Trying to Maintain Control of the State, in a State of Confusion
Dana Milank at the Washington Post (link above) analyses the 7000 words delivered yesterday by Bush and summarises them in four. "I am the State". Telling.
They should better have stayed silent. Within minutes of the result, Bush, Blair, Israel and others were up and agitating in response to the Hamas victory. That it was a well-organised, corruption-free, peaceful example of democracy reflecting the popular vote seems already lost on those who normally obsess on promoting that very thing. We are also hearing a lot of nonsense based on paranoia and the intransience of rightious attitude.
If, during WW2, a Brit had advocated the abolition of Germany, he or she would probably have been deemed to be a true patriot, but it is doubtful that anyone would have taken seriously the prospect that the geographical entity would be totally wiped off the map in a post war scenario. In resisting invaders on their land, Hamas may have adopted slogans and advocated extremes, but in reality there is currently a state of general ceasefire with the enemy. Morover, such proclamations as they may previously have made have not been part of their electoral campaign and there seems no reason to suggest that as a government they will do more than settle in to managing and rebuilding the infrastructure of their non-occupied territories.
Hamas themselves would now be wise to conduct themselves as a political party and abandon their paramilitary activities. As the party in power, they have no need of a partisan force - they are effectively in charge of a state where a non-partisan mininstry of defense can be used to address border disputes and the like. Most Palestinians, despite the rhetoric, concede that Israel will always be their neighbour and don't even demand it return to the confines of its original borders. All they demand is a withdrawl from territories occupied since 1967 - the areas of incursion that have given rise to hostilities in the recent past.
Provided Palestine be granted its righful statehood and its border restored, there could be a peaceful solution to troubles in the area. It should also be possible for those currently living in illegal settlements to remain where they are - they would simply be jewish residents in Palestine. In an era of global economy and communications, the issue of which country one lives in should be of less and less consequence - especially given that jews and Palestinians have much in common and have sucessfully lived side-by-side elsewhere.
Both states and the international community need to realise that all this should be settled according to law. The United Nations needs to uphold that law - even if it means taking retroactive decisions they failed to address when they should have. The UN's unwillingness to be an impartial arbitrator in the middle east can be seen as perpetrating an injustice that has subsequently led unwarrented conflicts elsewhere. The whole world could be a safer place again were this core issue addressed at its source.
As for the self-syled leaders of the "free" world - if they stopped procrastinating and preaching for a while, they might find their beloved democracies can take care of themselves.
One of those leaders is our very own prime minister. Last week Channel 4 treated us to a cute little docudrama of the year when, aged 19, a young Tony Blair to time off from his education to dabble in the world of rock 'n' roll and new counterculture. The programme could have been better and had parts of the real history kept "under wraps" but was still a source of some amusement. If it told us one thing, it's "once a prat - always a prat!" Behaviour that is somehow overlooked in the elder man looks incredibly shallow when seen in the youth. "Dabbled" really is the word.
"One - check the money.
Two - prepare the show.
Three - get ready.
Now - go Tony, go!"
"Back down easy,
turn around slowly
- now try it again"
"Back down easy,
turn around slowly
- now try it again!
(Remembering when ...)
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Truth be told, when it comes to education, he might be better off recalling Pink Floyd's "Another Brick In The Wall", but that's for another day.