How can Bush and Rice criticize the Hamas victory?
Now that an organization of terrorists and would-be Israel-destroyers have come to power as a result of democratic elections in the Palestinian territories, elections that were strongly pushed by the United States, how can President Bush and his team express any unhappiness about the outcome? They themselves have repeatedly declared in the most dogmatic terms that anyone who has doubts about the possibility or desirability of democracy in Muslim societies is “condescending” and “racist.” Are they now to turn around and adopt a “condescending” and “racist” position themselves? Not only does Bush’s policy of “defeating terror through democracy” lead, over and over, to terror supporters gaining political power, but it also prohibits any political discussion, any critical thinking at all, about this problem.
How, then, can the administration respond to the emergence of a Hamas-led Palestinian Authority? They respond by repeating the exact same boilerplate they have used all along about the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority, namely, that the PA must renounce terrorism if it is to have peace, as Secretary of State Rice declared yesterday. Such rhetoric leaves forever open the possibility that the terrorists will turn into peaceful democrats, and so avoids the charge of condescension toward Muslims. The fact that the Palestinians through democratic processes have already decisively rejected peace cannot be admitted, as that would be racist. Bush’s and Rice’s own hyper-liberalism prohibits them from reaching rational conclusions about the meaning of Muslims’ actions.