Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Re: It's all about the Freedom

I was posting a comment to Mojo's piece, when I realized it was running too long and I should just make it a post.

It will not be easy for Hamas to make up from Iran or Syria or anywhere else in the Middle East the money the Palestinan Authority has been recieving from the European Union and the United States. It's a fair amount, over a billion, and while everyone in that region is happy to exploit the Palestian/Israeli Conflict for their own purposes, supporting them with hard cash has not been a part of that. Cutting them off is not entirely an empty threat.

Of course, as you point out, running around pimping Democracy as the solution for all your issues in the region, and that trying to undermine what is univerally accepted as a legal election is absurd to say the least. Not to mention that it was the United States that insisted on not putting off the election. And for Condi Rice to act surprised at the outcome is bizarre. Abbas told her Hamas could come out on top if they did not put off the election. They need to find a way to deal with Hamas.

This is not without precendent. The British have dealt with a Sinn Fein run by Gerry Adams, formerly the lmilitary leader of the IRA and a former terrorist himself. There is little doubt he was personally responsible for the deaths of civilians and British soldiers, and gave orders for others to do the same. Did anyone think the IRA would disarm for anyone else than Adams, with McGuinnes by his side? Of course not, and neither will Hamas disarm for Abbas or anyone else other than their own leadership. Democracy forces all kinds of strange bedfellows and difficult choices. This is another example of that.

If the Palestinans are cutoff from US and European support, and Hamas can survive without it, what leverage is left other than force? Now we are into the ethnic cleansing fantasies of Pat Robertson and the Evangelical nuthouse he speaks for, who openly want "Gods land" purged of the infidels. If that sounds like the rhetoric of the Crusades, kudos to you, that is exactly what it is. And it is just as crazy, racist, ethnophobic and evil. And it will not bring about the democrnirvana Daniel Pipesm, Michael Ledeen and the rest of the NeoCon fantasy brigage keep pimping. It is yet another dangerous outcome that leads further into chaos. Even the Israeli's don't want that. Their intent seems to be to extricate themselves from the West Bank with most of the settlements behind the Security Wall.

Let me make this simple for our Red State readers. You cannot make headway on any positive changes in the political climate of the Middle East without resolving the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, period. Everyone from ememies like Bin Laden to alleged friends like the Saudi's exploit the conflict for their own purposes. The Palestinians are just a propaganda opportunity to them, they don't give a crap about improving their lives or resolving the conflict to help these people build a state.

Just to be clear, I have a very low opinion of Hamas. Hamas was instrumental in destroying the peace efforts that resulted from Oslo. The Palestinians have suffered from the renewal of the conflict that their bombing campaign began, not to mention the deaths of innocent civilians on both sides that resulted. I can understand the impulse to not want to reward them for this. But we insisted on Democracy and this is it. The Adminisration needs to be careful that the next outcome of their policy isn't worse.

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