McCain flip flops on Hamas

We don’t have to wait for the Rethuglican Swiftboaters to rev up their smear campaign Senators McCain has decided to launch his own Swiftboat style attacks filled with the kind of fact free flip flopping hypocrisy the United States of America has come to expect from the Republican Party. Conservatives continue to make it obvious they cannot win elections based on an honest discussion of the issues, Hypocrisy on Hamas – McCain Was for Talking Before He Was Against It

Two years ago, just after Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary elections, I interviewed McCain for the British network Sky News’s “World News Tonight” program. Here is the crucial part of our exchange:

I asked: “Do you think that American diplomats should be operating the way they have in the past, working with the Palestinian government if Hamas is now in charge?”

McCain answered: “They’re the government; sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them, one way or another, and I understand why this administration and previous administrations had such antipathy towards Hamas because of their dedication to violence and the things that they not only espouse but practice, so . . . but it’s a new reality in the Middle East. I think the lesson is people want security and a decent life and decent future, that they want democracy. Fatah was not giving them that.”

For some Europeans in Davos, Switzerland, where the interview took place, that’s a perfectly reasonable answer. But it is an unusual if not unique response for an American politician from either party. And it is most certainly not how the newly conservative presumptive Republican nominee would reply today.

Given that exchange, the new John McCain might say that Hamas should be rooting for the old John McCain to win the presidential election. The old John McCain, it appears, was ready to do business with a Hamas-led government, while both Clinton and Obama have said that Hamas must change its policies toward Israel and terrorism before it can have diplomatic relations with the United States.

Even if McCain had not favored doing business with Hamas two years ago, he had no business smearing Barack Obama. But given his stated position then, it is either the height of hypocrisy or a case of political amnesia for McCain to inject Hamas into the American election.

McCain has also tried to link Barack Obama to Iran’s Ahmadinejad and the dreaded a word appeasement – in Rethug World diplomacy and appeasement are the same thing; someone might want to let Merriam Webster know.. The problem is that if McCain wants to run his campaign as a four year extension of Bush’s foreign policy the senator might want to tell Bush’s Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to shut up, Boogeyman Foreign Policy

When asked to respond to McCain’s charge about Ahmadinejad, one of Obama’s senior advisers simply forwarded a comment by Defense Secretary Gates from today’s Washington Post. “We need to figure out a way to develop some leverage,” said Gates, “and then sit down and talk with them. If there is going to be a discussion, then they need something, too. We can’t go to a discussion and be completely the demander, with them not feeling that they need anything from us.” That’s Obama position, articulated by Bush’s defense secretary, say his aides. McCain’s Manichean view of negotiations, on the other hand, is the same one that bogged down the United States in the Middle East and squandered our international prestige. McCain doesn’t just share Bush’s policy positions on foreign affairs, goes this line of accusation—he shares his reckless neoconservative mindset.

If this is any indication it looks as though the coporate media is going to help McCain with the Swiftboating, Wash. Post’s Weisman, Shear repeated GOP’s false claim about Obama and Israel without providing context showing it was false

In a May 14 Washington Post article, staff writers Jonathan Weisman and Michael D. Shear wrote: “Republican surrogates have relentlessly tried to portray [Sen. Barack] Obama as anti-Israel, just this week plucking one sentence out of an extended interview with the Atlantic Monthly to accuse him of calling Israel ‘a constant sore’ that infects U.S. foreign policy.” But Republicans did not “pluck[] one sentence” out of the Atlantic interview; they plucked out two words, and Weisman and Shear did not provide the context in which Obama used the words “constant sore” to show readers that the attack is false. Indeed, in his May 12 interview with Atlantic magazine national correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg, Obama used the words “constant wound” and “constant sore” in referring to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, not Israel. Further, Weisman and Shear did not note the Obama campaign’s or Goldberg’s responses to the Republican attacks, both of which noted they are false.