JERUSALEM (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush on Thursday decried his critics' calls for negotiations with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as comparable to the appeasement of Adolf Hitler before World War Two.I'm not sure I've heard Obama say that, necessarily, or anyone on the left. I know I don't think that's a good idea, either.
Bush's comment in a speech to Israel's parliament appeared to be a swipe at Democratic presidential frontrunner Barack Obama, who has advocated meeting leaders of traditional U.S. foes such as Iran and Cuba without preconditions.
It also followed a visit to the Middle East by former President Jimmy Carter in which he met Hamas leaders, who are shunned by Israel and Washingtion, and urged efforts to draw the militant group into the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
[...]Bush, who has refused any contact with Ahmadinejad, said the Iranian president "dreams of returning the Middle East to the Middle Ages and calls for Israel to be wiped off the map", and lumped him together in an anti-Israel camp with Hamas, Hezbollah and Osama bin Laden.
"Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before," Bush said.=
What IS a good idea is what President Bill Clinton...you remember the guy, brightest President to sit in the White House since Jefferson, greatest President of all time, husband of candidate Hillary Clinton and someone Barack Obama has gone out of his way to paint with strokes of hatred and jealousy?...did during his tenure: reach out to Iranians moderates and try to establish a dialogue regarding what THEY want.
It's true, Ahmadinejad would probably leap at the chance to have face time with a President Obama, but it's not very likely that would amount to anything, unless it was preceded by many rounds of talks among lower level operatives and with opposition leaders in Iran, such as they are.
Remember, despite Ahmadinejad's posturing, Iran is a fairly moderate country with an educated population, a decent economy, and more important, some freedoms that other Muslim nations do not have.
To suggest that even the rookie Senator from Illinois would be foolhardy enough to justify Ahmadinejad's posturing in the face of that populace belies a deep disregard for the intellectual curiousity of both Iranians and Americans: we'd see through that in a heartbeat. Look what happened when Ahmadinejad spoke at Columbia.
The comparisons to Nazi Germany are a bit outre as well. Germany was controlled by Hitler. Ahmadinejad can't take a dump without the religious council ratifying it. And there's where the talking with Iran might bear some fruit. Mohammad Khatami and Akbar Rafsanjani, pragmatic reformers who have some sway with the council would be valuable players here.
Bush, thankfully, has rendered himself irrelevant prematurely. My suspicion is, someone in his administration watched "The West Wing" and tried to arrange a graceful exit for him like Jeb Bartlett's, and creating relevancy for the lamest of ducks in recent memory.