For those of you who have not yet seen it, M.J. Rosenberg’s column on Bush’s analogy between Nazi Germany and Iran and the contretemps between the Obama and McCain camps over Hamas is a must read, by far the best meditation on both issues, particularly on the implications for the American Jewish community, that has crossed my desk.
On Bush’s analogy, one issue that raises a lot of questions in my mind is who precisely was involved in getting that passage into the speech? The assumption so far has been that it must have been Bush’s political advisers who were eager to attack Obama and, as Rosenberg suggests, pander to “pro-Israel” donors. I have no reason to disbelieve that was a major — perhaps the decisive — consideration. But was this passage in fact vetted through the normal inter-agency process? Would Condoleezza Rice, who initiated talks with the Iranians last year and has never forsworn them, or Robert Gates, who said the U.S. has to figure out a way to engage the Iranians just the day before Bush’s speech to the Knesset, have cleared it? After all, there are very significant foreign-policy implications in that passage. Indeed, having made the comparison between Iran and Nazi Germany in 1939 and suggesting that those who favor talking with Tehran are practicing “appeasement,” Bush has really made it much more difficult for engagement to take place for the … >>>