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Monday, December 29, 2008

President Designate Obama's Low Middle East Bar

Columnist Mark Shone writes a column in which he assures the audience that we need not worry about President Designate Obama's Middle East policy in light of the war between Israel and Hamas.

Back in July -- when there was much [groundless] Democratic worry about Obama's supposed problem with Jewish voters -- the presidential candidate visited Israel. He met with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, President Shimon Peres and a boy who lost a leg to a Palestinian rocket attack.

In Sderot, a city near Gaza hit by many Palestinian rockets, Obama was asked whether he would negotiate with Hamas.

"I don't think any country would find it acceptable to have missiles raining down on the heads of their citizens," he said. "The first job of any nation state is to protect its citizens. And so I can assure you that if -- I don't even care if I was a politician -- if somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I'm going to do everything in my power to stop that. And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing."

Obama had sounded the same theme four months earlier. In March, Obama said, "The violence in Gaza is the result of Hamas' decision to launch rocket attacks on Israeli civilians, and Israel has a right to defend itself."

In fact, Obama also said something that sounds nearly identical to what Bush spokesperson Johndroe said Saturday about civilian casualties. Said Obama, "I remain very concerned about the fate of civilians and urge Israel to do all it can to avoid civilian deaths and to keep its focus on Hamas, which bears responsibility for these events."

The column is remarkable for two reasons. First, in the view of Shone, the reason we need not worry about Obama's Middle East policy is because it is basically the same as the current President's. Not only is this simply not accurate, but it is totally disingenuous. Here, the MSM has spent the last eight years telling the world that the current administration's foreign policy is nothing short of an unmitigated disaster. Now, when there really is a foreign policy crisis, it is the Bush model that is held up as the one we should follow. That's nothing short of hypocritical.

Second, in the entire column, the eight hundred pound gorilla is not mentioned once. That gorilla is of course Iran. Shone tells the reader not to worry because Obama has stated clearly he won't negotiate with Hamas. Yet, he says nothing about Obama's stated intention of negotiating with their sponsors, Iran.

Shone points out that Obama was clear that Hamas is no partner in peace because they shoot rockets at Israel. Yet, Shone says nothing about Iran's slow move toward gaining a nuclear weapon which of course they have every intention of using against Israel.

In fact, Obama's policy is so ludicrous that it would be funny, if things weren't so serious. Now more than ever, everyone should be concerned about President Designate Obama's outreach to Iran program. Given that their proxy, Hamas, is now engaged in a full out war with Israel, is now really the time to reach out to Iran?

The whole thing is totally absurd. Obama won't negotiate with Hamas because they are no partner in peace. Yet, he'll negotiate with Iran even though they supply Hamas with weapons, money and training. Now more than ever, the country needs to know if Obama still plans on reaching out to Iran. What will he try to accomplish with this outreach? Will his outreach program be a detriment to our ally, Israel? In fact, President Designate Obama has a very suspicious Middle East policy. No one seemed to pay attention because the economy overwhelmed all. Yet, now we are on the brink of war and his policy will be that much more important. Now, more than every, we must all examine whether or not negotiating with state sponsor of terror, Iran, is a good idea.

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