They’re not built for governance which is why, despite, you know, what we were hearing in the west, they were so nervous about having won that election and almost immediately, Ismail Haniya had reached out to Fatah in order to form a coalition government because they had no idea what they were doing and by all accounts it was the United States actually, the Bush administration, that put an end to those discussions and actually encouraged ultimately the civil war and the break-up of the Palestinian territories that we are seeing today.  Look, you don’t have to look far to wonder whether political participation and governance can give a militant group like Hamas the opportunity to transform itself, because there is another party in the Middle East that also was considered for most of its life, a terrorist organization and I’m talking of course of Fatah.  The party of Yasser Arafat which, you know, for decades was seen, not just in Israel but in the United States as a terrorist organization that could not be given any kind of responsibility whatsoever that was a pariah and not part of the discussions at all when it came to the possibility of a two-state solution.  What happened?  Well, they were given an opportunity to be part of the solution.  They were given an opportunity to actually take responsibility for the governance of the Palestinian territories and today, the organization that a decade ago was a terrorist organization is the best hope for peace in Palestine.

The party that was declared by the US and by Israel as a terrorist organization is now having tea with the Prime Minister of Israel and, you know, having official state dinners at the White House, and you know, Fatah, by the way is just one example of this.  Perhaps a more contemporary example is what’s happening with Hezbollah which is still in the US terrorist watch list but which, whether we like it or not, is now the legitimate government of Lebanon which is why European nations, the UK and France are both in the process of taking Hezbollah off the terror watch list because you can’t deal with a government that’s, you know, in a nation, that’s your ally if you’re calling, you know, the second largest party in that government, a terror organization.  Hezbollah on the contrary has proven itself to be quite capable, quite responsible of governing.  The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which, you know, thanks to the Bush Doctrine in 2006, was allowed to take part in free and fair elections for the very first time, did remarkably well and in that very brief time that they were given an opportunity to be, you know, Egypt’s first legitimate opposition party, had proven itself to be profoundly capable of working for greater freedoms of speech, freedoms of religion, working across the aisle with, you know, the opposition parties to promote laws based on the principles of democracy that we would all like to see in Egypt, of course that didn’t’ last very long for the very reason that they proved Mubarak wrong. You know, of course, Mubarak, for years and years and years had been pulling the wool over our eyes by saying, well, if he allowed the Muslim brotherhood to actually take part in the political process, then, you know, they would take over and they would turn Egypt into, you know, another Taliban State, which is of course absurd, ridiculous.

The UN refers to this as the legitimacy of black mail, but which has worked for years and years and years in allowing the autocratic regime in Egypt to just continue with anti-democratic policies.  Part of the reason why the crackdown by Mubarak on the Muslim Brotherhood over the last few years has been so intense in which he is actually arresting democratically elected members of the parliament and throwing them into prison is because the Muslim Brotherhood proved him wrong, because they proved themselves to be perfectly responsible in the world of government.  That has scared Mubarak in a way that, you know, he wasn’t really worried about them when they were just kind of an outlawed group.  So, you know, this isn’t just a theoretical framework that I’m presenting here.  It’s a theory that has been borne out successfully over and over and over again and frankly I haven’t even brought up Turkey yet.

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