One TPM Reader goes rational on President Bush ...
When President Bush decries "the false comfort of appeasement," and John McCain raises the spectre of Neville Chamberlain, they're deliberately advancing a fallacious line of argument. Appeasement - the acceptance of conditions imposed by an aggressor in lieu of open conflict - is not the result of negotiation, but of capitulation. And the inverse proposition - the rejection of all negotiation even at the price of open conflict - is
just as rigidly obtuse. We call it war-mongering.
I don't particularly mind that our President has chosen to air a domestic dispute abroad - that's his perogative. And I've always been miffed by the notion that foreign policy is for the experts, and too delicate a matter to be subject to public debate or the people's will - what the establishment terms 'politicization.' But I'm incensed that the coverage has focused on whether or not Obama's support of negotiations constitutes appeasement, as if this were subject to dispute. It's not. He has never proposed giving in to our enemies. His support of negotiation constitutes, ipso facto, a rejection of appeasement.
There are not two valid sides to this dispute. For the media to accede to this kind of slander, just because it's what the GOP demands, well, it borders on appeasement.
As long as we're insisting on a non-nonsense discussion of foreign policy, let's note that Pres. Bush and Sen. McCain must be terribly illiterate of our history or extremely cowardly to compare the current president of Iran (who helps govern a country with a tanked economy and a third or fourth rate military) to Adolf Hilter who had regrouped and tossed the restraints from what was the greatest military, scientific and economic powerhouse in Europe.