Monday, January 30, 2006

Good-bye Gaza, Hello Hamas

Mohammed Abed/Agence France-Presse-Getty Images

"You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist." Indira Gandhi

Hamas. In power. By popular vote. I don't know what to say.

Last summer I could speak from experience on Israel's pullout from Gaza: Gaza - Yamit: Been There, Done That. The storm warnings were already coming then. Hamas supporters carrying banners, "Resistance wins, so let's go on."

And what did the Fatah banners read? "Gaza today, the West Bank and Jerusalem Tomorrow."

Out of the frying pan into the fire.

How ironic that Fatah--the party of Yasser Arafat--would now seem preferable to the militant fundamentalist Hamas. Both are fanatically dedicated to Israel's complete annihilation, no matter what their politicians and diplomats might say to get money from America and abroad.

It was briefly heartening to hear George W. Bush take a stand against Hamas and any government which advocates the destruction of Israel. Very briefly. Mr. Bush has shown himself to be almost as dangerous in his policies as they are.

The Bush administration used lies and threats to take America to war in Iraq. Thousands dead. Billions spent. No exit strategy. No end in sight.

Bush buffaloed a trusting populace into believing he would create peace and prosperity and freedom in America -- and then did just the opposite. Torture. Katrina. Health care in crisis. Right wing extremists on the Supreme Court. Spying. Lying. Incompetence. Deceit.

And now it can be argued that Bush's support of "democratic elections" in the Middle East allowed Hamas to come to power. Pundits, pols and professors are claiming Palestinians were fed up with the corruption in the Fatah government.

Have naive can they be? Corruption is currency in the Middle East. Though they certainly don't have a corner on that market. Corruption--deep, pervasive and slimy--runs rampant in the Bush government.

Unlike the Clinton Whitewater investigation, no biased special prosecutor had to hire teams of lawyers and spend millions of our dollars to find what wasn't there.

This time the stink of real corruption was so strong, it couldn't be ignored. The Abramoff scandal alone makes Whitewater look like a drop in the bucket.

And now we have the very real danger posed by Hamas to Israel, the Middle East and America. It can't be ignored. Or overstated. Suicidal inmates are running the asylum. With guns. And hatred.

Compromise and compassion have fallen victim to fundamentalist religious zeal. To the unwavering belief that a self-serving, self-righteous cause justifies any means.

Wait. That too sounds remarkably like the Bush Administration. I'm not referring to anti-Semitism, although it's there, just hidden. But the poisonous rationale and dark method to the madness is all out in the open.

I just don't know what to say.



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