2006: The Year of Clarity
2006 may eventually be remembered as the year the world was forced to see itself (and its various actors) as it truly existed, The Year of Clarity: Iran seen as truly the world's foremost State Sponsor of Terrorism (and not just as a catchy, underappreciated geopolitcal phrase) with a lust for nukes, and Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations, pure and simple. Forgive the lengthy quote below (this is RapidRecon, after all), but this from Mark Stein's 'At least Hamas is open about its evil intentions' demands the full space.
The Palestinian elections were similarly clarifying. The old guard -- Yasser Arafat's Fatah cronies -- had their own take on the "But some of my best friends are Jewish" routine. For years they insisted, at least in the presence of Americans and Europeans, that they were in favor of a "two-state solution" -- Israel and Palestine living side by side -- at the same time as they supported and glorified and financially subsidized suicide bombers and other terrorists. Insofar as their enthusiasm for a two-state solution was genuine, it was as an intermediate stage en route to a one-state solution.
Hamas, by contrast, takes a Joel Stein view: Why the hell should we have to go tippy-toeing around some sissy phrase we don't really mean? Hamas doesn't support a two-state solution, it supports the liquidation of one state and its replacement by other, and they don't see why they should have to pretend otherwise. And in last week's elections for the Palestinian Authority they romped home. It was a landslide.
As is the way, many in the West rushed to rationalize the victory. The media have long been reluctant to damn the excitable lads as terrorists. In 2002 the New York Times published a photograph of Palestinian suicide bombers all dressed up and ready to blow, and captioned it "Hamas activists." Take my advice and try not to be standing too near the Hamas activist when he activates himself.