# Beneath the dignity of the Office of the President

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That was a remark by Nancy Pelosi regarding President Bush's statement (below):

"The fight against terror and extremism is the defining challenge of our time. It is more than a clash of arms. It is a clash of visions, a great ideological struggle. On the one side are those who defend the ideals of justice and dignity with the power of reason and truth. On the other side are those who pursue a narrow vision of cruelty and control by committing murder, inciting fear, and spreading lies.

This struggle is waged with the technology of the 21st century, but at its core it is an ancient battle between good and evil. The killers claim the mantle of Islam, but they are not religious men. No one who prays to the God of Abraham could strap a suicide vest to an innocent child, or blow up guiltless guests at a Passover Seder, or fly planes into office buildings filled with unsuspecting workers. In truth, the men who carry out these savage acts serve no higher goal than their own desire for power. They accept no God before themselves. And they reserve a special hatred for the most ardent defenders of liberty, including Americans and Israelis.

And that is why the founding charter of Hamas calls for the "elimination" of Israel. And that is why the followers of Hezbollah chant "Death to Israel, Death to America!" That is why Osama bin Laden teaches that "the killing of Jews and Americans is one of the biggest duties." And that is why the President of Iran dreams of returning the Middle East to the Middle Ages and calls for Israel to be wiped off the map.

There are good and decent people who cannot fathom the darkness in these men and try to explain away their words. It's natural, but it is deadly wrong. As witnesses to evil in the past, we carry a solemn responsibility to take these words seriously. Jews and Americans have seen the consequences of disregarding the words of leaders who espouse hatred. And that is a mistake the world must not repeat in the 21st century.

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 heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: "Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided." We have an obligation to call this what it is -- the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history. (Applause.)

Some people suggest if the United States would just break ties with Israel, all our problems in the Middle East would go away. This is a tired argument that buys into the propaganda of the enemies of peace, and America utterly rejects it. Israel's population may be just over 7 million. But when you confront terror and evil, you are 307 million strong, because the United States of America stands with you. (Applause.)

America stands with you in breaking up terrorist networks and denying the extremists sanctuary. America stands with you in firmly opposing Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions. Permitting the world's leading sponsor of terror to possess the world's deadliest weapons would be an unforgivable betrayal for future generations. For the sake of peace, the world must not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon. (Applause.)

Ultimately, to prevail in this struggle, we must offer an alternative to the ideology of the extremists by extending our vision of justice and tolerance and freedom and hope. These values are the self-evident right of all people, of all religions, in all the world because they are a gift from the Almighty God. Securing these rights is also the surest way to secure peace. Leaders who are accountable to their people will not pursue endless confrontation and bloodshed. Young people with a place in their society and a voice in their future are less likely to search for meaning in radicalism. Societies where citizens can express their conscience and worship their God will not export violence, they will be partners in peace.

The fundamental insight, that freedom yields peace, is the great lesson of the 20th century. Now our task is to apply it to the 21st. Nowhere is this work more urgent than here in the Middle East. We must stand with the reformers working to break the old patterns of tyranny and despair. We must give voice to millions of ordinary people who dream of a better life in a free society. We must confront the moral relativism that views all forms of government as equally acceptable and thereby consigns whole societies to slavery. Above all, we must have faith in our values and ourselves and confidently pursue the expansion of liberty as the path to a peaceful future.
That doesn't sound beneath the dignity of the Office of the President to me.

mgb_phys
Homework Helper
No one who prays to the God of Abraham could strap a suicide vest .... or fly planes into office buildings filled with unsuspecting workers.
But they could design H bombs and fly them to the borders of the USSR on a daily basis, or call on G*D to bless this nuclear submarine and all who sail in her.

Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals,
We do when they look like they are going to win, remember the US and Isreali settlers were terrorists to us at the time. And it's a good job the IRA turned out to be a peaceful cultural organisation all along.

I would like to see the accounts - a lot of 'terrorists' have got paid in dollars over the years.

we must offer an alternative to the ideology of the extremists
..they are a gift from the Almighty God
Their extremist ideology and our faith in Almighty God - is it still the same God ? I lose track sometimes.

