I was surprised to see this headline on the New York Times website:
U.S. and Israelis Are Said to Talk of Hamas Ouster
I mean, stop me if you’ve heard this one, but once upon a time, a large, prosperous Democracy invaded a country that represented no serious threat to itself, supposedly (retroactively) for the sole purpose of spreading Democracy. After all, Freedom is on the March! It seems to be the case, however, that Democracy is totally sweet until the guys we don’t like get elected. Then we have to get our hands dirty and spread Democracy all over again, like this:
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.
So, to recap, the Palestinian people duly elect Hamas to lead their government, and we refuse to let it happen!?!?!? Where were the French with this kind of logic when George W. Bush was elected President? It gets way classier though:
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.
This seems a little funny. We make a bunch of speeches about how awesome Democracy is for people. We invade Iraq, and then, once we discover that we went to war for no good reason, substitute the installation of Democracy as our goal. And yet, when an election takes place whose outcome we do not like, we plan to inflict suffering on the people for, I guess, voting wrong? Don’t misunderstand me, I am not a fan of Hamas and I was not psyched when they won the election. But I’m often not psyched by the outcomes of elections (viz. 2000, 2004), and I don’t want or expect other nations to try and ruin my country over it. What a dick move. I find myself eerily in agreement with this guy:
Mr. Asaad, a former Israeli prisoner, said: “We hope it isn’t U.S. policy. Because those who try to isolate us will be isolated in the region.”
. . .
Mr. Asaad laughed and added: “First, I thank the United States that they have given us this weapon of democracy. But there is no way to retreat now. It’s not possible for the U.S. and the world to turn its back on an elected democracy.”