Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Now what? The world reacts to Hamas victory

By Aussiegirl

Don't you just hate it when democracy turns around and bites you in the butt? The world is now faced with the unpalatable choice of either dealing with the duly democratically elected government in Palestine, which just happens to be a terrorist organization that does not recognize Israel's right to exist and has as one of its aims the total destruction of the Israeli state -- or -- refusing to recognize a democratically elected government.

There are those who will voice the opinion that now that Hamas is in power they will be forced to moderate and accomodate to providing for public services, etc., but precious little historical evidence exists for such moderation. Read Barry Rubin's piece called "The Myth of a Moderate Hamas" for further insights into this idea.

Paging Natan Sharansky, whose book about democracies has so inspired our president that he is on a one man crusade to democratize the entire Middle East. We saw one outcome in Iraq, we now see another in Palestine.

Israeli politicians are scrambling to figure out how to deal with this outcome, and what is suprising to me is how apparently surprised they are at this outcome. I would have thought that they would have considered this a distinct possibility and planned for it. But evidently pie in the sky is a dish that is not only being consumed in America by Condi Rice and George Bush, but has been part of the steady diet of Israeli politics as well.

Meanwhile, Israel continues its unilateral ceding of further territories in some quixotic quest to prove to the terrorists that they are really nice guys. Hey -- the Palestinians don't want Gaza, the West Bank or any of the other little bits of "territories" that Israel is willing to turn over -- they want the whole kahuna. And now they have Ahmadinejad on their side, there's no telling how emboldened they are feeling now.

The world will hem and haw, they'll make polite noises about not dealing with them until they renounce violence, and then they'll quietly set about dealing with them anyway. Hamas knows this.

And the embarrassing truth is that this makes a mockery of the "road to peace" and the entire unworkable Oslo accord. And nothing could demonstrate it better than the embarrassing statements from Condoleeza Rice (quoted below), who woke up this morning to see her Mideast policies in tatters.

Wake up before it's too late. Democracy is not a panacea in the Arab world. If democracies reflect the will of the people -- the world just learned what the will of the Palestinian people is, and no amount of putting a kind face on it will change that.

You can say that the people were really voting for all the social programs that Hamas instituted, you can say that Hamas will moderate, and we can hope against hope that it will, but most probably it points up that those of us who talked about the futility of this so-called peace-process, where Israel conceded territory in exchange for absolutely no guarantees except wild hopes, were correct.

Now what?

The Standard - China's Business Newspaper

Israel and the United States refuse to deal with Hamas.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Washington's position on Hamas as a terrorist organization has not changed.

"You cannot have one foot in politics and another in terror," Rice said.

She added: "Palestinian people have apparently voted for change, but we believe their aspirations for peace and a peaceful life remain unchanged."

Rice said those goals will require renunciation of violence and terrorism and acceptance of Israel's right to exist side-by-side with a Palestinian state.

"You can't have a peace process if you're not committed to the right of your partner to exist."

More world reaction here


At 3:27 PM, Blogger stickman said...

The Palestinian people have spoken. Any terrorist bombing which occurs now can be concluded to be an act of war. No more Arafat making conciliatory speeches in english in the AM and praising the suicide bomber in Arabic in the PM. No more ambiguity.

Palestinians have clearly indicated in their choice they want war with Israel. The US must now cease to advocate a limited Israeli response.

The fence is now justified. The groundrules have now changed, the Palestinians attack at their peril.

At 7:38 PM, Anonymous One Eyed Cat said...

Agree with Stickman. Noone will be able to deny the true intentions of the "Palestinian State". All aggression against Israel will be actual acts of war. Israel must respond accordingly.


At 7:52 PM, Blogger Morris said...

Interesting, isn't it, that this is the first time in modern history that a terrorist organization has been 'democratically' elected.
If they didn't have Israel to hate, they would be fighting each other. Indeed, I see on the news that they have already been throwing rocks at each other, literally.
Despite the US trying to democratize the Middle East, I fear there's little chance of democracies remaining so once the coalition finally withdraw. Islam and democracy are incompatible.

At 2:49 PM, Blogger TJ Willms said...

Israel may now rally behind Bibi Netanyahu, and their conservative Likud party. Netanyahu never in favor of the “Land for Peace” gambit until the heavy-handed pressure from the Clinton administration forced him down that road won’t go there again.

Sharon’s “disengagement” plan in Gaza and now these elections have proven for the all the world to see how truly psychotic the Palestinians really are. By placing Hamas into the legitimate role of leading their “state” the Palestinian people have declared loudly and in one voice for everyone to hear, “we are terrorists and proud of it.”

At 10:12 AM, Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

Democracy can only flourish where there is a moral people. Consider the rise of Adolf Hitler; he was duly elected in GERMANY, a land known for it`s culture, education, and orderly system. Why do we expect Democratization to work in a land stuck in the 7th century?

That said, we need to replace the current system in the Mid-east with something else, and democracy is the logical choice, since it gives the citizens a stake in their own futures. Still, it certainly is no panacea.

I agree that this will weaken Hamas in some ways, and it will illustrate the bankruptcy of the ``land for peace`` policies. It also should warn America of the dangers inherent in the cheerful course of democratization. Controls have to be built into the system.

If we deal with the financiers of Hamas, they will dry up and blow away. That is why we MUST have a policy of regime change for Syria and Iran.

Remember the Hydra? In Greek mythology, the Hydra had numerous heads and would grow new ones as fast as one could chop the old ones off. Hercules had to burn the heads off and bury the immortal one under a rock.

We have to bury the main head of Jihad.

When pulling weeds, one must get the roots as well as the flowering part.

Iran and Syria are the roots. We need to do some gardening.

At 11:35 PM, Blogger Aussiegirl said...

Wonderful comments all -- agreed. However, Bush appears ready to have his friend Putin fix things up in Iran.


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