There's something in the air -- and it's not the prattle of baby birds. It's chatter. Some people listen to the sound, hear dialogue and say it's swell. I think it sounds like a new language of capitulation.
It surfaced in a Beirut hotel, and spread to a castle in Luxembourg; it whipped through a convention in Qatar, and last week popped up in the White House. There, Scott McLellan -- spokesman for the president who told the world that when it comes to fighting terrorism, you're either with us or you're with the terrorists -- lapsed into this new lingo. He shut his eyes to reality and opened his mouth to sophistry to say that the Hamas ticket in the Palestinian Authority was A-OK; just a bunch of "businesspeople." He continued: "While they might have been members of Hamas, they were business professionals" interested in "improving the quality of life for the Palestinian people," he said. "Not terrorists."
Since when? Maybe since the Bush administration realized that democratic yearnings in the Palestinian Authority might actually find fulfillment in these same "business professionals" -- whose charter, not incidentally, draws inspiration from the Quran and cites the fraudulent "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" in its calls for the total destruction of Israel.
As Andrew C. McCarthy noted at National Review Online, the old "improving people's lives" routine is a hallmark of every terror organization from the Nazis to Al Qaeda. And as Islamic history professor Raphael Israeli has explained, "The so-called military wing (of Hamas) cannot exist without the financial backing of the so-called social welfare wing." This suggests both so-called "wings" find the words of the Hamas charter equally thrilling: "Israel will rise and remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated all its predecessors."
More shocking than the White House seal of approval for Hamas "business professionals" is an emerging consensus that the murder "wing" of the outfit isn't so heinous after all. Last week, Reuters reported that E.U. foreign ministers gathered at a Luxembourg castle to consider "the previously taboo idea of dialogue with Islamic opposition groups" -- namely, Hamas and Hezbollah. The question before them, posed by E.U. foreign minister Javier Solana, was: "Has the time come for the E.U. to become more engaged with Islamic 'faith-based' civil societies?"