Friday, April 11, 2008


I see where Barack Obama is excluding Hamas from his pledge to sit down and talk with heads of governments with whom the United States has had rocky relationships. I think this is a big Obama mistake. Steve Clemons has a good post in The Washington Note on this.

One of the reasons that I support Sen. Obama is precisely because of his pledge to begin negotiations with officials from Iran and Venezuela instead of continuing the Bush failed policy of threatening them with bombs and missiles. So for Obama to exclude Hamas is a big disappointment.

I realize that Israel has a powerful lobby here in the U.S. But the neo-cons in Israel must not be allowed to determined U.S. foreign policy. They would like nothing better than to bomb Iran. And kill all the Palestinians. But this is just as ineffective as the Bush/Cheney doctrine of pre-emptive war.

We need to break through the deadly impasse between Israel and the Palestinians by talking, not shooting. Hamas was elected two years ago in fair elections. It is unfair to say that the U.S. won't deal with Hamas because Israel says it is a "terrorist" organization. Jimmy Carter deserves credit for planning to meet with a Hamas official in Syria in the coming weeks.

I want Barack Obama, my candidate, to emulate Mr. Carter and at least show a willingness to talk.

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