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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Fatah, The New Face of Reason In the Middle East

As the Mad Hatter's tea party rages on in the Islamic World, the epicenter of the madness has become bizarre. The terror twins, Fatah and Hamas, indulged in some fraternal cannibalism and Fatah got eaten along with it's breakfast. Good. Let the bastards learn for once in awhile that life decisions have consequences. Unfortunately, the West does not have the courage to let nature takes its course. Like effete Roman patricians, the West has decided to throw more money into the sewer thus guaranteeing another decade of murder and insanity. Allah really is an ick-bar.



More Middle East Madness
By Victor Davis Hanson

"The Palestinian people will never forgive the Hamas gangs for looting the home of the Palestinian people's great leader, Yasser Arafat." So Palestinian Authority spokesman Abdel Rahman recently exclaimed. "This crime will remain a stain of disgrace on the forehead of Hamas and its despicable gangs."

Looting? Crime? Despicable gangs?

Excuse me. For years, Palestinian Authority-sanctioned gangs shot and tortured dissidents, glorified suicide bombing against Israel and in general thwarted any hopes of various "peace processes."


Of course, this kind of behavior isn't limited to the Palestinian territories but is spread across the Middle East. The soon-to-be-nuclear theocracy in Iran is grotesque. Iraqis continue to discover innovative ways to extinguish each other. Syria assassinates democratic reformers in Lebanon. ABC News now reports that new teams of al-Qaida and Taliban suicide bombers have been ordered to the United States and Europe from Afghanistan.

Here's why much of the region is so unhinged - and it's not because of our policy in Palestine or our efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

First, thanks to Western inventions and Chinese manufactured goods, Middle Easterners can now access the non-Muslim world cheaply and vicariously. To millions of Muslims, the planet appears - on the Internet, DVDs and satellite television - to be growing rich as most of their world stays poor.

Second, the Middle East either will not or cannot make the changes necessary to catch up with what they see in the rest of the world. Tribalism - loyalty only to kin rather than to society at large - impedes merit and thus progress. So does gender apartheid. Who knows how many would-be Margaret Thatchers or Sandra Day O'Connors remain veiled in the kitchen?

Religious fundamentalism translates into rote prayers in madrassas while those outside the Middle East master science and engineering. Without a transparent capitalist system - antithetical to both sharia (Muslim law) and state-run economies - initiative is never rewarded. Corruption is.

Meanwhile, mere discussion in much of the region of what is wrong can mean execution by a militia, government thug or religious vigilante.

So, Middle Easterners are left with the old frustration of wanting the good life of Western society but lacking either the ability or willingness to change the status quo to get it.

Instead, we get monotonous scapegoating. Blaming America or Israel - "Those sneaky Jews did it!" - has become a regional pastime.

And after the multifarious failures of Yasser Arafat, the Assads in Syria, Muammar Gaddafi, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Saddam Hussein and other corrupt autocrats, many have, predictably, retreated to fundamentalist extremism. Almost daily, some fundamentalist claims that the killing of Westerners is justified - because of a cartoon, a Papal paragraph or, most recently, British knighthood awarded to novelist Salman Rushdie. The terrorism of Osama bin Laden, Hamas, Hezbollah and the Taliban is as much about nihilist rage as it is about blackmailing Western governments to grant concessions.

Meanwhile, millions of others simply flee the mess, immigrating to either Europe or the United States.

These reactions to failure often lead to circumstances that can defy logic.

The poor terrorists of Arafat's old party, Fatah, seem to shriek that they have been out-terrorized by Hamas, and desperately con more Western aid to make up for what has been squandered or stolen.

Muslims flock to Europe to enjoy a level of freedom and opportunity long denied at home. But no sooner have many arrived than they castigate their adopted continent as decadent. The ungracious prefer intolerant sharia - denying to their own the very freedom of choice that was given to them by others.

Our response in America to this perennial Middle East temper tantrum?

In the last 20 years, we've sent billions in aid to the Arab world. We've saved Muslims from Bosnia to Kuwait. We've removed dangerous thugs in Afghanistan and Iraq, fostering democracies in their place. We've opened our borders to immigrants from the Middle East. We've paid billions of dollars in inflated oil prices. All the while, many in the West have wrongly blamed themselves for the conditions in the Middle East.

