Mobocracy vs. Xanadu

(UPI) Arnaud de Borchgrave - Mahmoud Abbas' huddle with President Bush this week appears to be detached from reality. The anarchy widely predicted in the wake of Israel's total withdrawal from Gaza quickly became mobocracy. Ski-masked Palestinian extremists battle it out daily with Palestinian security forces, firing rocket-propelled grenades and machineguns to settle accounts. Despite a ban on the public display of weapons, every other man and boy totes an M-16 or AK-47. There are an estimated 20,000 gunmen and 60,000 security forces on the government payroll. Abbas can't meet his security payroll so the U.S. advises him to reduce the size of his force. Trouble is laid-off security guards keep their weapons and walk across the street to join a group with cash - such as Hamas. The prospect of a Palestinian state in a West Bank evacuated by 240,000 Israeli settlers, with its capital in East Jerusalem, never more than a Quartet "road map" to Xanadu, has been given a proper burial by Israel. Whatever takes place on the West Bank will not be negotiated between Israel and the Palestinian government. The lamentable spectacle of Palestinian internecine warfare has convinced the government of Ariel Sharon that whatever it decides to do in the West Bank will be done unilaterally.

2005-10-20 00:00:00

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