Thursday, January 26, 2006

Waiting

Two items, the first from a European blog called Snouck Hurgronje, which has a link to a Jihadi sniper video showing attacks on American soldiers. I don't normally link to that stuff but I'll make an exception in this case because it's important to remember that one is facing the enemy -- not misunderstood people in colorful costumes -- an enemy which delights in the death of Americans. The second is a link to an outstanding audio tape of an interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali. In case some readers have forgotten, Ms. Ali was once a convinced Islamist who approved of the fatwa on Salman Rushdie. She is now the subject of a fatwa herself. Although I don't agree with all of her policy positions the audio exemplifies better than anything else how a quality mind works when exposed to ideas and to facts.

But those two items are merely background for this bit of news. Hamas may have won the Palestinian elections, which may in turn make Benjamin Netanyahu the next Prime Minister of Israel. CNN is now reporting that the current Palestinian government has resigned. The election of Hamas taken together with the crisis in Iran suggests that that the world is being challenged by very deeply rooted forces which traditional international institutions may be incapable of handling. The way to safety hangs on events that haven't resolved themselves yet. Whether the policy of democraticization has blunted the rush to madness -- Egyptian blogger the Big Pharaoah thinks Middle East democracy boosts Islamists; whether Iran will acquire the bomb; whether Israel will draw its sword to prevent it; whether Syria's ruling dynasty will fall; whether Europe will break out of its demographic death-spiral. Because success relies so much on the exploitation of contingent events it's a dangerous time for America to be divided, with one side unsure of whether any real danger besides BushchimpHitler exists and the other in the grip of a half-articulated policy; both almost fatalistically slouching towards a future where there are no certain or even probable endings.

Update

The White House sent out this press release on January 24th.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, Minister, in two days we're going to be having elections in the Palestinian territories in which the militant group Hamas is expected to do very well and quite possibly enter the government. My question is: Can the United States and the European Union accept and work with a Palestinian government that includes members of Hamas?

SECRETARY RICE: The first point that I'd like to make is that I think it will be a great day for the Palestinian people to engage in elections. They are in a transition to the creation of a basis for a democratic state and we look forward to supporting their efforts.

There are certain realities. The United States has -- Hamas is a terrorist group from the policies of the United States and it is a group that does not recognize the existence of Israel and it is a group that has not renounced violence and the problem, of course, is a very practical problem. In addition to the fact that the United States won't change its policies toward Hamas, the practical problem is that the Palestinian leadership in the roadmap is committed to a renunciation of violence, committed to dismantling terrorist organizations, committed to a peaceful road.

It probably goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway, that it's hard to have negotiations with a party that you do not recognize its right to exist. And so if we indeed do want a path to peace between Israel and the Palestinian people, it is going to have to be one in which Palestinians and any Palestinian government is committed to a peaceful path.

I might also add that this has been said by the Palestinian Authority President on a number of occasions that there has to be one authority and one gun. And as said by the Quartet that it is not possible to have -- I'm paraphrasing but -- one foot in terrorism and the other foot in politics. It simply doesn't work.

93 Comments:

Blogger blert said...

We're entering a 'come as you are hell'....

Iranian actions are not insane.... just ultra risk....

The hour glass is virtually empty.

1914 redux....

We are at a tipping point.

Iran is staring at the abyss and sees a mirage.

Technical developments are so far ahead of publicity.

Iranian actions imply that they are being tipped.

The sitzkrieg is about to end.

1/26/2006 02:39:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1/26/2006 03:05:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

Hamas is an Islamist organization whose primary purpose is to bring jihad and sharia to Palestine. The total destruction of Israel and annihilation of all Jews is the centerpiece of the Hamas charter. For too long, the Europeans have ignored these facts and for whatever reasons (anti-semitism, multi-culti dhimmitude, anti-americanism) have subsidised the terrorists with hundreds of millions of dollars per year. Perhaps now that the Iranians are threatening nuclear destruction, and the Palestinian people in democratic elections have made their intentions unequivocally clear, the world will begin to see the truth about Islam. Perhaps Europe will stop subsidizing terror and Israel will be allowed to defend itself without the universal condemnation of the UN.

Or maybe not. It may be that with all pretenses dropped, the issues will clarified, sides will be chosen and the dogs of war will once again be let loose.

Hamas is about to learn that actions have consequences, and that with power comes responsibility and accountability. Hamas may choose to pursue its genocidal philosophy to a very bitter end. The larger question is who in the Islamic world will join them?

1/26/2006 03:25:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

The election of Hamas is to some degree a vote against Fatah corruption. One of the chief electoral spoils will be the billions of dollars in international money that have over the years, gone into creating what in the end turned out to be hateful to everyone. In that sense it was a vote against the last 15 years of nonsense. The political investments in Yasser Arafat, which included warm receptions at the White House, the Nobel Peace Prize, half a century of international aid. Oslo. All of that may have been buried today, though it I wouldn't be surprised if those whose international careers depended on it try to resurrect it in zombie-like fashion to totter around in a putrefied state for as long as it can be kept going.

1/26/2006 03:34:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

ah... what a wonderful morning!

The jew hating/murdering autocratic government of the palestinians have been replaced with a democratic jew hating/murdering government!

now here is the funny...

before: italian 1000 suited jew hating murderers
now: green bed sheeted jew hating murderers

becareful what you wish for, cause ya might get it..

hamas will lead! death to israel! oh, btw israel please dont turn off our water or power to the gaza strip... please let our people have jobs in the zionist enemy, just as long as we can grow strong to kill you...

no really folks, this is a good day, the HONEST jew hating murderers have been elected!

Hey Adolf! your back! Mr Hitler did you win your seat? (really folks)

1/26/2006 04:29:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

" a dangerous time for America to be divided, with one side unsure of whether any real danger besides BushchimpHitler exists and the other in the grip of a half-articulated policy; both almost fatalistically slouching towards a future where there are no certain or even probable endings."

Mr Moti (11:37 AM) in the previous thread needs the attention of Dr Sanity.
Compare his descriptions of the police state powers of GWB with her description below:
THE POLITICAL PARANOIA OF THE LEFT - Part I
...Of course, calling someone "paranoid", or insinuating that they have a "paranoid style" is definitely pejorative. Being paranoid has, as Hofstadter notes, "a greater affinity for bad causes than good ones." This is primarily because the paranoid--even when their cause has some merit
--is actually trying to delude himself about some inner reality at the expense of, or detriment to, the cause.
Their motivation is no longer about the cause anymore; it is about protecting themselves from an unpleasant reality that is making them question their foundations.

Any who oppose the "equality of outcome" logic are descibed as "racist".
Those who disagree with them are "trying to shut down free speech" (watch and see whose behavior actually physically attempts to silence others).
Those who point out the errors in their thinking are "evil".
American society--arguably the freest and most tolerant in the world--becomes the source of all oppression and evil.
This growing attitude condensed itself into an insane and irrational hatred for one man who came to symbolize their worst fear -- that their image of themselves was no longer true, but had become a well-loved and cultivated delusion.

1/26/2006 04:33:00 AM  
Blogger Ben Ze'ev said...

If the US refuses to do business with HAMAS they will look like hypocrites in Iraq and on the wider Middle East democracy project.

If they engage HAMAS they will look liky hypocrites on the war on terror, and create other, even more dangerous precedents.

