A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Will Hamas Become Civilized?

I'd say the odds are pretty long, but you never know-- sometimes it's a lot easier to agitate from the sidelines, and once you actually get the power you claim to crave, it becomes a lot harder to actually govern. Suddenly you have to compromise and cajole and attempt to work with those with whom you disagree.

The old, Be careful what you wish for-- you might get it cliche. Of course, as President Bush noted, if your "party" platform is the elimination of Israel as country, then you are not a partner in peace. Pretty much, you're just a bunch of barbarian thugs.

We'll see. Fingers crossed, but hopes not very high.


I don't have any real hope that Hamas will become a mainstream, civilized, political organization. These two recent quotes, in my eyes, sum up Hamas' intentions.

"Negotiations with Israel is not on our agenda. Recognizing Israel is not on the agenda either now."
- Mushir al-Masri, a Hamas candidate who won the election in his home district in the northern Gaza Strip, in a statement on 25 January 2006

"The Americans and the Europeans say to Hamas: either you have weapons or you enter the legislative council. We say (we will have) weapons and the legislative council, there is no contradiction between the two.

"This is an historic day for the Palestinian people. They are expressing their strong desire and determination to continue the resistance, their desire for change and reform ... and establishing a multi-party political system."
- Ismail Haniya, a chief candidate for Hamas, in a statement on 25 January 2006

Add to this that Iran continues to provide significant support to Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups, and I'd have to say that the situation just got a lot more messy.
I don't disagree Mojo, but I do think that sometimes, maybe even often times, when you are actually responsible for stuff, rather than just sniping from the sidelines at those that are responsible for stuff, it changes how you approach things. No excuses for Hamas now-- the people have said "we want you in charge." Now they must deliver. The scary thing is if they decide to deliver on their goal of eliminating Israel-- not an unlikely scenario, unfortunately-- but maybe the reality of actually trying to govern will bring them new perspective.

As I said, I am not hopeful that this will be the case, but I do think there is a chance that it will be the case.
I agree that there is a chance that Hamas could change.

There is also a chance that I could win the lottery this weekend, but it's more likely that I'll just have a piece of scrap paper after the drawing.

All-in-all, I'd say that odds are better for me to win the lottery than for Hamas to actually change their stripes.
The only positive thing that can come out of this would be if Hamas really tries all the shit that they talk about and gets their asses kicked by the Israelis. (Even Christopher Plummer knows that the Israelis are the single greatest fighting force assembled by man.)
Maybe (and just maybe) after getting their asses handed to them, some of the people will realize that they have to live with Israel.
But don't count on it.
Following their resounding election victory, the Islamic militants of Hamas met the question of whether they will change their stripes with a loud "no": no recognition of Israel, no negotiations, no renunciation of terror. - 28 January 2006

Sort of makes me think of this scene from Dumb and Dumber:

Lloyd: What are the chances of a guy like you and a girl like me... ending up together?
Mary: Not good.
Lloyd: Not good like one in a hundred?
Mary: I'd say more like one in a million.
Lloyd: So you're telling me there's a chance?
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