Saturday, January 28, 2006

"I don't see how you can be a partner in peace if you advocate the destruction of a country"

"I don't see how you can be a partner in peace if you advocate the destruction of a country.." - G.W. Bush in the wake of an unexpected landslide victory by Hamas in the latest Palestinian elections. Hamas has been a bloody terrorist organization, but has recently turned to political action and has now won the elections in the Palestinian territories.

It seems the U.S. is two-faced about wanting democracy. We say we want democracy, but then when democracy turns up an unwanted result then there's only complaints. In this case the election chose Hamas, but no sooner than the results were in than the complaints began. President Bush, I label you HYPOCRIT.

In case it's not obvious -- what's really galling about the above quote is that GW Bush himself laid out a call for the destruction of another government. Which? Iraq's government under Saddam Hussein. That's what the phrase regime change means, the destruction of another government. Further the NEOCON strategy for the middle east is to destroy not just the Iraqi government, but also that of Syria and Iran.

Oh, and apparently the U.S. government was meddling in the Palestinian election by giving huge funding to Hamas opponents:

Palestinian Groups Accuse U.S. of Meddling in Elections: And in the Occupied Territories, the Bush administration is being accused of meddling in this week's Palestinian parliamentary elections. On Sunday the Washington Post reported the U.S. has clandestinely funneled $2 million into public service projects ahead of the elections in an effort to increase the popularity of the Palestinian Authority and its governing Fatah party. Officials from Hamas have questioned whether the aid violates rules barring Palestinian political parties from receiving funds from foreign sources. Independent candidate Mustafa Barghouti warned the Bush administration's efforts could backfire and end up helping Hamas in the elections. Barghouti said, "Every time the United States says it doesn't want Hamas, they boost Hamas. Let us do our elections entirely on our own. These interventions run counter to our efforts, and they hurt the Palestinian people. This effort was completely counterproductive." -- Democracy Now, Jan 24, 2006

But the Bush administration has demonstrated anti-democracy tendencies in the past. For example all the actions taken to undermine Hugo Chavez's rule in Venezeula, including a U.S.-backed coup attempt against the Venezuela government. For example the U.S. backed coup that tossed Jean-Bertrand Aristide out of Haiti. In both cases it's a democratically elected government that wasn't to U.S. liking. But this isn't new to the Bush administration, as the U.S. government has been toppling democratically elected governments for decades.

Bush sees vote proving 'power of democracy' But he urges Abbas to stay in chief post (Boston Globe, By Farah Stockman, Globe Staff, January 27, 2006)

Hamas invited to form government (BBC, Jan 27, 2006)

Hamas’ victory upends Israeli politics Opposition politicians blast government for failing to stop group's ascent (By Scott Wilson, The Washington Post Updated: 5:29 a.m. ET Jan. 27, 2006)

Hamas victory explodes Middle East peace plans (theage.com.au)

Voters did not elect Hamas because its charter commits it to the destruction of Israel; indeed, that goal was dropped from its election platform, an implicit acknowledgement of public opinion by an increasingly pragmatic political force. Hamas has observed a ceasefire for the past year, after carrying out about 60 suicide bombings since the second intifada began in 2000. Only a minority of Palestinians subscribe to its hardline Islamic ideology; instead, they rejected Fatah because of its divided and ineffective administration and its entrenched corruption. Hamas has quietly attended to the practical side of community politics, providing services to the poor and building a reputation for discipline, efficiency and integrity. Its officials in Gaza, where Hamas first won municipal elections, have even co-operated with Israel on administrative matters, out of necessity. Hamas has sent out mixed signals on broader co-operation, and even the taboo matter of peace talks, which it may decide to let President Abbas pursue, as this was the platform on which he was elected.

All politics is local, eh?