What Fresh Hell Is This?

May 21, 2008

Dueling Editorials

Today, the Trib's editorial board takes on their counterparts at the P-G.

It's in a discussion of Senator Obama's statement last July at the Youtube/CNN debate that he'd be willing to meet separately (and without conditions) with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea. By the way, here's what Senator Obama said. This is what started all those "appeasement" smears:
I would. And the reason is this, that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them -- which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration -- is ridiculous. Now, Ronald Reagan and Democratic presidents like JFK constantly spoke to Soviet Union at a time when Ronald Reagan called them an evil empire. And the reason is because they understood that we may not trust them and they may pose an extraordinary danger to this country, but we had the obligation to find areas where we can potentially move forward.
As David Corn points out, the answer wasn't as nuanced as it should have been.

Both Senator Clinton and Senator Edwards responded to the same question, saying that diplomacy is important but that it should start out with low-mid level contacts and then maybe move up. Here's Senator Clinton:

Well, I will not promise to meet with the leaders of these countries during my first year. I will promise a very vigorous diplomatic effort because I think it is not that you promise a meeting at that high a level before you know what the intentions are. I don't want to be used for propaganda purposes. I don't want to make a situation even worse. But I certainly agree that we need to get back to diplomacy, which has been turned into a bad word by this administration. And I will purse very vigorous diplomacy.

And I will use a lot of high-level presidential envoys to test the waters, to feel the way. But certainly, we're not going to just have our president meet with Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez and, you know, the president of North Korea, Iran and Syria until we know better what the way forward would be.

Fair enough. But as George H. W. Bush's Secretary of State said:

Transcription from Fox "News":
My view is that you don't just talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies, as well. And the diplomacy involves talking to your enemies. You don't reward your enemies ... necessarily, by talking to them if you're tough and you know what you're doing. You don't appease them. Talking to an enemy is not, in my view, appeasement. I made 15 trips to Syria in 1990-1991 at a time when Syria was on the list of countries who are state sponsors of terrorism. And the 16th trip, guess what? Lo and behold, Syria changed 25 years of policy and agreed for the first time in history to come sit at the table with Israel, which is what Israel wanted at the time. And, thereby, implicitly recognized Israel's right to exist.
So what did The Trib have to say? Here it is:
Even top Democrats are distancing themselves from Barack Obama's pledge to, without conditions, engage in talks with our enemies. Mr. Obama has attempted to nuance his position -- low-level diplomacy would precede high-level talks -- but the damage has been done and political foes are correct to exploit it. ... Ever on the wrong side of rational thought, The Toledo, Ohio, Block Bugler editorializes that "it's hard to argue that a more civil approach to the nation's enemies wouldn't be more successful." So that's what negotiating with terrorists is -- "a more civil approach"? Yet again, logic continues to be on extended holiday at The Bugler.
Note they don't say which Democrats are distancing themselves. Nor do they note the Republicans who think diplomacy is a good thing (like Secretary Baker, above). But look again at what they quote from the P-G:
...it's hard to argue that a more civil approach to the nation's enemies wouldn't be more successful.
And how they criticise it:
So that's what negotiating with terrorists is -- "a more civil approach"? Yet again, logic continues to be on extended holiday at The Bugler.
Now where does that quotation come from?

Here. It's the editorial from Monday the 19th. Here's the passage in full:
During a Democratic debate last year, Mr. Obama signaled his willingness to talk with North Korea, Syria, Cuba and Iran without preconditions. After years of failed unilateral action and cowboy diplomacy Bush-style, it's hard to argue that a more civil approach to the nation's enemies wouldn't be more successful.
It's easy to see the misdirection The Trib is trying to pull off. The point of the P-G's editorial was that a more civil approach (that is to say, diplomacy) has to be more successful than Bush's failed "cowboy diplomacy."

The Trib missed the point (or maybe they were looking to change the subject). In any event, we can't expect the Trib's editorial board to understand such a complicated sentence.


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Anonymous said...

thanks, this was great! Hillary sure made some good sence! Keep bringing up this common sence. We don't need a Messiah, we need good common sence. Hllary has it over BHO.
Pittsburgh has two equally bad newspapers, but they do better than their AM radio.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing that Bush the Elder was aware of what his former Secretary of State was planning on saying. I wonder if this is 41's attempt to defend his foreign policy choices, to further distance himself from his son's actions, and to fire a shot across McCain's bow on foreign policy.

