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Hamas Taking it to Fatah in Gaza

In an earlier post I explained how Israel and the US were taking sides in the civil war brewing in Gaza and made this prediction:

Ultimately, Hamas will probably win this struggle because their followers are more radicalized and fanatical.

It appears that prediction is coming true based on the reports coming out of Gaza today like this one by NPR:

Hamas fighters on Wednesday wrested control of Gaza's north-south road - and put themselves in position to cut off reinforcements to beleaguered Fatah forces. Six militants died in clashes near the besieged house of a senior Fatah commander in Gaza City, besides four killed there on Tuesday, Hamas said. Two other people died of wounds sustained in earlier fighting.

Gunmen also fought for control of high-rise buildings in Gaza City that serve as sniper positions. Hamas has been systematically taking control of major positions in the north and south, apparently leaving Gaza City, the strip's security and political nerve center, for last. On Tuesday, Hamas gunmen scored a key victory when they overran the headquarters of a Fatah-allied security force in northern Gaza.

Hamas reported another strategic win on Wednesday, saying it seized a Fatah post on the main north-south road, where security forces often stopped cars carrying Hamas loyalists. Hamas said it brought a bulldozer to flatten the post, which consisted of a mobile home and several shacks. Hamas also seized control Wednesday of a Fatah post on Gaza's coastal road - another main artery for reinforcing Fatah troops.

Hamas and Fatah have waged a power struggle in fits and spurts for the past year since Hamas won parliament elections, ending four decades of Fatah rule. On Tuesday, Hamas signaled it was moving into a decisive phase. It ignored pleas by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian mediators to honor a cease-fire and appeared to be moving ahead according to a plan.

US and Israeli assistance to Fatah has undoubtedly helped Hamas to mobilize and energize its followers in this fight. Once again, our incessant meddling in the Middle East has backfired on us. Hamas, which gained power due to free elections promoted by the US, could achieve a decisive victory here and gain full control of Gaza. This would be another heavy blow for George W Bush's grand vision of remaking the Middle East in the image of America. Across that region, extremists and fanatics are on the march while moderate and democratic forces are on the retreat.



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Comments (11)

"US and Israeli assistance to Fatah has undoubtedly helped Hamas to mobilize and energize its followers in this fight."

On May 29, Reuters reported that the US was allowing private donors to funnel aid to Hamas.

Paul Hamilton:

The fighting itself is the thing. If the Palestinians are at war with each other, they won't be directing so much hostility toward Israel. Of course that sort of thing is a moral abomination, but since when has morality ever interfered with the goals of either Israel or the Bush administration.

Heralder:

Thanks for being utterly predictable.

I read the news of Hamas, you know the terrorist group everyone knew were terrorists, executing Fatah members. (the same Fatah members who are now suddenly in your mind "moderate and democratic forces")

Hint: Just because the AP or Reuters calls them moderate, it doesn't make them so. I suppose however, it's a matter of comparison, like me calling Rosie O'Donnell a moderate compared to Ward Churchill.

A quote that stuck out from the article I read was:

"We are telling our people that the past era has ended and will not return," Islam Shahawan, a spokesman for Hamas' militia, told Hamas radio. "The era of justice and Islamic rule have arrived."

I thought about that, and I wondered how you would convert that statement as proof of "Bush's meddling in the middle east". Well there's no answer there, because this isn't by any means a new attitude or goal of Islamic extremists and terrorists (or as the news agencies refer to them as: "militants"). It's just the fact violence is happening that it's Bush's fault, apparently.

Look back to 1988, was there violence in the middle east?

How about 1978?

How about 1412?

Give it up Larkin, the more you and Lee stretch and contort to blame every ill in this world on Bush policy, the less seriously people take you.


Heralder:

Oh, and predicting Hamas would win in a conflict with Fatah because they're even more psychotic than their opponents, is not exactly Nostrodamus-esque in scale. Not that you're saying it was.

That's like me referring back to a prediction that Lindsay Lohan would snort coke again.

Paul Hamilton:

Heralder, the rebirth of Islamic fundamentalism began simultaneously in 1979 or 1980 in Iran and Afghanistan. Before that, the conflicts were mainly political in nature, but nowadays, the motive force (or at least the excuse) is usually religious. Certainly the wackos have been emboldened.

And as you said in the second note, Hamas is wackier than Fatah. And they have a broader political base as well.

So that begs the question of why the US sorta-kinda gave half-assed covert support for Fatah when anybody who was paying the least bit of attention could have told that was a complete waste of time, money and effort.

And that goes back to what I said in the earlier note in this thread -- I think they just wanted a fight between Palestinians. Getting a little bit of support encouraged Fatah and seeing Fatah get that support encouraged Hamas. And of course the fact that Israel is deliberately making things worse and worse on all the Palestinians just turns all of Gaza into a pressure cooker, a perfect environment for an explosion of violence, and a situation that Israel has the best chance of winning because both sides will be badly damaged in the fighting.

Heralder:

Good post Paul.

One thing I do think people fail to consider is an entire generation indoctrinated into terror ("Hi, I'm Mickey Mouse...destroy all enemies of Islam!) does actually have effects like this.

There's alot of blame for the current events being spread around, accusations that certain parties are catalysing strife, but no, to very little accountability is being expected of those that are actually shooting rockets, hiding behind children and blowing themselves up on buses.

Paul Hamilton:

Good point about Jihad Mickey. But I still believe that nonsense like that won't take root unless the people feel like are being oppressed by some outside force, sort of like how Americans would have never tolerated the PATRIOT Act except in the superheated atmosphere following 9-11.

Heralder:

Hmmm, you have a good argument about the patriot act.

A fundamental difference however, is one was an attempt (misguided or not) to protect a people, and the other is an attempt kill people (indirectly).

I can't deny that outside influences directly affect culture, but at the same time, it's still a valid point that accountability is being removed from people's reactions.

Paul Hamilton:

You sure got THAT right! Radical Islam tells their followers that they must sacrifice their lives for the greater good because EVIL western/Jewish powers are trying to destroy them. And those in this country who seek to tear down individual liberty say that we must sacrifice their freedom because EVIL terrorists/Muslims want to destroy us.

The element they have in common is fear and fear can cause people to act against their own best interests if someone can convince them that doing so will help to eliminate the threat.

And in both cases, the people become mere pawns of the authorities.

Heralder:

I know our opinions on the Patriot act differ, but there's a third element at play here, and that is: intention.

Paul Hamilton:

Yeah -- they're the paving stones of the road to hell. :)


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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