It's past time for Middle Easterners to fix their own self-inflicted mess. In the meantime, the U.S. and its allies should help as we can - but first protect ourselves from them as we must.


Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and author, most recently, of "A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War." You can reach him by e-mailing author@victorhanson.com.

35 comments:

  1. After a Fatah gunman shot a Hamas member on Sunday, a Fatah convoy of three trucks was stopped by Hamas at a makeshift checkpoint at Dabit Circle, a northern Gaza town, according to Hamas sources. Hamas abducted 18 Fatah gunmen and seized stockpiles of American weapons that were in the vans, the sources said.

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  2. By Andrew C. McCarthy

    President Bush’s stirring post-9/11 message that regimes the world over have to choose between aligning with civilization or with terrorists should officially be interred in war-torn “Palestine.” Seriousness about the doctrine is the only realistic way to defeat our enemies, and now we make a mockery of it. A mockery built on the trifecta-fiction that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is an avatar of peace, that his Fatah faction has aligned with civilization, and that the Palestinian people — the ones who freely chose to install Hamas as their parliamentary majority and who have trademarked “Intifada” as an instrument of statecraft — are somehow worth prostituting ourselves over

    In the Palestinian civil war, the Bush administration has unabashedly cast its lot with Fatah. The United States, in the midst of its own global war against Islamic radicalism, is promising additional millions in foreign aid for a cabal which maintains its own jihadist wing, and which is so thoroughly corrupt — having pocketed much of the foreign aid billions that poured in over the last two decades — that Palestinians opted for the more transparent Hamas terrorists when given the option.
    ...
    ENABLING TERROR
    Why is the administration supporting Fatah without demanding that it shred its Constitution and unambiguously recognize Israel’s right to exist, as Israel, in perpetuity? Why isn’t President Bush demanding that Abbas not only order the disarming of Hamas in the West Bank (which Abbas did only because Hamas is fighting Fatah, not because Hamas is a terrorist organization), but that he also disarm the al-Aqsa Brigades and Palestinian Islamic Jihad? Because Abbas would be finished the minute he tried any such things. They are not what Palestinians want.
    ...
    We are enabling their hatred when we provide support without insisting that the Palestinian people — not just Abbas and Fatah, but the people — convincingly foreswear revolution, terrorism, violence, ethnic-cleansing, and the goal of eliminating Israel. We are a generation or more, at least, from any hope of such developments. In the meantime, as long as we subsidize the hatred, we shall be buying more of it, while giving the Palestinians no incentive to reform.

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. elijah asked the other day, and the MNF has responded with some of the numerical answers.

    Since its establishment under an amendment to CPA Order 13, in April 2004, the Central Criminal Court has held 2,211 trials for suspected criminals apprehended by Coalition Forces. The Iraqi Court proceedings have resulted in the conviction of 1,957 individuals with sentences ranging from imprisonment to death.

    For every Insurgent KIA, ten are captured. 50% of those ten move up the chain.
    Aproximately 150,000 Iraqis have been detained, since April '04.
    2,211 have been tried.

    The balance, released before they got to the Court?

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  5. JERUSALEM -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose secular Fatah movement was routed by Islamist Hamas in a battle for control of the Gaza Strip last week, denounced the Islamic Resistance Movement on Wednesday as "murderous terrorists."

    What Hamas sought, Abbas said in a speech on Palestinian television, was a "Kingdom of Gaza" which would be ruled by those who use "assassination and killing to achieve their goals."

    His remarks personalized the growing war of words between Hamas and Fatah, which now have firm control of Gaza and the West Bank respectively, creating the prospect or rival Palestinian mini-states. Abbas announced he had proof Hamas had tried to murder him by planting a bomb under a road on which he was about to travel.


    The pot is calling the kettle black, gotta make you laugh.

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  6. two different perspectives, same conclusion

    How Israel helped to create Hamas

    Analysis: Hamas history tied to Israel

    panama ed -
    i doubt anyone knows what eventually happens to/with some of these detainees

    desert rat -
    i was on for an hour, only have a limited time for discussion, but i do enjoy it

    teresita-
    interesting post about russian tactics and chechnya; wonder if the truthers will be looking into those terrorist acts that allowed putin to act so aggressively

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  7. Greetings from the banks of the Ohio River--America grows a lot of corn I can tell you that, practically the only crop we see--Laramie Wyoming is my kind of place--don't buy ethenol, it sucks--albob

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  8. Doubt that at, elijah.
    Everyone that is inputted into the System is tracked, while in the system.

