Bush's speech in Isreal to the Knesset included an outrageous line. This is what Bush said:
“some people” believe the United States “should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along."I saw the clip, it's more outrageous coming out of that man's mouth, and even the CNN reporter noted that Bush's own Secretary of Defense Gates and his former Secretary of State Powell believes talking with our enemies is a good idea and have publicly said so. (Oh, and so has Bush 41's National Security Adviser Brent Scrowcroft)
"We have heard this foolish delusion before," Bush said. "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."
This is what Secretary Gates said YESTERDAY, regarding Iran:
"We need to figure out a way to develop some leverage . . . and then sit down and talk with them," Gates said. "If there is going to be a discussion, then they need something, too. We can't go to a discussion and be completely the demander, with them not feeling that they need anything from us."Bush is being heavily criticized for his remark - prepared remark it should be noted - especially since he is speaking in a foreign country.
Biden, though, is my favorite (with Rahm Emmanuel a close second). Biden (via Politico)
“This is bullshit, this is malarkey. This is outrageous, for the president of the United States to go to a foreign country, to sit in the Knesset ... and make this kind of ridiculous statement."and
And here's Rahm Emmanuel (the highest ranking Jewish Democrat in the House):
“He is the guy who has weakened us,” he said. “He has increased the number of terrorists in the world. It is his policies that have produced this vulnerability that the U.S. has. It’s his [own] intelligence community [that] has pointed this out, not me.”
Biden noted that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have both suggested that the United States ought to find a way to talk more with its enemies.
"If he thinks this is appeasement, is he going to come back and fire his own cabinet?” Biden asked. “Is he going to fire Condi Rice?”
The tradition has always been that when a U.S. President is overseas, partisan politics stops at the water's edge. President Bush has now taken that principle and turned it on its head: for this White House, partisan politics now begins at the water's edge, no matter the seriousness and gravity of the occasion. Does the president have no shame?No, this US President has no shame. None.
Here's Obama's response (some have perceived Bush's remarks to be aimed at Obama. Indeed, The Huffington Post's headline is Obama v. Bush).
"It is sad that President Bush would use a speech to the Knesset on the 6Oth anniversary of Israel's independence to launch a false political attack. It is time to turn the page on eight years of policies that have strengthened Iran and failed to secure America or our ally Israel."UPDATE from Politico regarding Biden's use of the word bullshit:
"Instead of tough talk and no action, we need to do what Kennedy, Nixon and Reagan did and use all elements of American power -- including tough, principled, and direct diplomacy -- to pressure countries like Iran and Syria. 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."
Biden would be a GREAT vice president.
In a conference call with reporters later in the afternoon, Biden said his initial word choice was "not very eloquent" and said he should have just stuck with the word "malarkey." Biden said he "reacted viscerally" when asked about Bush's speech after stepping off an elevator.
However, Biden again did not mince words when discussing Bush's remarks, accusing the president of engaging in "long-distance swiftboating" with his speech in Israel. Biden also cited numerous examples of the Bush Administration reaching out to unfriendly regimes in Libya, North Korea and Iran, arguing that Bush's insinuation that the Democrats were soft on terrorism was "truly delusional ... and truly disgraceful."