- Shawn

Rogue said...

That's quite a non sequitur you posted. Logically fallacious, much?

James Baker never said that THE PRESIDENT should meet with those leaders.
We have been meeting with Iran through the State Department for years -- but that doesn't mean THE PRESIDENT should do so.

(Did you notice the emphasis above? This emphasis outlines the idiocy of Obama.)

Are you from Pittsburgh? If so, I'm embarrassed for my hometown.

Please ask your mom to keep you away from the keyboard before you hurt yourself.

Anonymous said...

Rogue, you are certainly that! Do we make an argument by telling someone they need Mommy to supervise? (4th grader) The question here is: Is the President negotiating, or are "low level" people? Hilary understands the difference.Do you?

Rogue said...

Sorry, I don't answer scrotum-less anonymous posts...but here's one for ya' Hmmm, a new word

Anonymous said...

Scrotum-less says: Here's where the Brass Ball bounces. Ideology, as we all, hopefully, studied in school, verses Reality. I would love Obama's world, if it were real.

Rogue, I'm not following your "link" as I see you are heavy in the scrotom, but light in IQ.

Rogue said...

Oh, that wasn't you from verizon.net at 5:39 pm?

Here, let me make this easy for you...

Since Obama is using the Kennedy-Khrushchev meeting to defend his inanity, remember that it doesn't matter when Kennedy met Khrushchev, it is only a legitimate analogy if Kennedy met Castro.

When did that happen?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Retired Millhunk-
When did the Trib get an Editorial board? The Trib isn't even a newspaper. It's a propaganda leaflet. Don't embarrass the PG calling the Trib a newspaper.

Fillippelli the Cook said...

I find it funny that Rogue and the other wingnuts are SOOOO concerned about the "message" that a presidential meeting with baaaad guy leaders sends.

They don't seem to care about the message it sends to hold people from other countries for years in prison, torturing them in the process, but never giving them any sort of day in court, yet alone actual legal representation.

They don't seem to care about the message it sends when the President officially declares himself above the law, personally endorses torture, and shits on the constitution, and then runs around littering his speeches with words like liberty, freedom, and democracy.

They don't seem to care about the message it sends to send troops into battle without the necessary body armor and up-armored humvees, to send soldiers back for tour after tour after tour, including soldiers who are still injured or suffering from PTSD, all the while claiming that it's they who really "support the troops."

I can come up with about a gazillion other jawdropping examples of Republican hypocrisy on everything from fiscal policy (those fantastic tax breaks for the oil companies experiencing record profits) to social policy (like that wise investment of billions in abstinence education programs that don't work) that send the wrong motherfucking message.

Why don't you worry more about the actual policy decisions your current president and your presidential candidate of choice espouse, you know, the ones that have sent the economy into a tailspin, trashed the housing market, broken our armed services, left a major American city to rot and die, permanently ruined the country's standing in the world, among other things.

Take your messages, Rogue, and shove them up your ass. Just be sure not to damage your brain while you're at it.

Anonymous said...

Somebody better tell those appeasing Israelis that it's not in their interest to keep appeasing Hamas and Hezbollah who they are currently appeasing with appeasing negotiations that they hope will lead to appeasement.

No question about it, those Israelis are nothing but appeasing liberal anti-semites.

Anonymous said...

Kennedy appeased Khrushchev. Nixon appeased Mao. Reagan appeased Gorbachev AND Ayatollah Khomeni.

Traitors, every one. Thank god we executed all of 'em.

Eric W said...

I don't care for Obama and won't vote for him, but I don't think he's an appeaser any more than the Founding Fathers were. They advocated a non-interventionist foreign policy that didn't involve giving the cold shoulder to leaders of unfriendly nations. Simply agreeing to talk to a leader doesn't require kissing his ass or bending to his will. BTW, that foreign policy is the same one that Ron Paul advocates.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: If Obama meets with that guy from Iran will he return with a piece of paper and stand there with his umbrella and brag that he has secured "peace in our time"?

"Fair and Balanced" Dave said...

John K. says: If Obama meets with that guy from Iran will he return with a piece of paper and stand there with his umbrella and brag that he has secured "peace in our time"?

So what you're suggesting is Obama is going to cede the Sudetenland to the Iranians????

Anonymous said...

