Thursday, January 26, 2006

"Pretty much as I predicted, except that the silly party won"*

Andrew Sullivan, on the Hamas victory:

Here's the nightmare we foreign policy neocons haven't fully come to grips with. What if a country democratically elects a terror-sponsoring leadership? We already know that democracies, like Britain or Holland or France, spawn Islamofascists among their citizenry. Now, in the Palestinian territories, we have an aggressively terrorist democratically-elected regime. And the margin is a landslide. We can hope that eventually citizens demand accountability from their leaders and will nudge them toward the civilizing aspects of democratic goverrnment: building roads, running schools, delivering services. But what if even this is all done within a theocratic-terrorist paradigm? Democracy is not itself a panacea. It never was. What happened yesterday represents one critical pillar beneath the Bush foreign policy crumbling into dust.

Good question re: neoconnery, but one it doesn't take a mind like Sullivan's to pose. Despite my decided non-wonk-like tendencies, I'd be awfully curious to know what'll happen next. But guess what--no one knows. It's a dilemma, a paradox, a, err, shitty thing when terrorists win by neocon-approved means. (Of course don't neocons who praise "democracy" in the Middle East mean "but with America making sure nothing goes way, way off"? That's what they say, anyway.) Some neoconnish voices say a Hamas victory is just fine. Anyone taking it at face value would not.

The NYT article on the Palestinian elections mentions that Israel considers Hamas a terrorist group, only much later in the piece is it mentioned that, gee, the US and the EU also consider Hamas a terrorist organization.(This has now been edited--if only I had the skills for those cached pages...any geeky boys, or girls, whatever, want to help here?) At what point is it uncontroversial enough to refer to it as such that even the NYT calls it one--when Hamas itself takes on the title?

My take on the Hamas victory is as follows: The Israelis and the Palestinians do not get along. The world is obsessed with this fact. A Hamas-led government will be given as the reason for whichever direction things now shift, violence-wise. Put me in as guessing temporarily more violent, then a period of calm, then some more violence, just because it had been a while, so the time had come.

*Apologies to Monty Python.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

I suppose a neo-con answer would be something along the lines of saying that democracy was never held up to be a panacea, just a sine qua non. It's a step. Renunciation of terror tactics and mutual recognition of other states' right to exist is another step.