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February 03, 2006

The Merits Of Democracy

Hamas membersThe United States is engaging the Middle East in dialogue over democracy while castigating it for harbouring and encouraging suicide bombers and other assorted terrorists. It invades Afghanistan and Iraq…talks about invading Iran.

Despite being in a quagmire in said places, it forges ahead with conviction with encouraging Muslim and Arab countries to democratise. And then, just then, the state of Palestine elects a group to government known to the rest of the world only in headlines either preceding or following any combination of the words "suicide" and "bomber". Dubya's jaw must have fallen to the floor.

It is a testament to politics today that instead of praising what appears to be a fair and open election in an area where it is rare, we are having to castigate the Palestinians for electing a party that uses suicide bombing as a tactic. To use the word 'ironic' would be a little tragic – needless to say, this is not what the Democratists hoped for. We must, however, dig deeper. Hamas won because of a broad platform that did not solely focus on the white elephant in the room; they were able to present a united front (Fatah is torn apart by internal divisions by more than a 100 'independents'). Could it be that this broader platform is part of a reform of Hamas? It is surely too soon to tell.

I am of the belief that given power, Hamas will clean itself up and attempt to do the same with Israeli relations. Our hawkish news sources had better be careful with their words, the peace process is not dead. Not yet.

Is this the will of the people? Do they share the party's ethos of action at any cost? Only time will tell: truth is stranger than expectation…


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