Thursday, May 08, 2008

Obama's Hamas Endorsement

Commenting about the enthusiastic endorsement of Senator Barack Hussein Obama's campaign for President by the terrorist group Hamas, presumptive Republican Presidential nominee John McCain told Jon Stewart during a taped interview, "It's indicative of how some of our enemies view America. And I guarantee you, they're (Hamas is) not going to endorse me."
The plainspoken Senator from Arizona added, "I think they think I’m their worst nightmare," "And I think that I’m their worst nightmare as well."

Senator McCain's comments were in response to the ringing endorsement expressed on WABC radio in April of Mr. Obama by Ahmed Yousef, chief political adviser to the Prime Minister of Hamas. During the taped interview Mr. Yousef was asked about Senator Obama's mild expression of slight disapproval of former President Jimmy Carter's visit with Hamas. At the time while campaigning in Indianapolis, the Illinois Senator refused to criticize Mr. Carter's controversial meeting with the terror group stating, "I'm not going to comment on former President Carter. He's a private citizen. It's not my place to discuss who he shouldn't meet with," Mr. Obmama added, "I know that I've said consistently that I would not meet with Hamas."

The chief Hamas political adviser indicated that he could see the Senator Obama's dilema during this phase of the campaign in trying to present himself as a friend of Israel. Mr. Yousef observed that, "I understand American politics, and this is the season for election and everybody tries to sound like they are a friend of Israel. Whatever the Israelis like they will hear it from those candidates. I hope that Mr. Obama and the Democrats will change the political score when one of them will be the President and change the policy which we see as making this anti-American sentiment is the worst in the history of this great country."

When asked if the Prime Minister of Hamas would be willing to meet with either Mrs. Clinton or Barack Obama before the election Mr. Yousef responded, “We don’t mind–actually we like Mr. Obama. We hope he will (win) the election and I do believe he is like John Kennedy, great man with great principle, and he has a vision to change America to make it in a position to lead the world community but not with domination and arrogance,”.

The chief Hamas political adviser seems to echo the views held forth by Presidential candidate Obama who addresses on his campaign website what he views as "The Problem" in "Renewing American Diplomacy"

"The United States is trapped by the Bush-Cheney approach to diplomacy that refuses to talk to leaders we don't like. Not talking doesn't make us look tough – it makes us look arrogant, it denies us opportunities to make progress, and it makes it harder for America to rally international support for our leadership."

The candidate stands by his claim that he, is willing to meet with the leaders of all nations, friend and foe. He will do the careful preparation necessary, but will signal that America is ready to come to the table, and that he is willing to lead.

In responding to Senator McCain's comments regarding Obama's endorsement by the terrorist group Senator Obama stated that he found the comments "offensive," and remarked that McCain is "losing his bearings" during the campaign. Obama's comments were quickly interpreted as a slight against the age of the Arizona Senator and former Vietnam era combat pilot. One could successfully argue that Senator McCain has done more for the service of his country in twenty minutes over Hanoi that Mr. Obama has done in his entire lifetime.

Paul Mirengoff of PowerlineBlog cites a conference call with McCain advisor Mark Salter who responds to Obama's swipe at his Republican rival.

First, let us be clear about the nature of Senator Obama's attack today: He used the words "losing his bearings" intentionally, a not particularly clever way of raising John McCain's age as an issue. This is typical of the Obama style of campaigning.

We have all become familiar with Senator Obama's new brand of politics. First, you demand civility from your opponent, then you attack him, distort his record and send out surrogates to question his integrity. It is called hypocrisy, and it is the oldest kind of politics there is.

It is important to focus on what Senator Obama is attempting to do here: He is trying desperately to delegitimize the discussion of issues that raise legitimate questions about his judgment and preparedness to be President of the United States.

Through their actions and words, Senator Obama and his supporters have made clear that ANY criticism on ANY issue -- from his desire to raise taxes on millions of small investors to his radical plans to sit down face-to-face with Iranian President Ahmadinejad – constitute negative, personal attacks.

Senator Obama is hopeful that the media will continue to form a protective barrier around him, declaring serious limits to the questions, discussion and debate in this race.

Senator Obama has good reason to think this plan will succeed, as serious journalists have written of the need for "de-tox" to cure "swooning" over Senator Obama, and others have admitted to losing their objectivity while with him on the campaign trail.

Today, Senator Obama is complaining about comments John McCain made about a senior Hamas advisor stating that Hamas would welcome Senator Obama's election as president. Indeed, on April 13th, senior Hamas political advisor Ahmed Yousef said, "We don't mind – actually we like Mr. Obama. We hope he will (win) the election and I do believe he is like John Kennedy, great man with great principle, and he has a vision to change America to make it in a position to lead the world community but not with domination and arrogance."

The McCain campaign has never suggested that Senator Obama supports Hamas' agenda, but it is more than fair to raise this quote about Senator Obama because it speaks to the policy implications of his judgment.

Just today, the president of Iran, whom Senator Obama wants to meet with unconditionally, called the state of Israel a "stinking corpse." Iran is the paymaster and state sponsor of Hamas.

In his victory speech this week, Senator Obama stated that "wisdom" is meeting with our enemies, including Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, North Korea's Kim Jong Il, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Cuba's Raul Castro. John McCain couldn't disagree more. Rather than giving tyrants and dictators the prestige of meeting with an American president, John McCain will instead meet with the champions of human freedom around the world and opposition leaders fighting for liberty .

We understand why Senator Obama doesn't want to engage in a debate over leadership and judgment with John McCain, but the American people demand that debate take place.

These are serious times that call for a serious debate on the profound issues facing our future. John McCain is ready for that debate and we hope Senator Obama will one day get serious and join it.

Mark Salter sees right through the Obama smokescreen and isn't put off by the Obama bob and weave. Senator McCain is ready for prime time Barack Obama. Are you?

Audio of the WABC interview with Ahmed Yousef by Aaron Klein and John Batchelor can be heard here courtesy of PowerlineBlog archives.

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