with Bush and then further extends it to McCain. In fact, the essence of Obama’s thesis is that we only really need fear Bush and Cheney as they are completely responsible for our threats. Get rid of them and their representative McCain, and Obama promises you will have nothing to fear. This is perhaps one of his most devious and dangerous projections – the transfer of fear off of our real and appropriate enemies onto those he seeks to destroy.
They’re trying to fool you.
Again, a true investigation into Obama’s roots reveals his alignment with Alinsky. Most of the public has no idea who Alinsky was or what he taught. It is Obama’s fooling them that has allowed him to suggest that “change” means something other than radical revolution.
They’re trying to scare you. And they’re not telling the truth. And the reason is that they can’t win a foreign policy debate on the merits. But it’s not going to work. It’s not going to work this time. It’s not going to work this year.
Our Iran policy is a complete failure right now,
To the extent that is true, it is due to our actions as describe earlier. McCain may hopefully be able to teach the Iranian regime to think differently.
and that is the policy that John McCain is running on right now. He has nothing to offer except the naive and irresponsible belief that tough talk from Washington will somehow cause Iran to give up its nuclear program and support for terrorism.
Actually, it is only when there is a credible threat of tough action, not talk, that we have a prayer of having a successful Iran policy. Obama, the master of “talk” is completely unable to sell any credible threat of action.
I’m running for President to change course, not to continue George Bush’s course.
I believe we need to use all elements of American power to pressure Iran, including tough, principled and direct diplomacy. That’s what John F. Kennedy did. That’s what Ronald Reagan did when dealing with the Soviets. And that’s what the president’s own Secretary of Defense wants to do.
Many have already written on the historical misrepresentations embedded in these faulty analogies, distinguishing talks in secret from summits, talks at the brink of war when the force card is played rather then when force is interpreted to be avoided at all costs, and so on. Obama fails to point out that it was precisely Khrushchev’s perception of Kennedy’s weakness that emboldened the Soviets to take the game to the brink of all out war in the first place. We can not afford to replay that game today with religiously motivated, apocalyptic Mullahs. Simply put, this is more of Obama’s distortive talk. He is able to get away with it because many of his idolaters know no better.
Understand: George Bush’s Secretary of Defense suggests we talk directly to Iran. So I don’t know if George Bush is calling his own Secretary of Defense an “appeaser.” I don’t know who he’s talking about.
Didn’t you already narcissistically insist he was talking about you?
It’s time to present Iran with a clear choice. If it abandons its nuclear program, its support for terrorists and its threats to Israel, then it can rejoin the community of nations. If not, Iran will face deeper isolation and steeper sanctions.
This is perhaps the most dishonest element of his speech. None of this is new. These positions have been advanced by the Europeans and America for years. This is precisely what has been attempted and met with challenge from the Russians, the Chinese, and others. Alinsky instructs his followers to recognize that much of the population is ignorant and to utilize that ignorance. Obama deploys that tactic here as he has crystallized in the minds of his followers the illusion that no negotiations have taken place with Iran for years.
But in the Bush-McCain view, everybody who disagrees with their failed Iran policy is an “appeaser.” Back during his “No Surrender Tour,” John McCain said that anybody who wanted to end the war in Iraq wanted to surrender. He even said later on that he would be willing to keep troops in Iraq for 100 years.
Again he distorts what McCain actually said and clearly intended. Nevertheless, Obama presents himself as the innocent force for good who has been so maliciously misrepresented.
I think he noticed that it wasn’t polling well, because he announced yesterday, he said that suddenly all our troops are going to be home by 2013, although he didn’t explain how he was going to do it.
Projection again? Perhaps what annoys the Clintons more than anything else in losing to Obama is that Obama has hijacked all of the old Clinton strategies and implements them even more skillfully. Every position Clinton took was polled and adjusted and this has become an Obama staple. Then, like a Clinton, he accuses his opponent of the very ploy.
He offered the promise that America will win a victory, with no understanding that Iraq is fighting a civil war. Just like George Bush’s plan isn’t about winning, it’s about staying. And that’s why there will be a clear choice in November: fighting a war without end, or ending this war and bringing our troops home. We don’t need John McCain’s predictions about when the war will end. We need a plan to end it, and that’s what I’ve provided during this campaign.
The American people have had enough of the division and the bluster. Both Bush and McCain represent the failed foreign policy and fear-mongering of the past. I believe the American people are ready to reject this approach and to embrace the future. I think you’re ready for change that unites this country and ends this war and restores our security and standing in the world and that is serious about a bipartisan foreign policy.
This it the true first step towards an appeasement policy. Irrespective of any words, its intention is to convince the crowd that under Obama’s guidance, we will be able to talk our way back to a civil world. As Bush was suggesting, a civil world requires participants who respect and seek civility in terms similar to each other. It is the very fact that our enemies do not share our notion and terms of civility that generates the problem in the first place.
You can’t suggest that you want to be bipartisan and then run the kind of campaign tactics that we’ve been seeing over the last couple of days. You’ve got to start while you’re campaigning. That’s why we’ve got to bring about some change in the White House.
“Change” as Obama truly means it, is anything but bipartisan. His notion of bipartisan is to listen to what those on the other side of the aisle have to say in order to politely tell them that, in fact, he will act only as he has done throughout his career – in the most partisan liberal fashion possible.
Perhaps the most important part of most Bush speeches is truly relevant here – “God Bless America.” We will certainly need it.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Bill Siegel lives in New York.
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