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Democracy, terrorist & idiots

Reader comment on item: [The Hamas Electoral Victory:] Democracy's Bitter Fruit

Submitted by ko (China), Feb 2, 2006 at 01:36

Failing to produce a democratic "miracle" of moderate, peaceful government in poor, hate-torn, extremist Palestine, western governments now propose to compound this folly by withholding recognition of Hamas unless it disavows it's stated objectives, and by threatening to withhold humanitarian aid (what it will be called if denied).

Am I missing something, or are western leaders living in a dream world that insulates them from the obvious fact that in it's present condition, Palestine has neither the means, will or ability to govern itself peacefully, and that Hamas is not going reverse it's position (short of lip service) in response to the breast beating of western leaders?

It is time for western democracies to take off the rose-colored glasses and look at the facts. Countries dominated by extremist and terrorist factions are not prospects for democratic government. There is a fundamental contradiction between GOVERNANCE by law and debate, and RULE by terror and doctrine that dictates an outcome. Under such circumstances, democratic institutions cannot take root and become weakness in the face of bombers with no stake in the process, except as a means to gain power.

Questions:

- If we subtracted the US military from Iraq, how long would democracy stand?
- Under US control, is Iraq really a democracy today?
- Is the next step US or UN intervention in Palestine to police the streets making it safe for a terrorist organization to rule from above and below?

The notion that withholding funds to "starve them out", or instill a healthy fear of the consequences is absolutely fallacious. Would Hamas exist today if they were so easily deterred by economic hardship and political adversity? Resistance to that defines their strength and standing in their community (with enough buckets of blood thrown in).

Contrary to some commentators, I believe Mr. Clinton has the right idea – DEAL WITH THEM. Meaning, face them to understand who and what you are dealing with BEFORE you play the next card; open a diplomatic process that takes the high ground and buys time to prepare for the failure of the process (likely); force them to make a move, don't wait for it.

The cause of democracy in the mid-east is too important to be taken lightly. As Dr. Pipes points out, this is a long-term process, and I would add, a process easily damaged by the well-intended (or not) but incompetent actions of western governments acting blindly on the basis of their own ideological notions.

I pray for realists with a grasp of the facts and enough sense to think before they act. Believing in miracles just doesn't work. This requires adult supervision.
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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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