The problem is that the White House has tied itself to a simplistic "democracy" brand in an attempt to justify several theateres of a global conflict that they still refuse to define properly, let alone communicate a sound strategy.
The implication of recent White House (and State) efforts in Iraq as well as Egypt and Lebanon is that democracy should the first and greatest virtue of a society, and any unpalatable activity is carried out primiarily in democracy's name.
I have a lot of philosophical isues with this position, but the greatest immediate problem is that the White House has now painted itself into a corner in Iraq and especially in Judea/Samaria/Gaza. It will be very difficult for them to say "Yes, but" to institutionalised Islamist terror with a popular mandate after so much political capital has been placed behind the legitimacy of a democratically elected governments.

It will take enormous courage for Condaleeza Rice to say that democracy is good, but only as far as it reflects the true will of the people. Sometimes, that will is itself not so good. This is how we know when we cannot blame the leaders, and realise that we have a problem with the people themselves. Maybe some people do not deserve democracy. They may have sane people in their midst, and these people may even be a majority. But until there is a loud, violent, dangerous minority with a stone-age agenda the culture is not ready for democracy, at least not one where the stone age types are enfranchised.


I hold even less hope that the EU will take any kind of principled position on this issue, let alone Russia or the UN.

Roadmap to hell...

1/26/2006 04:46:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

SixDaysMore#1 said...
"The problem is that the White House has tied itself to a simplistic "democracy" brand in an attempt to justify several theateres of a global conflict that they still refuse to define properly, let alone communicate a sound strategy."
---
Uh, hasn't the "Belmonteer Consensus" tm tied itself to this view?
Discuss and defend.

1/26/2006 04:50:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Except wedding ourselves to democracy per se was always partly motvated by generosity and hopeful thinking. If they all turn out to be Islamists-in-waiting, total war is also a possibility. The difficulty lies with the nature of the regional actors, not the White House. This is a clarifying event though; the "Palestinian" side will soon find itself in deeper war. I only hope that, before Iran and Hamas and Sadr can coordinate, Bush, Blair and Netanyahu decide to cut the knot first and take them all down at once.

1/26/2006 05:06:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Six More Days,

The relationship between the West and the Palestinian proto-state has been unnatural in that it paid or supplied most of the services that the Palestinian state ought to have provided in the first place. This not only contributed to corruption but relieved the Palestinian political parties of the burden of good governance. It was never necessary to collect garbage or build roads and the political parties were free, like teenagers supported by indulgent parents, to leave their rooms dirty while they raised hell.

Now some will argue that the Palestinian Authority was in no position to do this due to Israeli occupation. But now that they've got some territory and a government that excuse will be thin.

More is expected of America than to "do business" with the PA in the same way it does with other countries. It will not be enough to desist from invasion and to observe international usages. What is expected is to keep paying their bills.

I think the implicit expectation will be to keep the money -- a.k.a. the peace process -- flowing to Hamas. Failure to do this will be described as "punishing the Palestinians" for exercising their democratic rights. But where is it written that one country must underwrite another? But we have the precendent of the last decade and it will be cited.

1/26/2006 05:12:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

-I think the implicit expectation will be to keep the money -- a.k.a. the peace process -- flowing to Hamas. Failure to do this will be described as "punishing the Palestinians" for exercising their democratic rights. But where is it written that one country must underwrite another? But we have the precendent of the last decade and it will be cited.

586 million a year from the eu alone.. now it's time for the false construct of palestine to fail.. after all please remind me why a death cult people that makes nothing cept human bombs should be rewarded? (at the expense of law abiding westerners that obey normal human values)

1/26/2006 05:17:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

from the daily kos: about the hamas win

.........Such a friend of democracy, eh?

"Nah, we won't wait to see an emergence of a democratic Palestine. We'll just demonize them and stop any sort of dialouge that might occur before it does. They actually might turn out being not the devils we eagerly want to portray them as. Better not give them a chance to make fools of us yet again."

American style democracy: Shoot your mouth of first and not listen later.

Restore Democracy! Denounce the GOP (George Orwell's Party)!

by high5 on Thu Jan 26, 2006 at 05:30:24 AM PDT


is this what they call a helpful idiot? let's not judge hamas by the murder of over 600 israelis and dont forget the THOUSANDS of wounded and maimed, let us withhold judgement and support all political expression that is democratic....

I cant wait for all balding fat white men to democratically enact rules to force thin cheerleaders to date us...

majority rules, that is democracy~

1/26/2006 05:28:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

By the way has Sharon died or is he still alive?

1/26/2006 05:30:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"please remind me why a death cult people that makes nothing cept human bombs should be rewarded?"
---
I can't recall.
Sorry.

1/26/2006 05:31:00 AM  
Blogger Ben Ze'ev said...

"Except wedding ourselves to democracy per se was always partly motvated by generosity and hopeful thinking."

I suspect not. This may be true of the electorate's acceptance of the democracy project, but I believe (and dearly hope!) that Rumsfeld, Rice, Cheney et al were never really so naive. This was a calculated gambit, a lesser of two evils, an attempt to recover depleting political capital. "Democracy", like "WMD" was a risky marketing gimmick, as has been the entire management of communicating (and naming!) the GWOT over the last four years, driven by the fear of upsetting an electorate that "cannot handle the truth".
Sadly they were wrong. Communicating the real nature of the enemy and real strategy would also have been costly politically, but far less so than what actually happened. Easy to say with hindsight, I know.

The question is, what does it take for the administration to admit its mistakes, communicate some painful truths, define a strategy and follow a course of action ?
So easy in WWII, so inconceivable now...

Will we see clear communication, coherent strategy and decisive action before it is too late?
Do we now have to wait until the Congressional elections, or is even that too much to hope for?

1/26/2006 05:32:00 AM  
Blogger kstagger said...

slightly-OT, but has anyone noticed that the media coverage of the Iraq 'War' has declined... it's not going to end with a bang, but a whimper.

Oddly enough, it's still used as a political weapon against Bush - of course these days, everything is used against him.

1/26/2006 05:34:00 AM  
Blogger Ben Ze'ev said...

Wretchard, Pork Rinds,

Apologies, I would like to reply to your posts and will do so tomorrow.

It is half past midnight here in Sydney and I am badly in need of rest. Keep the thread warm, see you tomorrow!

1/26/2006 05:35:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"So easy in WWII, so inconceivable now..."
---
Any number of Churchill or FDR speeches bring the same goosebumps of wishful nostalgia that Zell Miller's great speech did.

1/26/2006 05:35:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hey!
It's 3:30 am in Hawaii!
Wuss!

1/26/2006 05:37:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

The question is, what does it take for the administration to admit its mistakes, communicate some painful truths, define a strategy and follow a course of action ?

why is this a mistake? maybe GWB realized that the best way to expose the 2 facedness of islam/the arab world was to push for democratic reforms, now the genie is out of the bottle, the palestinians have choosen war over peace...

to the victor goes the spoils... or as i like to say, eat sand morons, cut off all water and power to gaza now. if the palestinians are committed to israel's destruction fine, no more western medicine to palestine... time for darwin to take over...

1/26/2006 05:39:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

"...one foot in terrorism and the other foot in politics."

Hey SECSTATE! You just described Yasser Arrafat's Kleptocracy! And that worked, didn't it? Just ask the Democrats and Europeans....

1/26/2006 05:40:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"to the victor goes the spoils... or as i like to say, eat sand morons, cut off all water and power to gaza now."
---
Unnecessarily Cruel:
As we say to the "Native Hawaiians" activists:
(welfare drifters paid to go to college ...or teach it.)
OK, it IS your water:
Build the pipes,
the treatment plants,
the power stations,
...and etc.
(and fend off the Japs while you're at it)

1/26/2006 05:50:00 AM  
Blogger oseaghdha said...

