Friday, May 16, 2008

Bush spokesperson Says Obama Was Meant in Statement

White House officials traveling with George Bush told reporters Bush's spokesperson relayed to them the paragraph in President Bush's speech did include Barack Obama among the unnamed. While no names were mentioned, Bush referenced "some" who would engage in false comfort of appeasement...

The confirmation came during CNN's The Situation Room Wolf Blitzer's interview with Mitt Romney...

Net the Truth Online

Obama Responds to Bush, McCain; McCain on Hamas Stance; Interview With Mitt Romney
Aired May 16, 2008 - 16:00 ET
BLITZER: The reason the president's comments at the Knesset yesterday were seen as being directed at Senator Obama and other Democrats is because White House officials traveling with the president told that to reporters after they spotted that paragraph in the speech. So it wasn't as if, Governor, this was something that just the Barack Obama campaign came up with. The news media traveling with the president, they were specifically making that connection.

ROMNEY: Well, I wasn't with the White House press corps there, so I can't comment on that. I can tell you that the comment by the president that we should not have direct discussions -- we should not have negotiations, rather, with terrorists, that's something which has been said time and time again. I think it's entirely spun (ph) up. And the real difference between John McCain and Barack Obama, both of them want to make sure that we have discussions and we talk with the bad actors in the world, but John McCain says no way would he sit down on his first year in office on an unconditional basis with people like Ahmadinejad and Assad.

And that's a big difference. And Barack Obama is going to talk about this a great deal, but, you know, he's the one that said he'll meet with them unconditionally. That's a wrong way to go, and I think it shows a level of naivete that Americans recognize is not right in a commander in chief.

BLITZER: There is a videotape that came out today by Jamie Rubin, who's a Clinton adviser. He used to work for Sky Television in London. He interviewed in Davos, Switzerland, John McCain a few years ago, right after -- a couple of years after Hamas won the Palestinian elections, and in that interview McCain said, "They're the government" -- referring to Hamas -- "sooner or later we're going to have to deal with them."

It seemed, at least the excerpt that was released today, it seemed to suggest that John McCain himself is ready to deal with "terrorists."...

Bush sees calls for Iran talks as "appeasement"

Thu May 15, 2008

...Bush used his speech to ratchet up his rhetoric against Iran, saying Washington stood by Israel in opposing what he called Tehran's "nuclear weapons ambitions".

Bush's words also had implications for the U.S. presidential campaign, which has increasingly overshadowed him in his final year in office as the Democratic candidates have sharpened their criticism of his foreign policy.

Bush, who has refused any contact with Ahmadinejad, said the Iranian president "dreams of returning the Middle East to the Middle Ages and calls for Israel to be wiped off the map", and lumped him together in an anti-Israel camp with Hamas, Hezbollah and Osama bin Laden.

"Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before," Bush said.

"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," he added.

Ahmadinejad has come under international criticism for saying that Israel should be "wiped off the map" and has questioned whether the Nazi Holocaust that killed 6 million Jews actually took place.

Iran also backs Hamas, whose charter calls for Israel's destruction...

Ed Henry being interviewed on CNN on the situation that unfolded today.

Top article includes transcript excerpt

Now we're wondering why Pat Buchanan, appearing on MSNBC's Morning Joe, where Joe is blissfully for us absent, was not asked a single question about Bush's statement, since ABC had already reported on it earlier, let's see just how early...

8:42 AM

By Michael Abramowitz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 15, 2008; 8:42 AM

Because after all, look what Buchanan wrote back in August, 2006...

August 5, 2006
On Talking With Terrorists
by Patrick J. Buchanan

With the second Intifada and rise to power of Ariel Sharon, Israel abandoned Oslo and land-for-peace. We will never again negotiate with Arafat, said Sharon, because Israel does not negotiate with terrorists.

Two Israeli prime ministers, Rabin and Peres, had shared a Nobel Prize with Arafat. A third, "Bibi" Netanyahu, had handed over Hebron to Arafat. A fourth, Ehud Barak, had offered Arafat 95 percent of the West Bank and a capital in Jerusalem. Yet, Sharon not only made his policy stick, he got George W. Bush to sign on to it.

Where Arafat had been to the Clinton White House more times than Bob Dole, he was blackballed by the Bush White House.

Sharon's distaste of Arafat was visceral and real. He would not shake hands with him. But it was also politically astute. As security analyst Michael Vlahos has written, nations often declare adversaries "terrorists" to delegitimize them and absolve themselves of any obligation to talk peace with them. They fall back on the time-tested formula: "We do not negotiate with terrorists!"

