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Bill Burton’s op-ed about President Obama’s frequent golf outings is a nice attempt to distract from Americans’ chief complaint:

I thought that going on vacation with the president would be a real perk of serving as deputy press secretary in the Obama White House.

Don’t get me wrong: Some elements of it are amazing. When you do find some down time, you can find yourself in one of the most beautiful places on Earth enjoying its splendor with the leader of the free world and your buddies.

That is—when you can find some down time.

As Washington chews over yet another presidential “vacation,” and that most Washington of words—“optics”—let me take you behind the scenes of the last time President Obama took flack for supposedly being “disengaged” while world events marched on around him.

First, let’s dispatch with the word optics. It’s mostly used by liberal journalists who then ignore the problem. Yes, the optics are terrible when the supposed leader of the free world talks somberly about the beheading of an American journalist, then is seen joking and fist-pumping an hour later.

When those things happen, it’s natural for people to question President Obama’s sincerity and his commitment to ridding the Middle East of terrorists.

What actions did President Obama put into action from the sand trap on the 9th hole? Did he finally figure it out that ISIL is a real threat to the American homeland while putting on the 15th hole? If he didn’t figure that out on the 15th, did he get word of Gen. Dempsey’s statement that we’d need to take out ISIL’s command-and-control while driving up to the 18th green? By the time he got back to his compound, had he called Gen. Dempsey and told him to stop talking about ISIL as a threat more dangerous than al-Qa’ida?

It was Christmas Day 2009. Osama bin Laden was still at large. A 23-year-old Nigerian man was caught trying to bring down a passenger airliner headed for Detroit—which would have been the most devastating terrorist attack since 9/11. The day of, and the days that followed, the botched bombing saw the president and his staff, in Hawaii, at the White House and scattered across the country on their own family vacations – snap to attention and drop everything else to make sure we were doing all we could to keep Americans safe.

The president was not a passive bystander. He led America’s response to the apparent terrorist attack, soaking up new information as it came in, running meetings and issuing orders. As a regular matter of course, vacation or not, the president is briefed on intelligence every day. In this instance, he was receiving twice-daily updates on the situation in Detroit as well as three-times-daily updates on matters around the world from the Situation Room. As events developed, the president was directing his national security team—cabinet secretaries, intelligence officials and the military. He was awash in reports from the government and from the media.

Thank God for the Obama administration snapping to immediate attention. If only they hadn’t told law enforcement to read the failed bomber his Miranda rights.

While it’s true the optics have stunk all summer, the truth is that President Obama’s policies have been disastrous. That, Mr. Burton, is what Americans are most worried about. Russia annexes Crimea. President Obama proposes limited sanctions on a handful of Russian billionaires. When ISIL captured Fallujah, President Obama called ISIL a jayvee team. When ISIL threatened to capture Baghdad, President Obama talked about the need for Iraq to sing kumbayah.

When Hamas killed Israelis, President Obama criticized Israel for not being gentle enough on terrorists who then hid behind 5-year-old human shields otherwise known as children. When missiles were found in a UN-run school, he dispatched John Kerry to the region, where Kerry’s plan was immediately rejected by the responsible nations of the region.

Just once, it’d be nice if the administration would get a policy decision right.

Unfortunately for America, it’s more likely that President Obama will hit a hole-in-one on his next vacation than he’s likely to make a solid policy decision.

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President Obama’s words are meaningless, especially when it comes to Israel. Last week, President Obama said that he’d “stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel.” This week, when Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu asked to meet with President Obama, President Obama chose to appear on David Letterman’s show instead:

The president will chat with the “Late Show” host during a trip to New York City next week, according to the National Journal. Letterman’s nightly monologues mostly spare the president from satirical ribbing, saving his most cutting remarks for the Romneys…or even former President George W. Bush.

The news comes on the same day Obama told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu he couldn’t meet with him due to a scheduling conflict.

Nothing says standing with Israel like sitting down with David Letterman for a chat.

The fact that President Obama hasn’t announced that he’s rescheduling his Letterman interview to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu speaks louder than 100 of President Obama’s speeches.

