Wednesday, February 1


Condi lies again.

Can't veer from that elections timetable! We have to have more democratic elections to point to during the SOTU address. Our faith-based diplomacy is more reliable than real intelligence, inside information from the Palestinian president.

While most Israeli and Arab-language news channels were broadcasting scenes of Hamas supporters in the Gaza Strip waving green flags as they celebrated their stunning victory, Harari had tuned in to a seemingly tedious military ceremony on Egyptian state television. “Look at the wives of the generals,” he said. “Many of them are wearing traditional head scarves. This was not so ten years ago. And this tells you where we are heading. When the women of Egypt’s pro-Western military élite are dressed like that, you know that the Hamas victory is not about Palestine. It’s about the entire Middle East.”

Harari, who served as an intelligence officer in the West Bank and then as the adviser on Palestinian affairs to the Israeli Defense Ministry, is still closely connected to his former colleagues, and he said he had heard that, some weeks ago, the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, who was afraid of a Hamas rout at the polls, begged Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to exert United States pressure and postpone the scheduled elections. Rice refused, Harari said, and told Abbas to go forward. (A State Department spokesman declined to confirm the details of their conversation.)
[emphasis mine]

Huh? But I thought Condi said, "I don't know anyone who wasn't caught off guard by Hamas's strong showing." And, "I've asked why nobody saw it coming," Ms. Rice said, speaking of her own staff. "It does say something about us not having a good enough pulse."

Or something about not listening to anything they don't want to hear.

The issue, of course, is whether this revolutionary movement, whose charter is devoted to the elimination of Israel, could develop into a ruling party interested in territorial compromise. On that Harari is doubtful. “It would take years before real negotiations could resume,” he said. “An over-all peace agreement is out of the question for a long time.”

Yet the impact of the Hamas victory, he said, is not local but regional. “As we speak,” he said, “there are growing fears not only in Israel but in Jordan, Egypt, and even Syria. The Hamas victory is a Middle East earthquake. Its shock waves will be felt in every town between Casablanca and Baghdad.”

Even aside from the Condi stuff, it's a very insightful article.

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