Friday, May 16, 2008

Rubin Hypocrisy In Claiming McCain Hypocrisy On Hamas

The left is in overdrive trying to kill off discussion of the "Hamas endorsement" of Obama before voters start to ponder its ramificaitons. Add to that now is their equally huge push to condemn criticism of Obama's suicidally naive plans to meet the enemies of our country without precondition. The left is doing all they can to obfuscate the arguments and the facts, with the most recent claim coming from former Clinton State Dept. spokesman James Rubin who, in an incredible display of intellectual dishonesty inthe pages of the Washington Post, calls McCain hypocritical on Hamas for one time indicating that we needed to talk to them.

In 2006, Palestinians held a free election with two horrendous choices. Fatah, the folks who were, as one Palestinian described them, worse than 1930's era Chicago gangsters, or Hamas who, for all their bias against Israel, were seen as the far less corrupt of the two. By a relatively narrow margin, the people voted for Hamas.

James Rubin interviewed McCain shortly after that election. Rubin is relying on that interview to obfuscate and muddle the seperate arguments that, one, Hamas is endorsing Obama because he is weak and two, that Obama's promise to hold unconditional talks with Iran within his first year in office portends to be every bit as naive and disastrous as Chamberlain's choice to seek a middle ground with Hitler. Rubin mixes the two and is intellectually dishonest about Mccain's position on Hamas two years ago:

By charging recently that Hamas is rooting for an Obama victory, McCain tried to use guilt by association to suggest that Obama is weak on national security and won't stand up to terrorist organizations, or that, as Richard Nixon might have put it, Obama is soft on Israel.

President Bush picked up this theme yesterday. Without naming Obama during his speech last night to Israel's Knesset, Bush suggested that Democrats want to "negotiate with terrorists" while Republicans want to fight terrorists.

The Obama campaign was right to criticize the president for his remarks and for engaging in partisan politics while overseas. . . . Charging your opponents with appeasement and likening them to Neville Chamberlain in the Knesset is a brutal blow. . . .

McCain, meanwhile, is guilty of hypocrisy. . . .

But given his own position on Hamas, McCain is the last politician who should be attacking Obama. Two years ago, just after Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary elections, I interviewed McCain for the British network Sky News's "World News Tonight" program. Here is the crucial part of our exchange:

I asked: "Do you think that American diplomats should be operating the way they have in the past, working with the Palestinian government if Hamas is now in charge?"

McCain answered: "They're the government; sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them, one way or another, and I understand why this administration and previous administrations had such antipathy towards Hamas because of their dedication to violence and the things that they not only espouse but practice, so . . . but it's a new reality in the Middle East. I think the lesson is people want security and a decent life and decent future, that they want democracy. Fatah was not giving them that." . . .

. . . Given that exchange, the new John McCain might say that Hamas should be rooting for the old John McCain to win the presidential election. The old John McCain, it appears, was ready to do business with a Hamas-led government, while both Clinton and Obama have said that Hamas must change its policies toward Israel and terrorism before it can have diplomatic relations with the United States.

Even if McCain had not favored doing business with Hamas two years ago, he had no business smearing Barack Obama. But given his stated position then, it is either the height of hypocrisy or a case of political amnesia for McCain to inject Hamas into the American election.

Read the entire article.

There are several problems with Rubin's argument. The critical issue McCain has raised for Americans to ponder is why Hamas, along with Iran, Ghadaffi, Castro, and other assorted enemies of America democracy and freedom all support Obama's candidacy. That is wholly seperate from the issue of whether we should ever talk to Hamas. I am sure the hypocritical Mr. Rubin is smart enough to know that.

Likewise, whether to meet undconditionally with Iran is a wholly seperate issue from whether we should ever meet with Hamas. Obama's Iran policy could well just be leading us down the path to a war far greater in cost of gold and blood than we need to pay if we do not choose to follow Mr. Obama.

Lastly, Mr. Rubin is being incredbily disingenuous in stating that McCain's policy at the time was that we would need to hold unconditional talks with Hamas. To the contrary, the views stated by McCain in multiple interviews that day and often since - and indeed, the policy adopted by the administration - was that a precondition for such talks was Hamas rescinding its plank calling for the destruction of Israel and the renunciation of terrorism:

Rubin Interview (complete)

Interview That Same Day With CNN:

I am sure that Mr. Rubin understands what Mr. McCain's position was and is. It is a mark of incredibly hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty that he should try to make such an argument. As Ed Morrisey at Hot Air adds:

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?


Freedomnow said...

The dishonesty of Obama and his supporters is going to ruin them.

If the Democrats had nominated a legitimate moderate they would have had a great chance to win the 2008 Presidential Election.

Instead they nominated a leftwing radical with little common ground with the American people. Their efforts to repaint Obama as a moderate and McCain as a leader with similar views is a contortion that they will eat when they try to paint McCain as a radical rightwing lunatic.

They are so arrogant they think that they can lie as much as they want.

GW said...

Thanks for the comment.

The far left seems in complete control of the Dem. party. Between Howard Dean's candidacy in 2000 and then the ultimate inquisition of Lieberman, the far left got a stranglehold on the party and Obama is the result. Certainly one of the hallmarks of this transcendent far left wing is an embrace of expediency over intellectual honesty. I think that their achilles heel, if the right can get their act together finally and start challenging on it.