Long time listener, first time caller.
It appears to me, that from the official statements from the various players in this theater of the macabre, Hamas does not want to be in front. Fatah intends to force them into forming a government. Condi and co. believes they can force Hamas to renounce their intention to destroy the Zionist Entity(tm) thereby rehabilitating them.
Gonna be a looong summer.

1/26/2006 05:52:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

It was argued that by unilaterally withdrawing from Gaza and withdrawing behind a wall, Israel was simplifying a complex problem, making it easier to solve. Yet because the problem was regional, not just local, Sharon's move also introduced new variables into the system. Hamas' electoral victory affects the fortunes of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. That's why it is world and not local news.

The other way to simplify the problem, a scheme near and dear to some hearts, is to eliminate Israel. By jettisoning Israel (the "shitty little country") it could be argued that the whole knot could be disentangled. Yet a moment's thought would make it plain that the resulting chaos from Israel's hypothetical destruction would have incalculable, even fatal consequences as far away as Europe.

In retrospect it seems unlikely that diplomats hoped for more than to gain time by propping up the monster Arafat. The peace plans of the last decade could not be seriously expected to work because they never answered the question of how to bring the extremely powerful transnational gangs in the region under control except to hope that they would go away.

1/26/2006 05:56:00 AM  
Blogger kstagger said...

Democracy can work provided the people who vote are not only free, but educated. In my view, 'Palestine' is a sick culture, dominated by fear and Jew-hating propaganda. We should be suprised by these voting results?

1/26/2006 05:58:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"The peace plans of the last decade could not be seriously expected to work because they never answered the question of how to bring the extremely powerful transnational gangs in the region under control except to hope that they would go away. "
---
"Their motivation is no longer about the cause anymore; it is about protecting themselves from an unpleasant reality that is making them question their foundations."
- Dr. Sanity

1/26/2006 06:04:00 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

I'm sorry, I don't really see this as a "problem" exposing an inadequacy in the admin's policy.
Hamas winning is a *good* thing because it blows away the excuse that the peace-loving palestinian people were just in the clutches of Arafat and co.
Actually, if they were content to stay home and do sharia for themselves, it would be perfectly good to let them go to hell their own way, in effect have a chance to get it out of their system.
Of course back in the real world it means that the real majority have proven they don't want peace (apart from the ones who simply voted out Fatah per Wretchard).

Actually Hamas winning is a great culmination of what Sharon did in breaking the dilemma and withdrawing from Gaza where he gave up what couldn't be properly controlled anyway while taking away their excuses, exposing the Pali's for what they [most of 'em] are. Voting in Hamas further *helpfully* takes the mask off.

The democracy push is right AFAIC ... it can help moderate societies as the people become real stakeholders -- and where they don't moderate, then it helpfully clarifies who the enemy is.
I call that a win-win.

FWIW, I'm a libertarian conservative who actually does not bow at the altar of "democracy". People treat it like the highest goal/value for a country, when it is actually just a method. The founding fathers chose a republican as opposed to pure democracy as the least worst means of securing our liberty. THAT is the goal/value.

1/26/2006 06:11:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Painting a zebra will not transform it into a horse.

Seems that the Palistinians have voted for an "uncorrupt" War. Certainly not the first time people have chosen, from my perspective, poorly.

At some point one side or the other, in the Mohammedan Wars, will have win.
The Side that can plainly state it's Goals is the Side that will, over time, prevail. If US Goals are not articulated, they will never be achieved.

I truely doubt that a Palisinian Authority ruled by Hamas was ever part of the US Goal. But you never know, we will not let US know our Goals.

Hamas states it will not negotiate with the Israelis, the Israelis concur.

1/26/2006 06:11:00 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

FWIW I made my post before reading Wretchard's comment just above.

1/26/2006 06:12:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

The nice thing about the Palestinian election and Hamas as the elected head of the Palestinian State, is that now there can not be any illusions about what's going on there. At least by anybody with even a tenuous connection to rationality

From now on, all terrorist acts coming out of Gaza need to be viewed as acts of war, and responded to on that basis

1/26/2006 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"By the way has Sharon died or is he still alive?"
---
Dan,
In a coma.
Same as that Persian guy says he wants to do to all the folks in Israel.
Maybe Warfarin will be the latest WMD?

1/26/2006 06:22:00 AM  
Blogger raymondshaw said...

Will be interesting to see how this plays out. Democracratic Islamic voters endorsing/conducting terrorism.

Will give folks on the home front cause to wonder about the Islamist in our midst, don't you think?

A side benefit is that the claim of collateral damage goes away.

1/26/2006 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger oseaghdha said...

From now on, all terrorist acts coming out of Gaza need to be viewed as acts of war, and responded to on that basis

Does that mean US declares the Pal. state to be a terrorist regime? Not bloody likely.

How loud the howls of outrage when the IDF whacks the next carload of Hamas bad guys?

While the effort appears to be to snooker Hamas into respectability, I can't help but think it is rooted in naiveté.
Fatah is/was useless in moving the process forward, but "The Devil You Know"?

1/26/2006 06:42:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

Fatah is/was useless in moving the process forward, but "The Devil You Know"?

nonsense... fatah was wanking our puds.. hamas is honest at it's genocidal hatred of all things hebraic. all fatah did was give us designer dressed lying twofaced jew haters, now we have simple, honest jew haters. as for moving the process forward, fatah did NOTHING to further the peace process, he refused to disarm one bullet from ANY group, including his own.

please finish the fence, pass the pork rinds and let the palestinians start "relating"* to one another

*relating: a new term to describe the usage of tnt or blackpowder to liquidate your opponent's house, business, son, wife or child over important matters such as how green is your hamas ball cap...

lookin forward tot he fake people "palestinians" self destruct... watch for a return to "islamic peoples of the world unite" crap...

it seems this in fact is my greatest hope, hamas will destroy PALESTINIAN statehood...

1/26/2006 07:16:00 AM  
Blogger Chaim said...

Hadnt thought about the Bibi angle. Very true.

1/26/2006 07:31:00 AM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

It appears that the US has now found its new 'frontier', and is face to face with its new red indians (unruly tribes whose rowdy young men make a practice of raiding and killing whatever Americans they can get at to bolster their self-esteem).

Already the marines refer to Iraq and afghanistan as "indian country''. Chirac seems to be realizing that this time around this is not a uniquely American issue.

The indian tribes in America never did for the most part either modernize their culture or control the aggression of their young men. It's possible that some cultures just won't, even over the long term.

America's response to the North American indians, confining them to reservations and in many instances in the end wiping them out, is a precedent arabs should but don't seem ready to ponder.

There were many Americans who objected to what was done to the indians at various times and on various grounds, but in the end all the objections foundered against the evidence that the indians' behavior reflected what they really were.

The arabs still have time, but it is beginning to run out.

1/26/2006 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

What the Indians really were was
"In the way"

Just wait 'til it's decided to take the "Oil".

Not until then will the Mohammedans be back to goat herding, the Natural Resources taken away from them and divvied up ammongst the rest of the Players.

Victory or Defeat
Now or Later

1/26/2006 08:12:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

meme chose--go read "Black Elk Speaks" with John Neihardt then come back and say something intelligent about the Inidans--your comments are an embarrassment on the subject

1/26/2006 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

meme:

The US gov't is still making monthly bribe money to keep the indian population doped. How long has it been? The longest playing welfare racket on earth.

Hamas owes its very existence to one thing: hatred of Jews. To think that Condi & crowd can change their constitution is fantasy.

That they have been elevated to power on their reservation indicates the incompatibility of their Arab/muslim worldview with democracy.

