Daniel Pipes (thanks to RB) expertly targets the latest lunacy from the Administration:
If Al-Qaeda renounced terrorism, would the U.S. government welcome its running candidates in American elections? Had the Nazis denounced violence, would Hitler have become an acceptable chancellor for Germany? Not likely, because the tactics of Al-Qaeda and the Nazis matter less than their goals.
Similarly, Hezbollah and Hamas are unacceptable because of their goals. These organizations are important elements of the Islamist movement that seeks to create a global totalitarian order along the lines of what has already been created in Iran, Sudan, and in Afghanistan under the Taliban. They see themselves as part of a cosmic clash between Muslims and the West in which the victor dominates the world.
Washington, trying to be consistent in its push for democracy, prefers to ignore these goals and instead endorses involvement by Hezbollah and Hamas in the political process, pending their making some small changes.
Ah, yes. A nip here, a tuck there, and Hamas will look just like the Christian Democrats.
These signals began last week when President Bush stated that although Hezbollah, a Lebanese group, is “a terrorist organization,” he hopes it will change that designation “by laying down arms and not threatening peace.” White House spokesman Scott McClellan then elaborated on this comment by specifying the two alternatives: “Organizations like Hezbollah have to choose, either you’re a terrorist organization or you’re a political organization.”
Why is it an either/or? Why can’t they get their minds around the possibility that a jihadist organization might pursue violence and political action in pursuit of its ultimate goals?
Bush himself explained further what he meant a day later, presenting elections as a method to shed the terrorist designation:
“I like the idea of people running for office. There’s a positive effect when you run for office. Maybe some will run for office and say, vote for me, I look forward to blowing up America. I don’t know, I don’t know if that will be their platform or not. But I don’t think so. I think people who generally run for office say, vote for me, I’m looking forward to fixing your potholes, or making sure you got bread on the table.”
Mr. President, you are assuming too much. Baalbeck isn’t Boise. What plays in one won’t necessarily play in the other.
Hamas, a Palestinian organization, Secretary of State Rice then noted, could also evolve in the right direction once it enters the democratic process:
“When people start getting elected and have to start worrying about constituencies and have to start worrying not about whether their fire-breathing rhetoric against Israel is being heard, but about whether or not that person’s child down the street is able to go to a good school or that road has been fixed or life is getting better, that things start to change.”…
Somebody, please, fetch me my smelling salts…Read it all…read it…all…