Yet Another Thing No-One Could Have Anticipated

March 3rd, 2008at 06:37pm Posted by Eli

This just in: Bush administration still the stupidest cretins on Earth.

There is no one more hated among Hamas members than Muhammad Dahlan, long Fatah’s resident strongman in Gaza. Dahlan, who most recently served as Abbas’s national-security adviser, has spent more than a decade battling Hamas. Dahlan insists that abu Dan was tortured without his knowledge, but the video is proof that his followers’ methods can be brutal.

Bush has met Dahlan on at least three occasions. After talks at the White House in July 2003, Bush publicly praised Dahlan as “a good, solid leader.” In private, say multiple Israeli and American officials, the U.S. president described him as “our guy.”

(…)

Arafat died in November 2004, and Abbas, his replacement as Fatah leader, was elected president in January 2005. Elections for the Palestinian parliament, known officially as the Legislative Council, were originally set for July 2005, but later postponed by Abbas until January 2006.

Dahlan says he warned his friends in the Bush administration that Fatah still wasn’t ready for elections in January. Decades of self-preservationist rule by Arafat had turned the party into a symbol of corruption and inefficiency—a perception Hamas found it easy to exploit. Splits within Fatah weakened its position further: in many places, a single Hamas candidate ran against several from Fatah.

“Everyone was against the elections,” Dahlan says. Everyone except Bush. “Bush decided, ‘I need an election. I want elections in the Palestinian Authority.’ Everyone is following him in the American administration, and everyone is nagging Abbas, telling him, ‘The president wants elections.’ Fine. For what purpose?”

The elections went forward as scheduled. On January 25, Hamas won 56 percent of the seats in the Legislative Council.

Few inside the U.S. administration had predicted the result, and there was no contingency plan to deal with it. “I’ve asked why nobody saw it coming,” Condoleezza Rice told reporters. “I don’t know anyone who wasn’t caught off guard by Hamas’s strong showing.”

“Everyone blamed everyone else,” says an official with the Department of Defense. “We sat there in the Pentagon and said, ‘Who the fuck recommended this?’ ”

Gee, “your guy” told you his party wasn”t ready for elections, you ignored him, and then you were all surprised when it went badly. It’s like watching one of those horror movies where everyone tells the idiot characters, “Don’t go in the basement,” “Don’t desecrate the Indian burial ground,” “Don’t read aloud from the scroll written in human blood,” and then they go and do it anyway, and can’t understand why everything’s gone terribly wrong.

Oh, and after the election they also tried to provoke a Palestinian civil war, hoping to install the government they wanted by force. Hooray for the champions of democracy!

(h/t Atrios)

Entry Filed under: Bush,Republicans


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