1/26/2006 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

This is the end of the fiction that terrorism is localizable; that it was possible to have one campaign against the Taliban in limited reaction for 9/11. The Hamas victory may have a ripple effect on Egypt and possibly Jordan. It's one big connected problem. Say what one will about OIF, but it got the US 3 years of experience it didn't have in exactly the right theater of operations, right in the fault line between the Shi'ite and Sunni schism.

I was listening on the radio to the turnover of security duties to Iraqi forces in one of the northeastern provinces when the coverage switched to the Hamas story. The UN camps in Gaza are over fifty years old. Comparing the results of three years and fifty I couldn't help wondering which endeavor represented the real folly.

1/26/2006 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

enscout--the U.S. Government is still making yearly payments to all the white farmers to do basically nothing--longest welfare program I know of and the farmers most of them are basically rich compared to most--I know, I am one of them.

1/26/2006 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger geoffgo said...

We must have messed up here, WRT the meaning of democratic elections. 80% turnout! Unbelievable, just like Saddam's elections.

Voting does not a democratic election make. It's like the Vampires running against the Werewolves. One party runs on the plank of sucking the lifeblood out of the population for 40 years, allowing them just subsistance, while funding all sorts of intimidation; and banking the rest. The other party is more viscious and intimidating, eating only the souls of its adherents, while every other form of atrocity is okay, encouraged and appreciated.

The outcome cannot be considered a democratic election, can it? Can it?

1/26/2006 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger Brett L said...

pork rinds:

1. Didn't the EU withhold something like 40 million euros from the Palestinians just before the election? Couldn't the US use this Hamas victory as a way to further financially isolate the Palestinians?
BONUS QUESTION: Is withholding good or bad for the problem?

2. "'Denounce the GOP (George Orwell's Party)!'" Ah, if only it were the party of Orwell, the man who posited that if every man would kill a single fascist, the problem would be solved. I nearly did a spittake.
Apparently irony is not a subject taught in Liberal institutions! Daily Kos, an irony free universe.

1/26/2006 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Not to mention the hundreds of millions of Indian monies, held in Trust by the Federals, that is lost and cannot be accounted for.

The Big White Father took responsibility for the Indians and then wants to blame them for outcome.

Each tribe is a different from another as night is from day, just as Palistinians are different from Israelis or Frenchmen differ from Texans.

The long term suffering of the Indian Peoples can be laid directly on Washington DC's door step. They designed & managed it.

1/26/2006 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

You can paint the indian issue in any tones you like, and there will be some merit in many of the different portraits. No human endeavor is ever close to being perfect.

At the end of the day the 'tribal' issue has always come down however to one question, whatever the other rights and wrongs: if you keep on raiding us we will pen you up or wipe you out. The indians kept on raiding until they could no longer raid, as was their culture (they raided each other regularly before we arrived). There have been many other cultures like this before, they are for the most part just not around any more. Europe as we know it only exists because the Romans wiped out e.g. one third of the entire population of Gaul.

It is worth noting that Julius Caesar conquered Gaul twice, the first time ceasing hostilities on the basis that the Gauls were defeated and would turn to peaceful pursuits, the second (and far more deadly) time after it became clear large elements of their population would not do so.

1/26/2006 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

I think if we’re to believe in democracy at all we must be willing to suffer the consequences when political-terrorist organizations are popularly elected. For those of us who have known that the Palestinians were ‘scorpions’ it should come to little surprise, but for the Europeans who were convinced otherwise, this may be shocking news.

Again I think we can be glad that democracy is working in Palestine. The United States is hamstrung on the Iranian issue for precisely the fact that the Mullahs are unpopular and, it would seem, that the peoples will has been thwarted. Palestine prayers have been answered in Hamas. I know for myself, I will not have a shred of regret when they, the Palestinian people, are bombed into the Stone Age, alright, into something before the Stone Age.

So will Hamas change its’ stripes and embrace the opportunity for peace or does the Road-Map lead to a dead end? As is so often told, the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. We’ll see.

1/26/2006 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

The Silver Lining

Emanuele Ottolenghi, "Hamas Without Veils No more hiding behind the PA," National Review online writes that with Hamas in control of the Palestinian government:

There will be no excuses or ambiguities when Hamas fires rockets on Israel and launches suicide attacks against civilian targets. Until Tuesday, the PA could hide behind the excuse that they were not directly responsible and they could not rein in the "militants." Now the "militants" are the militia of the ruling party. They are one and the same with the Palestinian Authority. If they bomb Israel from Gaza — not under occupation anymore, and is therefore, technically, part of the Palestinian state the PLO proclaimed in Algiers in 1988, but never bothered to take responsibility for — that is an act of war, which can be responded to in kind, under the full cover of the internationally recognized right of self-defense. No more excuses that the Palestinians live under occupation, that the PA is too weak to disarm Hamas, that violence is not the policy of the PA. Hamas and the PA will be the same: What Hamas does is what the PA will stand for.

Not only is this new development, a problem for the Palestinians but also the neighboring Arab countries which having been militarily defeated by Israel before, used the Palestinians as surrogates in their on-going war on the 'Zionists.'

Meanwhile, Hamas will have to confront the Egyptians (and the Jordanians) and tell them what the PA under Hamas now stands for. And Egypt and Jordan will have to change course, accordingly. Egypt has an increased military presence along the Gaza border and several officers in Gaza to help "stabilize" the security situation — which so far has meant keeping the flames low enough not to bother Egypt but high enough not to let Israel off the hook completely. What will Egypt do now? Cooperate with Hamas in Gaza while it dreads Hamas’ twin, the Muslim Brotherhood, at home? Will it act more decisively to stop the ever growing flow of illegal weapons being smuggled into Gaza from the Sinai, or turn a blind eye even as the increased militancy in Gaza might embolden the Brotherhood in Egypt? No more ambiguity for Egypt either.

Much of the press is asking what these events mean to the peace process. What peace process? There was no peace process, only a patient ethnic-cleansing war of periodic aggression and retreat. How long will it take the international media to recognize and acknowledge what Jerusalem Post’s editor David Horovitz has written:

Some may seek comfort in the belief that an ascent to government could prompt a greater sense of responsibility, a move to moderation. But Hamas's intolerance is based on a perceived religious imperative. No believing Muslim, in the Hamas conception, can be reconciled to Jewish sovereignty in the Middle East. To deny that, for Hamas, is blasphemy. And that is the ideology to which the Palestinian people, for whatever reason and by their own free hand, have just tied their fate. That is the guiding ideology with which Israel and the West will now have to grapple.

When Sharon announced that Israel was pulling out of Gaza, I thought it was a brilliant move designed to take away the "occupation" excuse, reduce the skyrocketing anti-Israel sentiment and ultimately make Israel safer for the unavoidable war that is surely coming.

It's too bad the old man isn't able to see the fruit of his labors. And kudos to George W. Bush. Stay the path.

1/26/2006 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger rboggs said...

Could it be that the Palestinians vote is against Fatah and for anyone else so Hamas won.

1/26/2006 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger rboggs said...

Could it be that the Palestinians vote is against Fatah and for anyone else so Hamas won.

1/26/2006 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

kstagger said...

"Democracy can work provided the people who vote are not only free, but educated. In my view, 'Palestine' is a sick culture, dominated by fear and Jew-hating propaganda. We should be suprised by these voting results?"

I'm reminded of those failed peace negotiations that happened years ago between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat that were sponsored by President Clinton. Barak committed his own political suicide by opening up the issue of Jerusalem to political negotiation. Yasser Arafat refused to respond to this amazing offer by insisting upon terms that would have insured Israel's ultimate destruction. At that point it was clear Arafat was not negotiating in good faith and the negotiations terminated.

