May 16, 2008

Obama: Hezbollah and Hamas Have "Legitimate Claims"

The U.S. needs a foreign policy that "looks at the root causes of problems and dangers." Obama compared Hezbollah to Hamas. Both need to be compelled to understand that "they're going down a blind alley with violence that weakens their legitimate claims." He knows these movements aren't going away anytime soon ("Those missiles aren't going to dissolve"), but "if they decide to shift, we're going to recognize that. That's an evolution that should be recognized."

And just what are these "legitimate claims" that Obama mentions in talking with David Brooks of the New York Times?

Is it that the existence of Israel is a catastrophe?

Democratic presidential frontrunner Sen. Barack Obama served as a paid director on the board of a nonprofit organization that granted funding to a controversial Arab group that mourns the establishment of Israel as a "catastrophe." (Obama has also reportedly spoken at fundraisers for Palestinians living in what the United Nations terms refugee camps.)

The co-founder of the Arab group, Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi, is a harsh critic of Israel who reportedly worked on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organization when it was labeled a terror group by the State Department.

Khalidi held a fundraiser in 2000 for Obama's failed bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 2001, the Woods Fund, a Chicago-based nonprofit that describes itself as a group helping the disadvantaged, provided a $40,000 grant to the Arab American Action Network, or AAAN, at which Khalidi's wife, Mona, serves as president. The Fund provided a second grant to AAAN for $35,000 in 2002.

Ah, the Woods Fund. Where Barak served with his domestic terrorist friend, Bill Ayers of the Weather Underground, who along with his domestic terrorist (and Charles Manson fan) wife, Bernardine Dohrn, helped kick off Obama's political career at their house.

Hamas' charter calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and its replacement with a Palestinian Islamic state, and says (in part):

"Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it."

"The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up."

"There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors."

Somehow, I don't think that is a change most Americans or Israelis can believe in.

But what about Hezbollah?

...Hezbollah's ideology is inspired by Khomeini, the original leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. According to "The Hezbollah Program", a document that specifies Hezbollah's ideology, Hezbollah's main goals are to fight against "western imperialism", achieve the destruction of Israel, and establish Islamic rule in Jerusalem. It also supports the transformation of Lebanon into an Islamic state in the same spirit as Iran, which Hezbollah takes as the model of an Islamic state. In addition, the party glorifies suicide bombers as martyrs. It promotes violent resistance as a means to an end and teaches that "each of us is a fighting soldier". This ideology—which includes anti-Semitic, anti-western and anti-democratic dogma—is indoctrinated in Hezbollah's schools and kindergartens, which are free for all of Hezbollah's Shi'a supporters.

I'd really like to know what is legitimate about the claims two terrorist organizations dedicated to the obliteration of Israel in the eyes of Barack Obama.

Please, Barack... do tell.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at May 16, 2008 10:32 AM

Leave it to Obama to let his ego get in the way of the truth.

Posted by: Cory at May 16, 2008 01:13 PM

Maybe there is something in his attitude here:

Obama, according to what's going around, is less an "African" American than an "Arab" American. This is not about madrassas or any of that stuff. It is, however, about his lineage, which is a little bit surprising...and it may explain his weird name and his weirder views.

Posted by: marybel at May 16, 2008 04:31 PM

Kenya is in East Africa. Indonesia is in South East Asia. Kansas is in the middle of the US. Hawaii is in the Pacific and Illionis is in the midwest too. Where exactly is Obama's middle-east lineage?

Posted by: Notnowjohn at May 16, 2008 06:04 PM

His father was Arab-African which makes Obama and Arab-African American.

Posted by: Sara at May 16, 2008 07:15 PM

From the Brooks interview of Obama at NYT:

The U.S. needs a foreign policy that “looks at the root causes of problems and dangers.” Obama compared Hezbollah to Hamas. Both need to be compelled to understand that “they’re going down a blind alley with violence that weakens their legitimate claims.” He knows these movements aren’t going away anytime soon (“Those missiles aren’t going to dissolve”), but “if they decide to shift, we’re going to recognize that. That’s an evolution that should be recognized.”


From transcribing an American Radio Account from 1938:

"Now we know that Neville Chamberlain, who is a Realist and masterful man, has made up his mind that the time has come to give up attempts at ideal solutions to the European problems, such as through the League of Nations. To deal with facts, as he found them, and the two outstanding facts were the two dictators, Hitler and Moussolini. Both had grievances that had to be recognized and it's possible were right. Before Europe would turn over in bed and most dream comfortably. And Chamberlain told his Cabinet that he was going to settle this and on a Realist basis."

Can we hear more about these 'legitimate grievances' of Hezbollah and Hamas from Sen. Obama? I would like to hear them better defined than their charters which have the destruction of Israel as their central foundation... that is at least *one* of their grievances and an actual driving one. Considering that *no* President has been able to talk either of them out of those 'grievances', what makes Sen. Obama that they will suddenly 'see the light'?

And if talking to Iran has no 'preconditions' and yet they support these groups, wouldn't it be good to get them to stop that support, which has also been a centerpiece of multiple Presidents to-date?

If he is, from what I can see, stating the exact, same thing as the current and past occupants of the Oval Office on pre-conditions and having these groups end, then what is, exactly, the difference between the Obama policy and theirs?

Since the time of Thomas Jefferson Presidents have seen the limitations and inability of foreign institutions to promulgate US policy and the need to take action against those that threaten the US and our Allies. It is only when Presidents don't follow Jefferson's lead that things tend to go awry... can Sen. Obama stand with that tradition? Or don't we much need the lessons of Jefferson these days, either?

Posted by: ajacksonian at May 17, 2008 12:56 PM

Peace in our time

Posted by: Neo at May 17, 2008 09:07 PM

Oh Come on, I have read that article, Obama says US should help shites in south Lebonan for their legitimate claims to peel them away from Hezbollah.

Posted by: anony at May 17, 2008 09:37 PM

Oh Come on, I have read that article, Obama says US should help shites in south Lebonan for their legitimate claims to peel them away from Hezbollah.

And what legitimate claims are those? Those Shiites in S. Lebanon are Lebonese (those that aren't Iranians masquerading as Lebonese in service to Hezbollah, of course). What legitimate claims do they have vis a vis their own elected government? I am sure everyone would love to know what Hussein Obama thinks about that.

Posted by: iconoclast at May 19, 2008 09:34 AM