President Obama hasn’t been faithful in dealing with America’s best ally in the Middle East. Instead, he’s tried re-establishing a diplomatic relationship with Iran and Syria while throwing Israel under the proverbial bus.

After the Democrats’ platform difficulties with regards to Israel, Hamas and the Palestinian Right of Return, don’t be surprised if Jewish voters don’t reward him this November.

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If there’s anything that should be rejected totally, it’s President Obama’s plan for destabilizing the Middle East.

“Remember that, before 1967, Israel was all of nine miles wide,” Netanyahu said, emphasizing his words with his hands. “It was half the width of the Washington Beltway. And these were not the boundaries of peace; they were the boundaries of repeated wars, because the attack on Israel was so attractive.”

Obama, frustrated by Mideast peace talks that have collapsed, is seeking to get both sides to contend with the issues of borders and security. Even progress on those enormous fronts would still leave unsettled the fate of Jerusalem and of Palestinian refugees. Netanyahu underscored just how difficult that last issue is alone, declaring that Palestinians will not be allowed to settle in Israel as part of any peace plan.

“It’s not going to happen. Everybody knows it’s not going to happen,” he said. “And I think it’s time to tell the Palestinians forthrightly it’s not going to happen.”

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Netanyahu’s comments with Obama were tantamount to “his total rejection of the Obama vision and speech.”

“Without Mr. Netanyahu committing to two states on the 1967 lines, with mutually agreed swaps, he is not a partner to the peace process,” Erekat said. “I think, when President Obama gave him a choice between dictation and negotiations, he chose dictation.”

I agree with Mr. Erekat that Netanyahu’s actions are the “total rejection of the Obama vision and speech.” President Obama’s speech and vision are truly worthy of total rejection. They destabilize the region because they embolden Hamas, Hizbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, Fatah and other terrorist organizations operating in the Middle East and in North Africa.

Caroline Glick’s article frames things perfectly:

Hamas is a jihadist movement dedicated to the annihilation of the Jewish people, and the establishment of a global caliphate. It’s in their charter. And all Obama said of the movement that has now taken over the Palestinian Authority was, “Palestinian leaders will not achieve peace or prosperity if Hamas insists on a path of terror and rejection.”

Irrelevant and untrue.

It is irrelevant because obviously the Palestinians don’t want peace. That’s why they just formed a government dedicated to Israel’s destruction.

As for being untrue, Obama’s speech makes clear that they have no reason to fear a loss of prosperity. After all, by failing to mention that US law bars the US government from funding an entity which includes Hamas, he made clear that the US will continue to bankroll the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority. So too, the EU will continue to join the US in giving them billions for bombs and patronage jobs. The Palestinians have nothing to worry about. They will continue to be rewarded regardless of what they do.

Let’s admit the obvious: The Palestinian Authority isn’t interested in peace in the Middle East any more than Hamas is interested in it. This dance is a sham. That’s what it’s been for decades. This time, unfortunately, the U.S. president has sided with the terrorists and against Israel.

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In the opening segment of OTR, Lindsey Graham took a shot at former President Jimmy Carter for Carter’s comment that Rep. Joe Wilson’s statement against President Obama was proof that Rep. Wilson is a racist. Here’s the video of the interview:

This line ought to sting President Carter the worst:

GRAHAM: Well the one thing different between President Carter and myself is that I know Joe Wilson. I’ve known him for 15-20 years. He’s a very good man.

Jimmy Carter’s credibility disappeared when he invited Michael Moore to sit in his box at the 2004 Democratic Convention in Boston. Since then, the worst president in United States history has become a bigger and bigger disgrace to the office. Since then, President Carter asked the Obama administration to remove Hamas from the State Department’s terrorist list. That only fitting since he’s become the terrorists’ favorite ally.

What’s particularly disgusting about President Obama’s disparaging statement against Rep. Wilson, (R-SC), is that he’s making an assumption about a man he’s never met and doesn’t know. Where I come from, that’s called prejudice, the very thing that President Carter is railing against. It isn’t a stretch to say that President Carter owes Rep. Wilson an apology for making a hate-filled statement based on his disgust of conservatives.

