ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Monday, January 30, 2006

Steyn on the Palestinian Elections

As I commented here, the Palestinian election is a success for Bush's foreign policy, since it's a clarifying moment of where the Palestinians stand. There is no more confusion or but-monkey's that can be employed to describe "the complex issues" in the Middle East "peace process." Hamas is a terrorist organization more radical than the Arafat's Fatah organization (even with its Al Aqsa's Martyr's Brigade) and the Palestinian people couldn't wait to rush out and throw their support behind them.

Well, Mark Steyn weighs in on the issue (and ties it nicely to Joel Stein's idiotic editorial in the LA Times from last week):

Hamas, by contrast, takes a Joel Stein view: Why the hell should we have to go tippy-toeing around some sissy phrase we don't really mean? Hamas doesn't support a two-state solution, it supports the liquidation of one state and its replacement by other, and they don't see why they should have to pretend otherwise. And in last week's elections for the Palestinian Authority they romped home. It was a landslide.

As is the way, many in the West rushed to rationalize the victory. The media have long been reluctant to damn the excitable lads as terrorists. In 2002 the New York Times published a photograph of Palestinian suicide bombers all dressed up and ready to blow, and captioned it "Hamas activists." Take my advice and try not to be standing too near the Hamas activist when he activates himself.

Oh, no no no, some analysts assured us. The Palestinians didn't vote for Hamas because of the policy plank about obliterating the state of Israel but because Fatah is hopelessly corrupt. Which is true: The European Union's bankrolled the Palestinian Authority since its creation and Yasser and his buddies salted most of the dough away in their Swiss bank accounts and used the loose change to fund the intifada. After 10 years you can't blame the Palestinians for figuring it's time to give another group of people a chance to siphon off all that EU booty.

So I'd like to believe this was a vote for getting rid of corruption rather than getting rid of Jews. But that's hard to square with some of the newly elected legislators. For example, Mariam Farahat, a mother of three, was elected in Gaza. She used to be a mother of six but three of her sons self-detonated on suicide missions against Israel. She's a household name to Palestinians, known as Um Nidal -- Mother of the Struggle -- and, at the rate she's getting through her kids, the Struggle's all she'll be Mother of. She's famous for a Hamas recruitment video in which she shows her 17-year-old son how to kill Israelis and then tells him not to come back. It's the Hamas version of 42nd Street: You're going out there a youngster but you've got to come back in small pieces.

It may be that she stood for parliament because she's got a yen to be junior transport minister or deputy secretary of fisheries. But it seems more likely that she and her Hamas colleagues were elected because this is who the Palestinian people are, this is what they believe. The Palestinians are the most comprehensively wrecked people on the face of the earth: After 60 years as U.N. "refugees," they're now so depraved they're electing candidates on the basis of child sacrifice. To take two contemporaneous crises, imagine if the population displacements caused by the end of the Second World War and by the partition of British India had also been left to the U.N. to manage and six decades later they were still running the "refugee" "camps," now full of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, none of whom had ever lived in any of the places they're supposed to be refugees from. Would you wish that fate on post-war Central Europe or the Indian subcontinent?

So what happens now? Either Hamas forms a government and decides that operating highway departments and sewer systems is what it really wants to do with itself. Or, like Arafat, it figures that it has no interest in government except as a useful front for terrorist operations. If it's the former, all well and good: Many first-rate terror organizations have managed to convert themselves to third-rate national-liberation governments. But, if it's the latter, that too is useful: Hamas is the honest expression of the will of the Palestinian electorate, and the cold hard truth of that is something Europeans and Americans will find hard to avoid.

As with Joel Stein, you're always better off knowing what people honestly think. For decades, the Middle East's dictators justified themselves to Washington as a restraint on the baser urges of their citizens, but in the end they only incubated worse pathologies. Western subsidy of Arafatistan is merely the latest example. Democracy in the Middle East is not always pretty, but it's better than the West's sillier illusions.

Let's just hope that the EU has the will to withhold its subsidy to Hamas.

And thank GOD that the decision regarding foreign aid to the Palestinian state isn't up to the world's greatest monster, Jimmah Carter:
Former President Carter said the United States, by law, would have to cut off direct funding to the Palestinian Authority as soon as Hamas takes control, but it should look for other ways to give money to the Palestinians, such as through the United Nations. Hamas has been branded a terrorist group by the U.S. and Europe.

"United States law would require that the money would be cut off if Hamas is in the government, so that's a foregone conclusion," Carter told The Associated Press.

He really should focus on hammering nails, because idiocy like this is not going to look good in the annals of history.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler