Thursday, July 5, 2007

Hamas and What Could Have Happened

McClatchey has this article about BushCo in action, this time in Palestine. It's like what reporting should do, expose government actions to the scrutiny of somebody in America. As we all know, BushCo isn't about governance, they're about furthering the interests of their sponsors, Corporations. At the same time though, they show us how costly and tragic such a government is for the people they're expected to govern.

I think Athenae touched on it yesterday, others today. The government of Jefferson and Madison and Hamilton and Adams et al, has been taken over by a bunch of maniacs of two versions; one, the greed mongering MIC supporters, whose world view consists of quarterly reports and the amoral and immoral and impractical ravings of a movie character, one Gordon Gecko, and; two, the foaming ravings of neo-cons like the much beloved Elliot Abrams, a world dominion of the mighty American Exceptional Empire, and in the process of achieving that goal completely forgetting, nay reversing, the very things that make us exceptional, our Constitution and Bill of Rights, and our freaking principles as embodied by the Declaration of Independence.

McClathcey looks at Palestine after the Hamas electoral victory and BushCo's deft handling of the situation. While they didn't say it, as good reporting doesn't tell you what should have been done, they let you figure it out on your own. And I figured it out at the time, and I'll repeat it here.

Embrace Hamas, congratulate them for their victory, give them the aid they needed to make the lives of the Palestinian people they were representing a little bit more tolerable, and see if we could co-opt or ameliorate, or at the least, engage them in dialog regarding their relations with Israel. Be mature and respectful from the get go, not be forced or shamed into doing the right thing, but do it because it is the right thing, like it or not. Because by all accounts that election was perfectly valid, even more so than our elections of recent memory.

But no, that wouldn't have fit into the needs of the BushCo crew, no, not at all.

Hamas, a violent Islamist movement whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel, had won Palestinian parliamentary elections — elections that were deemed free and fair and a cornerstone to President Bush's initiative to bring more democracy to the Muslim world.

For the next 17 months, White House and State Department officials would undertake an all-out campaign to reverse those results and oust Hamas from power.

Instead of undermining Hamas, though, the strategy helped to exacerbate dangerous political fissures in Palestinian politics that have delivered another setback to the president's vision of a stable, pro-Western Middle East.

At its heart was a plan to organize military support for Abbas for what opponents of the strategy feared could have become a Palestinian civil war, according to officials in Washington and the Middle East, and documents.

What would have happened, do you think, if, instead of immediately ostracizing and blockading the legally elected Hamas Government, the US had accepted the results of the election, and worked to ameliorate Hamas’ more egregious stances, against the State of Israel, and their radical religious underpinings?

You only have that first opportunity, that first impression to establish a foundation for future interactions, what signal does cutting Hamas off at the knees send as opposed to releasing foreign aid after the successful election and starting a real dialog with them on the subject of Israeli recognition?

Imagine your own life. You’re asking your Supervisor for some time off. Your Supervisor wants you to get all of your work done before you go. So you finish your work, let’s say you work in an accounting office in the Payables section. Alas, your Supervisor gets pissed off at you for spending all of the companies money before you go on vacation, and as punishment, denies your vacation request, and what’s more, starts sending negative reports to your manager on your job performance, negatives not necessarily true or on items already addressed in the past.

And then your Supervisor dumps a load of work on you and expects you to do it right away, accurately and correctly.

What are you going to think of your Supervisor? And more importantly, how are you going to work with the asshole?

Real diplomacy could have worked with Hamas, because underlying all of their bullshit, their shelling and suicide bombings, their religious ravings, is the abject poverty of the people of Palestine. Most of those people just want to live in peace, have a decent way to raise a family and live their lives, eat 3 meals a day, get out of the heat, have some social activity, get a decent nights sleep, and dream of a better live for them and theirs. Address that and the anger melts, the fanaticism fades, the death grip of religion weakens.

But there's no profit in that, is there?

Long term, the U.S. effort to oust Hamas has further deepened doubts in the Middle East about the administration's understanding of the complex region.

"America is so far away, they are completely misinformed about what is happening," said Munib Masri, a Palestinian businessman allied with Abbas. "The more they do against Hamas, the more power they (Hamas) get from the people."


But Abbas argued that elections wouldn't be credible without Hamas, and Washington went along, said one of the senior U.S. officials, who agreed to be interviewed only on condition of anonymity due to White House-imposed ground rules.

Was that a mistake?

"Maybe," he said. "The question was debated at the time."

Once Hamas was elected, the White House gave almost no thought to accepting the results and trying to co-opt the hard-line Islamist group, which the U.S. government deems a terrorist organization, current and former U.S. officials said.

After the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, "I don't think it was ever possible emotionally, ideologically ... for this administration to consider reaching out, probing" Hamas, said Aaron David Miller, who advised six secretaries of state on Arab-Israeli negotiations.

Instead, Rice orchestrated an international financial boycott of the new Palestinian government, an action that failed to weaken Hamas or force it to moderate its views.

Destroy the village to save it, all over again. It's like when the troops kick down the door of some Iraqi's house, turn over the place, wave guns around, push and shove, break a few things, then give the kids a candy bar. Friends for life, right? G Gordon Liddy's jack booted thugs that the extreme right wing racists hate so much, should they expect any different kind of reaction from the Arabs and Iraqi's and whoever else in the Middle East?

But, then again, there's nothing like a little civil war for stirring up some business for GE and friends, is there?

But we shouldn't impeach Cheney and Bush because that might be too radical for some people, too overarching, too divisive, right?

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