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Friday, May 16, 2008

Faith restored: McCain's comments on Hamas placed in context

Friday morning, I ran a video of an interview with John McCain by James Rubin that was originally broadcast on Sky News in 2006. Rubin has written an op-ed in today's Washington Post entitled Hypocrisy on Hamas.

But Captain Ed puts the interview - which was severely spliced before being posted on the Internet - into context and shows that if anything the hypocrisy is all Rubin's.

“Deal with them, one way or another” doesn’t mean cutting deals with them; it means acknowledging their presence in the situation. That becomes clear when McCain’s further comments in the same time frame. After Hamas won that election, McCain made clear the conditions for engagement of Hamas in a press release dated 1/26/06:

In the wake of yesterday’s Palestinian elections, Hamas must change itself fundamentally - renounce violence, abandon its goal of eradicating Israel and accept the two-state solution. These elections are evidence that democracy is indeed spreading in the Middle East, but Hamas is not a partner for peace so long as they advocate the overthrow of Israel.

In an interview with CNN, McCain once again made clear that the US would not negotiate with terrorists, whether they got elected or not:

CNN’S BETTY NGUYEN: All right, let’s shift over to the global front. The Bush administration is reviewing all aspects of U.S. aid to the Palestinians now that Hamas has won the elections. And I do have to quote you here. A State Department spokesman did say this: ‘To be very clear’ – and I’m quoting now – ‘we do not provide money to terrorist organizations.’ What does this do to the U.S. relationship with the Palestinians?

MCCAIN: Well, hopefully, that Hamas now that they are going to govern, will be motivated to renounce this commitment to the extinction of the state of Israel. Then we can do business again, we can resume aid, we can resume the peace process.

The context here is crystal clear. McCain envisioned a possible change in Hamas from a terrorist group to a legitimate political party, one that recognized Israel and renounced violence. Under those conditions, McCain said that we could engage them in talks designed to establish peace, and only under those conditions. The Bush administration had the same policy at the time. Neither the US nor John McCain supported meeting with Hamas without preconditions, and they certainly didn’t have policy advisers meeting with them while they conducted terrorist attacks and plotted an armed takeover of Gaza.

This attack meme demonstrates a breathtaking bit of intellectual dishonesty. We expect that from the hard Left. Coming from the Washington Post, even in its opinion section, it disappoints. So much for the layers of fact-checkers and editors. And now that our friends on the Left have acknowledged the terrorist status of Hamas, can they explain Malley’s presence on the Obama campaign for months while his connections to Hamas were fairly well known?

Read the whole thing and make sure to watch the video over at Hot Air, which is much more extensive than the one I posted this morning.


At 6:11 PM, Blogger Lois Koenig said...

Thanks, Carl.

Now I can exhale!

Shame on Rubin.

At 7:28 PM, Blogger LEL said...

I would bet the hussein obama camp doctored the video. They have done this before.

At 9:54 PM, Blogger {a}don Xaxam said...

How many conclusions can one derive from a doctored evidence? Answer: ...

At 9:59 PM, Blogger Soccer Dad said...

James Rubin is Mr. Christiane Amanpour and Madeleine Albright's former poodle.

At 3:29 AM, Blogger Lydia McGrew said...

If you guys have "faith" in John McCain to be a friend to Israel, then--if he wins--you are going to be disappointed, I'm afraid. I think it's important to look at the total picture. I haven't got a lot of quotes from McCain on the Israel question. But please don't forget that this is a person who has built his whole career on distancing himself from the right of his own party, on proving just how liberal a Republican he can be. I cannot see a reason to expect him to be truly different in this regard on the question of Israel.

I doubt, however, that we'll find out who is right here, because I very much fear that an Obama presidency is in the offing, terrible though that news is.

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