I’m sorry, but I’m finding the hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing over Hamas’ huge victory in the Palestinian elections to be largely flatulent. Certainly a group that wants to overthrow Israel should be shamed beyond recognition, but here’s the thing about elections: no matter how much you hate who wins, you gotta play with the hand you’re dealt.
The Bush Administration got its panties in a wad when sections of Pakistan also voted in hard-line America-haters in 2003, but the Brits who oversaw the elections shrugged, “It was a fair election, all the votes were counted, and the victor took office. Sounds like ‘democracy’ to us.”
My feeling is that Hamas will continue to shout out a few “Israel Sucks” favorites to keep it Old Skool, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty, they’re going to quietly take back everything they said about their neighbors, and things will progress fine.
Why? Because if you believe democracy works, as I do (and as Bush Co. say they do), that kind of extremism goes out the window pretty fucking fast. Yes, the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, but they weren’t a democracy. There are only two countries with a “democracy” run by tyrant thugs, and one of them is Italy.
If you want to see someone drop all plans to blow themselves up, give them a country to run. Hamas will be up to their elbows in people wanting parking passes, school bus crossings, weird trade agreements with Chad (the country), and their drycleaning. They will find their old notebooks from high school with “I HATE ISRAEL” written on the binder and wonder how they ever had the time.
Terrorism is the natural byproduct of people who have no voice and have resorted to nihilism. When you let a would-be terrorist vote, they usually stop being a terrorist. No matter how much a democracy may hate America (like the localities in Pakistan certainly do), the mere fact that THEIR VOTE WAS HEARD will keep them from actually doing anything about it.
Again, the fine print on the Hamas brochure has always been sickening. But America wanted there to be democracy in the Middle East, and now America can suck it up. They may think Palestine accidentally elected a racist, violent, corrupt government with a lust for blood, but they’ll just have to learn to live with it. God knows us liberals have.