The Bush Administration, Hamas, and the PA Elections

(New Republic/Washington Institute for Near East Policy ) Robert Satloff - The Bush administration, which has taken such a praiseworthy stand against terrorism in general, has decided to bless an election that will legitimize Hamas, one of the world's worst terrorist groups. Bush has embraced the power of elections to transform politics even in places thought to be inhospitable to democracy. By applying the lesson it drew - with some justification - from the experience of courageous Iraqi and Afghan voters, the Bush team has extolled the "pothole" theory of elections, the idea that even extreme radicals can be transformed into civic-minded do-gooders when they have to face the electorate. In addition, Abbas has said that only after elections will he begin to implement any steps to curb Hamas. Of course, he has yet to explain why he will be better positioned to do this once Hamas wins a large bloc of seats in the Palestinian legislature than he is now, when he has no Islamist parliamentary opposition to overcome.

2006-01-09 00:00:00

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