Later on, a frustrated Clinton asked Arafat why he refused such an obvious opportunity for peace with the Israelis. Arafat simply responded that his own people would have killed him if he had made peace with the Israelis (Arafat did not anticipate Barak's amazing offer).

What I see from this little bit of history is that Yasser Arafat did not really represent the Palestinian people and was not in a position to negotiate for them. Sure, the Palestinians made lots of noise about Arafat being their leader but this was simple duplicity.

Unfortunately kstagger's comment that Palestine is a sick culture is quite correct. Those recent FAFA Palestinian opinion polls removed all doubt about that (google them). Hamas is a brutal terrorist organization of the worst sort. The election of Hamas by the Palestinians was quite predicatable. However I would argue that this is a "good thing". Before we were looking at the Arafat "happy face" which was really only a propaganda exercise aimed at our own liberals. Soon the Palestian leader will be some savage Hamas terrorist. He'll be the genuine article and more truly represent the Palestinians for what they really are. This is "democracy in action" and it's actually good for us. There will be no more conversation about negotiating with these people. The merit behind the strategy of building a fence between the Israelis and the Palestinians is now very obvious. If the Iranian thing goes nuclear, the Israelis will be able to respond to the Palestinians with greater clarity.

1/26/2006 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Ultimately this is a good thing. If Hamas does change it's stripes, great. If it doesn't, which is vastly more likely, cut off any aid. And Israel will respond to provocations aggressively, as the post-Sharon government is not going to be less conservative than he was.

The big question is what are the other Arab nations going to do, specifically Jordan and Egypt?

1/26/2006 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

Wretchard wrote:

"...America to be divided, with one side unsure of whether any real danger besides BushchimpHitler exists and the other in the grip of a half-articulated policy"

This is a false dichotomy, though it may actually be true given the low level of the current political actors in the US. The real debate, is, or should be, are our responses appropriate? In short, they aren't.

The Israeli/Palestinian history can be instructive for us in helping us understand how to respond to events related to religion and Islam. In a nutshell you have two people laying centuries old claims to a God given piece of land. We have descended into the abyss where the radical positions hold sway over the majority of the two populations. As Sharon stated, the palis/arabs know that he has the 'cred' to make a deal, well, now the Israelis should look at the mirror image and ponder that Hamas has the 'cred' to make a deal, or, they will continue the spiral into the abyss unless one side completes a genocide on the other, which will leave them in abyss.

How is this to be instructive for US and our dealings with similar intractable conflicts of ideology. I propose a place to start is to take notice of the failure of the "if you hit me I'll hit you back harder" approach. Even the superior military power (in this case Israel) has failed to make headway and now must hunker down behind the cirlce wagons (ok, its a wall...er...fence).

1/26/2006 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

rboggs
If you believe that the Canadians voted against Mr Martin, not For Mr Harper, well then you could believe that the Palistinians voted for the Uncorruptable Hamas. That Mohammedan Terror Group that President Carter compared to Mr Menahem Begin's start as an Etzel Commander in Israeli politics.

From Terrorist to Peacemaker.

There, I think, the analogy crashes into the reality of Mohammedism.

1/26/2006 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Wretchard wrote:
"But where is it written that one country must underwrite another?'

It is written on the very confused heart of the Bush doctrine. If we are going to assist the development of impoverished Muslim states in there "inevitable" ascension to liberal democracy, then we are going to have to fund their infrastructure and "reconstruction". Otherwise this historically madated project could collapse into anarchic poverty and jihadism. This is worse than "half-articulated" this is a deeply liberal belief in social engineering. Why have so many weak-minded psuedo-conservatives embraced this radical policy for so long?
Perhaps because in the absence of Iraqi WMD, the Bush administration sought political space by adopting their opponent’s agenda. An agenda that goes back from Bill Clinton’s 1994 State of the Union to Woodrow Wilson and even Leon Trotsky. For these short term tactical gains, conservatism has sold out its deeply held principles.

1/26/2006 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

bobal:

Yet another shortsighted welfare program.

The BIA took a largely defeated race and stripped them of whatever pride that remained.

Now the DoA is doing the same for the American farmer/rancher.

You should resist.

1/26/2006 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

recon,
I haven’t embraced the concept of ‘Nation-Building’ and I don’t think most conservatives have. Iraq is a special case because it represents the unfinished business of the Bush I administration. If we invaded Basra and pummeled the regime into the dirt it would have been up to the ‘International-Community’ to pick up the pieces. The concern that Iraq would fall into the hands of Iran was a good sell back then but kicking the can down the road gave us 12 years of Saddam’s genocide and the rise of a truly fascist regime in Iran. The stakes are higher than ever. If Iran crosses the Rubicon there will be no nation building. One could hope quite the opposite, who threatens Iran now?

1/26/2006 11:40:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

I think nation-building is just a euphemism for dragging them into the modern order by the scruff of their necks. That's why it's half-articulated: can't keep up the European etiquette without it, and that was basically the concession we made to them. Of course it'll have to fall apart eventually as it runs out of evasions, but hey, we just don't make good Mongols. And I like that just fine - look, for example, at Mongolia.

1/26/2006 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

Perhaps, just as Nixon was the only American president who could politically survive opening relations with Red China, Hamas is the only Palestinian entity that can actually make peace

The way the world is going, the Palestinians may find themselves without funding in a few years. In which case Hamas better have a way to profitably co-exist with Israel

1/26/2006 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Papa Bear:
Hamas can't make peace and I would be surprised if they have a few years left.

1/26/2006 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

There is sweet irony in that Hamas now will have to be responsible for the mundane such as trash collection. It will be responsible for taxes, economic growth and will have to occupy municipal buildings.It will have to satisfy expectations of the electorate. It will have to put up or shut up. Those in the West that think democracy is the answer will get to watch "sausage being made". It should be entertaining.

1/26/2006 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

There's something I don't understand about many Jewish people in America. My lawyer and his wife are both Jewish here in Idaho--he went to Columbia University back east. He was from New York. Once in his office the middle east came up briefly and I said I thought the Islamists were all crazy--"maybe so, he said, but
I told them back there(NY) that they were going to have to get along with those people." Then he went on about how Hamas and Hezbollah actually had done some good running social services,hospitals, etc. Some of his friends were going to live in Israel. I told him I thought nobody could get along with them. Sometimes I feel gentiles like myself are almost more pro-Israeli than many of America's Jeweish folks--the majority of whom always seem to vote democratic. What am I missing here--my marbles?

1/26/2006 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

I think I may have made a mistake by visiting that European blogsite Wretchard mentioned. I did not view the video but in another post the blogger had a link to a Leweylln Rockwell character and said that the Brown shirts in America were calling for the murder of leftists and Muslims and were destroying more freedoms than Osama Bin Laden. I need a shower.

1/26/2006 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

bobalharb:
Folks like Medved, Prager, Dr. Laura, and many others contend there is a direct relationship between how much one is a practicing Jew and their support of Israel as well as "right wing Christian" politics here.

Liberal Jews tend to be Jews in name only, and have a long legacy of using it in the victimology game.

Dave Horowitz's father, Commie tho he was, refused to play that game.
The commies and the fake "Jews" wanted to portray his firing as motivated by Anti-Semitism.

Being an honest man he refused to go along and simply told the truth:
He was fired for being a Communist.

1/26/2006 01:46:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Now you owe me ;-)
What's the gist of
"Black Elk Speaks" ?
...in the context you refered to.

