Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Daffy Diplomacy

Here's another bitter consequence of the utterly inept Bush foreign policy. The spread of the democratic process in the Middle East has been so successful that we now have to step in and highjack it.

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.


  1. This is just assinine. If we really mean it when we say we want Democracy there, then we have to be prepared to deal with the results of their Democratic elections. The fact that a group likes Hamas is able to win such an election tells me there are other important issues at work beneath the surface with respect to Israel, the U.S., and the middle east. Maybe we need to work on those issues, so groups like Hamas aren't able to win elections. But going in and trying to undermine the elections in some underhanded way to make sure our guys win isn't exactly an open democratic process.

    Damn - what are we going to do in this country? Did you hear about Gore's speech in Saudi Arabia over the weekend? The GOP are fast digging a hole for themselves, and then Gore has to do something so stupid that a lot of people say "Oh my God, that guy might have got elected!" The Democrats continue to be their own worst enemy. The GOP is so inept that I doubt it can win on its own accord; they count on an opposition party to actively lose the election. And the Dems seem only too happy to oblige.

  2. I've only read snippets from Gore's speech, not enough to judge it in full context.

    Gary Hart's been bubbling to the surface, and right now he's sounding pretty good to me. Just heard him on NPR with Richard (hiss) Perle. Perle made a big deal of distancing himself from the admin's conduct of the war. Hart did a good job of calling b.s. on him without sounding strident.

    Maybe in the post-Clinton era, Hart can make a serious political comeback. I'll have to hear a lot more of what he has to say before I back him whole-heartedly.

    But he's been doing a lot of writing, something that I like and respect in a politician. I think it indicates a politician who's thought his through his positions well enough to be able to articulate them.

  3. Jeff:

    Two questions:

    1) What is your take on McCain for the GOP? I tend to like the guy better than anyone else on that side of the aisle, though there are still some policy differences.

    2) What do you think of Russ Feingold for the Dems? Think he's too moderate for the base? I think he'd do fairly well in middle america.

  4. I don't trust McCain. Lots and lots of reasons, we can get into that later.

    Feingold impressed the heck out of me at the Gonzales hearings. Right now I'm thininking his moderation won't lose him a lot of votes from the far left.

    Let you know what I think in a few months.

  5. Regarding the Palestinian elkections, please remember that Bu$hCo has a different definition of "democracy" than most other people. When Venezuela had a democratic election a few years ago, Bu$hCo immediately tried to engineer a military coup, engineered through their proxies, Exxon and Conoco. When the general population took to the streets in protest the coup was officially a failure.

    Now we have Chavez, who may not be a polished politician, but does have enough street smarts to use the media to give Bush the finger. That is a major offense of course, and I'm sure when they do finally manage to overturn that freely elected government, Chavez will be killed in the process.

    Palestine must be destabilized, of course. Hamas is a real danger to Israel. You know my feelings about Israel. I support their right to exist, and to exist without external or internal dangers, but I resent the way the US has been hijacked by the PNAC crowd so that we have become Israel's hired gun.

  6. Anonymous3:11 PM

    "Which gives you an insight on the lamentable state of American" ... education.

    What did Condi say right after the elections? Something like "we're so freakin' clueless, we had no idea Hamas would win ..."

    But! Maybe they did. Maybe they knew exactly what the outcome would be. These guys love nothing more than to blow s**t up, no?


  7. Oh, somebody at State had to have known what was going to happen. But nobody wanted to hear it.

    From my understanding, the whole executive department is like that these days: State, DOD, FBI, CIA, Justice, you name it.