Washington: Amid fierce criticism from several Republican White House candidates of following a policy of appeasement on the foreign policy front, President Barack Obama on Thursday offered an icy riposte: "ask Osama bin Laden."
"Ask Osama bin Laden and the 22 out of 30 top al-Qaeda leaders who've been taken off the field whether I engage in appeasement --or whoever's left out there, ask them about that," Obama said at a news conference here.
Newt Gingrich, the leading Republican candidate said: "America is the first business of the State Department, not appeasing our opponents".
But he said he was "very, very worried".
"It's based on a State Department which has consistently engaged in appeasement," Gingrich said at a meeting on Wednesday.
Mitt Romney, another leading Republican presidential candidate said: "Internationally, President Obama has adopted an appeasement strategy."
"Appeasement betrays a lack of faith in America, in American strength and in America's future," alleged Romney.
He alleged that like others among the Washington elite, Obama "believes that America's role as the leader of the world is a thing of the past, that this is going to be a post-American century, perhaps an Asian century."
"American strength, he imagines, will eventually be entirely or partially eclipsed, and so he seeks to appease those he believes will balance us or who might challenge our leadership in the future," Romney said.

Romney said this appeasement by this administration has taken a lot of different forms over the last three years.
"It includes offers to engage with the world's most despicable dictators. It consists of concessions to Russia to remove our missile defense sites from Poland, also to exclude tactical nuclear weapons from the new, remarkably one- sided New START Treaty," Romney said.
"President Obama even looks the other way as China employs obviously unfair trade tactics that endanger our economy and kill jobs. He seems to be more generous to our enemies than he is to our friends. And that is the natural tendency of someone who is unsure of their own strength or of America's rightful place as the leader of the world,” Romney charged.