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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Blowback

Well . . . elections don't always go as expected. Contrary to official U.S. policy, most Palestinians were not overcome by the Spirit of Liberal Democracy. Instead, they gave Hamas a huge margin of seats in their governing body. I don't suppose George II's heavy-handed support for Fatah (including our tax money) had anything to do with the results, which, by the way, call to mind Tom Lehrer's great lyric in "Send the Marines":

For might makes right,
And till they've seen the light,
They've got to be protected,
All their rights respected,
'Till somebody we like can be elected.

Why is the U.S. government allowed to meddle in other people's elections? Whenever someone suspects that's happening here, he cries bloody murder.

Overlooked in all the pre- and post-election coverage is this interesting fact: Israel promoted the emergence of a religious rival to Arafat's secular Fatah, i.e., Hamas.

As UPI reported in 2001,
Israel and Hamas may currently be locked in deadly combat, but, according to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials, beginning in the late 1970s, Tel Aviv gave direct and indirect financial aid to Hamas over a period of years. Israel "aided Hamas directly -- the Israelis wanted to use it as a counterbalance to the PLO," said Tony Cordesman, Middle East analyst for the Center for Strategic Studies. Israel's support for Hamas "was a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a strong, secular PLO by using a competing religious alternative," said a former senior CIA official.... One US intelligence source who asked not to be named, said that not only was Hamas being funded as a "counterweight" to the PLO, Israeli aid had a more devious purpose: "to help identify and channel towards Israeli agents Hamas members who were dangerous terrorists."
Now Hamas is Israel's mortal enemy. It's called blowback.

Postscript: As for George II being stunned by the election results, I can't improve on what Brad Spangler says here.

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