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No, George, Diplomacy Is Not Appeasement

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On May 15, George W. Bush gave a speech to the Israeli Knesset in which he took an apparent swipe at Barack Obama's promise of diplomacy in foreign policy.

"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," Bush told his audience.

He added, "We have an obligation to call this what it is -- the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."

He even dragged Hitler into the same speech, seeming to imply that Obama would have probably wanted to appease the Nazis.

This is a prime example of the Bushco strategy of twisting words, distorting their meanings, and exaggerating the resulting untruths to the point of absurdity.

No, George, diplomacy is not appeasement. And diplomacy has not been repeatedly discredited by history. In fact, diplomacy is what has made possible today's modern globalized civil society, imperfect though it may be.

But there are some things that surely will be discredited by history.

Like ignoring a daily briefing entitled "Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US."
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Like using a national tragedy as an excuse to invade an oil-rich country that had nothing to do with that tragedy and which, at the time, posed no threat to the U.S. or our allies.

Like detaining our prisoners in the "war on terror" for years without due process, even though a study by Seton Hall University found that 55 percent of Gitmo detainees are not determined to have committed any hostile acts against the United States or its coalition allies.

Like authorizing the use of torture in interrogations, even though it is illegal and immoral, and even though it doesn't work, and even as you look into the camera and tell the world, "We do not torture."

Like warrantless wiretapping of American citizens.

Like outing a covert CIA agent -- one who, incidentally (and ironically), was responsible for ensuring that the bad guys (Iran, Iraq, etc.) did not get nuclear weapons.
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Like vetoing a bill that would provide health care for children because it would necessitate a raise in cigarette taxes.

Like vacationing while New Orleans was drowning.

And like arrogantly refusing to engage in diplomatic discussions with anyone you disagree with.

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Mary Shaw is a Philadelphia-based writer and activist, with a focus on politics, human rights, and social justice. She is a former Philadelphia Area Coordinator for the Nobel-Prize-winning human rights group Amnesty International, and her views (more...)
 

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How do you do deplomacy with people whose initial ... by steve scheetz on Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 1:10:35 PM
How do you do deplomacy with people whose initial ... by steve scheetz on Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 1:11:58 PM
and even many in the Pentagon and Bush's cabin... by Houston Radical on Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 7:39:06 PM
Voters back in 2000, and even 2004, have no apprec... by TomK on Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 1:43:58 PM
former Ronald Reagan "Freedom Fighter" Osma Bin L... by Stanimal on Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 4:52:01 PM
well stated... by Houston Radical on Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 7:42:04 PM
First of all, a Terrorist, financed by Ronald Reag... by steve scheetz on Monday, May 19, 2008 at 9:02:17 AM
Nice article Mary.Yes, with Bush Co. war is now pe... by Munich on Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 9:17:09 PM
Diplomacy is not appeasement That sentence means n... by David C Beach on Monday, May 19, 2008 at 2:39:57 AM
...to peer through a solid stone head and into a m... by waldopaper on Monday, May 19, 2008 at 5:44:04 AM
a respondant has nothing to add!... by David C Beach on Monday, May 19, 2008 at 3:28:36 PM
What's wrong with appeasement, if Chamberlain ... by douglas kay on Monday, May 19, 2008 at 7:10:30 AM
The bad GUYS are the USA and Britain, they're ... by douglas kay on Monday, May 19, 2008 at 7:20:11 AM
The Byzantine Empire lasted for over a thousand ye... by John Hanks on Monday, May 19, 2008 at 7:49:58 AM
The Barbarians at our borders want us to DIE..&nb... by steve scheetz on Monday, May 19, 2008 at 9:09:33 AM
This article has nothing to do with diplomacy or a... by Michael McCormick on Monday, May 19, 2008 at 10:19:34 AM
...right?  "Barbarians at our borders?&q... by waldopaper on Monday, May 19, 2008 at 12:45:09 PM
I have been waiting for DAYS on an answer..  ... by steve scheetz on Monday, May 19, 2008 at 2:29:26 PM
The premise of your question is false.  Your ... by Maxwell on Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 10:10:32 AM
These comments are satire,,, ...right?  &quo... by Michael McCormick on Monday, May 19, 2008 at 3:01:32 PM
...in the first place.  Read the "speech... by waldopaper on Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 1:52:28 PM
"There is always a grain of truth:  '... by Maxwell on Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 10:15:59 AM