March 05, 2008

Gaza: when Iran-contra met the Bay of Pigs

I've been sent this link to Vanity Fair, yes, Vanity Fair. The person who sent it to me could barely conceal his contempt for the colonial mentality shot through the entire article in spite of it being a thorough-going exposé of Bush role in the demise of Fatah in Gaza and the rise of Hamas in Gaza.

Here's the intro:
After failing to anticipate Hamas’s victory over Fatah in the 2006 Palestinian election, the White House cooked up yet another scandalously covert and self-defeating Middle East debacle: part Iran-contra, part Bay of Pigs. With confidential documents, corroborated by outraged former and current U.S. officials, David Rose reveals how President Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and Deputy National-Security Adviser Elliott Abrams backed an armed force under Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan, touching off a bloody civil war in Gaza and leaving Hamas stronger than ever.
The biggest eye-opener for me in the article was the report of a split among the notorious neo-cons or perhaps between the neo-cons and the Bush administration:
Within the Bush administration, the Palestinian policy set off a furious debate. One of its critics is David Wurmser, the avowed neoconservative, who resigned as Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief Middle East adviser in July 2007, a month after the Gaza coup.

Wurmser accuses the Bush administration of “engaging in a dirty war in an effort to provide a corrupt dictatorship [led by Abbas] with victory.” He believes that Hamas had no intention of taking Gaza until Fatah forced its hand. “It looks to me that what happened wasn’t so much a coup by Hamas but an attempted coup by Fatah that was pre-empted before it could happen,” Wurmser says.

The botched plan has rendered the dream of Middle East peace more remote than ever, but what really galls neocons such as Wurmser is the hypocrisy it exposed. “There is a stunning disconnect between the president’s call for Middle East democracy and this policy,” he says. “It directly contradicts it.”
This comes dangerously close to suggesting that some, or at least one of the, neo-cons was actually serious with that democracy malarkey.

The Vanity Fair article has been picked up by Electronic Intifada, which provides some insights of its own.


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