The 2008 U.S. election was all about change. But that’s not what we’re going to get on foreign policy, says the longtime speechwriter for Condoleezza Rice. Instead of a radical departure from Bush, we’re likely to end up with a lot more of the same. And that may be just what we need.I'm a little skeptical of this argument, although we do need "more of the same," at least in terms of moral clarity. I've been gearing up for a longer essay on Brose's piece, but I'll hold off now that I've found this piece at the Guardian, "Obama Camp 'Prepared to Talk to Hamas'":
The incoming Obama administration is prepared to abandon George Bush's doctrine of isolating Hamas by establishing a channel to the Islamist organisation, sources close to the transition team say.Readers might remember that Obama's on record, from the primaries, as endorsing diplomacy with Tehran "without preconditions." I'm sure Barack Hussein is likely to go just as easy with Gaza's diabolical terror-propagandists.
The move to open contacts with Hamas, which could be initiated through the US intelligence services, would represent a definitive break with the Bush presidency's ostracising of the group. The state department has designated Hamas a terrorist organisation, and in 2006 Congress passed a law banning U.S. financial aid to the group.
The Guardian has spoken to three people with knowledge of the discussions in the Obama camp. There is no talk of Obama approving direct diplomatic negotiations with Hamas early on, but he is being urged by advisers to initiate low-level or clandestine approaches, and there is growing recognition in Washington that the policy of ostracising Hamas is counter-productive. A tested course would be to start contacts through Hamas and the U.S. intelligence services, similar to the secret process through which the US engaged with the PLO in the 1970s. Israel did not become aware of the contacts until much later.
Remember, too, that my guest essayist Norm warned against such a turn, in "Obama Must Recognize Evil.
Hat Tip: Memeorandum.