Welcome to the Hamas peace process

We had the Oslo peace process, and since that was such a great success, we graduated recently to the Hezbollah peace process, and because that’s been going so swimmingly, we’ve now embarked on the Hamas peace process, as explained by White House press secretary Scott McClellan:

For Immediate Release
April 13, 2005
White House Press Briefing

MR. McCLELLAN: … If we are successful there in the Gaza, it provides a real opportunity to move forward on the road map and to move forward on the President’s two-state vision. But we’ve got to make sure that there is—and the world has a responsibility to help in those efforts to make sure that the Palestinians are able to move in and self-govern that area, and begin moving forward on additional measures to have institutions in place for a viable democracy to emerge. And so that’s really where the focus was.

… Q Scott, on the road map, can you identify even one Palestinian terrorist group that has been disarmed by the Palestinian Authority in accordance with the Bush administration’s own road map? And I have a follow-up.

MR. McCLELLAN: I think it’s important to look at some of the steps that have been taken. And the President talked about President Abbas the other day in the news conference. We look forward to having President Abbas visit Washington again so the President can talk to him about what we can do to support them in their efforts to move forward on the two-state vision that he outlined. But there have been some steps taken to address the security situation.

It’s important that they have a unified security structure. General Ward has been in the region working closely with the Palestinians to help put those security forces in place and have a unified structure to address some of these issues. But the road map is very clear in what it says. We’ve been very clear in what our views are, as well. And it’s important that the parties meet their obligations.

Q In the event that Hamas, a terrorist organization not yet disarmed by the PA, wins a majority in the legislative PA, will the Bush administration still send $350 million U.S. taxpayer dollars to the PA, or not?

MR. McCLELLAN: Les, it’s—the one thing that you see when people have elections that are free and fair is that they tend to choose people who are committed to improving their livelihood, not people who are committed to terrorist acts. And I think if you look back at the previous Palestinian elections, the people that were elected, while they might have been members of Hamas, they were business professionals. They were people that ran on talking about improving the quality of life for the Palestinian people and addressing their economic needs and addressing other needs that are important to them—not terrorists.

To call this “unbelievable” is an inadequate response. Yet it’s all a logical unfolding from Bush’s core thinking, his making a cult of an contentless, undefined “democracy,” from which it follows that any group that can show popular support is a legitimate group with which we must deal. I tried to explain to a well-known conservative and Bush supporter a couple of months ago why the misuse of the word “democracy” was not just an intellectual problem, but has dreadful practical consequences. He replied that this was a “talmudic” issue, i.e., obscure and of no importance. It should also be noted that Norman Podhoretz, a principled foe of Oslo for years, who in 1996 called for the abrogation of the Oslo process, is completely on board with this now, because, as he explained in Commentary, he totally trusts Bush.

We are in the Twilight Zone.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 15, 2005 08:57 AM | Send

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