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Old 01-27-2006, 06:59 AM   #1
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
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Democracy in the Middle East

So, yesterday the Palestinians held free and fair elections and as far as I can judge, this is not in dispute.
Democracy in action.
Considering the result, and the people who now have the madate.
Will the west engage with people they said they wouldn't?
Is the Middle East safer for allowing Democracy to deliver?
What do forum members think?

Just a thought

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 01-27-2006, 10:07 PM   #2
Neil Mick
Dojo: Aikido of Santa Cruz
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Re: Democracy in the Middle East

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote:
So, yesterday the Palestinians held free and fair elections and as far as I can judge, this is not in dispute.
I'm betting that Israel, et al, will jump up and down and try to declare the results invalid.

I sure hope not.

Quote:
Democracy in action.
Considering the result, and the people who now have the madate.
Will the west engage with people they said they wouldn't?
Israel won't; the US might...depending.

Quote:
Is the Middle East safer for allowing Democracy to deliver?
Yes, I think it is. Adding Hamas into the political process moves them one step away from violence. To negotiate is to influence their behavior. And, politics involves negotiation.

But, of course: when BushCo says "democracy:" they only mean the "democracy" that kowtows to its will. The US actively tried to subvert the results of the election, pouring money into PR campaigns and politically-backed street-cleaning programs.
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Old 01-29-2006, 08:02 AM   #3
Amir Krause
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Re: Democracy in the Middle East

We can not know now. Only time will tell.

None can even answer to the main reason the Palestinians elected Hamas:
* Was it the corruption of the PLO old Gardie?
* Is it Islamic fundamentalism?
* Did the actions done by Hamas for the Palestinians own private quality of life play a major part?
* Was it support Hamas gave to Terror against Israel?

It seems Hamas itself does not know how to proceed: To keep the Palestinian life quality, they would have to negotiate with Israel: even aside from the military control, Israel is a significant monetary source for the Palestinian authority.


Currently, it seems the Israeli leadership does not have an idea either. For a change, they chose the way of wisdom - wait and see. Will the Hamas be willing to enter negotiant ions ? of what form ? (peace ? Cease-fire? How temporary ?)

Amir
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Old 01-29-2006, 10:53 AM   #4
Neil Mick
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Re: Democracy in the Middle East

Hi Amir,

Sorry, but from what I have seen of the Middle East news reports: I am going to have to disagree with you, on some issues.

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote:
We can not know now. Only time will tell.

None can even answer to the main reason the Palestinians elected Hamas:
* Was it the corruption of the PLO old Gardie?
* Is it Islamic fundamentalism?
* Did the actions done by Hamas for the Palestinians own private quality of life play a major part?
* Was it support Hamas gave to Terror against Israel?
Actually, I think that the election of Hamas isn't so surprising. Apparently, they ran a very well-organized campaign. They remained "on-mesage," and yes, I think that it's safe to say that the corruption in the Old Guard played a large part in the election.

Quote:
It seems Hamas itself does not know how to proceed: To keep the Palestinian life quality, they would have to negotiate with Israel: even aside from the military control, Israel is a significant monetary source for the Palestinian authority.
True enough.

Quote:
Currently, it seems the Israeli leadership does not have an idea either. For a change, they chose the way of wisdom - wait and see. Will the Hamas be willing to enter negotiant ions ? of what form ? (peace ? Cease-fire? How temporary ?)
Not according to what I saw, on the news. The spokesman for Likud immediately blamed the "appeasement" policies of Sharon. from what I saw, the Knesset has declared that they wouldn't negotiate with any Palestinian gov't composed even partly of Hamas. IMO, they'd miss a valuable oppty to reform Hamas, if they don't.
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Old 01-30-2006, 06:42 AM   #5
Amir Krause
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Re: Democracy in the Middle East

Quote:
Actually, I think that the election of Hamas isn't so surprising. Apparently, they ran a very well-organized campaign. They remained "on-mesage," and yes, I think that it's safe to say that the corruption in the Old Guard played a large part in the election.
It surprised all the interpreters here, all the news people and some claim it also surprised the Israeli intelligence community, and most importantly - the Palestinians themselves. On election day, the pols reported Hamas only had less 40% until the real counting came out. Actually, looking at Hamas response, it surprised them as well.

Perhaps one can get a better picture from farther away. Then again, perhaps one misses the importance and nuances that made this so surprising.

Quote:
Not according to what I saw, on the news. The spokesman for Likud immediately blamed the "appeasement" policies of Sharon. from what I saw, the Knesset has declared that they wouldn't negotiate with any Palestinian gov't composed even partly of Hamas. IMO, they'd miss a valuable oppty to reform Hamas, if they don't.
Don't quote "Likud" propaganda to me before the election. Too often, even the person speaking doesn't believe what he is saying. And a politician trying to blame another party on something that is currently perceived to be negative - need I continue ?

