Friday, June 15, 2007

Quote of the Day

[posted by Callimachus]

In this Reuters story on the Gaza putsch:

At dawn, Hamas fighters and civilian looters ransacked the blood-spattered presidential compound in Gaza, taking vehicles and weapons and hauling out fridges, televisions, even doors.

Hamas fighters showed reporters pools of blood where they said two of Abbas's guards had shot themselves rather than surrender. A Fatah official said they had been killed.

"Hello, Condoleezza Rice?" one masked gunman joked into the president's telephone. "You have me to deal with now."

Very nice. Emphasis added. Except now it looks like the opposite is true. The U.S. and its friends now have the option to deal with the less malignant partner in the Palestinian cause and ignore the greater evil. Hardly a happy outcome if you're a Palestinian, of course.

It may turn into a competition; Hamas in Gaza, backed by the Islamists and Iran, and Fatah in the West Bank, aided by the West and Israel, to see which can build a more successful and legitimate civil society. If it's going to come down to that, let's hope, for once, America recognizes the stakes and the contest before it's already too far gone to be won.

Back to Reuters, I suspect this sentence is missing a comma, after "2006," but the way it reads now is quite interesting:

The western aid embargo was imposed after Hamas came to power in March 2006 because it failed to recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept interim peace deals.