Thursday, January 26, 2006

A Time To Choose

The US cannot keep their fantasy going anymore. Their democracy project has already spawned an Islamist constitution for a previously secular Iraq, and Islamist government for same, and large Muslim Brotherhood gains in Egypt. Now HAMAS, an offspring of the latter group, has won the "Palestinian" Authoritiy elections.

Mike Jericho has put it well

I will never recognise a state whose people elect a terrorist group to represent them. There is no Palestine. On a side note, does this mean - officially - that leftists have to stop saying that in Islam, terrorists and their supporters are a "small minority of extremists"?Because this outcome would kinda prove that I've been right all along.

The issue is, how will the US face this reality ? They are finally facing a stark choice: Either they admit that democracy can be a really bad idea when "The People" are themselves not so nice, or they start negotiating with terrorists. Compromises may be expected on both sides, and the fact is that the US was happy to negotiate with Yasser Arafat's PA, and Abu Mazen's PA. With a bit of spin doctoring, even HAMAS may be rehabilitated for US palatability, even as their jihad continues.

The correct lesson here is that democracy is only good in as far as it expresses the will of the people. It is an article of misguided and dangerous blind faith to suggest that the will of the people is itself good. There are several remedies that can be applied to a dysfunctional and dangerous culture, but self-determiniation is definitely not one of them, especially not self-determination as dictated by the will of a people with some very scary intentions. Democracy is like a handgun: something powerful, dangerous and very much a privelege. Not something you entrust to an unsupervised child, or a repeat violent offender.

Let us hope that the right inferences are drawn, and the right action taken.

Sadly, there is little reason for such hope. And I have not even mentioned the rather more "accomodating" attitudes of the EU, the UN and Russia...
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