Friday, January 27, 2006

Musings on the Palestinian Elections

The landslide victory by Hamas in the Palestinian elections raises three key questions:

  1. For all the adulation shown Yassir Arafat in life and even more so in death, what does it say about the accomplishments his leadership yielded that barely a year removed from his departure from the scene, the Palestinian Authority would turn so dramatically to an agenda much more radical than his?
  1. For all George W. Bush’s bluster about spreading democracy in the Middle East, what does the ascendancy of Shi’ites in Iraq, pro-Hezbollah fundamentalists in Iran and now Hamas in the Palestinian Authority say about the realistic prospects of American-style democracy taking hold in a region with no such historical tendencies?
  1. Will Bush accept the results of democratic elections in the Middle East when he doesn’t like the outcome?


Blogger Steve Middleton said...

There's been lots of discussion on the British TV & Radio. The main conclusion is that much of the Middle East will go for Islamic parties if the people are not given realistic alternative political organisations to vote for. In Palestine, for example, Hamas always had a good chance of succeeding because it was well organised, well financed, had the support of the mosques, had a grassroots network examining concerns and the governing party was corrupt and badly organised - relying on the legacy of Yassir Arafat. In Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and possibly Turkey exactly the same thing will inevitably happen if the US & European governments don't assist in the development of proper democratic structures in the Middle East.

3:28 PM  
Blogger The Ringmaster said...

Steve, I wonder if part of the reason for the trend towards fundamentalism is that no one sees a US-backed regime as legitimate?

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoyed a lot! » »

9:39 PM  

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