1/26/2006 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger gbaikie said...

"Perhaps because in the absence of Iraqi WMD, the Bush administration sought political space by adopting their opponent’s agenda. An agenda that goes back from Bill Clinton’s 1994 State of the Union to Woodrow Wilson and even Leon Trotsky. For these short term tactical gains, conservatism has sold out its deeply held principles."

It isn't because of "absence of Iraqi WMD", rather it's been the policy from the beginning. Bush's foriegn policy doctrine is liberal. And because it's been liberal, any liberal who isn't completely dislusional/brain dead has supported it.
As for selling out conservative "deeply held principles" that happenned decades ago. Simply being the world's superpower, not mention all the Big Govt in general is a sell out.
The consevatives are simply playing the hand dealth to them.

1/26/2006 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Doug--The gist of "Black Elk Speaks" is his sacred vision while for all intents and purposes he is dead. There has been much talk of what his disease was when it occurred when he was about 9 years old--diagnosis unknown--in Plato's "Republic" towards the end there is the "myth of Er", a soldier given up for dead on the funeral pyre--both came back with the same kind of story, erasing out the differences of time, place, circumstance. The gist is we are asleep and we should take these visions seriously--read them if you haven't--it sobered me up as to how our behavior is destiny for ourselves--re:native americans my point is we are all the same in our humanity, all of us--why were native americans at a lower level of "culture"?--well, many of them weren't----spiritually--but, for one thing, they lacked that necessary animal the horse for material means until the Spaniards got to Mexico--within 200 years they were up and running with horsemanship--if not shocked by the Euro's they would probably have gone through the same kind of developement as the
Euro's--my ancestry is Swedish--my people back then farmed--3-4 hundred years ago(had horses) then went raiding for loot on the off time--basic apes from our modern point of view--let's all give each other a break--I agree Islam is a tough nut to crack with its built in hatred--the context is let's give each other a break--but defend outrselves!--who said we should not deny our relationship with even the guiltiest? Islam too has had people talking about the things Black Elk and Plato spoke of--bob

1/26/2006 05:09:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Walking among humans for the full 40 years prophesied of Him (Micah 7:15), the Lord of Hosts revealed to humankind the Love of God and the Knowledge of God for this Day, a Day of Fulfillment and Fruition, no longer a Day of Anticipation or Prophecy.

For the sake of developing an insight, consider that IF He brought LOVE and KNOWLEDGE, and IF the Iranians chose to follow instead their imams and mullahs, THEN the Iranians of today are mired in their LACK of LOVE (hatred) and LACK of KNOWLEDGE (ignorance)!

Even more to the point, the Lord of Hosts predicted a terrible suffering would be visited upon the Iraqi and Iranian peoples, because they have chosen to be 'bereft of discernment to see ... with their own eyes...'

Divine retribution? Maybe.
Suffering and massive pain brought on by their 'leaders' belligerence and genocidal hatred? Perhaps.

Iranians responsible for 'tasting what your own hands have wrought'? Precisely!

1/26/2006 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Bob al Harb, Black Elk was also speaking during the time when the Lord of Hosts was walking among mankind, 1853-1892. Black Elk spoke of his vision of the True-White Brother, and the blind, paranoid and racist whites of the time INTERPRETED this to mean 'Black Elk says HE is the Promised One', and started a pogrom-campaign to wipe out the circular 'Spirit Dances' then so popular among Plains Indians.

The coming of Baha'u'llah did not go unnoticed around the world, and in fact His coming was under the full glare and scrutiny of history, when God Passes By.

1/26/2006 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Annoy Mouse said...
"recon,
I haven’t embraced the concept of ‘Nation-Building’ and I don’t think most conservatives have. Iraq is a special case because it represents the unfinished business of the Bush I administration."

Ah, well then, it seems the exception does flow from the rule. Did the "special case" require a suspension of disbelief on your part, a sudden leap of faith in the efficacy of nation-building? Towards what sort of regime or government is that nation being built? As to most conservatives, I would argue, from the Weekly Standard, to the National Review, to the convention halls of the GOP, that most "conservative" adherents did reverse course and principle and embrace Clintonian nation-building. What else would one call our liberal social engineering efforts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Gaza?

AM said:
"If we invaded Basra and pummeled the regime into the dirt it would have been up to the ‘International-Community’ to pick up the pieces. The concern that Iraq would fall into the hands of Iran was a good sell back then but kicking the can down the road gave us 12 years of Saddam’s genocide and the rise of a truly fascist regime in Iran. The stakes are higher than ever. If Iran crosses the Rubicon there will be no nation building. One could hope quite the opposite, who threatens Iran now? "

It's late and I'm having a bit of trouble fully following the gist of your argument here. Do you mean if "we" had invaded Basra in '91? And overthrew which regime, Saddam or the SCIRI/Shiite/Iranian uprising in Basra? If we occupied Iraq (Basra?) in '91, in what ways would the situation have been so different? Wouldn't the political climate have been worse with a full-fledged Khomeneist rebellion in the South? If I extrapolate correctly from your last sentence then it would seem that you surmise that it was a mistake to remove the greatest threat from Iran: Saddam Hussein. Is that what you are saying?

1/26/2006 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

whit:

Ottolenghi makes some good points but maybe gives them too much credit. Do you think their strategy was really to remain a second-place minority?

The biggest suprise would be if they constrained their exuberant jihadists long enough from attacking the next-door neighbors, whom they have vowed to exterminate, to actually receive criticism for poor governance.

1/26/2006 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

We are watching the Bush's liberal doctrine of democratic globalism collapse into babbling idiocy. So in castigating Hamas, the United States now refuses to negotiate with Islamist parties with an "armed wing"?! Just what then are we doing trying to bring Sunni parties into the Iraqi government? If the President is unaware that Mutlak and his kin are playing a very obvious game of political participation AND insurgency then someone needs to puncture his bubble and tell him quickly. And while doing so, perhaps they could also inform him of the armed wings of the Shiite Islamist parties who have once again captured the majority of seats in the Iraqi parliament. Is democratic globalism as practiced by a "conservative" administration half-articulated or simply half-baked?

1/26/2006 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

enscout:
I think they would have been satisfied with that position for now. I think they were primarily interested in the money which Arafat and Fatah had siphoned off for so long.
reocon:
You see incompetence and failure where others see outstanding results considering how badly things could have gone. Saddam deposed, Syria is out of Lebanon, Assad will soon be out of Syria, Arafat was marginalised, Iran is panicking the Euros, Libya is not a threat. These are huge developments but I guess the Bush administration simply blundered it's way to this point.

1/26/2006 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger Karensky said...

For Sixdaze take on these issues he just doesn't quite get this DEMOCRACY THING. Well we have observed an election in what should we call it...Palestine lite? Hamas won what, exactly? Is this space really a country? Is this space something that is united for any cause in particular let alone their onw existance, I think not.
My basic problem with Sixdaze is that his understanding of Democracy is so very, very shallow. For what it is worth there was an election and yes Wretchard you did make the point that Hamas was less corrupt than good old Yasser's, Peace prize may weigh him down in hell's eternal swamp, PA. Well, duh, it was the Palestinian Authority, not Palestine. Now, I don't have any favorable thoughts regarding Hamas, I do not think in any way, shape or form that it was ChimpyMcBushHitler that got the Florida Supreme Court to authorize Hamas' success in some form of election or beaty contest. This for all intents and purposes was a first wobbly step. Now, IF the people in this area are allowed to go beyond the standard one vote, one time formula the just might get a chance to give their opinion on a Hamas government a second time. Wow, just think, Democracy will have succeeded. Hamas survives all of the rest of the scoundrels, even goes so far as having an election after their alloted time is up and gets re-elected because they fricken earned it just might qualify as Democracy. Or, better yet, Hamas gets voted out, go figure.

