From Gaza City to Tehran

189pxcondoleezza_rice_croppedI knew the original version of Condoleezza Rice back in 1984 when she was a xenophobe political scientist at Stanford warning us about the military threat of the Soviet empire. She wasn't very brave then. And she's no braver now.

Once a paranoid Sovietologist always one, I fear. The world might have changed since 1984, but Rice is still building her brand around the same imaginary threat of violent foreigners. Back then, she wrote self-serving books like The Soviet Union and the Czech Army, 1948-1983: Uncertain Allegiance which terrified us about the military threat of the evil empire. Substitute the Soviet Union for Hamas and we might as well be back in 1984 when, if we were to believe xenophobes like Rice, the Russians were an expansionist military power seeking to rule the world. Here's Rice's unbelievably stupid remarks about Jimmy Carter's brave attempt to bring Hamas into the peace process:

"I just don't want there to be any confusion. The United States is not going to deal with Hamas and we had certainly told President Carter that we did not think meeting with Hamas was going to help" further a political settlement between Israel and the Palestinians."

But my dear Condeleezza -- how can there be any "political settlement" between Israel and the Palestinians if you refuse to speak to the most popular political organization in Palestine? Hamas is no more or less a "terrorist" organization than the Palestinian Authority or, for that matter, either Hezbollah or your ever-shifting political proxies in Iraq. Even you know that. It's time to take some real risks in the Middle East. Be brave for once in your life. Start by talking to the hard men inside Hamas. Who knows, maybe the diplomatic road to Tehran begins in Gaza City.