Thursday, December 23, 2004

The Virus of Democracy

Yet more words of wisdom from Victor Davis Hanson:

Peace comes, whether in Germany, Japan, Vietnam, or the Falklands, when victory and defeat adjudicate the issues at hand. Thus, there will be no settlement in the Middle East until the Palestinians accept that the effort to destroy Israel leads not to political advantage but to their own destruction, a realization that might just discredit the corrupt tribal apparatus of the Palestinian Authority.

The present cold war of sorts, akin to our own struggle with the Soviet Union, will eventually lead to a day of reckoning for the Palestinians after Israel has finished its fence, withdrawn from Gaza, and consolidated remaining settlements in line with its own strategic advantage.

So time is not on the Palestinians’ side. The world elsewhere tires with the creepy global image of the masked jihadist as it continues to move toward open markets and free societies. Meanwhile, Palestine is closing itself off from its only window to the West, its tribal government free instead to trade and exchange ideas with the likes of Mubarak’s Egypt or the Assad dictatorship in Syria.

While George W. Bush gets few high marks from Dennis Ross for his relative distance from the minutiae that comprise this 800-page book, his larger post-9/11 vision of democratizing the Middle East may do what thousands of shuttle missions by the dutiful and honest Ross could not — if the virus of democracy let loose in Afghanistan and Iraq finally infects the West Bank. After all, the real problem in the Middle East has never been just a few thousand acres of disputed land.

Instead, as was true during the Cold War, strife arises from the complete absence on one side of a legitimate government — as well as the subsidized mythologies of Palestinians that they could win from the Jews through suicide murder the honor, prosperity, and victory that they could never otherwise obtain through outright war or endemic tribal dictatorship.

I guess you could say that for Palestinians, disillusionment is a bitch.

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