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.
The rest of the speech was largely ignored but that passage caused a violent reaction from the Democrats here.
The New York Sun began its editorial "Bush's Covenant" this way:
As far as political reactions go, it was a weird one. President Bush gave a beautiful and moving speech in the capital of Israel to give voice to America’s solidarity with the Jewish state. He reached back to Herzl and beyond, declaring that the establishment of the State of Israel was, as the president put it, “the redemption of an ancient promise given to Abraham and Moses and David — a homeland for the chosen people ...” “Israel’s population,” Mr. Bush said, “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.”
So how did the Democrats react? They seized on one fragment of Mr. Bush’s speech — “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.” And the Democrats took that language as a personal affront.
The speed with which Democrats recognized themselves in that particular paragraph is telling. The president later said he wasn’t talking about them, but they insisted he was.
He was, of course, talking about them, but the reaction was weird. It’s as if the preacher gave a sermon condemning marital infidelity in general only to have one of the members of the congregation stand up and denounce the minister for talking about him. Why draw attention to yourself that way?
Power Line also wrote about the speech and commented THE LAD HE DOTH PROTEST TOO MUCH
Barack Obama and his many friends in the mainstream media have projected Obama into Bush's speech, alleging that Bush made a veiled reference to him as a supporter of appeasement. From Hamlet we learn that the play's the thing wherein to catch the conscience of the king. Bush's "play" in Jerusalem was not about Obama. Yet Obama purports to see himself as an object of its critique of appeasement. Bush's speech treats Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran as common enemies with whom negotiation is impossible. Obama purports to distinguish Iran from Hamas and Hezbollah, rejecting unconditional negotiations only with the terrorist groups.
Obama's protestations against Bush's speech make up his own play-within-the-play. They don't serve to prick a conscience, but rather to obscure the senator's inability to offer a rationale distinguishing between the terrorists and their state patron.
And the Weekly Standard’s Michael Goldfarb comments
Barack Obama is upset at this statement by President Bush. Why? What does he disagree with? Shouldn’t he just have seconded the president’s admonition against falling for such a foolish delusion. Or does he know that his promise to talk with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad puts him in the camp of the foolish delusionists?
Yesterday on Fox News “Special Report with Brit Hume” Mort Kondracke went out of his way to defend Obama by listing all of the things that Obama would demand of the President of Iran: stop arming terrorists, stop building nuclear weapons, stop yada yada yada. As I listened to him go on and tell us all the things that Obama would demand I became more and more incredulous. It’s as if this would be news to Iran. It’s as if they did not already know this, it’s as if Obama has - in George Bush’s words - “some ingenious argument [that] will persuade them they have been wrong all along.”
As a side note, it is fascinating to hear from the Left that Iran is developing nuclear weapons and Bush’s policy has failed to stop them. Was it not more than a year ago that the CIA issued an analysis that was widely hailed on the Left that Iran had stopped its nuclear weapons development program? Why is the Left suddenly ending that delusion? Where is the CIA on that issue today?
Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton
said he thought Bush “hit the nail on the head yesterday in Jerusalem. And today, the nails started to complain. It’s not just naïve. It’s dangerous for our country.”
Wretchard at the Belmont Club gets to the heart of the matter.
When you get to a certain age, the tragedy of life and the foolishness of people becomes part of your philosophy. You do not despair, because despair is a sin and there is hope for a life hereafter which is better.
I think it fundamentally wrong to think that love and admiration for totalitarianism died in the Fuherbunker with Adolph Hitler. It almost immediately shifted its affections East to Uncle Joe. For him, no sacrifice was too great. Did America have atomic secrets? The highest duty of the most enlightened was to share them with Joseph Stalin in the interests of world peace.
Nothing can disguise the fact that six million Jews died, not in the Middle East, but in ovens which burned in the very heart of Europe. In countries that prided themselves in culture; that listened to Mozart; read books and vaunted their universities. When Golda Meir said with relief, on the occasion of the foundation of Israel that "For two thousand years we have waited for our deliverance. Now that it is here it is so great and wonderful that it surpasses human words" she was speaking of escape from a darkness within the very center of Western civilization.
Yet nothing great or wonderful is safe forever, and that darkness, that love for savagery, that admiration for the brutal, that was believed to have died beneath the ground in 1945 is on the march again. It is crawling out of books, lofty towers, places of culture in precisely the manner Camus warned us against. He said that the evil may be beaten, but it is rarely beaten forever; "that the plague bacillus never dies or disappears for good; that it can lie dormant for years and years in furniture and linen-chests; that it bides its time in bedrooms, cellars, trunks and bookshelves; and that perhaps the day would come when, for the bane and the enlightening of men, it would rouse up its rats again and send them forth to die in a happy city."
But we may not speak of it. And therefore it begins.
The problem is not peculiar to Barack Obama. If it were therew would be nothing to worry about. But his ideas, to use a current term, are mainstream, at least within certain circles. For example, the Chicago City Council led by a variety of leftist aldermen, Scott Ritter, Walt Mearsheimer and Karen Dolan are embarked upon a "hands off Iran" campaign. After Downing Street writes, "Obama's Hometown Considers Resolution Against War with Iran". Hamas and people like Hamas are heroes to a lot more people than one would think.
And that's how it was back when. It's embarassing to recall now, but in the 1930s the cool thing a young man or woman to be was either a "virile" fascist or a "committed" Communist. To wear a blackshirt or a red armband then was as cool as it is to wear a keffiyeh today. If you weren't a fan of one of these two totalitarianisms you were a jerk. A Colonel Blimp. A Salvation Army tootler. And that fact illustrates, to a large extent, why totalitariansm was so dangerous in Europe.
The love affair with totalitarism and death was not, as is now retrospectively argued, a mental illness afflicting a handful of cartoon Nazis who somehow managed to drag the world into an inferno. If it were then we should all rest easy. But it was not that. A lot of people were attracted to totalitarianism. It is customary to speak of Churchill "alone" in the political wilderness. It is less customary to explain why he was "alone".
The attraction of totalitarianism, of secular millenialism, of a future paradise achievable by ruthlessness and blood was profoundly popular. And it remained so after the war. But the affections were transferred to such political leaders such as Stalin or Mao Tse Tung. And that in turn found its successors.
Jonah Goldberg convincingly showed that the intellectual descendants of the same fascism that shoved the Jews into the oven survive, perhaps in less virulent form, in the kind of people who are holding the Chicago "hands off Iran" hearings. But as I said, we must not speak of it. It's not polite.
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal.
And where petty politicians with God complexes play games with the lives of millions to satisfy their egos.