Tuesday, February 14, 2006

[politics] From the "Who thought this was a good idea?" department

iStockPhoto - Copyright: Cole Vineyard Jeebus... Anyone else remember when these jokers were promising to be 'the grownups' of foreign policy?
The United States and Israel are considering a campaign to starve the Palestinian Authority of cash so Palestinians would grow disillusioned with their incoming militant Hamas rulers and return ousted Fatah moderates to power, The New York Times reported on Tuesday. The newspaper, which quoted unidentified U.S. and Israeli sources, said this approach was being discussed at the highest levels of the U.S. State Department and the Israeli government.
So, now that our sole remaining rationale for invading Iraq is 'spreading democracy', what do we do? We go out and try to undermine a democratically elected government with which we disagree. Don't get me wrong: Hamas isn't who I would have picked, but given the choice between the completely corrupt Fatah party and Hamas, I can certainly see the appeal for the typical Palestinian. They want power? Fine - let them have to deal with picking up the garbage and providing police services. I think they'll find it a lot harder than issuing anti-Israeli polemics and firing rockets at Israeli settlements. I'm okay with a carrot and stick approach to dealing with Hamas, but this policy under discussion looks like a fig leaf to me - we're talking carrots, but we're only planning on impementing sticks. Hamas should stand or fail on their own. Otherwise, our talk about democracy in the Middle East is just that: talk.


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