May 10, 2006
Playing "Dangle the Funding"
Well, the Europeans fooled me: they turned out to be right. But heck, it was a mistake anyone could make.
It turns out they really were close to getting the United States to agree to a compromise aid package to prop up the doddering terrorist state in Gaza and the West Bank. It's not as much as many on the left hoped for (that is, the U.S. and Israel agreeing to finance Hamas' war against both of them), but it will keep a completely dysfunctional government operating when by rights it should sink into chaos and collapse.
I can't ferret out just how much we're going to have to pay to support the civil servants of Hamasistan; Reuters reports only the total required monthly charity bill without breaking it down by donor:
The powers agreed that aid payments would be resumed for a three-month trial period, through a "transparent" mechanism that has yet to be worked out but may involve the World Bank.
It is expected that salaries to the Palestinian Authority's 165,000 employees, unpaid since March, will be settled. The monthly wage bill totals around $150 million.
"If you need a hospital to be run, and someone has to be paid, he will be paid," EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said after the initiative was announced.
That salary works out to about $11,000 per year per employee... quite a tidy sum in the Palestinian Authority. Not surprisingly, the patronage jobs that Hamas hands out allow their friends and jihadi supporters to live distinctly nicer lives than the ordinary people who elected them.
Oh, and I love this:
The Hamas-led government said it appreciated the Quartet's efforts to ease the burden on the Palestinian people but added that they could have gone further.
I knew we could always rely upon Palestinian gratitude.
So how does the United States justify supporting the government of Hamas?
The decision would appear to reflect a view held by U.N. officials that payment of salaries amounts to humanitarian support for the largely impoverished Palestinian population. Humanitarian support was never intended to be cut off.
Yeah... and if you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?
The Mideast Quartet, singing a capella, belts out a series of demand that Hamas must fulfill in order to get what they've already gotten:
Western powers have called on Hamas to recognize Israel, renounce violence and abide by existing peace agreements if it wants contacts to resume, but Hamas signaled on Wednesday that it was no closer to accepting those demands.
Now, there's a shock. So what will happen in three months if Hamas is still "no closer to accepting those demands?" I would like to think this really is a test... and in any test, there is the possibility of failure -- and consequences for failing.
We'll see. But at the moment, I'm skeptical. Business as usual, nothing has changed. Or to put it in terms that the EU might understand, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, May 10, 2006, at the time of 5:21 AM
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The following hissed in response by: bpilch
How in the world do we justify this? Let the bloody Europeans do it if they need to. Let Iran do it. As Bush said, you have to pick your sides and Hamas is clearly on the other side. By not funding salaries, the whole military system breaks down. How many of those salaries are for hospital workers and how many military? This is a joke, but a sad one. The time to get out of the UN is now. Give the same money as we spend in the UN and World Bank, but give it to the right causes. Form a league of Democratic Nations that have a common purpose....
The following hissed in response by: Eg
Something stinks to high heavens! Not only of what's transpiring with Hamas but also the latest and greatest travesties which are pouring out of the Un, Eurabia and Iran like a cesspool filled twice over its holding capacity.
The following hissed in response by: Big D
This fits in perfectly with China and Cuba being on the UN Human Rights Committee.
I agree - time to form a new Democratic League. It would have strict requirements for membership -free elections, open market economies. It's military arm would be an expanded NATO, with everyone expected to contribute either money, weapons, or people.
There should be differing levels of membership with a clear path to advancement to full membership status. Full members would be the United Sates, EU, Canada, Brazil, etc. Associate members who are emerging democracies that would be helped by the full members. The Phillipines would be an example.
All our aid, all our support, goes only into those countries already in the league working toward full membership or those wanting to join the league, i.e. moving toward free elections and free markets. Those that are not doing either get nothing.
Such a system would insure that we have an international body with the moral force to say what is right, and military might to do what is right. No more empty words.
Keep the UN, but stop funding it and relegate it to the pointless debating society it already is.
The following hissed in response by: Kathy K
Well, if they sic the World Bank on Hamas (and especially if they get the IMF involved), I'll be smiling... Hamas will quit governing to get away from them.
The following hissed in response by: Don
I think that what happened is that the Europeans were going to cave in, and Bush decided to go with them in order to maintain amity and on the condition that the question be reopened in 3 months time.
Hamas is nto going to openly renounce 'martydom operations', but if coincidentally none happen to be attemped over the next 3 months it might prove to be habit-forming. If there is an offensive of suicide bombings the US can use that as leverage to get the Europeans to cut Hamas off again. Don't forget that the bulk of funding for the PA always came from the EU, not the US. So it's their decision which really counts in Hamas eyes.
The following hissed in response by: foreign devil
There's a videotape on Phyllis Chesler's site, an interview with Brigitte Gabriel, formerly of Lebanon, in which she describes Mahmoud Abbas' $1.5 million home in Gaza. How, I wonder, does he keep up the mortgage payments in the face of no income...or doesn't he and the rest of them really need to worry about such pedestrian matters? Must be nice for some in Gaza...but the rest are hanging on by their fingernails. Will they ever wake up to how they are being shafted and do something about their leaders? Never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity!
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