Some Republicans and Israel PM Disagree with Bush and McCain on Appeasement

21 05 2008

In 2006, former secretary of state James Baker under George H. W. Bush provided an instructive tutorial as to why any presidential administration would want to talk to one’s allies in addition to seemingly implacable foes. “You don’t appease them. Talking to an enemy is not in my view appeasement,” said Baker.

In particular, Baker noted that “at the time when Syria was on the list of countries who were state sponsors of terrorism. On the 16th trip, guess what, lo and behold, Syria changed 25 years of policy and agreed for the first time in the history to sit at the table with Israel, which is what Israel wanted at the time”

Watch it.

In an exchange with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates at an defense appropriations hearing yesterday, Senator Arlen Specter publicly criticized President Bush, and by implication John McCain, for saying simply talking to one’s enemies amounts to appeasement.

Watch it.

And now we learn that within the last 24 hours or so that Israel and Syria, who like Iran, has supported such groups as Hezbollah and Hamas, have been in peace talks at least since Monday.

The talks are being mediated by Turkey, a U.S. ally, who refused to offer support for American military forces during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

So perhaps Obama was right to ask what is it that George Bush and John McCain so afraid of?

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