As far as the Keneset declarations. Once again, it's middle-eastern barter way - right now, both sides are escalating the talk and raising their prices:
Hamas said it will never recognize Israel's right of existence, the Kneset said we won't negotiate with them.
Hamas said their condition for recognition of Israel is Israel recognizing all Palestinian rights (including return of refugees from 1948, i.e. end of Israel). The Israeli gov. said they will stop transferring funds to Palestinian authority ("because the new Palestinian Gov. may transfer those funds to support terror organizations, including Hamas").


But, the public negotiations says nothing of the actual situation. Even in the Israeli democracy. Some Hamas people have already started talking of a "Hudna" (short cease fire with intention of re-organizing for continued military campaign), their current conditions are such that Israel would not be able to agree to, particularly given the nature of "Hudna" and given "Hamas" needs it now more then Israel does.
But some negotiations may follow, and things could go either way.

You could have also pointed to "Kadima" and "Avoda" parties saying "Hamas" is not a partner, so Israel will have to make one sided steps (mostly referring to evacuating settlements that are out of consensus).



Anyone trying to predict the future in our area. Should think again. None knows - you can only guess, and your chances of hitting are quite slim.


I hope some settlement will be achievable without another escalation in the current war (though the Israeli Army uses very limited means, it still is a war that has been going for the last several years). But I can not say I am very optimistic.


Amir
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Old 01-30-2006, 11:35 AM   #6
Neil Mick
Dojo: Aikido of Santa Cruz
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Re: Democracy in the Middle East

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote:
It surprised all the interpreters here, all the news people and some claim it also surprised the Israeli intelligence community, and most importantly - the Palestinians themselves. On election day, the pols reported Hamas only had less 40% until the real counting came out. Actually, looking at Hamas response, it surprised them as well.
That did not seem to be the response of at least one political commentator. He seemed to think that the only surprise of the election was the landslide.


Quote:
Perhaps one can get a better picture from farther away. Then again, perhaps one misses the importance and nuances that made this so surprising.
Perhaps one shouldn't be so dismissive of the views of those so far away. Then again, perhaps one misses how much smaller the world is, in this age of internet-media.

Quote:
Don't quote "Likud" propaganda to me before the election.
I'm not...I'm mentioning the Likud statement from the chairman, immediately after the election...from IBA TV.

Quote:
Anyone trying to predict the future in our area. Should think again. None knows - you can only guess, and your chances of hitting are quite slim.
I'm not guessing...merely offering possibilities. We both agree, the future is wide open. You're right: no one knows what the future will bring.

Quote:
I hope some settlement will be achievable without another escalation in the current war (though the Israeli Army uses very limited means, it still is a war that has been going for the last several years).
Occupation does not = War

Last edited by Neil Mick : 01-30-2006 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 01-30-2006, 12:48 PM   #7
Edwin Neal
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Re: Democracy in the Middle East

with respect to all... my feelings/predictions for this turn of events is war... terror attacks against israel will likely continue and cause israel to respond... which will in turn probably lead to attacks against iran... unfortunately i also feel that there will be a nuclear attack of some kind somewhere in the world within the next 3-5 years... hope i'm wrong, but my gut feeling is unfortunately usually correct...

Edwin Neal


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Old 01-30-2006, 03:52 PM   #8
Mark Freeman
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Re: Democracy in the Middle East

Quote:
Edwin Neal wrote:
with respect to all... my feelings/predictions for this turn of events is war... terror attacks against israel will likely continue and cause israel to respond... which will in turn probably lead to attacks against iran... unfortunately I also feel that there will be a nuclear attack of some kind somewhere in the world within the next 3-5 years... hope i'm wrong, but my gut feeling is unfortunately usually correct...
Phew Edwin, that's a pretty pessimistic gut you've got there!!
I hope that it's wrong on this occasion.
The results in Palestine have taken nearly everybody by surprise, and there will no doubt be a lot of high stakes brinkmanship going on for some time. I just hope everyone keeps a cool head, and focuses on mutual peace being a preferable outcome to the alternative. Nuclear attack anywhere in the world doesn't bare thinking about.
Things could go either way right now, and depending on which way it does will IMO set the scene for years to come.
There may well be a big opportunity buried in the gloom if only one looks hard enough.

Regards,
Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 01-30-2006, 04:05 PM   #9
Edwin Neal
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Re: Democracy in the Middle East

yeah but pessimism and realism are not mutually exclusive... i think with the position of Hamas (clearly stated in their constitution) and Iran... well you connect the dots... i do not think Israel can allow Iran to aquire nuclear weapon capability as they possess missle delivery systems already that can deliver it to Israel... i hope for the best, but the world seems to be sliding downhill and picking up speed...

