Appeasement By Any Other Name . . .

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: May 23, 2008 12:19 PM
Charles Krauthammer today eviscerates the "Obama Doctrine" of meeting unconditionally with enemies, revealing it for the dangerous naivete that it is.

Seeking to right the ship, Joe Biden (clearly auditioning for Secretary of State, Heaven help us, in an Obama administration) writes in today's Wall Street Journal to set out the usual anti-Bush talking points.  (Amusingly, by the way, he rips the President for "instigating an optional war in Iraq," conveniently ignoring the fact that he voted for the 2002 resolution).

Along with lamenting that an "obsession" with the war on terror has distracted us from matters including "the persistence of poverty" and "a rapidly warming planet," (funny how an attack on the homeland will fuel such "obsessions"!)  Biden excoriates the Administration as follows:

Instead, Mr. Bush has turned a small number of radical groups that hate America into a 10-foot tall existential monster that dictates every move we make.

The intersection of al Qaeda with the world's most lethal weapons is a deadly serious problem. Al Qaeda must be destroyed. But to compare terrorism with an all-encompassing ideology like communism and fascism is evidence of profound confusion.

Terrorism is a means, not an end . . .  If [President Bush and John McCain] can't identify the enemy or describe the war we're fighting, it's difficult to see how we will win.

If there's any "evidence of profound confusion," it's on Biden's part.  One preliminary question for Biden (and Obama, for that matter): Is the prospect of Al Qaeda obtaining a nuclear weapon not an existential threat?

More broadly, it seems that the president (and by extension, McCain and the GOP) are paying the price for having gone PC, labeling the struggle we're in as a "war on terror," rather than being upfront and calling it the "war on Islamofascism" or the "war on Islamonazism" or the like (yes, Senator Biden, it is an all-encompassing ideology like Communism or fascism).   Does Biden not understand who and what we're fighting, or is he being deliberately disingenuous?

Reading the entire  piece, one almost hopes that Biden is just disingenuous -- the only other possibility is that this Democratic "leading light" on foreign policy is frighteningly ignorant.  Take this passage, dealing with the Iran problem:

Instead of regime change, we should focus on conduct change. We should make it very clear to Iran what it risks in terms of isolation if it continues to pursue a dangerous nuclear program but also what it stands to gain if it does the right thing. That will require keeping our allies in Europe, as well as Russia and China, on the same page as we ratchet up pressure.

What does he think we have been doing!?  To come full circle, let's go back to Krauthammer:

Iran, for example, has engaged in five years of talks with our closest European allies and the International Atomic Energy Agency, to say nothing of the hundreds of official U.S. statements outlining exactly what we would give them in return for suspending uranium enrichment.

Appeasement by any other name is still appeasement -- and ignoring or dismissing the Islamofascist threat, and seeking to placate or enemies seems to be the nub of a Democrat approach to national "defense."