Apparently, our question of the week has caught the eye of some in the mainstream media. Take a look at today's daily briefing transcript, in which one of our regular mainstream media briefing participants zeroed in on the question to ask whether the government was indicating a change in policy with respect to Hamas. I replied, as I had earlier in the briefing to a separate question not related to the blog, that neither had we changed policy nor were we considering a policy change. Our policy has been that we do not deal with terrorists organization (of which Hamas is classified as one). We have encouraged all in the Palestinian areas to make the choice of renouncing terror, turning away from violence, and recognizing Israel's right to exist. That's our policy.
Now we have asked what some might think are provocative questions before in our question of the week section -- or at least what some might consider provocative coming from the government (see the list at the bottom of the post). We try to make these questions both topical and to ask them in such a way as to generate informed comment, which I see as an important component of making Dipnote part of the foreign policy blog community and to building a community around Dipnote. Today was, however, the first time I had been asked in the briefing about the question of the week, so I thought it was worth noting in a post.
I thought it worth noting for another reason. Whether intended or not, the questioning at the briefing (and afterwards at the background session) left me with the impression that some in briefing room do not understand the idea behind Dipnote, which I outlined in the first post. Not surprising, but at the same time a bit disappointing. Maybe they were checking us out for the first time. Maybe somebody didn't like our question. Maybe they think you need their help in interpreting what you read. Whatever the case, we'll continue trying to push envelope in our own particular way to try to make the blog a better place for discussion about real foreign policy issues, decisions about which have real world implications for people's lives.
Previous Question of the Week Entries:·Do the Palestinians and Israelis Really Want Peace?
·Does New Information Regarding Iran's Nuclear Program Warrant a Change in U.S. Policy?·Does the Popularity of the United States Matter and Should It Affect Policy Decisions?·Does the UN Effectively Fulfill its Mission?·Fidel Castro Resigns... How Can the U.S. Assist Cuba's Transition to Democracy?·How To Convince Nations With Influence Over Burmese Junta To Halt Violence?·Is the Creation of a Palestinian State Feasible? Should U.S. Play a Role?·Is the U.S. Doing Enough to Protect Consumers From Potentially Harmful Imported Products?·Should Promoting Abstinence and Being Faithful be Part of U.S. AIDS Prevention Programs?·Should U.S. Congress Consider Resolution Labeling Ottoman Empire's Massacre of Armenians Genocide?·What Actions Should U.S. Take if President Musharraf Fails To Keep Promises?·What Effect Will Hamas Have on Negotiations Over the Future of Israel and Palestine?·What Tangible Results Are Necessary for the Annapolis Conference To Be Deemed a Success?·What Will Life in Cuba be Like After Castro?·When, if Ever, is the Declaration of a State of Emergency Justified?·Who Should be Allowed To Possess Nuclear Technology?·Will Tougher Sanctions Convince Iran To Abandon Their Nuclear Ambitions?