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Investing into the Future

April 27, 2009

This is Michael Goldfarb’s post at the TWS blog:

The Los Angeles Times reports:

Reporting from Washington — The Obama administration, already on treacherous political ground because of its outreach to traditional adversaries such as Iran and Cuba, has opened the door a crack to engagement with the militant group Hamas.

The Palestinian group is designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization and under law may not receive federal aid.

But the administration has asked Congress for minor changes in U.S. law that would permit aid to continue flowing to Palestinians in the event Hamas-backed officials become part of a unified Palestinian government.

Obama has said in the past that he “will not negotiate with terrorists like Hamas,” and that we “should only sit down with Hamas if they renounce terrorism, recognize Israel’s right to exist, and abide by past agreements.” Would Hamas join a government that recognized Israel’s right to exist, or renounced terrorism, or accepted a two-state solution? Not likely, but Obama’s was never a big believer in preconditions. Maybe that’s why Hamas endorsed him in the first place.

This can’t be good. Is this what Obama means by his pledge to finance only “what works”? Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: if the administration really abode by that rule they would have to lay off themselves. But still, it’s one thing to pour money into your own government, even if you don’t think that it’s working effectively, it’s quite another to pour money into a ‘government’ that is officially backed by people you have officially labeled ‘terrorists’.  Besides, wouldn’t this make the US sort of a ‘state-sponsor of terrorism’? As a warning, let the French Cowboy repeat the old saying: you reap what you sow.

What could be the rationale that stands behind this move? I doubt that President Obama thinks that many Americans are keen on having their taxes finance rockets which end up in an Israeli family’s living room during one of those ‘cease fires’. Maybe he wants to create more incidents which a future president will have to travel the world apologising for, you say. You have become quite a cynic yourself, the French Cowboy must tell you. But your theory would only work if Obama had the same notion of what parts of American foreign policy are actually disgraceful and which are, in fact, rather glorious. Still, you are right that this administration is showing quite some potential to wreak foreign policy damage that will have to be broomed away by Obama’s successor(s).

There’s another question left open: what will the Looney Left do? After having suffered serious mental damage during the Bush years because they believed their government to be run by nothing less than ‘terrorists’ how will they react to the news that The Great Obama is ready to finance terrorism in a more literal sense? Will they shrug and tell themselves, Plus ça change, plus ça reste la même chose, or will they print new batches of “If you’re not outraged you’re not paying attention!” bumper stickers? I should clarify: this question is left open because it is merely a rhetorical one.

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