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May 16, 2008

Woops…McCain Said The US Will Have To "Deal With" Hamas. UPDATE With Context

Jamie Rubin, a former Clinton administration State Department Official and now a reporter in the UK has an unpleasant reminder for McCain from a 2006 interview.

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."

The video is apparently posted at the Huffington Post. Expect to see a lot of it soon.

I don't think the President had McCain in mind when he said, "Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along," but you can bet Obama and the Democrats are going to get mileage out of it.

UPDATE:
Hot Air has more on the context of this and it may not be as bad as the version in the Washington Post. I only say 'may not' because I haven't read it all yet.

The Hot Air link points to other comments McCain made at the time where he clearly states he thinks Hamas needs to change its ways and become a responsible political party. It's a layer of nuance that's not in the clip below that Rubin wrote about.

In the context of that clip, where he was asked about how American diplomats should act, I don't think 'deal with' really means bomb the hell out of but it doesn't necessarily mean sit down for tea either.

Here's the clip.


*I changed the headline from "Talk To" to "Deal With" since that's the wording McCain actually used.


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posted by DrewM. at 10:21 AM

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