Monday, October 16, 2006
So Much For This Bright Idea
The United States has quietly started a campaign projected to cost up to $42 million to bolster Hamas's political opponents ahead of possible early Palestinian elections, say officials linked to the program. The plan to promote alternatives to Hamas includes funding to help restructure Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah group and provide training and strategic advice to politicians and secular parties opposed to Hamas Islamists. "This project supports (the) objective to create democratic alternatives to authoritarian or radical Islamist political options," one official U.S. document obtained by Reuters said. The U.S. campaign coincides with signs that Abbas is considering sacking the government led by Hamas, which defeated Fatah in January elections, in a process that could lead to a new parliamentary vote. U.S. officials and consultants say the effort is being conducted without fanfare in order to protect the Palestinians who are receiving U.S. help - some already branded by Hamas leaders as collaborators with Washington and Israel. "We don't operate with firecrackers and neon signs to attract attention to ourselves," said one of the contractors working with Fatah on behalf of the U.S. State Department.Um, wrong answer, dude. You should have kept your mouth shut. For this to work, your targets have to have no flipping idea that the US is behind this. But guess what? They know now:
Senior Hamas political leader and lawmaker Fathi Hammad called the U.S. money part of a plot to bring down the Hamas-led government. "It is a challenge that we are aware of and we will confront it," he said.You bet they will. Farther into the article, we find out that the International Republican Institute is involved. These charming people are essentially the activist arm of the neocons, constantly looking for left-leaning governments to overthrow. Fortunately, they tend to be less than effective at this sort of thing, as Hugo Chavez can tell you.
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