Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Alan Johnston is released by Hamas

"The journalist was handed over to officials of the Hamas administration in the early hours of Wednesday morning." (BBC)

I think the release of Johnston was a political and public relations coup for Hamas, especially when contrasted against the inept and plodding inability of Fatah to do anything about it. Part of the attraction of Jihadi groups, at least to Western audiences, is their comparative efficiency. Moral shortcomings are often ignored by an admiration of efficiency. Mussolini was praised for making "the trains run on time" and the German autobahn was much praised by those who saw a vigorous Third Reich eclipsing the sad, worn out and decadent democracies of the West.

Nothing follows.

6 Comments:

Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

W, I think this will be a minor success for Hamas. While Fatah didn't release him previously that was the time of the Unity govt. It was both Fatah and Hamas that failed to release him. Also, Hamas has been promising his release for a couple weeks. What took so long?

While Hamas was in power when Johnston was released the details of how and why he was released are murky and will probably stay that way.

If Hamas negotiates a deal with Israel over the release of Gilad Shalit that results in hundreds of Pal terrorists to be released that will be a success for Hamas that will last for some time.

So far I don't see that Hamas has made the trains run on time, although the level of violence has reduced in Gaza. If the rockets continue to be fired from Gaza to Israel, things won't quiet down in Gaza.

7/03/2007 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger buck smith said...

W, How do we know Hamas wasn't actually holding Johnson, pretending to be some third group?

7/04/2007 06:01:00 AM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

pallywood redux

7/04/2007 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

We don't actually know. We know what's reported by persons who we think gather the information in good faith. That's not to say they aren't being manipulated. Everyone who talks to a journalist knows he speaking to an audience and not a man/woman. So they craft a message.

Who knows? But these mind games are very effective and we as a society are at a disadvantage, practically speaking, though not morally speaking.

7/04/2007 07:02:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I'm still wondering whether or not he agreed to be kidnapped in order to help his Palestinian buddies, to make a little money, and to score a scoop. Because you just know if he works for the BBC, he thinks the dreadful Palestinians are terrific in every way and should always be helped in any way possible.

7/04/2007 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

Couple of analyses of this release after a day or so:

Analysis: Hamas hopes for legitimacy after Johnston's release

Analysis: Lucky for Johnston, Hamas kept its promise

Clearly Hamas hopes that this action will be seen as proving that they are in charge in Gaza and things are getting better there now. They want to be seen as the Palestinian address, at least in Gaza. Time will tell. I doubt that very many in the west will decide that Hamas is OK now and should be treated as equal with Abbas.

Where this will have an effect is among the Palastinians. Hamas is aiming to take over the WB and end the rule of Fatah completely. While H has few armed cadres in the WB there is always the possibility for Fatah men to change sides and move to Hamas.

7/04/2007 05:09:00 PM  

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