Saturday, May 17, 2008

 

"My client is not an appeaser..but if he is an appeaser, it's the right thing to do"

Matthew Mosk is in the tank for Barack Obama.

Now, as a paid member of the Washington Post reporting staff, that was a probably a foregone conclusion. But his piece today offers an excellent example of subtle but real bias in print:

Paragraph 1

Sen. Barack Obama pushed back Friday against President Bush's implicit criticism of his approach to foreign policy ….”

Implicit?

· Transcript: Obama Responds to Bush's Attack
Bush’s attack?
· Bush's Veiled Swipe at Obama

Veiled swipe?

Mr. Mosk’s language and tone reflects the spin of the Obama campaign and not the facts of the situation. Here is what the President said:

“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. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: "Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of 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.” Prepared Text of Bush's Knesset Speech - WSJ.com

Just why Senator Obama, the Democratic Party hierarchy and their acolytes in the press recognize the Illinois senator in those remarks is probably the more interesting story.

Comments:
It is a stupid argument from Bush, though I think Bush was smart to make it.

We have been negotiating with every totalitarian thug for 50 years. The Cold War was won through brutal negotiation and the build-up of force, not by deployment into downtown Tijuana, which makes approximately as much sense as invading Baghdad to fight al-Qaeda. (Any communists in Tijuana would have been Che-heads from UCSD drinking cheap in the 80s in about the same proportion to actual Mexicans as Al-Qaeda operatives were to Baghdadis.) Of course, knowing that the U.S. had invaded Tijuana would probably have drawn a some communists there for tactical and strategic reasons (target rich environment, outreach to Tijuana residents angry about home invasions, rape and the humiliating indignity of the matter, etc.) Such happened here.

We negotiate with China, with North Korea (part of our strategy being the periodic cut-off and re-opening of negotiations with them), with Cuba. It is safe to bet that the CIA negotiates with al-Qaeda operatives and sympathizers to get intelligence. Bush knows this of course because his administration has negotiated with Hamas and one must assume that Israel has done likewise.

Thus Bush is not stupid but blatantly lying. And you know what? A good lie can be part of a negotiation strategy too, so good on him. So is a horse's head in the bed, but first you must eat dinner with Jack Woltz.

But Obama is correct to mock it as a lie and so are we.
 
The Cold War was won through brutal negotiation and the build-up of force

You mean it wasn't won through negotiation without precondition?
 
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I think it's pretty clear from the comments that the President was referring to terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah. I think that's true becuse he had just mentioned Hamas and Hezbollah. The President's remarks were appropriate and truthful.

...and Senator Obama has got to realize that everything isn't about him.
 
Mosk was, of course, the reporter who probably knew more about MD4Bush than he let on. Given that there was almost certain guidance from the O'Malley camp involved, it's pretty clear to me that he overstepped the bounds of reporting and was involved in helping to undermine Steffen and by association Ehrlich. That he'd be partisan on a national level is not at all surprising.

MC - your last line is very similar to Dana Perino's, and very apt.
 
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