Thursday, July 31, 2008
Subject: Concerns. Malley, Hamas, Obama
I know nothing about Malley and Hamas. Can you tell me more about that.
The Jewish Voice and Opinion
Subject: Senator Obama’s campaign staff’s back-channel communications with Hamas (Robert Malley) and some possible harmful consequences of these communications for the United States and Israel.
Nearly all veteran political observers report that Barack Obama runs a very tightly controlled campaign staff. Thus, the likelihood that Robert Malley’s communication with Hamas was an unauthorized or rogue operation is practically nil.
As Senator Obama has noted, “words matter.” Recall that some careless United States remarks (that South Korea was “not included within America’s defense perimeter”) helped trigger North Korea’s invasion of South Korea; that President Kennedy’s overconfidence and lack of experience which were read by Soviet Union’s Premier Nikita Khrushchev as weakness and lack of resolve led directly to the Soviet’s construction of the East German wall and their introduction of nuclear missiles into Cuba; that some careless State Department remarks made by an ambassador (United States “policy is not to interfere with the internal affairs of other nations”) helped trigger Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait; and that Jacques Chirac’s personal assurances to Saddam Hussein that France would forestall any UN action emboldened Hussein to ignore UN and US threats and triggered the US-led coalition invasion of Iraq (and all that has followed).
While it will never be possible to know exactly what Malley communicated to Hamas, the messages that Hamas believes that they received (and that they have already transmitted to Hezbollah, Syria and Iran) are clear. Short term: keep all assaults and other provocations ambiguous utilizing proxy third parties; disclaim any responsibility for policing or enforcing any agreements (with Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, etc.); make bold demands and stand firm on your current demands such as prisoner exchanges (numbers, specific individuals, etc.). Long term: that when Senator Obama becomes President, his “appropriate action” in response to any major attack on Israel will be to turn the problem over to the United Nations for “agreed upon international action.” (Then, at the UN, no matter what the United States may publicly advocate “as the United States recommended appropriate international response,” not much action will happen.) [Unfortunately, it appears that Hamas is already acting on Malley’s (and presumably Senator Obama’s) guidance.]