1/26/2006 07:04:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

whit,

And soon to be added to that list, the fracture and dismantlement the Persian Jihadi Empire.

This actually is an interesting variation. If the Kurds in what today is Iran, Syria, Iraq, and possibly Turkey, decide to create a unified political entity, you'd have another beachhead from which to advance on Jihadism. One that I think would have a much sturdier cultural foundation to that purpose than that found in trinational Iraq.

1/26/2006 07:30:00 PM  
Blogger Karensky said...

Mika, if you go along with the concept of resurrecting an ancient people, perhaps it might be the right and good thing to support the Kurds. Now, I don't know diddly squat about the Kurdish people, being that they are in that part of the world, Armenia, Georgia, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan could you, as a human play this game?

1/26/2006 07:33:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Karensky,

That's not a game for me to play. Ultimately it's a decision the Kurds will have to make. I'm just pointing out that the possibility for such a variation is there.

1/26/2006 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"I believe (and dearly hope!) that Rumsfeld, Rice, Cheney et al were never really so naive. This was a calculated gambit, a lesser of two evils, an attempt to recover depleting political capital. 'Democracy', like 'WMD' was a risky marketing gimmick, as has been the entire management of communicating (and naming!) the GWOT over the last four years, driven by the fear of upsetting an electorate that 'cannot handle the truth'."

- sixdaysmore#1

Peggy Noonan in the WSJ today, reflecting on the remarks of GWB at Kansas State University:

[...]

(M)ost interesting were his statements on democracy, and the fact that he continues to see himself as the leader of the world democratic movement.
Here he is on the insurgents in Iraq:


"They understand the march of peace will be contagious. Part of my decision-making process is my firm belief in the natural rights of men and women; my belief that deep in everybody's soul is the desire to live free. I believe there's an Almighty, and I believe the Almighty's great gift to each man and woman in this world is the desire to be free. This isn't America's gift to the world, it is a universal gift to the world, and people want to be free. And if you believe that, and if you believe freedom yields the peace, it's important for the United States of America, with friends, to lead the cause of liberty."

Deeper in his remarks:

"I'm just confident that if we don't lose our will, and stay strong, and that as that liberty advances, people may look back . . . and say, you know, maybe they're just right. Maybe America, that was founded on natural rights of men and women is a ticket for peace. Maybe that kind of view--that every person matters, that there are such things as human dignity and the basic freedoms that we feel, that becomes a huge catalyst for change for the better. These troops are defending you with all their might, but at the same time, they're beginning to help change that world by spreading liberty and freedom."

Then, asked his views on the U.S. relationship with China:

"One thing that matters to me is the freedom of the Chinese people. I think any time in the diplomatic arena, you want the President to be in a position where he can have a relationship where you can speak with candor and your words can be heard, as opposed to a relationship that gets so tense and so off-putting because of distrust. Nobody likes to be lectured in the public arena, let me put it to you that way. I don't like it, and I'm sure other leaders don't like it. And so I've worked hard to make sure that my personal diplomacy is such that I'm able to make certain points with the Chinese. . . .
Now, I went to church in China. And I was a little nervous, at first, frankly, about a licensed church. I wasn't sure whether or not I was going to go to a church or not a church, and went--Laura and I went with a guy named Luis Palau. And I was impressed by the spirit I felt in the church. . . . I would hope that China will continue to move in the--or move in the direction of human dignity. I talked to [China's president] about, of course, the Dalai Lama; talked to him about the Catholic Church's inability to get their bishops in. In other words, what I do is I press the freedom issue."

As I listened I thought several things, some of them conflicting.
I thought: His sentiments on political liberty are worthy of an American president. Of course we are on the side of freedom. That has been our historic meaning in the world: to be a beacon, an example, to prompt democratic dreams.

I thought: He obviously means it. He has internalized an ethos of world liberation.

[...]

1/26/2006 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

BTW, my ancient resurrected people played a much riskier game, and they're doing ok. Certainly better than the those 6 million that had to take their chance on european hospitality.

1/26/2006 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

sixdaysmore#1 might also ponder the following, from a July, 2005, NY Sun article:

'Universal Democracy' Is the Goal As Congress Eyes New Legislation

By ELI LAKE - Staff Reporter of the Sun
July 27, 2005

WASHINGTON - When senators return to Washington this September, they will be set to consider new legislation that would commit America to ending tyranny the world over.

Tucked inside the House version of a bill that authorizes spending on foreign aid is the language of what is known as the ADVANCE Democracy Act. The act instructs American ambassadors and embassy staffs to draw up democracy transition plans for unfree regimes, with input from nonviolent opposition movements in the various countries. While Congress has passed laws that require America to work with democratic opposition groups for specific countries - such as the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act - never before has it considered a law that would, as ADVANCE proposes, "commit United States foreign policy to the challenge of achieving universal democracy."

[...]

1/26/2006 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Then there's Condi Rice at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service:

"Almost a year ago today in his second Inaugural Address, President Bush laid out a vision that now leads America into the world. 'It is the policy of the United States,' the President said, 'to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.' To achieve this bold mission, America needs equally bold diplomacy, a diplomacy that not only reports about the world as it is, but seeks to change the world itself. I and others have called this mission 'transformational diplomacy.' And today I want to explain what it is in principle and how we are advancing it in practice."

Risky marketing gimmick, this democracy stuff? I certainly don't think so, sixdaysmore.

Condi may not herself buy it, but I think her boss does.

1/26/2006 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Here comes the plea for money, right on schedule, and from Jimmy
Carter
, too.

Jimmy Carter urged the world community to give to the Palestinians. Jimmy also asked the terrorist organization Hamas to "Act Responsibly"

"The Palestinian Government is destitute, and in desperate financial straits. I hope that support for the new government will be forthcoming," Carter said at a Jerusalem press conference.

He added that if international law barred donor countries from directly funding a Hamas-led government than the US and the EU should bypass the Palestinian Authority and provide the "much-needed" money to the Palestinians via non-governmental channels such as UN agencies.

1/26/2006 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Abu Aardvark:

[...]

It is an article of faith among virtually all Arabs and Muslims that in 1992 the United States and Europe green lighted the Algerian military coup after the Islamist FIS stood on the brink of electoral victory. This has been taken for a decade and a half as the definitive evidence that the American and European commitment to democracy was a hypocritical farce: democracy only if our allies won.


The Bush administration has talked a lot about democracy, about past mistakes in American policy towards democracy in the region, and so forth, but I think it's fair to say that most Arabs remain deeply suspicious. Recent Arab elections haven't really tested whether this has changed. Iraq under American military occupation is sui generis. In Egypt there was never any chance that the Muslim Brotherhood would be allowed to actually win, and even if it somehow had Mubarak would have remained in control over a relatively impotent Parliament. Jordan's Parliamentary elections have been sufficiently gerrymandered (via electoral law) to ensure a strict ceiling on Islamist seats. Sudanese Islamists arrived on the back of a military coup.

