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Obama the Appeaser vs. John McBush

May 30, 2008

This finely balanced essay at Pajamas Media takes a look at the internal contradictions in both the Obama and McCain campaigns regarding Iran. These days I tend to be more suspicious of “a pox on both their houses” approach than outright partisanship, but it’s worth reading the whole thing.

Still, I find the case against McCain the weaker one, even as I find the rhetoric of Obama as “the Appeaser” a bit overheated, as does Victor Davis Hanson in this thoughtful piece where he states:

Talking with an Iranian theocrat like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad per se might not necessarily constitute appeasement. But continuing such talks without preconditions that made no progress in curbing Iranian nuclear agendas, or support for Hezbollah terrorists and Shiite militias in Iraq would not only be futile, but encourage further Iranian adventurism — by the assurance that negotiations were infinite and there would be few lines in the sand and little chance of military opposition to follow.

As McCain replied: “I think that Barack Obama needs to explain why he wants to sit down and talk with a man who is the head of a government that is a state sponsor of terrorism, that is responsible for the killing of brave young Americans, that wants to wipe Israel off the map, who denies the Holocaust.”

In other words, how is this talking going to work? What if it fails? Why should we trust the Iranians given their expressed values? If GWB was too naive in his trust of military power, is the best antidote an equally blind trust in the power of talking? Obviously not. The focus should be on what the dangers are, and how best to combat them. The candidates and the media tend towards a cartoonish view of the issues. Hopefully that can be avoided somewhat here at the society for the politically incontinent.

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