by Patrick Lang (bio below)
“So,” he said, in a conclusion that may not seem immediately logical to outsiders but was repeated again and again in interviews here, “I think it is the best chance for peace. I think Hamas can understand there is no way to destroy the state of Israel and will take a course to peace.
Among Israelis, already reeling from having a prime minister in a coma, there is no lack of shock and anger that Palestinian voters overwhelmingly chose a radical Islamic group with a deadly résumé: 21 dead at the disco here in 2001; 19 dead on the No. 32A bus in Jerusalem in 2002; 23 dead on the No. 2 bus in Jerusalem in 2003; a double bombing on buses in Beersheba in 2004, killing 16 and injuring 100. And that is only a small, and recent, part of the list.” NY Times
“We will continue to fight against the occupation…” Hamas speaker in Gaza.
Occupation—- Interesting word. The sweet in nature and soft of head have heard that kind of language a lot from Palestinians (and generally heard in it what they wished). “All we want is our land back..” It took me some time to understand that what is really meant is all of Palestine, all of it, maybe a piece now, a sliver later. Maybe it will take more generations of struggle and death. “I will struggle and live in misery and pain, but my grandson will live free in his own land.” I have heard that many times, from Muslims, from Palestinian Christians.
The “occupied” have a certain right to be deceptive and disingenuous in pursuit of what they see as FREEDOM. A lot of us in the West still have a remarkable naive and patronizing attitude towards the Arabs, and the Palestinians are not made exceptions to this rule. We still think of them as essentially childlike and waiting to have revealed to them the “truths” of our civilization, which we “know” must constitute the unitary path to the future and progress of mankind.
The exit polls told us this would not happen? Surprise! People routinely lie to pollsters in the Arab World. Why? It is because knowledge is power and why should one give power to strangers?
So, when we find that they are filled with guile and skillful at manipulating words to tell us what they see we desire to believe, then we are surprised. Delightful! Mufaja’a ya al-Ajanib! The same pollsters have told us for years that the Palestinians want PEACE, like the Israelis are said to want peace, but in neither case have they ever convincingly told us WHICH PEACE either group wants.
Now we are predictably told that Hamas are not really religious-nationalist fanatics (seemingly mutually exclusive but nevertheless doable). No, rather, they are the next wave of negotiators who will come to the table once they realize that they can’t collect the garbage on time and that the Americans are unhappy.
“There’ll be pie in the sky bye and by, bye and bye………”
Joe Hill (sort of. My old man was a wobbly at heart. This is for him.)
Col. Patrick W. Lang (Ret.), a highly decorated retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence and U.S. Army Special Forces, served as “Defense Intelligence Officer for the Middle East, South Asia and Terrorism” for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and was later the first Director of the Defense Humint Service. Col. Lang was the first Professor of the Arabic Language at the United States Military Academy at West Point. For his service in the DIA, he was awarded the “Presidential Rank of Distinguished Executive.” He is a frequent commentator on television and radio, including MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann (interview), CNN and Wolf Blitzer’s Situation Room (interview), PBS’s Newshour, NPR’s “All Things Considered,” (interview), and more .
Personal Blog: Sic Semper Tyrannis 2005 || Bio || CV
Recommended Books || More BooTrib Posts
Novel: The Butcher’s Cleaver (download free by chapter, PDF format)
“Drinking the Kool-Aid,” Middle East Policy Council Journal, Vol. XI, Summer 2004, No. 2