Dear Sen. Obama,
It is often politically inconvenient when someone tells the truth about you before millions of people. When President Bush spoke before the Israeli Knesset last week to commemorate the anniversary of the formation of the state of Israel, he said something you found politically inconvenient. “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,” Bush said. “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.”
You rightly perceived President Bush’s statement as an attack on you. But that doesn’t make the attack illegitimate. You blustered, “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. … 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.”
For you to criticize President Bush’s “extraordinary politicization of foreign policy” is in itself extraordinarily audacious. You have stated that you would sit down for talks with Iran, Cuba, Syria, North Korea and Venezuela without preconditions. You have made a career out of politicizing foreign policy, with a particular bent toward appeasement. Last Monday, for example, you stated in a speech in Montana, “Demanding that a country meets your conditions before you meet with them, that’s not a strategy, it’s naive, wishful thinking. I’m not afraid we’ll lose some propaganda fight with a dictator. It’s time to win those battles, because we’ve watched George Bush lose them year after year after year.”
You, Senator, are concerned about winning propaganda victories. You should be concerned about real victories. Propaganda victories mean nothing in the long run – you please your constituency, you boost your approval ratings and your enemy remains intact. And when your enemy remains intact, he grows stronger. And when your enemy grows stronger, people die.
Back in September 1938, Neville Chamberlain won a propaganda fight with Hitler. He arrived back home in England from the Munich Conferences – where he had just handed over Sudetenland to the Nazis – to wild applause. Just six months later, Hitler invaded the rest of Czechoslovakia while the world did nothing.
You may think, Sen. Obama, that talks do not signify appeasement. You may point out that you aren’t handing over the Sudetenland to Iran or Syria or North Korea – you’re simply trying to find common ground.
Let me put this simply, Senator: There is no common ground with those who adamantly cling to evil. Finding a midpoint between the twisted agendas of rogue states and the righteous mission of the United States is capitulation. Ronald Reagan could negotiate with the Soviet Union because he never compromised his basic stance that the Soviet Union was an evil empire that had to dismantle its global objectives. And the Soviet Union compromised because it recognized that the United States would force it into collapse.
You, sir, are no Ronald Reagan. You are not even a Neville Chamberlain – at least Chamberlain had the excuse that Britain was at a military disadvantage. You are a true believer in your own messianic myth. You are the fellow who thinks, “If only I could talk with him, we could straighten things out.” If diplomacy should be the iron fist in the velvet glove, your diplomacy is the cotton-candy ego in the velvet glove.
Senator, I know you believe in the power of your words to convince. And why shouldn’t you? You’ve hoodwinked millions of Americans into backing your presidential campaign. But if you become president, there’s something you must recognize: There are some people who cannot be convinced minus the threat of force.
We should know.
The victims of the Holocaust
The victims of Soviet oppression
The victims of Pol Pot
The victims of Ho Chi Minh
The victims of Saddam Hussein
The victims of Yasser Arafat and his successors
The victims of Kim Jong-il
Millions to come …
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