Friday, January 27, 2006

Hamas to Take the Reigns

Well, I certainly hope that this will give pause to those who believe that democracy is the magic bullet that will solve all the problems in the middle east. Just because there is democracy does not, will not, and never will ensure that friendly, peaceful governments will inhabit the earth.

This election puts Bush in a corner. One the one hand, he touts the importance of democracy and the freedom that it brings with it. On the other hand, he is saying that he will not deal with a popularly elected government that advocates the destruction of another. He is also threatening to cut off aid to the PA due to the election. While the election results are not Bush's "fault" per se, but he did push for them contrary to the position of the PA who wanted to postpone the elections.

And what the neo-cons in Washington failed to see coming is the causes of the stunning upset. Hamas, a terrorist organization, is also the salvation for many Palestinians. They provide vital social services that the people want. Money that was meant to be spent on hospitals and schools by the PA, instead was siphoned off to personal bank accounts. Filling the void was Hamas.

So, Bush is in a position where he will refuse to deal with the elected government, but at the same time cannot deny the legitimacy of the elections and the will of the people.

Disengagement will not work, but nor will dealing with a violent political party in control. Of course, there is the slim possibility that Hamas will decide to become legitimate now that it sees that the political process can work to their advantage, but I won't be holding my breath. Overall, though, I don't think Bush has much of an option but to deal with Hamas as long as the cease fire holds and to pressure Israel to do the same. This appears to be the only leverage that the US and Israel can hold over Hamas to remain peaceful, at least for the time being.

As for the treat to cut off aid, Bush is in another lose-lose situation. If Bush continues aid, he is giving money to a government formed by Hamas. If he cuts off aid, he only cements Hamas's position in power since they will be the only group with the funding (Iran, Syria, etc) that can continue the social projects that vaulted Hamas into power in the first place.

Hamas Sweeps Palestinian Poll


Gun-Toting Liberal said...

Interesting point of view on the subject, Sir. I'm not sure yours and mine are all that different actually. It's great to read your blog again, and great to see you're still in "biz" after all these months. Keep on bloggin' on....


Dingo said...

glad you are back from from your work trip (where ever it was to).