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It is an axiom of diplomatic behavior that one does not go outside the country and make negative comments on domestic politics. It is even worse, when the comments is about the future President of your country. It is precisely what Bush has done with his ill informed comments in Israel.

"

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," said Bush, in what White House aides privately acknowledged was a reference to calls by Obama and other Democrats for the U.S. president to sit down for talks with leaders like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"We have heard this foolish delusion before," Bush said in remarks to the Israeli Knesset. "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."

Senator Obama was quick to respond

"It is sad that President Bush would use a speech to the Knesset on the 6Oth anniversary of Israel's independence to launch a false political attack. It is time to turn the page on eight years of policies that have strengthened Iran and failed to secure America or our ally Israel."

"Instead of tough talk and no action, we need to do what Kennedy, Nixon and Reagan did and use all elements of American power -- including tough, principled, and direct diplomacy -- to pressure countries like Iran and Syria. George Bush knows that I have never supported engagement with terrorists, and the President's extraordinary politicization of foreign policy and the politics of fear do nothing to secure the American people or our stalwart ally Israel."

The point is that the comments should never have been made in the first place.  Having said that he would not interfere in the presidential race, Bush should have kept his butt out of it, or if tempted to make some inane comment, do so in the US.  His attack not only shows a total lack of grace and finesse, but is unacceptable behavior from the President of the US to criticize his likely successor outside the country.

Originally posted to Jupiter Wilson on Thu May 15, 2008 at 09:27 AM PDT.

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