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« The Men Who Stare At Goats | Main | What other explanation is there? »

Establishing my anti-Obama cred

I've favored Obama over Clinton this primary and for good reason, but that doesn't mean i think his presidency is going to be an establishment of liberal ideals. Min and i were both disappointed with the way he defended himself from Bush and McCain's attacks on Israel recently. As always, i'll let others say it better than i would:

But while Obama went on the offensive over the Bush foreign policy of empty posturing that has actually empowered the likes of Iran and Hamas, he may, in fact, have dug himself a hole on the substantive question of talking to Hamas. Obama insisted he had stated "over and over again that I will not negotiate with terrorists like Hamas."

That, of course, is the wrong answer, because as Joe Klein [fnord12: ugh, getting criticized from the left by Joe Klein is embarassing] made clear this week, talking to Hamas is nothing less than the duty of the U.S. government. Anyone with any serious grasp of events in the region knows that peace talks with Mahmoud Abbas are not peace talks at all, as Daniel Levy so eloquently explains, because Abbas and Israel are allies, not enemies.

Moreover, it's a little off the mark to blame Bush for Hamas's rise on the grounds that the Bush Administration insisted the Palestinians hold elections. Those elections were a good thing, they simply revealed the reality that the Palestinians had lost faith in Fatah - for good reason: Fatah's 15 years of negotiating with - and appeasing -- the Israelis and Americans had yielded nothing but more settlements for the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza. It's for failing to press the Israelis to abide by international law and end its occupation policies, not the demand for elections, for which the Bush Administration ought to be held accountable.

So, he may have come out swinging, but Obama picked the wrong punches. Instead of insisting he wouldn't talk to Hamas, he'd have been better off ridiculing the notion that Hamas or Iran are the equivalent of Nazi Germany, and pointing out that Bush - by substituting teenage testosterone for serious policy - is essentially teeing up another war that will not be good for Israel or for the United States.

By fnord12 | May 19, 2008, 4:50 PM | Liberal Outrage