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Sunday, October 02, 2005

In light of the bombings today

I thought this was very interesting.
From a blog I give the URL to:
so what did rice say about hamas

Sunday, October 02, 2005 So What Did Rice Say About Hamas? http://daledamos.blogspot.com/2005/10/so-what-did-rice-say-about-hamas.html
When Secretarty of State Condoleezza Rice speaks about the Middle East, we pay attention.

Now if we could just figure out what she said...

On September 30, Rice spoke at Princeton. After she spoke, Rice answered some questions. Here is the first question, with her response:

QUESTION: I'd like to thank you for coming, first off. I've just been curious -- seems to me that there's been some sort of disconnect with a lot of the rhetoric that you've been presenting here today and with a lot of our actions in the Middle East. One example is that it seems that we've started to take a lot of a softer line with Hamas in Palestine, which is an organization that I think really doesn't fare with the ideals that you've been promoting here. I was wondering if you could try and explain that disconnect we've been seeing.

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you. It's a very good question. We've been very clear that Hamas is a terrorist group and it has to be disbanded, both for peace and security and in the Middle East and for the proper functioning of the Palestinian Authority. After all, it is a roadmap obligation of the Palestinian Authority to disband militias and armed resistance groups. There are periods of time of transition in which one has to give some space to the participants, in this case the Palestinians, to begin to come to a new national compact. But I cannot imagine, in the final analysis, a new national compact that leaves an armed resistance group within the political space. You cannot simultaneously keep an option on politics and an option on violence. There simply isn't a case that I can think of internationally where that's been permitted to happen.

For instance, in the Good Friday Agreement it was understood that when Sinn Fein came into politics and eventually the IRA would disarm and perhaps, hopefully, that process is now underway. We did not permit the Afghan warlords to keep their weapons and participate as candidates in politics. They had to make a choice. And so it is absolutely the case that you cannot have armed groups ultimately participating in politics with no expectation that they're going to disarm. But we are very clearheaded about Hamas.

Hamas stands for one-state solution, not a two-state solution. Hamas, therefore, stands for the destruction of Israel. Hamas is an organization that asks Palestinian mothers and fathers to give their children up to make themselves suicide bombers. And it is a real detriment and block to further peace in the Middle East, so we're not at all confused by this. We do, I think, need to give the Palestinians some space to try and reconcile their national politics, but they're going to eventually have to disarm these groups. They can't have it both ways.

So what did she say?

Well, she said that--
a) Hamas is a terrorist group
b) Hamas seeks the destruction of Israel
c) Hamas promotes suicide bombings
d) Hamas is a detriment to peace
e) Hamas must be disarmed

Pretty good, no? So what didn't she say?

Well, according to Arutz7:

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday that Hamas "eventually" will be disarmed but did not state that the terrorist group should be banned from running in the elections. The U.S. has outlawed Hamas, and one of its principles is the destruction of the State of Israel and replacing it with an Islamic state.

Rice, in a major address, told a questioner that it is clear that Hamas "stands for the destruction of Israel...and is a real detriment and block to further peace." But she used the Sinn Fein party, linked to the Irish Republican Army terrorist group, as an example of terrorists agreeing to disarm in order to win political acceptance. "We do, I think, need to give the Palestinians some space to try and reconcile their national politics," she explained.

The upshot of what Rice seems to have left out leaves the door open for Hamas to take part in elections, as long as it disarms. How many different definitions there are of "disarms" in the Middle East is anyone's guess, but here's one I found that I like:

"To deprive of the means of attack or defense; render harmless. "

Getting back to reality though, Rice did seem to contradict herself. While she did talk about disarming Hamas, that's not what she said at first. The very first thing she said was not that Hamas should be disarmed, but that Hamas has to go altogether:

Hamas is a terrorist group and it has to be disbanded, both for peace and security and in the Middle East and for the proper functioning of the Palestinian Authority. After all, it is a roadmap obligation of the Palestinian Authority to disband militias and armed resistance groups.

So according to Rice, in the interests of following the same roadmap that she says Israel must follow, Hamas must be dissolved and cease to exist. After all, one would assume if that applies to militias and resistance groups, it should also apply to terrorists. That being the case, then there is no question that Hamas would not take part in the elections. What could be simpler than that?
Then why did Rice change course in the middle of a single question, changing tracks from calling for dissolving Hamas to merely 'disarming' them--and leaving open the possibility for Hamas to take part in elections after they 'disarm'?

So what is called for, disarming or disbanding?

According to the Performance-Based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, which by its own admission, "is a performance-based and goal-driven roadmap, with clear phases, timelines, target dates, and benchmarks," the roadmap requires:

Rebuilt and refocused Palestinian Authority security apparatus begins sustained, targeted, and effective operations aimed at confronting all those engaged in terror and dismantlement of terrorist capabilities and infrastructure. This includes commencing confiscation of illegal weapons and consolidation of security authority, free of association with terror and corruption. [emphasis added]

Let's face it, perhaps you could assume "dismantle" means "disband", but you could easily read just 'disarm' into this--all that is required is dismantling the 'capabilities' and 'infrastructure', but the group called Hamas would still exist. And who knows what would pass for 'disarm.'

Rice, on behalf of the US, claims "we are very clearheaded about Hamas."

Maybe they could let the rest of us in on just exactly the US--and the roadmap, for that matter--expects to do about Hamas?


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posted by Daled Amos at 2:44 PM



Written by copaigue . (Link to this entry) This entry has 0 comments: (Add your own)

1 Comments:

Blogger EXSENO said...

Well, she accomplished one thing for sure. She has spoken like a true politician.

8:04 AM  

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