Is Obama going to reach out to Hamas???
Doesn't he realize that the group is genocidal???
More disturbing is the recent leak from a senior Hamas official to the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper suggesting that this pledge of aid to Gaza is the forerunner to an even more dangerous planned Obama initiative in the coming months -- one that would remove Hamas from America's designated foreign terrorist organization (FTO) list.
On June 16th, a Washington-based Arabic newspaper quoted a senior official as saying that an American envoy is scheduled to meet with Hamas representatives in an Arab country and hand them a letter from the Obama administration. According to the report, Obama believes -- wrongly -- that he has no choice other than to deal with Hamas, due to its influence in the Arab and Islamic world. Given that John Brennan, Obama's Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, has been reaching out to "moderates" in Hezbollah, it would hardly be surprising to believe that the Administration is now talking to Hamas.
Apparently, Obama is not alone in this belief. U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) seems to have bought into it as well. Mark Perry, writing in Foreign Policy (June 30th) notes: "While it is anathema to broach the subject of engaging militant groups like Hezbollah and Hamas in official Washington circles (to say nothing of Israel), in a 'Red Team' report issued on May 7th and entitled 'Managing Hezbollah and Hamas,' senior CENTCOM intelligence officers question the current U.S. policy of isolating and marginalizing the two movements."
The Report notes that while Hezbollah and Hamas "embrace staunch anti-Israel rejectionist policies," the two organizations are "pragmatic and opportunistic." This contravenes Israel's position that these two extremist Islamist organizations cannot change their raison d'etre and must therefore be confronted with force. The Report suggests, however, that "failing to recognize their separate grievances and objectives will result in continued failure in moderating their behavior." One senior officer even commented in private discussions: ""Putting Hezbollah, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda in the same sentence, as if they are all the same, is just stupid."
What might really be "stupid," however, is CENTCOM's failure to see that all these Islamist terrorist organizations are the same in at least one respect: They all share a commitment to and common interpretation of Islamic Sharia Law, and as such, they are all pursuing the same objective: the global triumph of Shariah Law under a theocratic Caliphate. While their tactics may differ, they are united in their common goal. When Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahhar proclaims (as he did on Future News TV on June 15, 2010, according to MEMRI): "This is our plan for this stage - to liberate the West Bank and Gaza, without recognizing Israel's right to a single inch of land ….. without giving up the Right of Return for a single Palestinian refugee ….. to liberate any inch of Palestinian land, to establish a state on it and …… [to have] Palestine in its entirety ….. We will not recognize the Israeli enemy"….. it is difficult to believe that this man is really a "moderate" who is "pragmatic and opportunistic.".] The people in these groups profess a powerful jihadist ideology rooted in a radical interpretation of Islam, in the name of which they propagandize, proselytize, terrorize and kill. When these groups see Americans bending over backwards to justify flexibility toward militant Islamists, they assume, rightly, that their political strategy is working.
According to Perry, "The report argues that an Israeli decision to lift the siege might pave the way for reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, which would be 'the best hope for mainstreaming Hamas,'" as though the objective of the U.S. policy should be to facilitate Hamas's takeover of the West Bank as well as Gaza. Hamas will only integrate into the Palestinian security forces once it is sure that it will not be obliged to surrender its freedom of military action.
Even more instructive is the following: "The Red Team also claims that reconciliation with Fatah, when coupled with Hamas's explicit renunciation of violence, would gain widespread international support and deprive the Israelis of any legitimate justification to continue settlement building and delay statehood negotiations." By attributing ill-will on the part of Israel, this statement suggests that the Red Team's real agenda includes the delegitimization of Israel.
Perry concludes that the report reflects the thinking among a significant number of senior officers at CENTCOM headquarters and among senior CENTCOM intelligence officers and analysts serving in the Middle East.
The Administration's "soft power" team seems to think that as engagement with Islamist groups failed with Iran and Syria, it should keep trying it with Hezbollah and Hamas -- on the assumption, in direct conflict with past experience, that dialogue with Islamists can resolve most issues. If that is the paradigm of this Administration and CENTCOM -- that radical Islamist organizations can be house-trained -- they will simply be emboldening the Islamists. Recognizing Hamas would have major harmful ramifications for American interests and American credibility in the Middle East for years to come, and provide Iran with its long-sought-for base within missile range of Tel Aviv.
These types of actions run counter to our efforts to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, and to the interests of the American people, who have the right to expect their leaders to adopt clear-eyed policies against those who threaten our way of life, our security, and the global interests of us and our allies.