Oct 19 2009
May 16 2008
Today’s New York Times features a column by David Brooks wherein Brooks claims that Obama’s statements about the current violence in Lebanon, “has the whiff of what President Bush described yesterday as appeasement.” The statement which Brooks feels has that whiff is:
It’s time to engage in diplomatic efforts to help build a new Lebanese consensus that focuses on electoral reform, an end to the current corrupt patronage system, and the development of the economy that provides for a fair distribution of services, opportunities and employment.
Leaving aside the question as to whether or not that would actually appease Hezbollah in some way (I would contend that Hezbollah is plenty enthusiastic about corrupt patronage systems and unfair distribution of goods and services, merely wishing that they be in charge of the corruption and unfair distribution), let’s focus for a moment on what is actually happening in Lebanon, and what Obama is saying should be done about it by the United States.
May 15 2008
Corporatist War Monger President George W. Bush, in a pathetically desperate attempt to use an International speech to smear his domestic Democratic opposition as appeasers, quoted a Republican Senator as an example of American appeasement of Hitler prior to World War II.
While delivering an address before the Israeli parliament commemorating the 60th anniversary of Israel, President Bush said that Sen. Barack Obama and Democrats favor a policy of appeasement toward terrorists. CNN reports that Bush was comparing Obama to “other U.S. leaders back in the run-up to World War II who appeased the Nazis.”
In his speech, 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.”
The Senator whom Bush quoted verbatim was Idaho Republican William Edgar Borah:
From 1924 to 1933 [Borah] was chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, and his major interest was in foreign policy…. An advocate of disarmament and the outlawing of war, he suggested the Washington Conference of 1921-22 and promoted the Kellogg-Briand Pact; in 1939 he fought revision of the Neutrality Act.
Of course Borah was far from the only ‘appeasing’ Republican. Indeed, prior to WWII, the Grand Old Party was home to many of the fiercest advocates of appeasement.