    Count on it.

    There is no "black hole" that they are falling into. The prosecution of US Service men that killed a detainee, "while escaping" proves that.

    The number of detainees that disappear while in US custody is VERY marginal, if any exist at all.

    It is monitored very closely, ask anyone that has been there, to Iraq. Very little activity is "off the reservation".

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  9. elijah,

    Those are two interesting articles you linked to.

    Once the embers of Hamas started, ironically fanned and nurtured by 'our' side, it is no wonder that pouring the gas of poverty and restriction of movement has caused the territories to erupt in an inferno.

    aye, you reap what you sow!

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  10. ..you reap what you sow..


    That's right, Ash. Don't think you will escape this truth.

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  11. Mat, obviously the recent approach where Hamas was totally isolated has failed miserably with Hamas firmly in control of Gaza and poised to take the West Bank.

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  12. And you could read Mr Sharon's mind, back when the decision was made, to toss the Palistinians the ball, and leave the Gaza?

    Many people predicted chaos and anarchy would follow. It has.

    What indicates to you, ash, that Mr Sharon's final offensive is not under way?

    The enemy has been identified and isolated, then being goaded into striking first.

    So, ash, whose program has failed?
    What were its' goals?

    Gaza has what it voted for, in spades. What's the beef?

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  13. "Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you" - a meaning more akin to "we will attend your funeral" than "we shall cause your funeral".

    So said Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev.
    He was wrong, at least in our time.

    Mr Sharon was smarter than Nikita.
    He had no love of the Palistinians, no care for their future, beyond the threat they posed to Israel.

    To think that Mr Sharon lit that fuse with out understanding that there'd be a resulting explosion, is insulting to his skills as a Sun Tzu military specialist.

    He was not going to watch the funeral, he was setting the stage to justify shooting them in the head.

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  14. DR, the Israelis will likely not wipe out the Palis wholesale so they are stuck with increasingly radicalized neighbors from which they cannot completely isolate themselves. Radical Islamists running wild is not a good thing for Israel or US.

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  15. This whole reaction of ours is based on BAD policy, BAD for as long as any of us can remember.

    We always support those we shouldn't and try our best not to face the reality.

    FUBAR Madness - doing the same thing over and over and over and ...

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  16. Drive them into egypt, ash.

    Watch, it could take a couple, but there is no other option, destroy their cultural identity or move them.

    Who'll be truly surprised how much damage the Israeli will inflict, when given the provocation.

    With the objective of creating refugees. Hamas is no longer a group of terrorists, ash.
    It's a City State.
    1.5 million vs 6 million

    Gaza becomes an Egyptian protectorate, or another Grozny, Checnya.

    The Palistians will provoke it, wait and see. Right on the trend lines.

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  17. dr is correct imo

    i asked allen several months ago why he thought sharon wanted elections in gaza.

    Westhawk provided the answer i had in mind yesterday.....
    Hamas rules Gaza. Who won, who lost?

    I told you so, essentially

    Possibly 4...alot of posing?

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  18. That's right... destroy the Palestininans and their proported state, then destroy any country in the region that begs to differ - it's the only way, AND THAT, MY FRIENDS, is the REALITY.

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  19. Hamas and Fatah are BOTH TERRORIST organizations, DR, both of them.

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  20. DR, it takes 2 (or more) to tango. It is not just Palis provoking as your Sharon/Sun Tzu analog alludes. Yes the trend lines spiral down but I fail to see how the downward spiral is good. If Gaza becomes and Egyptian protectorate are you saying Eygpt will then be drawn in as protectors? The West Bank protected by Jordon? A regional war with many participants and fronts? How would this be good for Israel? For US?

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  21. Of course Fatah is, but not.

    They are the strawman.
    Corrupt, effete.
    Bought off. Between the Wall and the realities, the West Bank remains on status que, large swaths of Gaza City are rubbled, the Egypetians get their historic ground back.
    The Palistinian State myth ends.
    And, yes, Jordan administrates the 1.5 million Palis on the West Bank.

