09 June, 2006

Military of Hamas Ends Truce with Israel

Ok, now this is one of those headlines that doesn't make sense at first. It's sort of like the U.S. military decides to declare war without congress and the president approving. Some will say it's not exactly the same, and in a way, they're right. But, in another way, it really is that simple.

This is a dangerous turn of events and we should know some basics so that we understand what is going on.

First of all, Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by most of the western world. And, in fact, the formative years of the movement displayed Hamas' penchant for brutality and violence on a grand scale. Some claim that poverty and destitution lead to terrorism, while others, including yours truly, believe that terrorism is a byproduct of a culture of violence and religious intolerance.

On the previous point, if poverty caused terrorism, much of Central America would be a breeding ground for terrorists, but it is not, because terrorism runs counter to most of the people's cultural values.

Which brings us back to Hamas. They have now tried to duplicate what Sinn Fein did for the Irish Republican Army. For those who cannot remember, the Irish Republican Army was famous for terrorism in the United Kingdom. Apparently, the exercise has not worked.

Buckling under the weight of international pressure, Hamas' true colors appear to be shining through. Hamas knows bloodshed, terrorism and violence far better than they understand negotiation and truce.

Having declared an end to the truce, we have an interesting (and frightening) situation. Unlike the past, when Hamas could run under the wings of a protecting Syria, they represent the duly elected government of the Palestinian people. As such, does this mean that the Palestinian Government is declaring that a state of war exists? If so, I wonder how many Palestinians are regretting their votes about now.

If Hamas truly wants a war, they could not have chosen a more inopportune time. With the demise of Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, the US forces in the region can begin to finish off the insurgency. That means that Iran has its hands full and Syria is sweating the details of impending sanction for interference in Lebanon. Hamas wanted to grow up and sit at the "big kid's" table.

Now they're going to have to learn that "big kids" have to eat what's on the plate, no matter how much pepper they put on it. Suddenly, that election doesn't taste so sweet. Maybe they should look into getting better cultural values.

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