And it is surely true that Arafat's Fatah, as well as his PLO, had committed acts of terror: the killing of the innocent for political ends, not only Israelis but U.S. diplomats. Yet, Sharon, in 1953, led a force called Unit 101 into the West Bank village of Kibya to avenge the Arab slaying of an Israeli woman and her children. Sixty-nine Palestinians were massacred, mostly women and children, as their homes were dynamited. Sharon was also the army commander when the IDF let the Phalangists into Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps, and fired flares to light the night so the killers could get on with their work.

What of us Americans? Do we negotiate with terrorists?...

...Which brings me to the point. America is a world power with a broader interest in the Middle East than Israel's, and if we are to protect those interests and play the role history has assigned us, we cannot allow any nation to exercise veto power over whom we talk to. While most Americans wish to maintain our commitment to the security and survival of Israel, we must declare our political and diplomatic independence of Israel, as Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan all did.

Bush equates talking to terrorists with appeasing Nazis
President Bush just made some interesting remarks about terrorism, going so far as to describe negotiating with terrorist groups as a "foolish delusion" akin to the appeasement that failed to stop Nazi Germany from invading its European neighbors.

Bush didn't explicitly criticize Sen. Barack Obama, but CNN says anonymous White House aides "are acknowledging" that the president was referring to the Democratic presidential hopeful, who has said he would be willing to meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Click "Read more" for an excerpt from the president's speech before the Knesset in Jerusalem.

Update at 8:47 a.m. ET: The Obama campaign is none too happy about the president's comments.

"This is an unprecedented political attack on foreign soil," Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs says on CNN. "It's, quite frankly, sad and astonishing that the president of the United States would politicize the 60th anniversary of Israel with a false political attack."

Gibbs goes on to criticize what he describes as "cowboy diplomacy."

Update at 8:54 a.m. ET: We just received a statement from Obama.

Obama says Bush falsely accuses him of appeasement
May 15, 9:37 AM (ET)

From CNN White House Correspondent Ed Henry

Bush aides say the President was aiming his remarks at Obama and other Democrats.
JERUSALEM (CNN) – In a particularly sharp blast from halfway around the world, President Bush suggested Thursday that Sen. Barack Obama and other Democrats are in favor of "appeasement" of terrorists in the same way U.S. leaders appeased Nazis in the run-up to World War II.

"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," said Bush, in what White House aides privately acknowledged was a reference to calls by Obama and other Democrats for the U.S. president to sit down for talks with leaders like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"We have heard this foolish delusion before," Bush said in remarks to the Israeli Knesset. "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 remarks seemed to be a not-so-subtle attempt to continue to raise doubts about Obama with Jewish-Americans. Those doubts were already stoked by Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, when he recently charged that Obama is the favored candidate of the terror group Hamas.

“Obviously this is an unprecedented political attack on foreign soil,” Obama Communications Director Robert Gibbs told CNN’s John Roberts on American Morning Thursday, adding that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates had been quoted Wednesday making remarks about dialogue with Iran that were similar to the Illinois senator's.

Bush: Talking to Hamas like talking to Nazis before WWII

In a speech before the Knesset, Bush compared calls to talk with unnamed terrorist groups as a "foolish delusion" that was suggested before World War II.

"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,' " Bush said. "We have an obligation to call this what it is -- the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."

Former President Jimmy Carter recently wrapped up a trip to the Middle East, which included talks with leaders of Hamas -- an Islamic militant group that controls the Palestinian territory of Gaza.

Carter hoped to persuade Hamas to negotiate with Israel in an attempt to reach a broader Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

Hamas has not been included in peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, under President Mahmoud Abbas, who control the West Bank. Israel and the United States refuse to negotiate with Hamas until it renounces terrorism and recognizes Israel's right to exist.


Hamas Hysteria
Thursday, May. 15, 2008 By JOE KLEIN
How to deal with groups like Hamas should be an important debate in the coming U.S. election, but it won't be. It was taken off the table in the past few weeks. First, John McCain allowed his campaign to spread the word that Barack Obama had been "endorsed" by a leader of Hamas. That will be one of McCain's main lines of attack: Obama is soft on terrorism. He wants to negotiate with Iran. He has advisers like Zbigniew Brzezinski who have been "anti-Israel" in the past; the wantonly accommodating spirit of Jimmy Carter looms heavy over Obama's candidacy. Such accusations subtly reinforce the most scurrilous smears circulating about Obama — that he's a Muslim Manchurian Candidate, a secret agent sent to do us in.

Obama responded quickly and definitively to McCain's attack. He told Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic, "I've repeatedly condemned [Hamas]. I've repeatedly said ... since [Hamas] is a terrorist organization, we should not be dealing with them until they recognize Israel, renounce terrorism and abide by previous agreements." To reinforce this message, Obama dropped Robert Malley of the International Crisis Group (ICG) from his list of advisers.,8599,1790973,00.html

Bush marks Israel's anniversary

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