Edwin Neal


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Old 01-30-2006, 05:03 PM   #10
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
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Re: Democracy in the Middle East

Quote:
Edwin Neal wrote:
yeah but pessimism and realism are not mutually exclusive... i think with the position of Hamas (clearly stated in their constitution) and Iran... well you connect the dots... i do not think Israel can allow Iran to aquire nuclear weapon capability as they possess missle delivery systems already that can deliver it to Israel... i hope for the best, but the world seems to be sliding downhill and picking up speed...
Best we get down the dojo then and get as much mat time in now, before we look out of the window and see a warm orange glow shortly before the first shock wave strips the skin off our bones

Optimistically yours,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 02-01-2006, 10:13 AM   #11
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
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Re: Democracy in the Middle East

Quote:
Edwin Neal wrote:
yeah but pessimism and realism are not mutually exclusive... i think with the position of Hamas (clearly stated in their constitution) and Iran... well you connect the dots...
Actually, Iran is Shiite and Hamas is Sunni, they do not like each other too much. Iran mostly supports Hezbollah, not Hamas ...


And I was not dismissing the view from far ahead. Some things are easier to see from that point of view, often because one can not see the details ... Unfortunately, when trying to solve people problems, the principles are not enough and the details are very important.


Amir
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Old 02-01-2006, 12:47 PM   #12
Neil Mick
Dojo: Aikido of Santa Cruz
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Re: Democracy in the Middle East

Quote:
Edwin Neal wrote:
with respect to all... my feelings/predictions for this turn of events is war... terror attacks against israel will likely continue and cause israel to respond... which will in turn probably lead to attacks against iran... unfortunately i also feel that there will be a nuclear attack of some kind somewhere in the world within the next 3-5 years... hope i'm wrong, but my gut feeling is unfortunately usually correct...
Quote:
Edwin Neal wrote:
yeah but pessimism and realism are not mutually exclusive...
Yes, but realism IS exclusive, from what your "gut feeling" is...with respect.

The whole business of Iran's getting nuc's is hot air: a feeble excuse for Bushie expansionism. Even if Iran wanted nuc's NOW: it would take them 10 years to acquire the means to manufacture one. There is PLENTY of time to negotiate with Iran: all this "gathering concern," and all this wardrum rhetoric (i.e., "we cannot wait for verification in the form of a mushroom cloud") sounds VERY familiar...
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Old 02-01-2006, 01:34 PM   #13
Edwin Neal
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Re: Democracy in the Middle East

i think as my earlier posts have somewhat stated that with Hamas basically integrating the militias with the palestinian military/security forces they will be in a position where if the terror attacks continue in israel, then israeli hawks will press war against the palestinians... bye bye palestine... as to Iran with the rhetoric they have been spewing about israel, if they even begin to start facilities that could possibly be construed as used to allow them to begin to develop nuclear weapons capabilities then israeli's will target those facilities with pre emptive bombings...

Edwin Neal


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Old 02-02-2006, 02:57 AM   #14
Amir Krause
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Re: Democracy in the Middle East

Quote:
The whole business of Iran's getting nuc's is hot air: a feeble excuse for Bushie expansionism. Even if Iran wanted nuc's NOW: it would take them 10 years to acquire the means to manufacture one. There is PLENTY of time to negotiate with Iran: all this "gathering concern," and all this wardrum rhetoric (i.e., "we cannot wait for verification in the form of a mushroom cloud") sounds VERY familiar...
I pray you are right. On the other hand, Iran has been trying to get nuclear warheads for longer then 10 years, and the claims are they have already gone ahead. I too do not know if those claims are true and I am aware that often there are some interests behind them. But the latter statement that not prove anything.


Quote:
think as my earlier posts have somewhat stated that with Hamas basically integrating the militias with the palestinian military/security forces they will be in a position where if the terror attacks continue in israel, then israeli hawks will press war against the palestinians... bye bye palestine
Not so fast. If Israel fought the way the Americans or France does when own civilian casualties are abundant. The Palestinian issue would have been long gone. Sorry, we do not. Most of Israel's own population would never agree to artillery strife fire on Palestinian citys. The Army is held in a very short leash. And this is true even for the Likud Party leadership.

Quote:
as to Iran with the rhetoric they have been spewing about israel, if they even begin to start facilities that could possibly be construed as used to allow them to begin to develop nuclear weapons capabilities then israeli's will target those facilities with pre emptive bombings...
I think this belongs to a different thread.

Even the Israeli military leadership, are not as sure of their capabilities, as you are. Something's can only be done once, afterwards, the other side changes the tactics.
Iran is almost too far away for Israel to strike effectively, add very limited information (they were not a real military threat until this nuclear issue) and add devices dispersal, and remember Israel never got long range attack bombers. And you will realize the problem.

Israel public expects the world to act for once. And stop this. We would rather a non military solution.

Amir
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