The Spectacle Blog

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Pay The Opposition

By on 1.22.06 | 9:50AM

The dark humor of Batchelor's high and wild prose poetry on Syria, below, gets one feeling like a doomed revolutionary, and the fun of revolutions is to be had in "letting the chips fall where they may." Overturning the status quo, as an analytical imperative, can be eclipsed by a second-order emotional imperative upon realizing that whether or not one wins or loses is still entirely up for grabs. What one was willing to do to start a revolution often falls short of what one is willing to do to win it -- kicking over the status quo creates policy options by creating chaos, and a certain improvisory spirit is demanded.

So after championing Palestininan democracy, America turns to USAID to funnel $2 million into Fatah, hoping, suddenly rather desperately, to fend off a big victory for Hamas at the polls. "U.S. and Palestinian officials," the Washington Post reports, "say they fear the election, scheduled for Wednesday, will result in a large Hamas presence in the 132-seat legislature."

The reasons for that popularity are evident. The Post says Hamas "is at war with Israel and is classified by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization. But its reputation for competence and accountability in providing social services has made it a stiff rival of the secular Fatah movement, which runs the Palestinian Authority and has long been the largest party in the Palestinian territories." An "And" should have been used in place of that "But." Hamas is popular because it is at war with Israel, and because its children are martyrs. Those more preoccupied with building a civil society than ripping one apart do not so stir the blood.

Read the full article at Postmodern Conservative.

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