America has a penchant for choosing one set of scoundrels against another. That happens when you mess in countries that are all scoundrels.

Now the idea is to strengthen Fatah against Hamas. Come on, did you learn nothing from Iraq? Neither the US nor Fatah can win a guerrilla war. Fatah, like just anyone given enough funds and weapons, can extinguish the opposition. Will the West, however, close its eyes to the means necessary to do that? Will the West wait the several years needed for Abbas to do the job? Will Hamas wait instead of assassinating Abbas?

It is delusional to imagine that Fatah seeks peace with Israel. Abbas possibly does, but his party doesn’t. Abbas was elected president because he is personally popular. When party programs competed, Hamas won. Israel supplies weapons to Fatah, but Hamas still has the upper hand. Sending more weapons to Fatah won’t stabilize the Palestinian Authority and could threaten Israel. There is a certain inconsistency between promoting democracy in Palestine and arming Fatah to destroy democratically elected Hamas.

Hamas represents the Palestinian people, their true aspirations: to get rid of Israel without a large-scale war. Hamas is very sensitive to Palestinian wishes: it even foreswore Islamic fundamentalism and refused to participate in worldwide jihad. A coup can overthrow a ruler but not a popular party. Palestinians might vote for Fatah in the next elections, but Hamas won’t dissappear. It will go underground and continue fighting; Syrian and Iranian money amply provide for its needs.

Curiously, the State Department asserted that Palestinian law does not prohibit extraordinary elections which are therefore permitted. That principle applies only to private business; governments enjoy only specific rights – what is not permitted to government is prohibited.