December 21st, 2006
America has penchant for choosing one set of scoundrels against another. That happens when you mess in countries with all scoundrels.
Now the idea is to strengthen Fatah against Hamas. Come on, did you learn anything from Iraq? Neither the US, nor Fatah could win a guerrilla war. Fatah – as just anyone given enough funds and weapons – could brutally extinguish the opposition. Would the West, however, close its eyes to the methods necessary for such annihilation? Would the West wait the several years necessary for Abbas to do the job? Would Hamas wait instead of assassinating Abbas?
It is delusional to imagine that Fatah seeks peace with Israel. Abbas possibly does, but his party doesn’t. Abbas was elected president because he is personally popular. When the party programs competed, Hamas won. Israel supplies weapons to Fatah for some time, but Hamas still has the upper hand. Sending still more weapons to Fatah won’t stabilize Palestinian Autonomy and could threaten Israel. There is certain inconsistency between promoting democracy in Palestine and arming Fatah to destroy democratically elected Hamas.
Hamas represents Palestinian people, their true aspirations: to get rid of Israel without large-scale war. Hamas is very sensitive to Palestinian wishes: it even forswore Islamic fundamentalism and refused to participate in worldwide jihad. Coup could change a ruler, not popular party. Palestinians might vote for Fatah in the next elections, but Hamas won’t dissolve. It will go underground and continue fighting; Syrian and Iranian money amply provide for Hamas’ needs.
Curiously, State Department asserted that extraordinary elections are not prohibited by Palestinian law, therefore permitted. That principle applies only to private business; governments enjoy only specific rights – whatever is not permitted to government, is prohibited.
John Kerry has indicted himself. He declared that the US must deal with its enemies, and thus met Assad. Kerry consciously met an enemy of his country. That is treason.
Dealing with devil is not only immoral, but also useless, way beyond the skills of ordinary politicians. America dealt with Shah, Saddam, Fahd, Arafat, and lost every time, earning popular hatred in the process. The US refused to negotiate with the Nazis, but talked with the Soviets; what’s the difference? One talks to the enemy who is very strong and politically tolerable; fight other enemies to destruction. Assad is weak. Is he tolerable? Only if the US tolerates his support of Iraqi insurgents, Hezbollah, and Hamas.
America is not at war with Syria, but in direct confrontation short of belligerency; sanctions are the last measure before war. America clashes with Syria on a host of issues. Kerry’s olive branch, offered Syria in blatant violation of the government’s policy, amounts to betrayal and criminal collaboration with enemy.
What could Kerry offer Assad? Pressure on Israel to return strategically important Golan Heights; international role for Syrian regime despite its support for Hamas and Hezbollah. Aid? Weapons?
Kerry’s attempt at peacemaking is pathetic: a person with no knowledge of military or regional realities, lacking power or expertise, what could he do? Kerry only makes PR for Assad.
Iranians again proved themselves well above the Arabs. While the Arab world drifts toward fundamentalism, Persians are fed up with it. They disapproved of Khomeini and now of Ahmadinejad. Khomeini’s ascent to power was accidental: the US supported Shah and neglected relatively liberal contenders; Khomeini was the only alternative to monarchy. A period of post-Khomeini liberalization ended with fundamentalist resurgence, but such short-lived rebounds are common during the final stages of totalitarian regimes.
Iran is relatively civilized and pro-Western. It was the only Islamic country where spontaneous demonstrations took place in support of the US after 9/11. Iran is the only Islamic country with large and comfortable Jewish population (one could only hope that Israel won’t force those Jews to emigrate and lose their wonderful culture in the melting pot of Israeli secularism). Iran holds really democratic elections. Now that Ahmadinejad’s faction lost the elections, the West must jump on the track. Rafsanjani and other possible moderates must be showered with attention and promises of aid and cooperation. Sanctions are a stick; weak stick calls for huge carrot. It is imperative to abandon procrastination and diplomatic process, and openly pump a lot of money into Ahmadinejad’s challengers in return for their condemnation of the nuclear program. Iranians should see the opposition not simply as other political thugs, but deliverers who could save the common people from the massive American strikes unavoidable if Iran goes on with its nuclear program.
There is no much time left. Ahmadinejad called Iran today a nuclear power; the country mastered nuclear technology. Traces of plutonium found in Iran show that the nuclear program is more advanced than previously thought. Ahmadinejad is now hard-pressed to speed up the construction of bomb: nuclearization would leave him as the only politician strong enough to deal with the escalation; population won’t elect moderate leader during a crisis.
Ahmadinejad is a driving force behind the Iranian nuclear bomb, and assassinating him makes perfect sense. He does not hide; his locations are well known. Missiles from the US warships in Persian Gulf would reach Ahmadinejad in minutes, not leaving him time to flee. Both Israel and the US have many assets in Iran, and could arrange for the locals to assassinate Ahmadinejad. His death could save many people.