President Carter was the worst president of the twentieth century. For awhile, he redeemed himself by working on humanitarian causes through Habitat for Humanity. Unfortunately, President Carter has spent his political capital by becoming a hatemongering critic of the United States and Israel as well as becoming a loudmouth critic of all conservatives.

At the end of the day, we should ignore the doddering old fool. He’s utterly mean-spirited and disrespectful. That’s the last thing we need right now.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

The Obama administration’s intentions towards Israel is crystal clear and disturbing. According to this Haaretz article, the Obama administration is planning on publicly confronting the newly-minted Netanyahu government:

In an unprecedented move, the Obama administration is readying for a possible confrontation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by briefing Democratic congressmen on the peace process and the positions of the new government in Israel regarding a two-state solution.

The Obama administration is expecting a clash with Netanyahu over his refusal to support the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

In recent weeks, American officials have briefed senior Democratic congressmen and prepared the ground for the possibility of disagreements with Israel over the peace process, according to information recently received. The administration’ blockquote Congress.

The Obama administration’s pro-Arab bent is painfully apparent and disgusting. It appears as though everyone that thinks it’s in the United States’ interests to afflict Israel while comforting Hamas (to the tune of $900,000,000), Hezbollah and the “moderate factions” of the Taliban has been hired by Obama’s State Department or been picked to be President Obama’s VP. Here’s what VP Biden said during a CNN interview:

United States Vice President Joe Biden told CNN on Tuesday he did not think that Israel’s new government would order a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. “I don’t believe that Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu would do that. I think he would be ill-advised to do that,” Biden told the U.S. network’s reporter Wolf Blitzer.

This question needs to be asked of this administration: Why are they so friendly to terrorists bust hostile towards allied democracies? Doesn’t the Obama administration believe in giving carrots to our allies? Doesn’t this administration believe in giving terrorists a healthy taste of the United States’ stick?

Thus far, I haven’t seen proof that this administration’s national security priorities are the right priorities. Thus far, I’ve seen abundant proof that their priorities are as wayward as Jimmy Carter’s priorities were.

There are signs that this is part of the Obama administration’s campaign against Israel and against their critics here stateside. This article is written in a serious tone but its content is laughable:

In America’s struggle against the extremists and terrorists epitomized by Al Qaeda, the strategic imperatives are to divide the enemy and neutralize their base. Fortunately for the United States and its allies, the new American president understands how to do that—and is uniquely suited to accomplish the mission.

Joe Conason isn’t a journalist. He’s a cheap political hack:

From 1978 to 1990, he worked as a columnist and staff writer at The Village Voice.

In The Free Voice of Labor], a 1980 documentary movie about the Yiddish anarchist newspaper Freie Arbeiter Stimme (or Free voice of labor), a young Joe was interviewed. His grandfather Joseph Cohen served as the paper’s editor for a number of years and Conason may have been an intern for them.

From 1990 to 1992, Conason was “editor-at-large” for Details magazine. In 1992, he became a columnist for the New York Observer, a position he still holds.

He served as investigative editor for The American Prospect.

In 1992 Conason wrote an article for Spy magazine naming Jennifer Fitzgerald and Jane Morgan as women who allegedly were having affairs with George H. W. Bush, using Linda Tripp as a source.

Conason was a regular guest and a guest host on The Al Franken Show, where he had the distinction of being the only guest with two theme songs. He made an appearances every Friday as a commentator, as well as co-judging with Al their weekly quiz show Wait, wait, don’t lie to me.

Does that sound like the history of someone who’s qualified to write about national security issues? Let’s get serious.

It wouldn’t be surprising to find out that Mr. Conason is a willing participant in The Call:

The vast new left-wing conspiracy sets its tone every morning at 8:45 a.m., when officials from more than 20 labor, environmental and other Democratic-leaning groups dial into a private conference call hosted by two left-leaning Washington organizations.

The “8:45 A.M. call,” as it’s referred to by members, began three weeks ago, and it marks a new level in coordination by the White House’s allies at a time when the conservative opposition is struggling for a toe-hold and major agenda items like health care reform appear closer than ever to passage.

