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Fatah’s corruption is the origin of Hamas’s power

11:14 am in Uncategorized by David Seaton

I posted the following to my blog on Wednesday, June 20, 2007 and reading it today, I find it rather prophetic… I wish all my old posts were this well aimed.

Fatah’s corruption is the origin of Hamas’s power – June 20, 2007

In contemplating the Hamas takeover of Gaza, observers seem to be missing something obvious: Hamas has just produced a de facto “two state solution”… history’s first example of a “free Palestine”. Gaza is now governed by the winner of what international observers considered at the time a “model” democratic election and they are untainted in Arab eyes by subservience to Washington. At the same time, on the West Bank, the “other” Palestine, is still effectively controlled by the Israelis and their “separation wall”, private roads, checkpoints and growing settlements, all of which makes president, Mohammed Abbas look like little more than an American puppet charged with protecting Israeli lives and property. In Gaza, as Tony Karon, a senior editor of Time Magazine and expert on Middle Eastern affairs wrote, “Having trounced Fatah on the polls, Hamas now moved to trounce them on the streets,” using what Jimmy Carter called Hamas’s, “superior skills and discipline.”

It wasn’t Palestinian religious fervor that opened the doors for Hamas, it was Hamas’s honesty and Fatah’s corruption. The strategy the “west” has decided to follow now is to strangle Hamas and fatten Fatah. This is difficult because Hamas needs very little to get by and Fatah’s proven capacity to engulf donor’s money uselessly is limitless. A basic principal is at work here that explains the fall of Fatah and the rise of Hamas: when public servants are honest and hardworking it is surprising how much can be done with little money, but crooked politicians are a literally a bottomless pit. If the United States, Israel and the hapless European Union, were intelligent they would shower money on Hamas, hoping to corrupt them in the same way they did Fatah during the “Peace Process”. Hamas’s strategy is simple, as Ahmed Yousef the political adviser to the democratically elected Palestinian prime minister Ismail Haniya, explained in the New York Times, “We have begun disarming the drug dealers and the armed gangs and we hope to restore a sense of security and safety to the citizens of Gaza. We want to get children back to school, get basic services functioning again. (…) Our sole focus is Palestinian rights and good governance.”

The “international community”, by encouraging the Palestinian split, are giving Hamas and Fatah each their separate, universally publicized, chemically pure showcase: one for Hamas to demonstrate disciplined sacrifice and another for Fatah to demonstrate feckless larceny. This may have the unintended result of publicizing the Muslim Brotherhood style of government all over the endemically corrupt Middle East: something that could destabilize the west’s “moderate” allies in the region.

Cross posted from:

2011: the year of the Arab Spring and the year that we killed bin Laden

1:26 pm in Uncategorized by David Seaton

“The foreseeable future is Islamist – this much we know. It’s just a reality that people have to come to terms with,” says Shadi Hamid of the Brookings Doha Center. “People want to see Islam play a larger role in political life and liberals are going to have to learn to speak the language of religion and stop being the anti-Islamist choice.” Financial Times

2011 was the year that the US bagged Osama bin Laden. Some commentators think that this was a great victory, the beginning of the end of the “war on terror”. Frankly, I think that if anything, his living so long after bringing down the towers and setting up the USA for two wars that have done enormous damage to our economy, was a huge defeat for American prestige. Dead, bin Laden is as much or more of a symbol, for those who need a symbol, than he was while alive. I cannot imagine that any other such small group of people  as Al Qaeda have ever done so much damage to an enemy, one which is considered the most powerful country in the history of the world. The cost to them in dead, wounded and captured, and the money they have spent, is infinitesimal compared to the pain they have inflicted on their enemy.

Most of all, their success is as a catalyst for change in the world of Islam. As we have seen in the Arab Spring, Islam vertebrates any alternative to the military-secret police-oligarchy structure of the security states which have been the clients of the west since they became “independent” of direct colonial rule, nothing else is strong enough or well organized enough. Somewhat similar to the Catholic Church in communist Poland.

What Al Qaeda has done has been to widen the playing field. Before bin Laden showed how serious all this was, Turkey’s Erdogan would never have been considered a “moderate”, someone that could be a positive example to the Muslim world. The same could be said about the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, some of whose DNA runs though al Qaeda’s veins… they too are seen as moderates when compared to the fanatical Salafists… Now they are being hopefully compared to “Christian Democrats”. They owe this to Al Qaeda.

What Al Qaeda want to do is to overthrow what they perceive as the client or puppet regimes of the United States in the Middle East and they are using  US power jujitsu fashion to do that. By drawing the USA into ever more aggressive actions in the world of Islam they stimulate aversion to the “moderate” regimes that cooperate with America, in doing so, thus hastening their demise.

What is Al Qaeda’s purpose in bringing down these regimes?

To restore the “Caliphate”.


Now this caliphate business may sound like something right out of the “1001 Arabian Nights”, redolent of Sindbad the Sailor and Aladdin and his magic lamp, or a world empire,  but here it might be useful to recall that the last Islamic caliphate ended as recently March 3, 1924, when Kemal Ataturk closed it down, threw out the Sultan (Caliph) and officially ended the Ottoman empire and westernized Turkey.  Basically then, what al Qaeda are trying to achieve is the Islamic restoration of what was the Arab part of the Ottoman empire, but run by Arabs not by Turks…That’s what Lawrence of Arabia (Peter O’ Toole)  was promising the Arabs (Alec Guinness and Anthony Quinn)… remember?

Is this really that weird? Read the rest of this entry →