Wednesday, July 18, 2007

NPR Flubs It

Here's part of a question directed at Condi Rice by Michelle Norris of NPR (the State Dep't doesn't have it up yet but when it does, I'll link. Wait, here it is at NPR):-

QUESTION: Some of things you listed, though, many say would argue for more direct engagement and now that the Administration is planning to directly engage in the Middle East, some argue that it's almost seven years too late and that by not sitting down with Hamas, whose democratic leaders in Hamas were democratically elected, and instead backing President -- Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas that there could potentially be a boomerang effect, that Hamas was democratically elected in part because of dissatisfaction with corruption within the Fatah movement.

Did you count? Thrice do democracy words get into that question.

Isn't that a loaded question, not to mention biased and factually wrong?

Oh, Condi's reply:-

Yes, Hamas was elected, but Hamas was also elected to act responsibly, and Hamas has not acted responsibly. They have refused important international agreements that Palestinians signed and have held to for more than a decade. They have refused to renounce violence. It's very hard to imagine a partner for peace that refuses to renounce violence and refuses to recognize the right of the other partner to even exist — not to recognize the other partner, but to simply recognize the right of the other partner to exist.

And so I find rather strange the notion that we should somehow try and engage Hamas, a terrorist organization that clearly has not lived up to the responsibilities of governing, rather than to work with and strengthen the Palestinian president, who shares all of the values that will, in fact, bring about peace between Palestinians and Israelis...Hamas is a little more than an enemy of the United States. Hamas, of course, is a terrorist organization — listed by Europeans as a terrorist organization. And we saw what Hamas did in Gaza, when they threw people off of buildings and then knelt to pray. The violence in the Palestinian territories, and Gaza in particular, is directly related to Hamas activities.

So Michelle backs off, realizing how stupid she sounds:-

In asking the question, I certainly wasn't talking about rewarding Hamas or other terrorist organizations or any kind of rebels. But if you're trying to solve the thorniest foreign policy problems right now, is it possible to do that without sitting down with groups that mean to do us harm — with Hamas, with the Iraqi insurgents? How can you do that without, at some point, engaging them?

Michelle, read the rules of engagement, the ones the military uses to guide it in combat against the enemy.

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