The call has helped attempts to link the Republican Party to radio host Rush Limbaugh, and has served as the launching ground for attacks on critics of Obama’s policy proposals. It springs from a recognition of what was lacking in the Clinton years, said Jennifer Palmieri, the senior vice president for communications at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, one of the groups hosting the call.

“[CAP President John] Podesta’s and my experience was in the White House during the Clinton years, and we didn’t have a coordinated echo chamber on the outside backing us up,” she said. “There’s a real interest on the progressive side for groups to want to coordinate with each other and leverage each other’s work in a way I haven’t ever seen before.”

It’s my opinion that this coalition of crazies is running interference while the Obama administration attempts to threaten the Israeli government into not defending itself against Iran’s threats of annihilation. It’s also my opinion that the Obama administration’s foreign policy is governed more by a desire to be liked than by its desire to keep the United States and her democratic allies safe.

Until I see a change of direction by this administration, I’ll operate from the assumption that they’ll have as disastrous of a national security record as Jimmy Carter’s.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

I’ve seen a number of things that suggest that President Obama is in trouble. Ed Morrissey noted in this post that President Obama’s gift to British Prime Minister was a flop because he’s “overwhelmed” by the economic meltdown. I noted in this post that President Obama’s ineptitude knows no bounds because he’s in the process of opening talks with the moderate factions of the Taliban, Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas. Still another indicator is how quickly the stock market has fallen.

Those pale in comparison with this indicator: the AP’s Tom Raum turning against President Obama. Yes you read right: The AP’s Tom Raum wrote a piece that’s critical of President Obama. Here’s a part of Raum’s article:

Although the administration likes to say it “inherited” the recession and trillion-dollar deficits, the economic wreckage has worsened on Obama’s still-young watch. Every day, the economy is becoming more and more an Obama economy.

More than 4 million jobs have been lost since the recession began in December 2007, roughly half in the past three months. Stocks have tumbled to levels not seen since 1997. They are down more than 50 percent from their 2007 highs and 20 percent since Obama’s inauguration.

That’s a blistering indictment on the Obama administration but that’s just the beginning. Here’s another whack at the Obama administration:

Many health care stocks are down because of fears of new government restrictions and mandates as part a health care overhaul. Private student loan providers were pounded because of the increased government lending role proposed by Obama. Industries that use oil and other carbon-based fuels are being shunned, apparently in part because of Obama’s proposal for fees on greenhouse-gas polluters.

These people should be wary. President Obama has painted a bright red bullseye on their chests. He’s proposing awful policies with the worst possible timing. At least President Clinton raised taxes during a growing economy. That’s really the only time when an economy can withstand a major tax increase. Instead of waiting for the recovery to start, President Obama painted a bright red tax increase bullseye in the middle of productive people’s chest. Ditto with energy producing companies. Ditto with energy-reliant companies.

The administration argues its tax increases for the households earning over $250,000 a year and fees on carbon polluters contained in its budget won’t kick in until 2011-2012, when it forecasts the economy will have fully recovered.

But even those assumptions are challenged as too rosy by many private forecasters and some Democratic lawmakers.

Many deficit hawks also worry that the trillions of federal dollars being doled out by the administration, Congress and the Federal Reserve could sow the seeds of inflation down the road, whether the measures succeed in taming the recession or not. The money includes Obama’s $3.6 trillion budget and the $837 billion stimulus package he signed last month.

Let’s be intellectually honest and admit that Mr. Raum isn’t throwing softballs here. These are hard-hitting accusations.

The next question is whether Raum will stay critical or if he’ll pull a David Brooks. Fankly, I can’t picture Raum staying critical of President Obama. I think his criticism of President Obama is just proof of the media’s pack mentality, proof that the time-tested cliche “If it bleeds, it leads” still is true.

Whatever the case, Raum’s writings must be upsetting to the White House. It wouldn’t surprise me if they’ve got a bunker mentality right now. They’ve earned it.