John K. says: No FDR already did that with the USS ST. Louis. Obama will cede Lebanon as well as Israel to Hezbollah thru Iran. And the left will say, "Ah, see how the world likes us now." LOL LOL LMAO. List a time in US history when negotiating with the enemy worked. I will check back now and then to see if you can come up with one.

Anonymous said...


Was that too fast?

Anonymous said...

Viet Nam?

You must be a product of liberal revisionsits history taught in schools now.

Viet Nam...that's a good one.


Anonymous said...

I agree with Fill. Would it strike us funny if our side tried to set up a meeting and they refused to meet with us....The Bad Guys?

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:16, I'll take that for agreement. Thanks!

Want some more?
-- Native Americans
-- British (Revolutionary War)
-- French (no war during Adams administration due to negotiations)
-- British (War of 1812)

Let me know if this isn't enough. I have dozens!

Anonymous said...

Whose grave will YOU be visiting on Monday? Without dead soldiers, you wouldn't be heating up your left-overs in the microwave tonight. You would be looking for some Venison, a fine Buck to kill. Bring them home!!! But who will replace them?

Anonymous said...

John K. says: Vietnam? What? The Democrats cut off funding after we had them smashed. Then how many million died or were sent to reeducation camps. Sen. Kerry liked those communist reeducation camps. As well as Cambodia. Vietnam? That makes no sense at all to my orginal point. When did negotiations work.

Anonymous said...

John K says:
Revolutionary: So that clearly explains Yorktown. LOL LOL You lose on that one.
War of 1812: You mean Jackson never did defend New Orleans? And Cockburn did not burn Washington? You lose again Homer.
Indians: We negotiated what with the Indians. At one point 25% of the military were hunting Geronimo. Sort of like Bin Laden. We brought in him and we'll Bin Laden by the way.
French: We negotiated squat with the French. You lose again.
So bring it on Homer you are batting 0.00%

Anonymous said...

The Battle of New Orleans was fought AFTER the Peace of Paris was signed.

This "Homer" you keep talking to, John -- is he related to Major Andre? LMAO ROFL LOL LOL Maybe Homer could tell McCain about the difference between Sunni and Shiite. LOL LOL LOL. Maybe Major Andre could tell McCain about the difference between Sunni and Shiite. ROFL. ROFL. ROFL. ROFL.

Anonymous said...

Those who do not learn history are condemned to talk about Major Andre. LOL ROFL LMAO LOL LOL LOL

Homer said...

I would be ashamed to have a traitor like John K. use my name, too.

C.H. said...

I would also be ashamed if John K. used my name.

Anonymous said...

Me too.

Homer said...

Would you people please leave me alone? I'm trying to work on my sequel to The Odyssey. I can't work with your constant chatter!

Who do you think I am, Aeschylus?

Anonymous said...

John K. says: This is getting old reminding liberals of basic history. Not odd though since they are always trying to rewrite it. Jackson had no idea any peace had been signed as the Black Watch advanced on New Orleans. Nope, had no idea. You lose again.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: By the way Homer, to clear the record and correct the liberals. Major Andre was hanged by Washington without a trial. Nope no trial at all. And the left thinks we did not water board in the past. LOL LOL LOL LMAO at how wrong you have been.

Anonymous said...

Did the clear-eyed Achilles raise his bright sword and slay the valiant Hector, son of Priam? Or was it Major Andre?

John K. of the dim and deluded aspect knows not, nor shall Athena shed her vaunted wisdom upon him and give him the light of wisdom.

John tires in his ignorance, when enlightenment lies, like the spoils of towering Illium, at his unsandaled feet. Weep, O Muse! for the dimness of the helm of John of the Many Names.

Homer said...

That last bit was mine, not Anonymous, as if you couldn't tell.

Anonymous said...

John can't even read Wikipedia, let alone Homer. ROFL LMAO LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LMAOSM ROFLSM

Anonymous said...

"Did the clear-eyed Achilles raise his bright sword and slay the valiant Hector, son of Priam?"

You libs sure are goofy. Achilles killed Hector with his SPEAR, not his sword.

Stupid libs don't know anything.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: You left wing liberals just make history up. Major Andre was hanged by Washington without a trial. And Achilles and Hector fought without swords. Why? Because a bronze sword (bronze age lefties get it) bends and loses its form. After ten strikes with a bronze sword the sword is so mishapen it is useless. Too bad you lefties just make it up. Just like the ACORN lawyer Obama. LMAO again