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15 June 2007

Hamas, Fatah, Israel, and the West: Álvaro de Soto's Leaked End-of-Mission Report

Link above is a PDF.

Amazing quote (p. 21, para. 56):

Before going on, I want to stress that, in effect, a National Unity Government [Hamas and Fatah] with a compromise platform along the lines of Mecca [the Saudi-brokered deal between Hamas and Fatah] might have been achieved soon after the election [January 2006], in February or March 2006, had the US not led the Quartet to set impossible demands, and opposed a NUG in principle. At the time, and indeed until the Mecca Agreement a year later, the US clearly pushed for a confrontation between Fateh [sic -- alternate spelling] and Hamas -- so much so that, a week before Mecca, the US envoy [James Wolfensohn, I believe] declared twice in an envoys meeting in Washington how much "I like this violence", referring to the near-civil war that was erupting in Gaza in which civilians were being regularly killed and injured, because "it means that other Palestinians are resisting Hamas." Please remember this next time someone argues that the Mecca agreement, to the extent that it showed progress, proved that a year of pressure "worked", and we should keep the isolation going.
Amazing quote #2 (p. 32, para. 83):
The Middle East has substituted the Hindu Kush of the XIXth Century as the contemporary "Great Game". Membership in the Quartet gives the UN the illusion of having a seat at the table where it is being played out. Alas, it isn't being played out there. The Quartet has become a side show: because it is as much about managing trans-Atlantic relations as anything else, it is only partly about the Middle East, it isn't a very apt mechanism for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and other members don't necessarily use it for that purpose.
I'll stop here, but this report is devastating.

From Democracy Now!: A very interesting comment by the head of Electronic Intifada, paraphrased: We're dealing with Palestinian Contras, organized by Elliot Abrams.

Exactly. The Salvador option is alive and well.

Here's some more analysis on Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, and, yes, Iran.

Disgusting.

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