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It isn’t a stretch to say that Wall Street and Main Street don’t have much confidence in President Obama’s economic team. Based on Jim Hoft’s post at Gateway Pundit, it isn’t a stretch to think that President Obama’s foreign policies aren’t ready for prime time either. Here’s what Jim focused on:

President Obama declared in an interview that the United States was not winning the war in Afghanistan and opened the door to a reconciliation process in which the American military would reach out to moderate elements of the Taliban, much as it did with Sunni militias in Iraq.

President Obama’s foreign policy is astonishing similar to Jimmy Carter’s, which should scare the bejesus out of people. President Obama isn’t willing to extend an invitation to just the Taliban, either:

UPDATE: It’s not just the Taliban terrorists. It’s the Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists, too! The Corner reported:

Great Britain has opened an official dialogue with Hezbollah. It is intended to ease the way for the Obama administration to follow suit — and a prelude for both to open communication with Hamas.

Of course, Hezbollah (like Hamas) continues to call for the annihilation of the Jewish state. But so does Iran, which Secretary of State Clinton has announced she will formally invite to a mulitlateral conference over what to do about Afghanistan. One might have thought Iran had already registered its views on that issue, especially given this week’s Times of London report that the mullahs are arming the Taliban with surface-to-air missiles (on top of lots of other assistance that Iran has been giving the Taliban all along, as Tom Joscelyn recounted almost exactly a year ago).

But hey, everything’s negotiable, right?

If that doesn’t sound like appeasement to you, you’d best read this definition of appeasement:

to yield or concede to the belligerent demands of (a nation, group, person, etc.) in a conciliatory effort, sometimes at the expense of justice or other principles.

Extending an olive branch to the Taliban, Hamas and Hezbollah without demanding that these extremists stop their terrorist attacks is the ultimate definition of appeasement. President Obama’s foreign policy team just sold the Israelis out. They’ve essentially told Hamas and Hezbollah that they can attack Israel without fear of US retribution.

QUESTION: What proof do we have that President Obama’s foreign policy team is even more inept than President Obama’s economic team?

The more we learn about President Obama’s policies, whether they’re national security policies or economic policies, the more that honest people have to admit that he’s proposing irresponsible, even dangerous, policies.

It’s bad enough that President Obama’s economic policies are deepening and lengthening the recession we’re in. What’s even worse is that President Obama is content with waving the white flag of defeat in the war on terror.

QUESTION: Didn’t then-Sen. Obama rail that fighting the war in Iraq was diverting forces from “the real war” in Afghanistan? If so, why isn’t he preparing a full-scale war against the Taliban remnants in Afghanistan?

The more we know about President Obama, the more we understand that we shouldn’t trust him with big decisions, whether they’re national security or economic decisions.

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Tom Bevan has a great post over on the Time-RCP blog about the misguided attacks against Sarah Palin. He prominently cites Juan Cole’s delirious article. Here’s the title and subtitle of Cole’s article:

What’s the difference between Palin and Muslim fundamentalists? Lipstick
A theocrat is a theocrat, whether Muslim or Christian.

Here’s the central thesis of Cole’s article:

But the values of his handpicked running mate, Sarah Palin, more resemble those of Muslim fundamentalists than they do those of the Founding Fathers. On censorship, the teaching of creationism in schools, reproductive rights, attributing government policy to God’s will and climate change, Palin agrees with Hamas and Saudi Arabia rather than supporting tolerance and democratic precepts.

This is just another bit of proof that Democrats are unhinged. Unlike 2006, though, their unhingedness will get highlighted to the fullest extent possible.

It’s wrong to think, though, that the Democrats’ foolishness is only directed at the GOP presidential ticket. That’s only their latest round of foolishness. The Democratic majorities in Congress have been botching things since they retook the majorities in the House and Senate. Speaker Pelosi’s gavelling shut the House without letting a vote on a real drilling package went over like a lead balloon.

My point is this: While it’s true that ‘journalists’ like Juan Cole have hastened and deepened the Democrats’ slide, voters haven’t been inspired to have confidence in the Democrats’ leadership. Quite the contrary. They’ve registered their disgust with job approval ratings that rival Vladimir Putin’s popularity with Georgians.

The cancer that the Democratic Party must eliminate is the Nutroots/anti-war crowd. They’re badly out of touch with America. To be sure, there are people who oppose this war. They’re the shrill minority. They aren’t close to being the majority. In 2006, people voted Democrat because we weren’t winning in Iraq. It’s different in 2008 because people see that we’ve made great progress.

