Sunday, May 18, 2008

Negotiation, appeasement, and "tough diplomacy"

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Capt. Fogg, Carl, and I -- along with many others -- have commented on Bush's ridiculous (because worthy of ridicule) claim that talking to one's enemies, broadly speaking, amounts to appeasement.

But make sure to check out TNR Executive Editor J. Peter Scoblic's well-argued op-ed in yesterday's LAT. Here's a key passage:

[I]f there is anything that has been discredited by history, it is the argument that every enemy is Hitler, that negotiations constitute appeasement, and that talking will automatically lead to a slaughter of Holocaust-like proportions. It is an argument that conservatives made throughout the Cold War, and, if the charge seemed overblown at the time, it seems positively ludicrous with the clarity of hindsight.

The negotiation-is-appeasement claim is all-too-common to modern American conservatism. And, with Republicans looking at a possibly massive defeat in November, we'll be hearing a lot more of it from McCain et al.

As usual, though, conservatives have history against them. And, this year, they also have Obama against them.

And, as he showed in response to Bush, he's not about to take their shit:

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