Powerline is roasting Sec. Rice for comments about the democratic process in Palestine.
“The United States has more faith in the democratic process than that. Yes, elections produced an outcome that was complicated. Perhaps even an outcome that we might not even have liked. But you know we don’t have a policy in the United States that says you only get to have an election if you elect people that the United States agrees with. That is not our policy. And this is a long process of the Palestinians coming to terms with the multiple factions in the Palestinian territories. The multiple views in the Palestinian territories of how to relate to Israel, the multiple views on how to get to a two-state solution.
“I don’t regret for a moment giving the Palestinian people or supporting the Palestinian people in making an electoral choice. But with electoral choice comes responsibility, and what we have been saying since the day that the elections took place is that election is one thing and it was free and fair and we acknowledge that. But the responsibility then is to have a government that can actually govern, a government that can be responsive to the needs of the Palestinian people. And those needs are going to be best met in a two-state solution. And to have a two-state solution you simply must recognize the right of the other party to exist.
“The Palestinian people, I think like the Israeli people, recognize that a normal life would be a life in which there are two states living side by side in freedom and in peace. I am convinced that the great majority of Palestinians, the great majority of Israelis want exactly that. Now, eventually, I think a democratic process will reflect that underlying desire for peace. But we can’t shortcut that process. The desire for peace has to be underpinned by some fundamental principles, and those fundamental principles include a renunciation of violence, the recognition of the right of both parties to exist, and adherence to international agreements. That’s why the Quartet principles are still important. That is why we are continuing to reaffirm them.”
To which Scott at Powerline said:
It is painful to read Secretary Rice’s comments trying to square the circle as she maintains the legitimacy of the participation of terrorist groups in a democratic political process. Among today’s mysteries — even more mysterious than the warrant under which the Quds Force is operating — is how it is that no one at Haaretz thought to sound out Secretary Rice on that proposition, and how she continues to confuse it.
OK, I’m a little confused. Scott is comparing the Quds force in Iran to that of Hamas when the two are very different.
First, Hamas and Fatah have pretty much been running Palestine for decades. There’s no doubt that the “occupied territories” of the West Bank and Gaza were united under the banner of independence (and Israeli destruction). And probably the biggest and best strategic ploy to expose the single-mindedness of Islamic fundamentalism and extremism on a state-basis was implemented– the Israeli withdrawl and concession by Israel to allow Palestinian elections and formation of a sovereign state.
And what did we see with Hamas & Fatah? Infighting. Continued attacks on Israel. Zero economic growth. The state was formed, aid was sent, and the realization of dreams came true. Well, except for the whole “stop the terrorism” angle.
And the Palestinians had to elect Hamas and Fatah. These two groups have been running their lives for ages now. Who else do they know, and who would dare stand in the way of two terrorist organizations? It’s a power problem. Now that the terrorism has won, how do they govern when all they know is resistance and hatred?
Now, take the Quds forces in Iraq. Iraq has not been under Shiite rule. You can barely even call it Sunni rule. Quds is a paramilitary force sent by Iran to destabilize the region and the Iraqi government, duly elected by a recently liberated people who are attempting to get their country running back on track.
Where the Palestinians beg for aid, the Iraqis are focusing on their own economy. Where the Palestinians stubbornly refuse to recognize a neighboring state in the name of peace, Iraq is asking Iran and Syria to stay out so it can reform into a stable country.
Rice is absolutely correct here. The US is all about democracy. If the Palestinians want a government run by terrorists, so be it. But the terrorists have done such an incompetent job running the state, it’s up to the people to change their government. That’s how democracy works. The Iraqi people have already shows support for a democratic process (even though the fledgling government is quite weak), and they will continue to vote to ensure a good future for themselves.
We cannot interfere in free elections. We can ask, beg, plead people to vote one way or another, but ultimately, the fate of their country is in their hands. That’s freedom.