Monday, January 30, 2006

The Culture: Jeff Jacoby gets it

Jeff Jacoby thinks that the recent Hamas victory is a useful turn of events:

I think the sweeping Hamas victory is by far the best result that could have been hoped for.

I say that not because Hamas is anything other than a blood-drenched terrorist group, but because its lopsided win is an unambiguous reality check into the nature of Palestinian society. And if there is one thing that the West badly needs, it is more realism and less delusion about the Palestinians.

Some of that delusion was on display at the White House on Thursday, when President Bush painted the Palestinian election as a ''healthy" exercise in civic reform:

''Obviously, people were not happy with the status quo," Bush explained. ''The people are demanding honest government. The people want services. They want to be able to raise their children in an environment in which they can get a decent education and they can find healthcare. And so the elections should open the eyes of the old guard there in the Palestinian territories. . . . There's something healthy about a system that does that."

Spare us, Mr. President. If a slate of neo-Nazi skinheads swept to power in a European election, would you say that the voters were seeking ''honest government" and ''services"? Palestinians are not stupid, and it insults their intelligence to pretend that when they vote to empower a genocidal organization with a platform straight out of ''Mein Kampf," what they're really after is better healthcare. Islamist extremism isn't needed to fix Palestinian hospitals any more than fascism was needed to make Italian trains run on time in the 1920s. If Palestinians turned out en masse to elect a party that unapologetically stands for hatred and mass murder, it's a safe bet that hatred and mass murder had something to do with the turnout. [Boston Globe]
Amen. Democratic elections are not the cause of freedom and peacefulness, they are the product. I wonder just how long it's going to take the White House to figure this out for themselves--for example, in Iraq.

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