Hamas - Fatah for the 00's
In Sunday's Washington Post, we learn that Bu$hCo has been using USAID funds to influence the Palestinian parliamentary election to the tune of 2 million dollars. Though USAID claims that the money is only being used to ensure that the Palestinian Authority gets credit for existing aid projects, political events resembling Fatah rallies and pervasive newspaper coverage are the real targets for the dough. While at the same time, administration officials are going public with their worries that Hamas may win a majority of seats.
Part of the irony lies in the fact that Hamas, whom the US labels as radical Islamic terrorists, is making a transition to politics while Bu$hCo maneuvers to maintain the status quo. But from 1959 through 1993 (when Fatah renounced violence and returned to Palestine from exile in Tunisia) they were the radical Islamists that the US worked against.
The other part of the irony is found in the statements of US officials. For example, James A. Bever, the USAID mission director, noted that, "We are not favoring any particular party," though clearly...we are. Thus it seems that we truly are giving the Palestinians a real/ taste of American-style democracy. We're showing them how to buy an election.
Thanks to mikevotes at Born at the Crest of the Empire for providing the starting point.
Two million probably buys a lot of votes when the per-capita income is around $1300 usd in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
And you know radical is in the eye of the beholder...depends on what one wants at the time, and who stands in the way.
Among other things Condi has said that if Hammas comes to power we will not work with them. Nice. We'll just take our ball and go home.
This story on NPR did a pretty good job of filling in quite a few blanks for me:
Given that, I'd love to see Hamas come to power and then immediately announce their full and unqualified support for "the roadmap". The howling in Bu$hCo would be heard from space. Too bad it won't happen.