Saturday, May 17, 2008

Negotiating Isn't Appeasement

Conservatism is all about simplistic thinking, reducing everything to soundbites and slogans. They try to force a complex world into the mold of Good vs. Evil, Us vs. Them.

For conservatives it might be comforting to be relieved of the burden of thinking seriously about complex issues, but their 'one size fits all' approach doesn't produce workable answers to the problems that confront us (U.S.).

David Sirota points out an important op-ed in the LA Times.

Negotiating isn't appeasement
Bush, McCain and other conservatives are on the wrong side of history when they dismiss Obama's foreign policy.

By J. Peter Scoblic May 17, 2008

In a speech to the Israeli parliament Thursday, President Bush took a swipe at Barack Obama for his willingness to negotiate with evil regimes. ...

... But if 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. ...

... Containment, negotiation, nuclear stability -- each of these things helped protect the United States and end the Cold War. And yet, at the time, conservatives thought each was synonymous with appeasement.

The Bush administration has been little different, refusing for years to talk to North Korea or Iran about their nuclear programs because it wanted to defeat evil, not talk to it. The result was that Pyongyang tested a nuclear weapon and Iran's uranium program continued unfettered. (By contrast, when the administration negotiated with Libya -- an act that its chief arms controller, John Bolton, had previously derided as, yes, "appeasement" -- it succeeded in eliminating Tripoli's nuclear program.)

Alas, John McCain accused President Clinton of "appeasement" for engaging North Korea, instead calling for "rogue state rollback," and now he dismisses the idea of negotiations with Iran. Given conservatism's historical record, Obama's inclination to negotiate seems only sensible. When will conservatives learn that it is 2008, not 1938? (full article)

It's a complex world where foreign policy can't be reduced to simplistic slogans. Senator Obama understands that:
Obama Responds to Bush and McCain Foreign Policy Attacks

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