Thursday, June 14, 2007

I don't know what to say. The Guardian lead with the story, the headline something like "Nothing to celebrate in birth of Hamastan." Haniyeh meanwhile says that despite the dissolution of the government by Abbas, the cabinet and parliament wil continue to function within the bounds of the "law." The most important and perhaps telling moment of Haniyeh's statement involved the explicit denial that anything like a "Hamastan" is in the works for the residents of Gaza, and that the Islamic resistance movement has no intention of breaking Gaza off from the Fatah controlled West Bank.

Fatah is moving on Hamas in Ramallah and throughout the West bank as I write this. Fatah's dominance there hopefully will be enough to deter Hamas from attemtping a full scale engagement. However, as is too often the case in internecine strife, rationality and strategy often play second fiddle to the coefficients of revenge and vindication. as fatah moves on Hamas supporters and known Izzedine al-Qassam members in the West Bank, don't expect them to greet with hearty smiles and salaams.

Let's pray that the West Bank does not become a tinderbox. Let's hope no one strikes a match if it does.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

In my previous post, I said I would follow the situation in Gaza, and keep you dear reader apprised of my thoughts on the developments of those events. As someone who has spent the last few years learning as much about the Palestinian people as my time has, and continues to allow, I have nothing but sadness to share with you. For the last couple of hours I have been clicking through Reuters and AP photos, reading updates from the usual suspects, and my heart is made hollow.

Temptation. Tempted by frustration and anger to find someone, anyone to blame. Frustrated for all the times you tried to explain that a better possibility exists. Angry that the in your heart of hearts, you know verily no one will hear you when you say, "A people must find a way to express violence when violence is done to them, even when the pain is self-inflicted." There is no looking to Israel, there is no looking to the Western boycott of Hamas, there is no looking to a dying neocon agenda that holds Palestinian suffering as trite and irrelevant. Today, as brother spills the blood of brother, I can only look at Palestine and try to understand why, why is it that so often in the history of man suffering becomes an excuse for self-hatred, victimhood the prod of self-destruction. I can only try and understand how today the Palestinian is perhaps more like the Israeli than ever in their shared history, and I am all the more ashamed for being empty-handed and impotent.

Salaam / Shalom

Sunday, June 03, 2007

In the words of Andrew Marvell . . .

Ok, so there is a lot of catching up to do. i always do this. It has been what two or three damn months! Anyhow, I'm back.

I will spend this week on the ongoing situation in Gaza and of course Iraq. but I want to get a couple of items out of the way first. The last entry was about the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, andI actually just got finished reading about further arrests, I believe 19 was the number. These wer supporters, rank and file guys. Mubarak hasn't gotten to the candidates themselves yet, but give it time. Dictatorships sometimes need a little time to grow. The governments timing of course, is perfect, as Egyptians will soon be heading to the "polls" for legislative elections. Expect some rough demonstrations in Cairo if the arrests continue up until election day. Also expect an increase in Ikhwan influence in the parliament. Repression will only make them stronger, and that may end up cutting both ways for ordinary Egyptians.

I need to toot my own horn for just a minute. One of the things I have done on and off with this blog is not just prognostication but prediction. I would to start betting people, sort of like that market scheme DARPA had tinkered with to evaluate intelligence as market commodities. The reason I bring this up is because Turkey's is moving on it's Iraqi border to launch possible cross-border operations against PKK elements in Kurdish Iraq. I called that! It was the reason I started looking for A Turkey expert to develop a book on Turkey's role in this "new" Middle East. Anyhow, still waiting for this one to play out. The US can ill afford instability in the only oart of Iraq that has so far been relatively calm.

So watch for Gaza this week. Masalemah!