Barack Obama declined to condemn Jimmy Carter Wednesday for Carter’s decision to meet with Hamas but said he supports diplomacy with Iran because it has recognized status internationally.
In a meeting with Jewish community leaders in Philadelphia, the Democratic presidential candidate stopped short of condemning the meeting between the former U.S. president and the designated terror group. However, he said direct talks with the Islamic Republic have practical benefits that are in Israel’s interest.
“Hamas is not a state. Hamas is a terrorist organization,” Obama said, explaining the distinction.
Now, I'm a bit confused here. According to Barack Obama, we should be engaged with a terrorist state, but avoid the terrorist groups that have been funded, or as in some cases, created by it. Iran is the epicenter of the extremist cause that has plunged the Middle East into chaos, from the borders of southern Iraq to humanitarian disaster that is brewing in the Gaza strip, and every action they have taken indicates that Khamenei (Iran's supreme leader) and Ahmadinejad are not peace-seeking individuals. In the end, is there really any difference between a terror-sponsoring state and a terrorist group? Let's not forget, back in 2001, the Taliban was the governing power in Afghanistan, even though only three countries (Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the UAE) recognized them. Nevertheless, the Taliban embraces the same destructive beliefs as Al-Qaeda and has engaged in the same methods of terrorism against the current government in Kabul.
Barack Obama is right to say that we have no business dealing with Hamas. However, if he expects that a sit-down with the leaders of a country that has financed, supplied, and trained Hamas would be any different, he is misguided to say the least.
I'm all for discussion and diplomacy to achieve peace, but both sides actually need to want it in order for it to work. With Iran, history shows that is just not the case.