Flip Flops

27 Jun

George W. Bush in May:

As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: ‘Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of 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.”

(Note that the senator in question was a Republican Senator from Idaho

George W. Bush in June:

In more than two years of negotiations, the man who once declared North Korea part of an “axis of evil” with Iran and Iraq, angrily vowing to confront, not negotiate with, its despotic leader, in fact demonstrated a flexibility that his critics at home and abroad once considered impossible.

That is why Mr. Bush is likely to receive only grudging credit, if any, for the accomplishment, which could turn out to be the last significant diplomatic breakthrough of his presidency.

North Korea’s declaration — and the administration’s quid pro quo lifting of some sanctions — faced criticism from conservatives who attacked it as too little and from liberals who said it came too late.

“The regime’s nuclear declaration is the latest reminder that, despite Mr. Bush’s once bellicose rhetoric, engaging our enemies can pay dividends,” Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, whom Mr. Bush defeated in the 2004 presidential election, said in a statement after the declaration on Thursday.

“Historians will long wonder,” he continued, “why this administration did not directly engage North Korea before Pyongyang gathered enough material for several nuclear weapons, tested a nuclear device and the missiles to deliver them.”

For the record, I fully support the Bush administration’s efforts diplomatically to engage North Korea and Iran. It’s important to talk to our enemies in an effort to make the world a safer place. We cannot refuse to speak to certain countries out of some respect for morality or human rights – American history is replete with evidence that we are quite happy to speak with despotic regimes of all shapes and sizes, if not engage in full diplomatic relations with them.

I only wish that Bush wouldn’t trot out “appeasement” and Chamberlain and Munich and 1938 and Hitler as an adjective for talks with other enemies that aren’t North Korea. It is counterproductive, ignorant, and stupid. Also, KCNA doesn’t have anything up about it yet.

Oftentimes, diplomacy and moderation can trump aggression and extremism.

9 Responses to “Flip Flops”

  1. hank June 27, 2008 at 10:58 am #

    Had you watched some of the coverage and commentary on Fox News (which, btw is NOT PRAVDA, and not run by TASS), you would have heard what I did.

    The 6 Party Talks were, in President Bush’s opinion, the reason why PRNK decided to make the declaration.

    Bush does NOT believe the US would have gotten anywhere negotiating alone with the North Koreans.

    I think he’s right on that one.
    IMO the ChiComs put the “Arm” on Kim Jong Il. The Chicoms are doing well these days, and PRNK is a pain in their collective ass. They don’t need the hassle, and probably are tired of supporting the ignorant bastard.

    Saw something on the Net last night that Israel is planning to strike the Iranian nuclear facilities if Barry Hussein is elected President.
    I guess, just like many Americans, the Israelis figure he don’t have the balls to do it even if it becomes flagrantly obvious that it has to be done. And after all it’s THEIR asses that will get nuked by Iran.

    Of course this is what the UN is supposed to do (nudge nudge).

  2. hank June 27, 2008 at 11:01 am #

    Besides, Bush isn’t running–who cares if he flip flops?

    Its Barry H Obama that has to worry about things like.

    Last year he supported the DC Handgun law.
    Yesterday he supported the Supreme Court Decision.

    There’s a flipper flopper for ya. John Kerry look out, you’re about to be usurped.

  3. Frieda June 27, 2008 at 1:19 pm #

    “Last year he supported the DC Handgun law.Yesterday he supported the Supreme Court Decision. ”

    Obama on gun control From the Philadelphia primary debate..

    Q: Is the D.C. law prohibiting ownership of handguns consistent with an individual’s right to bear arms?
    A: As a general principle, I believe that the Constitution confers an individual right to bear arms. But just because you have an individual right does not mean that the state or local government can’t constrain the exercise of that right, in the same way that we have a right to private property but local governments can establish zoning ordinances that determine how you can use it.

    Q: But do you still favor the registration & licensing of guns?

    A: I think we can provide common-sense approaches to the issue of illegal guns that are ending up on the streets. We can make sure that criminals don’t have guns in their hands. We can make certain that those who are mentally deranged are not getting a hold of handguns. We can trace guns that have been used in crimes to unscrupulous gun dealers that may be selling to straw purchasers and dumping them on the streets.

  4. Frieda June 27, 2008 at 1:24 pm #

    That sounds almost identical to what Scalia said in the majority decision.

  5. Russell June 27, 2008 at 1:48 pm #

    First, you can’t have it both ways. You go on and on about how Bush is a rigid ideologue and what we really need is someone who is flexible. Then, when you think he’s finally flexible, you call it a flip flop. Of course, when Obama flip flopped on funding it was praiseworthy, but when you claim Bush did it, it’s worthy of derision.

    Second, diplomacy was never suspended with North Korea. We followed diplomatic channels all along on this issue. All that the Bush administration did not give in on was unilateral talks. Apparently, that worked. Just because it did not follow the course you, John Kerry and Kim Jong Ill wanted does not mean it was not diplomacy.

    The appeasement discussion you brought up is a completely different issue. Numerous nations were working with Hitler diplomatically at the time. That diplomacy failed prompting the Idaho Senator to make his statement. It’s a completely different situation. N. Korea had nothing to do with appeasement and the diplomacy did not fail. No one ever refused to talk to our enemies. Objections came on the terms our enemies tried to set on the talks and that’s part of diplomacy.

  6. Jackson Smiles June 27, 2008 at 3:35 pm #

    Russell you actually do make a good point.

    A lot of our politicians & candidates are put into a tough spot – they’re asked to make decisions quickly, or forced to do so by media outlets, then those of us who have free time research and analyze those decisions, then blast the person for it.

    I’m ok if someone changes their mind based on studies, research, and/or personal beliefs – but “flip flopping” is something different. It’s simply stating what the crowd wants to hear, and then stating something completely different to a different crowd.

    I applaud the politicians who stand for something that some people don’t agree with, and either stand their ground because they firmly believe (just as their opposition does) that they are right… or concede only after examining the other side of the story and coming to an understanding that perhaps the other side is right, or there is a happy medium.

  7. Russell June 27, 2008 at 4:01 pm #

    I’m glad that every once in a while there are things we can agree on. I’m with you on everything you said, too.

  8. Buffalopundit June 27, 2008 at 4:46 pm #

    As one might be able to glean from my last three paragraphs, the “flip flop” title was a joke. I was being facetious, because I think “flip flop” is an idiotic charge to level at someone who changes their mind. I like people who are thoughtful and change their minds from time to time. It shows intelligence and analysis is going on.

    So Russell, lighten up for Christ’s sake. It’s Friday.

  9. @Russel June 27, 2008 at 5:41 pm #

    “All that the Bush administration did not give in on was unilateral talks. ”

    I know what bilateral negotiations are , but WTF are unilateral negotiations? When you talk to yourself?

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