Monday, May 19, 2008

James Baker III Disagrees With McCain/Bush On Appeasement

Don't worry, the right wingers won't be lighting their torches and starting a witch hunt for former Secretary of State James Baker anytime soon. Baker's comments about the true definition of appeasement were made in October of 2006. Thats would be way before George Bush brought up the subject while speaking to the Knesset last week. McCain quickly seconded the President's misbegotten definition while on the campaign trail, but that does not negate the words of the man that served under Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

From Op-Ed News:

Republican James Baker III, who served as Ronald Reagan's Chief of Staff and George H. W. Bush's Secretary of State had an interesting interview on Fox News' Hannity and Colmes show on Friday, October 6 2006 during which he said "Talking to an enemy is not, in my view, appeasement." [...]

Below is a partial transcript of the October 2006 Fox News interview. The entire transcript can be seen at,2933,218260,00.html:

COLMES: A level of engagement which some have said is not present today. Is this administration engaged enough with the people they should be talking to, to solve the kind of problems you're talking about?

BAKER: 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...

COLMES: Right.

BAKER: ... 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.

When there isn't a partisan agenda afoot, Republicans like Baker can be quite forthcoming and honest about the realities of geopolitics and diplomacy. Baker comes from an older, less fanatical breed of GoOPers that can talk candidly (especially on FoxNews) from time to time and deal with reality. Although we won't hear Baker come out and reassert what he said in 06' this week, it really doesn't matter because we have his words on tape.