Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Bang head, repeat pt. MCMXVLI

People constantly wonder why people around the world hate us (and if you don't, they do, and you should start asking why).

It's probably because we talk about spreading democracy and freedom, and then when the people elect someone we don't like, we hurt, hinder and harm not only the elected government, but the people as well.

As predicted, when HAMAS took over majority governance of the Palestinian parliamen, most western governments cut off aid and funding. While this, like the sanctions on Saddam's Iraq, does nothing but starve and hurt the Palestinian people, I suppose it is their right.

Israel has refused to pay back the taxes and customs it collects on behalf of the Palestinians (taxes, customs fees, and other charges paid by Palestinians). That's unacceptable, its not their money and should be paid immediately or they should reliquish the collection duties (not to oversimplify the matter, but you can read about it elsewhere). Not paying back the taxes is their decision - they have to live with their decisions every day and suffer the results or benefits thereof. They can, and will continue to blame Palestinians for the same predictable violence while ignoring the very instigations, insults, forced poverty and hunger and violence that brings it about in the first place. Pretty typical stuff really.

HAMAS, of course, should STFU and recognize Israel and get the peace process back on track, though this editorial makes a good point in that Fateh recognized Israel and it didn't get them very far (though some progress was made).

Everyone who has said the Palestinians need a Ghandi couldn't be more right, its too bad though that they need either a Ghandi or a Godzilla. They should be entitled to live independantly and in peace.

But I'm getting off track. As they should, the Arab states have been paying most of the 1.9 billion dollars in aid the PA received previously and will be stepping up payments to bridge the gap left by westerners (which should have a great effect on our relationships over there).

So what do we do? We send Condoleeza Rice over there to convince the Arabs not to send them any more money.

"I would hope that any state that is considering funding a Hamas-led government would think about the implications of that for the Middle East and for the Middle East peace process,"

I would hope they would too. As in, how long do you starve a person before suicide bombing is a comforting option?

I wonder what her cousin, Constance Rice, who is smarter, hotter and not a robot would think of this, given she has devoted her life to helping the poor and weak.

Of course, the Arab states are not going to cut off funding, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, etc. all will continue and step up payments to the P.A. which means that they essentially own that government - sweet!

But what does all this say about our real feeling towards democracy? It's pretty clear - vote how we want or "go fuck yourself." That's not really democracy and its certainly not the best way to sell it. Why do we continue to shoot ourselves in the foot?

While I can see the troubling issues for the Bush administration and other western governments, its time to suck it up and deal with HAMAS as the legitimate governing body. There is no reason to expect them to act like a respectable government if they are not treated as one.

Note: No More Mister Nice Blog discusses Condi's trip to Egypt. Sounds like she was just as successful as war-mongering soccer mom, Karen Hughes.

Update: Richard Silverstein has an excellent post related to the Israeli tax withholding issue.

1 comment:

Richard said...

I'm sorry to get you really depressed but the pro-Israel lobby group (actually they SWEAR they're not a lobbying group!), AIPAC, is introducing what I call a "Hamas Drop Dead" bill in Congress which would really seal the deal in terms of throwing Hamas into the arms of all those Arab governments we really like--like Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Iran, etc. (who've all indicated they'd "cover" the Israeli shortfall).

My latest post deals w. this depressing bill and why AIPAC has a lock on U.S. Midest policy.