Monday, May 19, 2008

Obama's reaction to Bush's Knesset speech

This is a follow-up to Obama: Narcissism You Can Believe In.

Below you'll find a portion of an AP report of Senator Obama's by now much discussed reaction to a portion of President Bush's speech before Israel's Knesset. The AP story provides a link to Obama's statement.

After the AP portion there's a star line below which you'll find an excerpt of Bush's speech. The excerpt includes the words that have so aggrieved Obama. The paragraph containing the words is in italics. (emphasis mine) The text of the President's speech is here hosted by the Boston Globe.

The purpose of this post is to enable you to judge for yourself what President Bush said and Senator Obama's reacton to it.

I plan to comment further on the matter later this evening.

The AP story begins - - -

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama accused President Bush on Thursday of launching a "false political attack" with a comment about appeasing terrorists and radicals.

The Illinois senator interpreted the remark as a slam against him but the White House denied that Bush's words were in any way directed at Obama, who has said as president he would be willing to personally meet with Iran's leaders and those of other regimes the United States has deemed rogue.

In a speech to Israel's Knesset, Bush said: "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.

"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."

Obama responded with a statement, seizing on Bush's remarks even as it was unclear to whom the president was referring.

"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," Obama said in the statement his aides distributed. "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." . . .

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Excerpt from President Bush's speech to Israel's Knesset - - -

The fight against terror and extremism is the defining challenge of our time. It is more than a clash of arms. It is a clash of visions, a great ideological struggle. On the one side are those who defend the ideals of justice and dignity with the power of reason and truth. On the other side are those who pursue a narrow vision of cruelty and control by committing murder, inciting fear, and spreading lies.

This struggle is waged with the technology of the 21st century, but at its core it is an ancient battle between good and evil. The killers claim the mantle of Islam, but they are not religious men. No one who prays to the God of Abraham could strap a suicide vest to an innocent child, or blow up guiltless guests at a Passover Seder, or fly planes into office buildings filled with unsuspecting workers. In truth, the men who carry out these savage acts serve no higher goal than their own desire for power. They accept no God before themselves. And they reserve a special hatred for the most ardent defenders of liberty, including Americans and Israelis.

And that is why the founding charter of Hamas calls for the "elimination" of Israel. And that is why the followers of Hezbollah chant "Death to Israel, Death to America!" That is why Osama bin Laden teaches that "the killing of Jews and Americans is one of the biggest duties." And that is why the president of Iran dreams of returning the Middle East to the Middle Ages and calls for Israel to be wiped off the map.

There are good and decent people who cannot fathom the darkness in these men and try to explain away their words. It's natural, but it is deadly wrong. As witnesses to evil in the past, we carry a solemn responsibility to take these words seriously. Jews and Americans have seen the consequences of disregarding the words of leaders who espouse hatred. And that is a mistake the world must not repeat in the 21st century.

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. 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. (italics added)

Some people suggest if the United States would just break ties with Israel, all our problems in the Middle East would go away. This is a tired argument that buys into the propaganda of the enemies of peace, and America utterly rejects it. Israel's population may be just over 7 million. But when you confront terror and evil, you are 307 million strong, because the United States of America stands with you.

more stories like thisAmerica stands with you in breaking up terrorist networks and denying the extremists sanctuary. America stands with you in firmly opposing Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions. Permitting the world's leading sponsor of terror to possess the world's deadliest weapons would be an unforgivable betrayal for future generations. For the sake of peace, the world must not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.

Ultimately, to prevail in this struggle, we must offer an alternative to the ideology of the extremists by extending our vision of justice and tolerance and freedom and hope. These values are the self-evident right of all people, of all religions, in all the world because they are a gift from the Almighty God. Securing these rights is also the surest way to secure peace. Leaders who are accountable to their people will not pursue endless confrontation and bloodshed. Young people with a place in their society and a voice in their future are less likely to search for meaning in radicalism. Societies where citizens can express their conscience and worship their God will not export violence, they will be partners in peace.

3 comments:

Archer05 said...

Off Topic:
John, There is a persistent news item in Chicago about a toxic Michelle Obama video. Maybe the rumored video is the question 'Sweetie' asked, that Obama didn't wamt to answer? Time will tell if it is a ticking bomb, or just a hoax.
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At Real Clear Politics:
Obama Freakout Over Michelle Video: The Ticking “Whitey” Time Bomb
Today, on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Barack Obama lost his cool, calling names and making unspecified threats. Why? The real reason for Obama’s extraordinary freakout is that he fears the release of the videotape, reported here, of Michelle Obama in the pulpit of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s church railing against “whitey.”

Anonymous said...

To archer05 via JnC -

Thanks for the heads-up on this matter. There indeed may be a video tape out there.

Jack in Silver Spring

RedMountain said...

Is this a gossip blog? I agree that it is off topic and in my opinion, way off base.