Hamas winning and presumably moving to form a government is the first real instance of an Islamist movement on the brink of winning power democratically [in the Arab world] since 1992. If they take power, we are going to see some major political science propositions put to the test: does power moderate or radicalize Islamist groups? Will they be willing and able to work with non-Islamist parties in a coalition? Will they use their democratic victory to abolish democracy? Will Islamist groups concentrate on the pragmatics of rule or resort to foreign policy grandstanding? Will they use their position of power to pursue terrorism? Will they be willing to set aside doctrine and work pragmatically with Israelis and Americans? Will they use government power to impose unpopular sharia rule over their people? Will they oppress Christian and non-Islamist Muslims? Most academic and policy analysis of these questions has remained counterfactual and hypothetical, since there have been no actual examples of an elected Islamist group in power. That could now change.

[...]

1/26/2006 09:10:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

Will it be the limited democracy of the Swiss, British, and USA - or the unfettered democracy of Periclean Athens and the Dutch of the 16th century?

On the one hand, Hamas is dedicated to the destruction of Isreal, but on the other hand, no on can claim that they are corrupt or ineffective at governing.

Like anything else, once people live under Sharia for a while, they come to hate it as they did in Iran and in Afghanistan - and also in Saudi Arabia. To have a free Isreal and Lebanon and Jordan nearby will lead people to question Sharia.

The key is to let Hamas overstep its bounds as all extremists are wont to do.

1/26/2006 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

From the previous thread, too Classic for anyone to miss.
We should pay Moti for the entertainment.
-----------------------------
iotm said...
Ho hum, I challenge your arguments, I get insults in response.
You complain that "leftists" do this to your authoritarian heroes, yet you're the ones guilty of it, and being completely amoral, you having no concept of universal standards of behaviour, you prefer to live by your code of double standards where everything you do is right and everything the other does is wrong, even if you're both doing the exact same thing.

CBC had a poll yesterday of Conservative voters, only 41% voted for them because they actually agreed with the Conservative policies, which would make the average Democrat in the US scoff them off as "commies".
Of course the realm of facts is dead to this lot, science is evil.

I also find it amusing that most of the comments here wreak of teen angst and cynism.
Of a fundamental ignorance of how the world works, all you know is yourself.
So the question needs to be asked, what's your excuse if you aren't really teenagers?
(Yeah! -ed)
Teens can blame it on their wild changes in body chemistry.
What's your excuse?

You also seem utterly terrified of entering into any kind of actual debate with anyone who actually can argue your points effectively.
I challenged wretchard to a debate on god, he cowered in fear.
I occasionally come across this page, post a comment, and I get insulted.
Are you really that insecure in your beliefs that you're afraid to allow them to face scrutiny?

1/26/2006 11:13:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

Wretchard:

Yes, President Carter may be the most consistantly wrong man on foreign politics for Americans. If I were President Bush, my foreign policy would be: Get Jimmy's opinion and then do the opposite. Maybe I'll run on that.

1/26/2006 11:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Trish,
Mr Abu Aardvark gets pretty wound up, but to no avail imo.
As we have discussed here, the Palestinians are a special lot, being on the Dole for generations, Television's favorite victims, etc etc.
To say that they are representative of much of anything other than themselves is not productive, anymore than it would be accurate in any meaningful way to equate 3rd and 4th generation welfare wards with Black Families of the 1940's.

1/26/2006 11:57:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Doug, do they need to be representative of anything nore than themselves?

I didn't promise them a state. Someone else did.

1/27/2006 12:05:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Trish

The Arabs were not the only ones sceptical of the Algerian outcome. So was your's truly.

If the Bush admin has hit on the ploy of:

1) Let the Arab world install sharia by voting (so that it is clearly the will of the people)

2) Don't give them a cent

3) Watch them self destruct

4) Protect the oil flow in the meantime

5) Prevent WMD

6) Limit 9/11s

then the inevitable outcome is the end of Islam and the breakout of World peace.

+/- 50 years, but two good starts (Iraq, Hamas) have just been made.

ADE

1/27/2006 01:34:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

whit said...
"reocon:
You see incompetence and failure where others see outstanding results considering how badly things could have gone. Saddam deposed, Syria is out of Lebanon, Assad will soon be out of Syria, Arafat was marginalised, Iran is panicking the Euros, Libya is not a threat. These are huge developments but I guess the Bush administration simply blundered it's way to this point."

No, no, no! I am more than willing to credit the President with his successes: in particular Libya and the toppling of the Taliban (courtesy of CIA maven Cofer Black). What I am objecting to is the wisdom, principle and practice of nation-building and democratic globalism. Even if you are a liberal and embrace these policies you can not be satisfied with Bush’s implementation of them. (Wretchard has done such good work of corruption in the UN OFF, where is the commentary of the US’s gross mismanagement of Iraqi reconstruction?) Yes, Saddam has been toppled and now we are the inheritors of a failing Islamic state. Three of the five judges in Hussein’s trial have been replaced and this chaos and ineptitude is synechdotal of the nation: it can not get its act together to credibly try the tyrant.
If your going to critique my comment you should at least address its substance. Just how credible do YOU think the President is when he refuses to deal with Hamas – because of it armed wing – while simultaneously negotiating with Sunni parties in Iraq that are actively killing Americans? Watching Bush trying to explain this policy yesterday leads me to believe that he is indeed "blundering". That, Sir, is Bush’s democratic globalism in all its internal contradictions.

1/27/2006 05:53:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I tend to agree with reocn, but I'd call it stumbling forward, not blundering.

I think the Bush Admin has no real Goal to it's Policies. They are moving in a Direction, but towards no defined Objective.

As Mr Cheney puts it "victory cannot be achieved", well, "not for Decades", anyway.

What baloney. If they only had the WILL to define Victory, the US would achieve it, quickly.

But it took three years to decide to study if the Enemy had an ideology that COULD BE tied to their theology. (aristide's link from last month)

1/27/2006 06:14:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

I think Trish estabishes that Bush's commitment to democracy is deeply held. I just find it ironic that the our most prominent attempts to encourage democracy has been a most 'undemocratic' method; warfare. Is it any wonder the average Pali observing recent events unfolding in the region says "ya, go Hamas!!"?

I didn't read what Jimmy Carter said, but reading Wretchard and others knee jerk reaction I am concerned that an opportunity will be lost here. If we simply go uggg Hamas, no talk, no nothing, similar to Benjamin Netanyahu's response (unilateral withdrawal has led to Hamas rise, we appear weak ect.) then we shall miss a chance to engage the poles of the conflict and help them reach an accomadation.

1/27/2006 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger fred said...

"I didn't read what Jimmy Carter said, but reading Wretchard and others knee jerk reaction I am concerned that an opportunity will be lost here. If we simply go uggg Hamas, no talk, no nothing, similar to Benjamin Netanyahu's response (unilateral withdrawal has led to Hamas rise, we appear weak ect.) then we shall miss a chance to engage the poles of the conflict and help them reach an accomadation." "ash"

And what, pray tell, might that "accomodation" be? It's kind of hard to reach an "accomodation" with people who, because of the injunctions in Qur'an and ahadith, are enjoined to following the example of the Prophet (P*ss Be Upon Him)when he took the number of the Jews of the Qurayza oasis when they rejected him as a prophet, coming back years later to set the standard for Einsatzgruppen action.

I'm afraid that "ash" is sadly deficient of historical knowledge of the requrirements of the dhimma.

Do 'ya suppose the Israelis might be talked into committing national suicide, just so that we can have "peace" in that part of the world?

1/27/2006 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger meredith said...

It does look like Palestine has indeed shot its self… at least in the foot.


I’m more concerned about the inevitable hoo-haa taking our time and attention away from Iran. Iran play the stalling game grasping for time to finish building their nukes.

Also I heard they spread their building of nukes in various bunkers under their kindi’s and hospitals is this actually true?

1/28/2006 01:00:00 AM  

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