What do you do…

· Edgewise, Geopolitics, Paleoblogs

…when a political party that is pledged to your destruction wins on election day? I don’t mean folks who you suspect would get a kick out of your destruction — like, maybe, if you were destroyed they’d exchange a high-five on the side. But a group that’s been actively putting out the positive spin on your non-existence for going on two decades, and following up these words with lethal action….
The news today out of the West Bank and Gaza is that Hamas appears to have won — not placed strong, but won outright — in yesterday’s Palestinean election. And this is the trick (at least from the West’s perspective) with introducing democracy to the angry anti-American/anti-Israeli Arab populations that have been given little reason to become pro-blue jeans. I mean, it sure sounds great on the stump to say that freedom is on the march and all that. But ya know, Adolf and friends had a pretty good election day too. Democracy in action!
I’m not comparing this situation to the Nazis winning in ’33. Well, OK, I am. But only in this one sense: it’s a stone cold fact that democracy in and of itself doesn’t guarantee a country or a government that plays well with others. And when you stop and think about it. I mean really, when you stop. And think about it. Introducing democracy while giving a population all sorts of reasons to hate you and your allies is arguably just plain stupid.
Now I know, I’m wildly oversimplifying here. (1) consensus insta-analysis appears to be that Hamas’ victory had more to do with Fatah’s rising corruption than with rising anti-American/anti-Israeli sentiment. (2) Hamas actually removed the bit about the destruction of Israel from its manifesto earlier this month. And (3), they haven’t launched an attack in the last year. All of which is to the good.
So here’s hoping Hamas in power behaves differently than Hamas out of power. Here’s hoping they rise to their moment.
Here’s hoping.
Update: Ugh. I just heard on the TV that Bibi Netanyahu made a similar point today about Hitler coming to power through democracy. If there’s one yahoo I don’t want to sound like, it’s that jerk. But you know the old saying: “even massive tools are right twice a day.” Honestly, I never really understood that. But people have been saying it for a long time now, so it must be true.