Friday, January 27, 2006
When Democracy Goes Bad
Thoughts on Palestinian democracy and its regrettable fruits.
Yesterday morning brought news of election results from the Middle East. Palestinians elected the known terrorist organization Hamas as their new ruling party. Here are some miscellaneous thoughts on the subject.
The margin of victory apparently was quite large -- probably too large to be accounted for by even large-scale voter fraud.
Hamas replaces the Palestinian Liberation Organization (the PLO), which itself has a long history of terrorism. So it's not clear that the results are an utter disaster.
Hamas reportedly is very much under the sway of Iran's dictator, which cannot be good.
It is conceivable that having actually to govern will moderate Hamas over time, as they seek legitimacy on the world stage, and as they cope with the day-to-day requirements of governing.
Even mature democratic systems such as ours occasionally produce obviously bad leaders.
People who clearly prefer terrorist rule, as demonstrated by a legitimate election, deserve much less of our concern for the safety of noncombatants, should military action become necessary. It's harder to see them as helpless victims of tyranny when they actually chose it for themselves.
I wonder if they've had their last election for a long time.
Apparently, a lot of people don't mind electing tyrants, as long as they get their welfare check. That's probably a useful warning.
Copyright 2006 by David Rodeback.