The other point that can’t be ignored is that the Huffington Post and Daily Kos have rallied the activists. They aren’t appealing to independents in an attempt to expand the party. Their scope is limited because of their dogmatism. When they ran Joe Lieberman out of their party, they ran lots of like-minded people out, too. They’re just one of the key targets of the McCain-Palin ticket this fall.

Lieberman Democrats and disenchanted suburban women who supported Hillary will remember that Gov. Palin praised Hillary and Geraldine Ferraro in her introduction speech. They’ll remember Joe Lieberman being given a prominent speaking role at the Republicans’ convention. Those voters will appreciate the fact that the GOP, while being a principled party, isn’t the dogmatic party.

Don’t think that won’t play well in Scranton, PA, Columbus, OH, Richmond, VA and the UP in Michigan.

That’s why the Democrats’ bus is in worse shape than it appears.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

In 2004, Ed Koch spoke at the Republican National Convention, saying that he’d vote for George Bush that year while encouraging other national security Democrats join him. Now he’s written a column titled History Will Redeem Bush that’s sure to upset people like Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Herer’s what he says about President Bush and his support of him:

Anyone who knows me is aware that I am a proud American and a proud Jew who, while not religiously observant, fiercely loves and defends his faith. It has become fashionable for Americans in general, Jew and gentile, to hold President George W. Bush up to derision. As I believe many readers and listeners of my commentaries know, I crossed party lines in 2004 to support the President’s reelection, saying at the time that I did not agree with him on a single domestic issue, but I did believe he was the only one running who appreciated the threat of Islamic terrorism to American values and Western civilization and was prepared to wage a war to defend those values.

I have no regrets for having made that decision and helping the President to win a second term. Today, according to the most recent CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey, “71 percent of the American public disapprove of how Bush is handling his job as President, an all-time high in polling.” His position can be compared with that of Harry Truman who left Washington unpopular and alone in 1953. Today, with the passage of time, most historians and certainly the American people, see Truman in a different light, primarily for his willingness to stand firm against Soviet aggression, whether against Greece or South Korea, and proclaim the Truman Doctrine, effectively defending the free world from Soviet efforts to expand their hegemony. Like Truman, George W. Bush, in my view, will be seen as one of the few world leaders who recognized the danger of Islamic terrorism and was willing with Tony Blair to stand up to it and not capitulate.

Mayor Koch is right in saying that historians will notice all that he’s accomplished. Historians should note the mistakes made in the Iraq War just like they should note his policies that liberated 50 million people. President Bush’s policy of liberation, along with his working with Tony Blair, have had a powerful impact on the history of the Middle East.

History will also look kindly on the fact that President Bush established policies that’ve prevented another terrorist attack following 9/11. When history is recorded, they will record the unity with which our nation rallied to his leadership in the days immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. History will record the fact that he tore down the Gorelick Wall, which prevented law enforcement from talking with the CIA.

If the Gorelick Wall hadn’t existed, we might’ve connected the dots prior to 9/11. Instead of following Bill Clinton’s policies of prosecuting terrorists in an American court, President Bush took the war to the jihadists. That’s why we haven’t been attacked since 9/11. It isn’t fashionable to admit that but it’s fact.

Here’s the portion of Mayor Koch’s column that likely upsets liberals the most:

Recently, President Bush went to Israel to celebrate its 60th birthday as a nation and addressed its parliament, the Knesset. He said, “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. We have an obligation to call this what it is: the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.”

Bush’s remarks were heavily criticized by leading Democrats, particularly Barack Obama, who said, “Now that’s exactly the kind of appalling attack that’s divided our country and that alienates us from the world.”

Really? Is it wrong to call the philosophy supporting negotiating at the highest levels, President to President without pre-conditions, with the terrorists and radicals by its rightful name, appeasement?

That last paragraph will stick in the craw of BDS-afflicted liberals everywhere. They can’t like having their savior being exposed as having a spineless foreign policy. They can’t like it that President Bush is right in talking about appeasement.

