Monday, June 22, 2009

Democracy when convenient

He was a legitimate candidate.
He campaigned fairly and squarely.
He got an overwhelming share of the votes.
He got cheated out of power.

No, I am not talking about Mousavi, but any one of the candidates who got elected on a Hamas ticket in the Palestinian general elections of 2006. Hamas won 74 of the 132 seats up for grabs, against the then-ruling party Fatah's 45, which gave it a clear mandate to form a government.

However, what followed was instructive in the definition of democracy as the "free world" knows it. Immediately after the election, Israel started putting the screws on Palestinians, cutting revenues and restricting trade and movement. America and the European Union said they would not recognize a Hamas-led government until the latter recognized the state of Israel. They threatened to hold back aid to Palestine until Hamas did so.

That's conditional democracy for you. Democracy of the people, by the people, and subject to approval from some foreign people.

The blackmail continued till early 2007 when Hamas was finally forced to withdraw its electorally-mandated government and form a "unity" government with Fatah, led by Ismael Haniyeh. But shortly thereafter, President Mahmoud Abbas - with the tacit support of Israel, EU, and America - dismissed the government and appointed a crony to the Prime Ministership of the new, phony government.

With the above context, read on....

Last Thursday, the US House of Representatives voted 405-1 for Resolution 560, "expressing support for all Iranian citizens who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties, and rule of law, and for other purposes".

It appears that when Palestinians voted in Hamas, they had these very things in mind. As a matter of fact, then-President Bush has this to say with reference to the results:
Obviously, people were not happy with the status quo. The people are demanding honest government. The people want services. They want to be able to raise their children in an environment in which they can get a decent education and they can find health care.
Nonetheless, America and the rest of its freeworld gang humiliated and isolated Hamas, leaving Palestinians with a government they did not elect. Apparently, Palestinian yearning for democracy is not as exalted as that of Iranians liberal Iranians.

Who stole my vote?

As I mentioned above, the ass-backward Resolution 560 won by a margin of 405-1. Care to guess who the lone Congressman voting against it was? Yep. Doing me proud for supporting his presidential run.

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