Ok, alot has happened since my last post. The death of Rantissi, the proposed pullout from Gaza continued violence in the Shia south and Falluja etc. I Don't know that I have really made sense of it all yet, so I won't try and synthesize it all right now. Mostly, I will attempt to focus only on a very general swath of analysis.
Hosni Bubarak and Prince Abdullah, two of our closest Arab allies, have recently stated that anti-American sentiment is at an all time high. This is of course to be expected. However, what does this translate to? The historic shift in policy vis-a-vis the Palestine question is of course indicative of the problem. Moreover, there seems to be no hesitation on the part of the administration to effectively condone extra-judicial killings by the Israeli Defence Force. I may have intimated that the events of May (the rise of al-SAdr, the Spanish bombings, the Yassin assasination) marked a turning point in the so called war on terror, and now we are starting to see the what this shift effectively entails. For one, the shift seems to be leading to a radical approach to the Palestinian question. Never before has such a decision as the pullout in Gaza been undertaken without the PA even being at the table. Ultimately, this, combined with the assassinations of Yassin and Rantisi, will lead to a further disintegration of Arafat's popular power, and the increased influence of Hamas. One can speculate then, that this decision to sideline the participation of the Palestinian Authority is strategic, aiming at the delegitimization of the potential central organizing premise (HAMAS) thus ensuring that popular leadership in Palestine is left out altogether. If the PA can't protect the Palestinians from the diplomatic backroom maneuvors of Bush and Sharon, Hamas will retake a central role in both poltical enterprise as well as armed resistance, thus rendering them personna non grata at the negotiating table. It is unlikey that Hamas, in light of recent events, will soon show a Sinn Fein type of character and find some way to access diplomatic arrangements.
More later . . .