Thank you, Mayor Koch, for speaking truth to the lunatics in your party.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Most of Barack Obama’s success in the early primaries is attributable to his selling the notion that he would step beyond the partisan politics practiced by mere mortals. He would be a uniter of all people, causing racism and poverty to disappear. Now that the bloom is off that rose, facts are contradicting that image. The Detroit Free Press is reporting that Sen. Obama met with one of the most anti-semitic Muslim clerics in America during his recent visit to Michigan. Here’s some of the details:

Imam Hassan Qazwini, head of the Islamic Center of America, said in an email that he met with Obama at Macomb Community College. A mosque spokesman, Eide Alawan, confirmed that the meeting took place. During the meeting, the two discussed the Presidential election, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the Iraq war, according to Qazwini.

As usual, Debbie Schlussel asked the most important question:

Barack Obama claims he’s against HAMAS and Hezbollah and is offended by President Bush’s speech in Israel about Obama’s ethos of “appeasement.” So why is he meeting with one of Hezbollah’s most important imams and agents in America, Imam Hassan Qazwini? And why is this open anti-Semite and supporter of Israel’s annihilation getting to discuss “the Arab-Israeli conflict” in a private one-on-one meeting with Obama? What was said? I think we can do the math.

This week, Sen. Obama took offense at being called an appeaser, then spent the rest of the week distancing himself from his statement at the YouTube debate. One of his minions even tried ignoring the fact that Obama originally said that he’d meet with Ahmadinejad, Castro, Chavez and Kim Jung Il without preconditions. This after Sen. Obama fired Robert Malley for having contact with a member of Hamas.

The first, and most obvious, question I have is this: If it’s wrong for a campaign staffer to meet with Hamas, why isn’t it equally wrong to meet with Hezbollah? Both terrorist organizations are dedicated to Israel’s destruction. Both terrorist organizations commit acts of violence against Israel in the form of rocket attacks. The inevitable conclusion one must draw of Hamas and Hezbollah is that there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between them.

The next question I have is why this isn’t being reported in the press. Is the media that unaware of the meeting? Or are they that disinterested in the meeting? You’d think it was big news if a presidential candidate meets with an agent of Hezbollah.

Here’s more of what Debbie Schlussel is reporting about Qazwini and his mosque:

Qazwini is very open about his support for Palestinian homicide bombings, HAMAS, and Hezbollah. And he’s a good friend of Hezbollah spiritual leader, Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah–the man who issued the fatwa to Hezbollah terrorists to murder over 300 U.S. Marines and U.S. Embassy civilians in cold blood. Qazwini’s mosque has held rallies and celebrations in support of Hezbollah, and many of Hezbollah’s biggest money-launderers and agents in America are his congregants.

When I went undercover to his mosque in 1998, he and others welcomed Nation of Islam chief racist Louis Farrakhan as “our dear brother” and “a freedom fighter.” Qazwini applauded Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic statements saying that Jews were the “forces of Satan” and that there needed to be a “jihad” on the American people.

What are we supposed to believe about Obama’s policies towards terrorists? If he’s willing to meet with them here in America, why should we think that he won’t meet with terrorist-sponsoring leaders like Chavez and Ahmadinejad?

I don’t see anything virtuous about sitting down with terrorists, which is what Sen. Obama did in meeting with Qazwini. In fact, he gave Qazwini a special, private meeting.

Another question I have is why his campaign didn’t publicize the meeting. If Sen. Obama thinks that this is simply outreach to the Muslim community, shouldn’t he highlight this on his website? The fact that it isn’t highlighted on his website tells me that he didn’t want this publicized because of the meeting’s controversial nature it points out another weakness in Obama’s candidacy.

He’s had difficulty earning the trust of Jewish voters throughout this process. While many Jews are liberal, I’d doubt that anyone in the Jewish community would tolerate him meeting with a representative of Hezbollah. This meeting will fortify Jews’ belief that Sen. Obama can’t be trusted.

This meeting also reinforces the image of Sen. Obama being a Cartesque pacifist, too. People like inclusive candidates only until they start including terrorists in their meetings.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative