NYT's Steven Erlanger filed this today:
The United States and Israel are discussing ways to destabilize the Palestinian government so that newly elected Hamas officials will fail and elections will be called again, according to Israeli officials and Western diplomats.
The intention is to starve the Palestinian Authority of money and international connections to the point where, some months from now, its president, Mahmoud Abbas, is compelled to call a new election. The hope is that Palestinians will be so unhappy with life under Hamas that they will return to office a reformed and chastened Fatah movement.
We don't like the way Palestine's elections worked out, so we'll starve the Palestinians until they vote out the government they just voted in and vote the government they just voted out back in.
Won't that win hearts and minds?
You might think, at first, that this strategy was cooked up by a bunch of interns in the basement at Foggy Bottom, but guess again. Erlanger's sources say this approach is being discussed "at the highest levels of the State Department and the Israeli government." Scary, especially when you consider how many people at the highest levels of the State Department are Bush crony appointees. Even scarier when you remember that some of these people actually have graduate degrees in international relations. Secretary of State Condi Rice not only has a PhD in international studies, she was a professor of political science at Stanford where she won two of the school's highest teaching honors.
Which gives you an insight on the lamentable state of American foreign diplomacy.
The administration asserts that it objects to Hamas's longstanding policy that the State of Israel should cease to exist, but the Bushmen have another reason to be worried. Hamas was voted in to get rid of a rampantly corrupt ruling party, and Bush and his supporters don't like the Palestinians setting that kind of example for the American public.