The March of Folly in Gaza
By Ted Belman
The current war was preceded by colossal blunders.
In August 2005 I wrote Disengagement will bring war not peace
Sharon agrees and therefore is bending over backwards to divest himself of control. It is for this reason he is to allow a deep sea port, a land link to the West Bank and an airport. He is also negotiating to permit more Egyptian troops into the Sinai to manage the border; all this in the hope of getting the Security Council to declare the occupation of Gaza over.
No rational man would ever concede on any of these issues yet Sharon is in negotiations concerning all of them. The consequences of having the free flow of arms and terrorists in and out of Gaza and the West Bank are so obvious, so certain and so frightening that no one would contemplate it much less permit it. Yet Sharon is doing just that.
In effect Sharon is saying that no price is too high to end the occupation.
In November 2005, I wrote The Rafah Agreement is against the law, common sense and prudence
Although Rice has argued in the past that all requirements of the first stage of the Roadmap must be taken in parallel, she has violated this principal by putting the Rafah Agreement ahead of the fundamental condition that violence and incitement must end. But more important she has moved an offer made in consideration of a final settlement to a precondition to progress and even to an obligation.
Israel agreed notwithstanding that the Disengagement Law passed by the Knesset, says that “Israel will oversee and guard the external land envelope.” This agreement therefore violates this law.
If we accept at face value the words of our enemies, including the PA, Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran and Syria, and we should, violence will be stepped up. This is not intended to achieve a better deal for the Palestinians. Rather it is intended to keep Israel occupied while Iran develops the A-bomb and to keep the conflict going in order to have a rallying cry for Jihadists in their war against the West. The same goes for the “insurgency” in Iraq.
Even if Jerusalem could be solved, the conflict will continue as long as Iran wants it to continue. The Rafah Agreement will serve to increase the violence and make peace more difficult to achieve (if it was ever possible) rather then to lead to peace and security as Rice suggests.
There is no substitute for “utterly defeating” the terrorists (including the Palestinians) and those that support them.
Rice then demanded, over Israeli objections, Hamas be permitted to contest elections.
After the elections in Jan ’06, Rice Admits U.S. Underestimated Hamas Strength
“But on the American side, the conceptual failure that contributed to disaster was the president’s belief that democracy and elections solve everything.”
Secretary Rice pointed out that the election results surprised just about everyone. “I don’t know anyone who wasn’t caught off guard by Hamas’ strong showing,” she said on her way to London for meetings on the Middle East, Iran and other matters. “Some say that Hamas itself was caught off guard by its strong showing.”
With increasing vehemence in the last few days, administration officials have defended their decision to back Mr. Abbas with American aid and to rebuff Israel when it warned that the election should not be held as long as Hamas participated while refusing to lay down its arms. Those officials continue to lay most of the blame on Mr. Abbas for not offering a positive alternative to Hamas.
In June ’07, US and Israel permitted Hamas to takeover Gaza in a coup. I even asked Did the U.S. order Abbas to take a dive?. Later I wrote US planned to defeat Hamas and included an article from The Guardian in which it suggested that the US forced Hamas to engineer the coup. The US also provided sucker’s bait by positioning $500 million in military equipment in Gaza. It was ripe for the plucking.
Many doubted my theory but events have proved it correct.
The reason behind these moves was to rend asunder the Hamas government enabling the Westbank first option and to delegitimate and dissolve such government. All this was a prelude to the current war. After winning the election, Hamas had to be gotten rid of.
Garth Porter in a current article in Asia Times, Bush plan beat obstacle to Gaza assault explained it thus
Until mid-2007, there was a serious political obstacle to a massive conventional war by Israel against Hamas in Gaza: the fact that Hamas had won free and fair elections for the Palestinian parliament and was still the leading faction in a fully legitimate government.
But the George W Bush administration helped Israel eliminate that obstacle, by deliberately provoking Hamas to seize power. That plan was aimed at getting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to dissolve the democratically elected Hamas government – something Bush had tried unsuccessfully to do for many months.
Bush intended to build Fatah up to be able to take on Hamas but Abbas was a reluctant partner.
When Abbas negotiated a new agreement with Hamas in Mecca in February 2007 on a Palestinian unity government, the Bush administration responded by drafting a secret “action plan for the Palestinian presidency”. The plan threatened that the “international community” would “no longer deal exclusively with the presidency” if it did not go along with US demands, and that “[m]any countries in the EU and the G-8″ would “start looking for more credible interlocutors on the Palestinian side who can deliver on key issues of security and governance”.
I highly recommend this article for the whole story.
Now, as the battle rages, Rice is at the forefront of demanding that Hamas be defeated. It is ironic that the architect of the Rafah Agreement and the Hamas election victory, should be the one to undo them.