Monday, October 31, 2016

Palestinian Democracy - Hillary Clinton Style

In a newly released audio tape from September 2006, Hillary Clinton was interviewed by Eli Chomsky, an editor for the Jewish Press.  According to Mr. Chomsky, the audiocassette is the only copy in existence and has not been heard by anyone outside of Jewish Press staff members over the past decade.  

Let's look back at a bit of history to put Ms. Clinton's comments into perspective.  On January 25, 2006, both Gaza and West Bank Palestine held parliamentary elections which resulted in a decisive victory for Hamas in Gaza which won 74 seats, ending the secular party Fatah's control of the Palestinian National Authority.  Fatah's defeat was largely related to its failure to provide basic services to Palestinians, particularly when compared to Hamas's successful social movement, particularly among Palestine's poorest citizens.  In addition, Fatah had a reputation for corruption.  This election was only the second time that Palestinians had participated in a democratic process to elect members to the Palestinian Legislative Council.   Palestine's then-Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia resigned and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced that he would ask Hamas to form a new government.  Interestingly, the United States had spent $2.3 million in USAID to support "democracy" in Palestine by promoting the image of Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah Party as shown in this document from the Congressional Research Service:

Hamas, whose name is an acronym for the Islamic Resistance Movement, formed in 1987 as a product of the first Palestinian intifada.  It is rooted in the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and its charter calls for the creation of an Islamic Palestinian state to replace Israel.  Its military wing, Izz al-Din al Qassam Brigades, have conducted many anti-Israeli attacks including the use of rockets, improvised explosives and small arms.  In the latest hostilities between the two nations, the 50-day-long summer 2014 conflict (the 2014 Gaza War) led to the deaths of more than 2200 people, the displacement of up to 500,000 people and the destruction of more than 20,000 homes.

According to the U.S. Department of State, Hamas was placed on the Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations list on October 8, 1997 as you can see here:

...and, despite the passage of nearly two decades, still has not been delisted by State.

So, to wrap up this portion of this posting, we know that Hamas, branded by the U.S. Government as a terrorist organization, ended up winning a democratically held election in January 2006 despite the best efforts of the United States to fund Hamas' opponents, Fatah, and influence the outcome to the detriment of Hamas.

Now, let's look at what then President George W. Bush had to say about the surprising win by Hamas:

Here's what he said:

"Obviously, people were not happy with the status quo.  You see, when you get people to vote, you give people a chance to express themselves at the polls.  If they are unhappy with the status quo, well, they'll let you know."

Here's what former President Bill Clinton had to say in 2009 about the 2006 election win by Hamas, interestingly comparing it to the history of the Democratic Party in the United States:

Now, let's get back to the Eli Chomsky interview of Ms. Clinton in September 2006.  Here's a quote showing her theory on what should have happened prior to and during the 2006 Palestinian election:

If you are interested, here is the link to the audio clip on Soundcloud.

Here is the quote:

"I do not think we should have pushed for an election in the Palestinian territories. I think that was a big mistake. “And if we were going to push for an election, then we should have made sure that we did something to determine who was going to win.

So, Hillary Clinton's solution to the problem of a potential Hamas win in Gaza was to "rig" the election to ensure that the good guys won and the bad guys lost.  That sounds like very similar actions that the United States has made in the past to unseat governments that they have disliked in the past.  If you are interested, here is the link to the audio clip on Soundcloud.

From this and other comments that she has made over the past decade and a half, I think that we can see that Ms. Clinton has a strong American interventionist bent, a predilection that we can see it in her comments about future Clinton Administration geopolitical relationships with China, Russia, Libya, Iran and Syria.  This short audio clip shows us that her global vision is one of American pre-eminence and that her vision of democracy is one that billions of people outside of the United States most definitely do not share.

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