Monday, January 23, 2006

LEOPARDS AND SPOTS

Oh dear. From the WaPo:
The Bush administration is spending foreign aid money to increase the popularity of the Palestinian Authority on the eve of crucial elections in which the governing party faces a serious challenge from the radical Islamic group Hamas.

The approximately $2 million program is being led by a division of the U.S. Agency for International Development. But no U.S. government logos appear with the projects or events being undertaken as part of the campaign, which bears no evidence of U.S. involvement and does not fall within the definitions of traditional development work.
So much for an ethical foreign policy.
U.S. and Palestinian officials say they fear the election, scheduled for Wednesday, will result in a large Hamas presence in the 132-seat legislature. Hamas, formally known as the Islamic Resistance Movement, is at war with Israel and is classified by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization. But its reputation for competence and accountability in providing social services has made it a stiff rival of the secular Fatah movement, which runs the Palestinian Authority and has long been the largest party in the Palestinian territories.
Exactly how are Fatah "secular"? Last time I checked they had a military wing called the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. Mental note to self: check up on "secular martyrs".
Elements of the U.S.-funded program include a street-cleaning campaign, distributing free food and water to Palestinians at border crossings, donating computers to community centers and sponsoring a national youth soccer tournament. U.S. officials are coordinating the program through Rafiq Husseini, chief of staff to Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority and leader of Fatah.
USAID must be drinking from the same cup as Messrs. Wilson and Kessler who wrote the article. Given the astonishing way in which the PA has managed to mislay billions of dollars over the years, I wonder how much we should trust Abbas's chief of staff to ensure that none of this money finds it way into other, less savoury hands?

Presumably the rationale behind this move to fund these "small, popular projects" is along the lines of "Better the devil you know than the one you don't".

Hmmm. I'm not sure there's an awful lot of difference between Fatah and Hamas; I wouldn't want any of my taxes helping to prop either of them up.

But never mind, I'm sure it's all just a global Zionist conspiracy. Why else would Hamas need to pay spin doctor Nashat Aqtash over £100,000 to improve their image? After all, in Aqtash's own words:
"We don't need the international community to accept Hamas ideology, we need it to accept the facts on the ground. We are not killing people because we love to kill. People view Hamas as loving sending people to die. We don't love death, we like life."
Now that's a real jaw-dropper. Particularly when you read Jamal Abdel Hamid Yussef describing the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades military wing of Hamas in Gaza:
"Our suicide operations are a message...that our people love death. Our goal is to die for the sake of God, and if we live we want to humiliate Jews and trample on their necks."
Next Aqtash'll be trying to convince us they're a political movement that never target civilians. Oh hang on:
"Hamas does not believe in terrorism or killing civilians. But Ariel Sharon pressed buttons to make people angry. Sometimes we are innocent enough to react in a way that the Israelis use the reaction against us.
I'll leave it to the reader to untangle that web of garbled logic.

Sorry Nashat but if it's all the same, I think I'll stick to believing my lying eyes.


UPDATE

Of the advice Nashat Aqtash gave to Hamas, this one's caused a few raised eyebrows:
  • Change beard colour (if red)
Looks like our ginger Jihadi friend ought to think about a makeover.

|

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home