With the aid of a serving of Fred Halliday, Paul from the Fundy Post takes a jab at those engaging in the 'Jihadism of Fools': radical leftists who see organisations like Hamas and Hezbollah as allies in their war on imperialism. Now, personally, I've always thought that there are far fewer leftist fools for jihad than Halliday makes out, but they're there: Paul finds us a local example on UNITYblog. Having a peek around I found another:
Socialist Worker-New Zealand believes that key elements of the global political context include...hhhhmmmmm...nothing more heroic than ethnically cleansing Shia neighbourhoods, I guess.
- The weakening of the US state's ability to assert its will by military force as a result of the heroic resistance of Iraqi people to the imperialist occupation of their country.
Such are the dangers of Manichean world views: hold them too long and eventually your skull will split, and your brain fall out.
Having said all that I still agree (mostly) with Alastair Crooke: the West's failure to engage with Hamas has a been a shocking mistake.
It's a mistake for three reasons:
1. Hamas. Were. Elected. And if, like me, you think that democracy is a jolly good idea, you need to support, not undermine, it - even when it produces results you don't like*. To do otherwise, as has happened in Palestine, simply exposes you as fraud. And makes democracy appear little more than another tool for US control of the region. Which is unlikely to increase its chances of spreading across the Middle East.
2. Hamas may make crazed statements but, in their actions, there lies an element of pragmatism. Include them in the political process and there's every chance that this will grow as there becomes too much to loose by discarding it. Exclude them and you loose your leverage. They're never going to be lovable but they my become live-wtihable.
3. As Johann Hari (a man whose anti-theism makes Paul Literick's atheism seem like wimpy agnostic hand-wringing) points out: undermine Hamas and what do you get? Islamic Jihad. Now they'll be easy to deal with...
*Up to a point - obviously being democratically elected does not give license to
commit terrorism or human rights abuses. But it seemed like Hamas were willing to hold truce on these.