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Thursday, April 17, 2008


the terrorist endorsement

posted by Aziz P. at Thursday, April 17, 2008 permalink View blog reactions
The usual suspects are crowing that the Terrorists endorse Obama. It turns out that Ahmed Yousef, one of the top political leaders within Hamas, said the following:

During an interview on WABC radio Sunday, top Hamas political adviser Ahmed Yousef said the terrorist group supports Obama’s foreign policy vision. “We don’t mind–actually we like Mr. Obama. We hope he will (win) the election and I do believe he is like John Kennedy, great man with great principle, and he has a vision to change America to make it in a position to lead the world community but not with domination and arrogance,” Yousef said in response to a question about the group’s willingness to meet with either of the Democratic presidential candidates.

Stepping away from the braying of those who will use this as an excuse for their usual smearing of liberals in general and Obama in particular (sort of v2.0 of the muslim smear), it's actually very interesting that Ahmed Yousef said that. He’s an interesting character. He hails from the political wing of Hamas, and is rather saavy about using American political vehicles to advance his agenda. For example he wrote this oped in the Washington Post last summer. In it, he writes,

Palestinians want, on their terms, the same thing Western societies want: self-determination, modernity, access to markets and their own economic power, and freedom for civil society to evolve. Those who warn of “failed states” and “Hamastan” as a breeding ground for terrorism forget where blame for failure belongs — at the feet of the American administration, which has chosen to isolate, rather than deal with, the elected government.

Someone has been paying attention to the political rhetoric out of Washington! Obviously, Yousef is not going to get pinned down about inconvenient facts like how Hamas targets schoolchildren on school buses, or expound eloquently on the right of Israelis to seek the same self-determination and freedom that he desires for his people. Its what is missing that we should recoil from, but as far as what he puts on the page, its a good starting point for a debate. Of course, debates legitimize the participants. As I said, highly saavy indeed.

The real take home message here is simply that we shouldn't, as a matter of civic duty, give two chits what certain people say about our politics. The Hamas endorsement is designed to serve only one party: Hamas. We can choose our own president without their “help”, thank you very much. File this sort of thing in the trash where it belongs.

After all, Al Qaeda endorsed Bush in 2004.

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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.