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."
I wasn't going to even say anything about this because I found the whole thing silly. Only the very far left believes that McCain would ever want to talk to Hamas. Those folks weren't going to vote for McCain anyway. I have been receiving correspondence from the campaign and other bloggers throughout the day, and I am going to post this youtube video.
This is the full video of the conversation that was quoted. Here is the transcript.
Jamie Rubin: “Do you think that American diplomats should be operating the way they have been in the past, in working with the Palestinian government if Hamas is in now charge?”
Sen. John McCain: “They’re the government and sooner or later we‘re going to have to deal with them in one way or another, and I understand why this administration and previous administrations had such antipathy towards Hamas is because of their dedication to violence and the things they not only espouse but practice, so, but it’s a new reality in the Middle East. And I think the lesson is people want security and a decent life and a decent future then they want democracy. Fatah was not giving them that.”
Rubin: “So should the United States be dealing with that new reality through normal diplomatic contacts to get the job done for the United States?”
Sen. McCain: “I think the United States should take a step back, see what they do when they form their government, see what their policies are, and see the ways that we can engage with them, and if there aren’t any, there may be a hiatus. But I think part of the relationship is going to be dictated by how Hamas acts, not how the United States acts.”
As you can see Jamie Rubin, a Dem operative, took McCain's words totally out of context in order to present the situation as though he was advocating unconditional talks. Of course, I am certain the Obama campaign will rush out and condemn how his words were taken out of context because they just hate it when folks practice such cynical politics.
In any case, John McCain is not now and never has been for unconditional talks with Hamas or any other terrorist groups. Nor is John McCain for unconditional talks with any state sponosor of terror.
The only candidate willing to talk to any terrorists is his likely opponent Barack Obama who is willing to sit down with Iran in unconditional talks. Iran is of course the backers of both Hamas and Hezbollah.