[ | | | 12 interested person(s) ]

"For the Palestinian people, the only path to independence and dignity and progress is the path of democracy." GW Bush November 2003.

I don't think Bush envisioned this. A Fatah party loss and a victory for the radical Islamic organization Hamas in the Palestinian elections demonstrates that democracy and terrorism are not mutually exclusive. Arrgg this is no good. This is a grey area with no right or wrong. Ick its rough when this happens. Bush being the savvy dude that he is was all over it though.

He said the elections "remind me of the power of democracy" and added, "I like the competition of ideas." There we go, right on. Competition of ideas that's pretty cool but what about Hamas' position that Israel needs to be the eradicated? Seems like that could get dicey given Israel is one of our largest allies. Both Israel and the US say they refuse to deal with Hamas unless it changes its platform.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, one of Bush's strongest allies in the war on terror said the result of the election was "very, very, very bad." There we go, some straight up talk. Somebody giving it to you straight whether you agree or disagree.

Slate characterized it best by saying that Bush's "black-and-white world has suddenly gone gray."

This situation is really fragile given that we have sovereign people who have elected for themselves their leadership, but the intentions of those people are called into question given their history of violence. Moyer of Tension blog sums up the situation "If in general, all terrorism should be destroyed, logic follows that Hamas should be destroyed, not legitimated, and much less courted."

I am not sure that out right destruction of an elected government is the best idea. It is difficult to say with my limited knowledge of the situation what exactly should be done. I would think that the the win will moderate Hamas as it becomes the ruling party of a country rather than a revolutionary group. Outright hostility to the ruling party does not seem like the best course. US and its allies might want to deal with Hamas on the basis of what they do, not who they are.

A topic for another discussion entirely is that the US and others are demanding that Hamas prescribes to peace and renounce violence. The question then must be asked if the US has made such a promise?

Hamas win heralds new reality by BBC UK
Hamas victory redraws political map by Reuters
Hamas shock victory poses new Middle East challenge by The Guardian
Hamas Apparent Hub of New Palestinian Government by LA Times

12 interested person(s)

nico said... @ 1/27/2006 12:25:00 AM

Yeah, it's kind of shocking in a way that they won, but in another way, it isn't.

The Israeli government has built settlements, bulldozes neighborhoods and restricts the movements of Palestinians.

I certainly don't support a terror organization, but when a government has it's boot on the neck of a population, people are going to flock to the people willing to stand up to them...especially when they're armed to the sky with US weaponry.

gone said... @ 1/27/2006 09:45:00 AM

I believe American foreign policy has a lot to do with the Hamas victory this week. Our arrogant stance in the region (not just this decade, but in the several preceeding it) has created sympathy for the terrorist cause.

I came here from CYSTSFTS. Great blog.

Anonymous said... @ 1/27/2006 10:34:00 AM

like your new banner....what is it? too distorted to tell...but looks cool. -ME

gone said... @ 1/27/2006 11:36:00 AM

I think it's Ali, is it not?

gone said... @ 1/27/2006 11:40:00 AM

It is also possible, but unlikely, that Hamas will evolve into something resembling the current incarnation of the IRA. Thoughts?

K. said... @ 1/27/2006 12:30:00 PM

It is in fact the famous Ali knock out shot. I think that it is difficult to predict exactly what Hamas will do now that it is in a more official position.

A young woman from my high school who I knew was actually run over by an Israeli' bulldozer as she practiced civil disobedience in trying to protect a home from being destroyed.

I don’t think you are totally off CBT in your linking to the IRA it is tough to tell what a group will do once they gain that "official" tag of being the chosen government. I think that is why it’s important to judge them and deal with them as their actions warrant in the present and not look at the past.

While the US and Israel don’t outright advocate the eradication of countries their position that Hamas must commit to peace and non-violence seems hypocritical given our use of violence in the realm of global politics. Which Nico I believe is discussing.

It is just difficult when you back a people into a corner using intimidation and violence and then expect them not to use violence in retaliation.

Violence begets violence, the very reason why it should never be used.

gone said... @ 1/27/2006 12:40:00 PM

I believe you are on point, k. I just wish I stumbled over here before I took a hiatus from blogging to refocus. You have great stuff here.

K. said... @ 1/27/2006 12:59:00 PM

It is also important to note that we add that the US is/was giving the Palestinian Authority 1 billion dollars per year.

gone said... @ 1/27/2006 02:56:00 PM

I guess one can expect that to cease.

nico said... @ 1/27/2006 04:41:00 PM

We give Israel 3 billion a year though, 2 billion of which is marked for military assistance.

K. said... @ 1/27/2006 04:58:00 PM

I am so fed up with the donation of weapons and violence as our "aid" lets start doing the building of society as our aid. Schools, hospitals, wells, education, power stations, lets build rather than destroy.

nico said... @ 1/28/2006 12:20:00 AM

Yeah, I'd be down with a bunch of hospital & school building coupled with some donations of agricultural equipment and public health measures.

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