In his victory speech after the North Carolina primary, Sen. Barack Obama said something that is all the more remarkable for how little it has been remarked upon.
In defending his stated intent to meet with America's enemies without preconditions, Sen. Obama said: "I trust the American people to understand that it is not weakness, but wisdom to talk not just to our friends, but to our enemies, like Roosevelt did, and Kennedy did, and Truman did."
That he made this statement, and that it passed without comment by the journalists covering his speech indicates either breathtaking ignorance of history on the part of both, or deceit.
I assume the Roosevelt to whom Sen. Obama referred is Franklin D. Roosevelt. Our enemies in World War II were Nazi Germany, headed by Adolf Hitler; fascist Italy, headed by Benito Mussolini, and militarist Japan, headed by Hideki Tojo. FDR talked directly with none of them before the outbreak of hostilities, and his policy once war began was unconditional surrender.
FDR died before victory was achieved, and was succeeded by Harry Truman. Truman did not modify the policy of unconditional surrender. He ended that war not with negotiation, but with the atomic bomb.
Harry Truman also was president when North Korea invaded South Korea in June, 1950. President Truman's response was not to call up North Korean dictator Kim Il Sung for a chat. It was to send troops.
The closest historical analogue to Sen. Obama's expressed desire to meet with no preconditions with anti-American dictators such as Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the trip British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and French premier Eduoard Daladier took to Munich in September of 1938 to negotiate "peace in our time" with Adolf Hitler. That didn't work out so well.
Search This Blog
Saturday, May 10, 2008
From Real Clear Politics