Homework Helper
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But they could design H bombs and fly them to the borders of the USSR on a daily basis, or call on G*D to bless this nuclear submarine and all who sail in her.

We do when they look like they are going to win, remember the US and Isreali settlers were terrorists to us at the time. And it's a good job the IRA turned out to be a peaceful cultural organisation all along.

I would like to see the accounts - a lot of 'terrorists' have got paid in dollars over the years.

Their extremist ideology and our faith in Almighty God - is it still the same God ? I lose track sometimes.

Is that you, Nancy?

drankin
I guess if the speech is good and you don't like the president then it's bad despite how good it is.

Art
I think it just shows after his two terms in office he has learned absolutely nothing about foreign affairs in general and the ME in particular.

Maybe it's because he is simple and so can only understand very simple concepts like 'me good, you bad' assuming he even understands at that level or perhaps his mental capabilities are such that even these most basic constructs are beyond him and so he just recites lines parrot fashion without any real clue as to what he is talking about.

Personally I suspect the latter.

drankin
I think it just shows after his two terms in office he has learned absolutely nothing about foreign affairs in general and the ME in particular.

Maybe it's because he is simple and so can only understand very simple concepts like 'me good, you bad' assuming he even understands at that level or perhaps his mental capabilities are such that even these most basic constructs are beyond him and so he just recites lines parrot fashion without any real clue as to what he is talking about.

Personally I suspect the latter.
It sounds like you might disagree with the speech but you haven't actually said what you disagree with.

??

mgb_phys
Homework Helper
It isn't a speech it's a collection of sound bytes.
I assume there is a piece of sotware that writes these things.
You select from a set of sliders, Israel=+9, Iran=-8, Terrorist=-9, God=+10 and it generates the text by simply sticking together previous phrases.

Actually I think I will make a web site that does that !

russ_watters
Mentor
I think it just shows after his two terms in office he has learned absolutely nothing about foreign affairs in general and the ME in particular.

Maybe it's because he is simple and so can only understand very simple concepts like 'me good, you bad' assuming he even understands at that level or perhaps his mental capabilities are such that even these most basic constructs are beyond him and so he just recites lines parrot fashion without any real clue as to what he is talking about.

Personally I suspect the latter.
No, Carter was only President for 1 term.

russ_watters
Mentor
It isn't a speech it's a collection of sound bytes.
Regardless, the point of the thread is that Pelosi (and Obama, btw), thought the speech was some sort of travesty. You haven't said if you agree or disagree with them.

I disagree with them. Further, I think Obama is only highlighting his hypocrisy with his objection to the speech.
Barack Obama's presidential campaign Thursday accused President Bush of using a speech in Israel to launch a "false political attack" involving the appeasement of terror threats — a claim the White House said was not true.
"Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along," Bush said in a speech to Israel's parliament.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/2008-05-15-obama-bush_N.htm

So is Bush wrong about Obama's position (btw, he didn't actually mention Obama, but I'll go with the assumption that he was, at least, one of the targets)?
And what we should be doing is reaching out aggressively to our allies, but also talking to our enemies and focusing on those areas where we do not accept their actions, whether it be terrorism or developing nuclear weapons, but also talking to Iran directly about the potential carrots that we can provide in terms of them being involved in the World Trade Organization, or beginning to look at the possibilities of diplomatic relations being normalized.

Now, there may come a point where those measures have been exhausted and Iran is on the verge of obtaining a nuclear weapon, where we have to consider other options. But we shouldn’t talk about those options now, when we haven’t even tried what would be a much more effective approach.
http://politivity.com/barack-obama-wants-to-negotiate-with-terrorists-and-stand-up-to-law-abiding-americans [Broken]

Obama is clearly saying we should be negotiating with terrorists on even ground (as opposed to the current policy that says we don't talk to them until they drop their requirement that we die).

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Art
No, Carter was only President for 1 term.
Would that be the same Carter who presided over the 1979 Egypt - Israel peace deal??

Who exactly has Iran terrorised???

Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
If Obama wasn't in agreement with Colin Powell, Robert Gates and the Pentagon, the 911 report, and Ronald Reagan, when he argues that we have to talk with our enemies, Bush might have a point, but as usual, he doesn't.

This was nothing more than fear mongering directed towards Jewish Democrats.

As for being beneath the dignity of the office, the notion that this even compares to his abuses of power is laughable. Bush is beneath the dignity of the office. He is a man without honor.

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That speech looks so biased =P
"good and evil"
I wonder how British looked at people who were fighting for independence ...: terrorists or freedom fighters?

mgb_phys
Homework Helper
I wonder how British looked at people who were fighting for independence ...: terrorists or freedom fighters?
Americans, Israeli's, Irish = freedom fighters although they looked like terrorists at the time.
Jordanians, Iranians = terrorists although they looked like freedom fighters at the time.

Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Typical religious blather and pandering!
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 heard this foolish delusion before.
Guess Bush is referring to himself and Kim Jong Il? Or was he calling his Sec State and Sec Def fools? Gates, just yesterday, said about Iran:"We need to figure out a way to develop some leverage and then sit down and talk with them." Is Bush about to fire Gates and Rice?

PS: Talking tough about Iran in front of the Knesset. The irony behind the use of the word "appeasement" is just too hard to ignore.

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drankin
Typical religious blather and pandering!
Guess Bush is referring to himself and Kim Jong Il? Or was he calling his Sec State and Sec Def fools? Gates, just yesterday, said about Iran:"We need to figure out a way to develop some leverage and then sit down and talk with them." Is Bush about to fire Gates and Rice?

PS: Talking tough about Iran in front of the Knesset. The irony behind the use of the word "appeasement" is just too hard to ignore.
Are you suggesting that he was "appeasing" to Knesset? Knesset isn't an enemy, or a terrorist of any kind. That's the difference.

I think this is the best speech Bush has ever... uh, read. Kudos to his speech writers.

Beneath the Office? I thought that was the main requirement for the job these days... blather a bunch of patriotic platitudes and ignore any discrepencies in truth or logic.

Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Are you suggesting that he was "appeasing" to Knesset? Knesset isn't an enemy, or a terrorist of any kind. That's the difference.
Not officially an enemy, but Likud party members are undoubtedly extremists, and it is arguable that they have been responsible for more bloodshed than Hamas.

I think this is the best speech Bush has ever... uh, read. Kudos to his speech writers.
I thought I'd never read anything more disgusting than that speech for a while. You just proved me wrong.

Art
I wonder what hope the Palestinians have for a just and fair peace given Bush's completely one sided view

Apparently Bush welled up with emotion from the reception he received. Seems he's finally found people who appreciate his gun boat diplomacy. What a pathetic fool he is!
Correspondents describe President Bush's eyes welling with emotion as he received a standing ovation and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called him as a "great leader, a great friend".
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7399722.stm

If he is so concerned with the unconventional weaponry the Palestinians are using in their struggle to regain their land and homes and to defend themselves from Israeli aggression why doesn't he ship them some assault rifles, missiles and attack aircraft. I'm sure the Palestinians would love to meet Israel on an equal military footing and would happily trade in their stones and suicide vests.

Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
So is Bush wrong about Obama's position (btw, he didn't actually mention Obama, but I'll go with the assumption that he was, at least, one of the targets)?
Side note: Other targets (people that have proposed negotiating with Hamas and/or Iran) include Rice, Gates, Powell and McCain.

PS: When you throw in Kim Jong, that list of targets extends to Bush himself.

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Homework Helper
Gold Member
Not officially an enemy, but Likud party members are undoubtedly extremists, and it is arguable that they have been responsible for more bloodshed than Hamas.
Can you measure the blood and determine the side of evil or good? Did the Allies shed more blood than the Axis in WWII? The winners usually win by visiting more pain, death, destruction, devastation, famine, economic chaos, etc...

You propose that terrorism is defined by one's ability to defend oneself. That's kind of 'out there' IMO.

Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
You propose that terrorism is defined by one's ability to defend oneself.

AND $\neq$ BECAUSE

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BobG
Homework Helper
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 heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: "Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided." We have an obligation to call this what it is -- the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.
Talking to Hitler wasn't the mistake, anymore than talking to the Soviet Union during the Cuban Missile crisis was.

The mistake was in how the negotiations turned out. In other words, Chamberlain was weak in his negotiations. And, in Hitler's case, there was a good possibility that the negotiations would resolve nothing - and not being willing to accept that negotiations would fail certainly puts a person at a disadvantage. They're more likely to accept a bad deal as the best they can get. It's not that different than buying a car. If you can't say no and walk away, then you're going to have a hard time getting a good deal.

"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. " isn't an outrageous statement. It's a statement that Bush believes any negotiations will be unsuccessful. That's a very realistic possibility, even if not a certainty.

"We have an obligation to call this what it is -- the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history." is an outrageous statement if it's taken out of context. It suggests that any negotiation at all is the equivalent of appeasement.

Taken after the first, the statement is still pretty outrageous. He's basically saying "Since we're right about how negotiations will turn out, the only possible motivation you could have for trying again is to give up whatever it takes to get an agreement." Disagreeing with the first half of the statement doesn't necessarily lead to the second half of the statement.

No, Carter was only President for 1 term.
Actually Carter did quite well as President. Lets see:

1) The only lasting peace agreement between Israel and an Arab Nation (Egypt). That would be the Camp David Accords.

2) Helped bring democracy to Chile. (I have a friend from Chile that said he is very thankful for Carter).

3) Negotiated the return of the Iranian Hostages.

4) Cut the size of the government (amazing feat considering he had a Democratically controlled Congress)

5) Cut spending and decreased the federal deficit. (also amazing)

6) Had the political guts to allow the Fed to raise interest rates to fight inflation which finally paid off under Reagan (keep in mind that the inflation rate under Ford -- one year before Carter was in office -- was 12% which was higher than it ever was under Carter.)

I'd say he was a darn good President. Not popular, but solid.

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Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
In order to defend this nonsensical line of "argument", this is what they have to resort to:
"It would be a wonderful thing if we lived in a world where we don't have enemies. But that's not the world we live in. And until Senator Obama understands that reality, the American people have every reason to doubt whether he has the strength, judgment and determination to keep us safe," McCain said in a speech to the National Rifle Association in Louisville, Ky.
http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/O/OBAMA_MCCAIN?SITE=CASDT&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2008-05-16-17-03-08 [Broken]

So which is it? Does Obama believe we have no enemies, or does he propose that we talk to them?

Incidentally, an alien observer watching the exploits of this country in the Middle East over the last 8 years might easily mistake Bush for an Ahmedinejad appeaser. After all, he has hugely changed the power structure in the Middle East from Sunni domination to Shia domination, and handed Ahmedinejad more than he could have ever hoped for. First, he transfered power in Afghanistan (Iran's eastern neighbor) from the Sunni Taliban to Shia dominated, Iranian supported groups that made up what was then called the Northern Alliance (also called the United Islamic Front). Then he transfered power in Iraq (Iran's western neighbor) from Sunni-Baathist control to Shia rule. Quite arguably, the person that has most helped Ahmedinajad become what he is, is Bush.

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mheslep
Gold Member
Incidentally, an alien observer watching the exploits of this country in the Middle East over the last 8 years might easily mistake Bush for an Ahmedinejad appeaser. After all, he has hugely changed the power structure in the Middle East from Sunni domination to Shia domination, and handed Ahmedinejad more than he could have ever hoped for. First, he transfered power in Afghanistan (Iran's eastern neighbor) from the Sunni Taliban to Shia dominated, Iranian supported groups that made up what was then called the Northern Alliance (also called the United Islamic Front). Then he transfered power in Iraq (Iran's western neighbor) from Sunni-Baathist control to Shia rule. Quite arguably, the person that has most helped Ahmedinajad become what he is, is Bush.
That would be a quite simple, cherry picking alien observer then.