    Or there's blood there, too.

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  22. elijah, again, interesting articles!

    as to Spenglers notion that "The logical result is continued escalation until America and Iran stand off in earnest" may be mistaken. America may very well just stand down. Take a look the American populaces demeanor following the Iraq debacle. Very few are keen on facing Iran down. Some precipitating event could change that Iran seems smart enough at the chessboard to avoid providing it. As DR says, "those are the trendlines"

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  23. It ENDS IT.

    The State of stateless terrorits ends.
    Israel than deals with Egypt and Joran, which it already does.

    De facto.
    Fatah would NEVER have provoked a real War with Israel.

    Hamas will.
    Israel, Mr Sharon was sure, would win.

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  24. oh, and DR, re: Sharon as Sun Tzu - Sharon's Sun Tzu event was to create "facts on the ground" - the settlement movement. Later in life he came to understand that the palis land wasn't in Jordan or Egypt and the demographics prohibited Gaza and the West Bank to be part of Israel.

    As Sharon like to say 'he'd be a good one for the Palis to make peace with' Now, it's lookin' like Hamas is the one Israelis are going to need to find a peace with.

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  25. "Some precipitating event could change that".....

    Exactly.

    Gotta go.

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  26. Not being able to read minds, but watch events, you cite historical references, but draw conclusions that fly in the face of the references.

    That the Palistinians, in the West Bank and Gaza, not withstanding those generations still living in refuge camps, abroad, would not integrate demographicly with Israel. Agreed, that Mr Sharon saw that, probable.

    The likely solution Mr Sharon would come to, based upon his life history, would come through force of arms. I do not think he'd foresee the Israeli not victorious in such a conflict.

    Cities come and go, along the shores of the Med, that is a historical absolute. Gaza, just another city along that coast.

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  27. Creating Hamas, was that not "shapping the battlefield", at least as much as removing the settlers?

    Create the threat, then have to destroy it, later. After it has served its' purposes.

    Which were what, if not creating a more radical enemy, that would justify its' destruction.

    Fatah had grown beyond that, it was an EU political entity, even if they were terrorists, as well. The Fatah would not precipitate a War with Israel and kill the gravey train.

    From the point of view of Mr Sharon and his compatriots?

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  28. Desert Rat: The Fatah would not precipitate a War with Israel and kill the gravey train.

    Hamas has no problem with lobbing rockets over the fence at the sole nation that supplies their clean water, electricity, and fuel. Imagine if Mexico fired scud missiles at trailer parks in El Paso, and Bush moved to cut off remittances from the US to Mexico in retaliation. The world community would be up in arms, but Bush wouldn't give a crap. Israel prefers to support their own destroyers, to use an Ayn Randism.

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  29. No, Ms T, I do not think he'd cut off the remittences.
    I do not think that for a moment.

    The rockets wold be described as launched by "rouges" "outlaws" or cartel members. Or all of the above.

    Mr Calderon and his central Government, playing the role of Mr Abbas in your scenario, needing more, not less support from the 50 northern States.

    Even as the Mexican Special Forces operatives sped south from the border, in Government vehicles.

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  30. "Mat, obviously the recent approach where Hamas was totally isolated has failed miserably with Hamas firmly in control of Gaza and poised to take the West Bank."

    Hamas isn't going to take the West Bank, ash. Nor is it going to provoke Israel into attacking, as it knows it hasn't the protection that Abbas and Fatah do. It'll keep its focus on its own little patch for the time being.

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  31. Then you must discount the Israel will be at War this summer, postulations, from Ms Glick, trish.

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  32. You may be correct there Trish, but many were surprised that Hamas took Gaza as easily as they did. Mind you the Israeli occupation of the West Bank certainly impedes their desires there but I don't think we should discount the poison Israel and US cast upon Fatah with our support. Collaborators R Abbas/Fatah.

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  33. "but I don't think we should discount the poison Israel and US cast upon Fatah with our support."

    I think we should.

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  34. dRat,

    There's no Fatah-Hamas war, just staged Paliwood theatre. The media narrative is for the idiots, per usual. Fatah takes a dive so Bush can sends in more funds.


    ==

    Am I surprised Ash was not on top of this conspiracy? No, I'm not. That's because he was.

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