Whether admitting he didn't know anything about the National Intelligence Estimate that reported that Iran had not had a program to develop nuclear weapons since 2003 after it had been plastered all over the media for days, or describing his ideal foreign policy as a triangulation between Thomas Friedman and Frank Gaffney, Mike Huckabee has had a difficult time faking expertise on foreign policy issues. Still, good Christian that he is, Huckabee soldiers on — on to the pages of the Jerusalem Post, to offer his sophisticated understanding of the Holocaust and to accuse Barack Obama of being an appeasenik. On the first count, Huckabee uses his daughter's trip to Yad Vashem as his proxy:
At the end of our visit, Sarah went to the guest book and wrote simple words that I will never forget: "Why didn't somebody do something?" That is all she wrote, but with those words, I knew that, in her own way, she "got it."
She sure did. "Why didn't somebody do something?" is all you need to know about the Holocaust — and also the historical roots of anti-Semitism, the nineteenth century nationalism that led to the unifications of Germany and Italy and persisted into various right wing clubs and societies, the rise of mass ideologies in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the widespread success of the Dolchstosslegende in Germany, the fear of revolutionary communism that disposed the remnants of Europe's anciens regimes to ally with right-wing populism, the Catholic Church's embrace of Franco and the western powers' fecklessness during the Spanish Civil War, the unpunished genocide of Armenians by Ottoman Turkey, and the overall sense of the impotence of democracy during the thirties — but except for all that, Sarah got it. But of course, Huckabee isn't just interested in teaching Israelis Holocaust history; he's also got an axe to grind. To wit, he finds deeply troubling "Senator Obama's desire to 'hold a summit in the Muslim world' and "to listen to the 'concerns' of these nations." And rightly so. The first step to negotiating any long-term middle-Eastern peace is a blanket refusal to negotiate with any middle-Eastern countries. Incidentally, Huckabee may be in better company than he knows. The folks at Commentary incisively noted Barack Obama's sinister commitment to an "even-handed approach" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Sweet Odin's raven, the man has clearly not absorbed the lessons of Yad Vashem. As for the underlying question of why Huckabee would bother to write an op-ed in the Jerusalem Post in the middle of a presidential campaign — my guess is he had some recollection of evangelicals' support for Israelis, but managed to get the order wrong.