These people, as I talked about in the book, are not fighting a real war, they’re fighting a cosmic war.   They’re fighting a war that’s taking place in another plane.  This is a battle between the forces of good and evil, between the angels of light and the demons of darkness.  The sort of material considerations that are part of human warfare are not really considerations, as far as, they’re concerned.  So there is no dealing with the Jihadist organizations.  They have to be confronted, they have to be brought to justice or they have to be destroyed.  But the very least recognizing the difference between those groups that we can talk to and those groups that we can’t talk to is the first, sort of, foundational process of putting together a reasonable, rational and effective policy in dealing with the rise of Islamic extremism and I think this is an administration that, regardless of how you feel about their politics, understands that fundamental truth and we’re seeing that policy not just in the way that the administration is dealing with, you know, Muslims in general but more specifically in the way that the administration is dealing with Afghanistan.  Gone are the days in which we just assume that the Taliban and al-Qaida were just one enemy.  We now recognize them as two distinct enemies, an Islamist enemy the Taliban, who wants Afghanistan, and a Jihadist enemy, al-Qaida, who doesn’t care about Afghanistan who wants the world.  One of these groups we can deal with, one of them we can’t.  That is the principal challenge that is facing the United States.  Thank you.

Interviewer 1:    I know we have to open it to questions but I’m going to go first.

Interviewee:    I think that’s your right as the moderator.

Interviewer 1:    I wanted to…this point about, you know, giving groups like Hezbollah and Hamas a chance, do you think, given everything that we’ve been seeing and even especially in the last year, do you feel like Hamas has been given a fair chance to prove that it can be democratic when it’s continually shut out?

Interviewee:    No.  I mean, the simple answer is no, absolutely not.  I mean, I, you know, obviously, there’s a lot of fun in playing these thought games about ‘what would have happened if’, and I always, sort of, like to think about what would have happened if at the very least when Hamas won the Palestinian elections fair and square and won it by the way through an absolute genius campaign in which they never brought up Israel at all.  All they ever talked about was, you know, the social services that they provided, you know, the hospitals that they built, the educational scholarships that they gave out, in other words, they learned the fundamental truth of democracy and of elections which is he who cleans the streets gets the votes, and they cleaned the streets and they got the votes and unfortunately, despite the promises made by the international community that we would abide by whatever the election outcome was, we violated that promise and the result I think we’ve all seen.  The split between Gaza and the West Bank, the cutting off of the Palestinians in Gaza who at this point are one and a half million people living in a prison, really and the most densely packed region on the face of the planet, with very little resources and almost no, you know, perceptible human rights at all.  Now, let’s think about how we could’ve handled that differently and at the very least, what would have happened had we given Hamas an opportunity to fail, which they very likely would have as a political group.  They’re not built for that.  They’re built for opposition.  They’re built, you know, to be a militant force.

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