Thursday, February 08, 2007

How the proxy war in Gaza is going....

So, how's the proxy war between US backed Fatah and Iranian backed Hamas going? What did US taxpayers buy for that $86 million that President Bush gave to Abbas?

The Sydney Morning Herald's Ed O'Laughlin is one of the better reporters in the dinosaur media on the Middle East. Here he has an excellent report on what's going on in Gaza from his first hand view point, and he lets us know that in his view, Abbas's jittery forces have little stomach for fighting in the war with Hamas.

Here's a sample:

" AFTER weeks of fraternal violence, many Palestinians accuse the US of stoking civil war in the Palestinian territories as part of a wider proxy struggle with Iran, Syria or the Islamic world in general. If that is so, the White House's strategy risks going badly wrong.

Locals say that only a couple of hours of relatively minor clashes in northern Gaza last week left the entire area in the control of the Islamic ruling party Hamas, backed mainly by Iran and Syria.

Instead of fighting, thousands of Palestinian Authority security men supposedly loyal to the US-backed former ruling party Fatah melted quietly away. And this week in Gaza City morale among those security men still serving the authority's chairman and Fatah leader, Mahmoud Abbas, seemed scarcely any higher.

In outlying areas of the city Palestinian Authority uniforms are now rarely seen. Despite a truce to allow for Saudi-brokered peace talks in Mecca this week, ragged bursts of automatic gunfire erupt day and night from Mr Abbas's fortified coastal compound as nervous Presidential Guards shoot at shadows.

Fresh sandbagged emplacements are springing up around the main downtown compounds of those security agencies supposedly controlled by Mr Abbas's security chief, Mohammed Dahlan. Gazans have started sardonically referring to the general area as "the Green Zone".

The `Green Zone' is a reference to the small US controlled area in Baghdad, where many of the dino media reporters hang out for their physical safety while depending on local stringers to do their reporting for them.

A Hamas intelligence chief - known as Abu al Abd - in northern Gaza's Jabaliya refugee camp, said that if the talks break down Hamas, which claims to have 15,000 trained fighters in its armed wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, would have no difficultly in over-running the remaining Fatah bases in Gaza, including the Muntada.

"I know these Presidential Guards. They are cowards," he said. "They depend on bhangu (hashish), whiskey, cigarettes and hair gel. They aren't fighting for any ideology. Who should they die for? Dahlan? When we come for them they will ask, what should I lose my life for?"

Of course, if the Saudis succeed in outbidding Iran for the loyalty of Hamas, or even if Hamas is able to finesse taking money from both the Saudis and Iran (as seems likely)the question becomes moot anyway.

Our attempt to subvert the democratic choice of the Palestinian people so that the US government and the EU can feel good about financing `moderate' terrorists like Abbas can only end up one of three ways:

  • The Hamas and Fatah talks in Mecca will cobble together a hardline unity government that does not recognize Israel or any of the prior agreements the Palestinians made with Israel.

  • Hamas will take over Gaza and Fatah will take over the West Bank, or

  • Hamas will take over both areas, with Saudi and/or Iranian funding.

Either way, all those nice new weapons, the 4,000 Fatah `presidential guards' the US has trained in Jericho, the $100 million from Israeli PM Olmert and the $86 million from the US given to Abbas and Fatah will all end being used for one purpose - to fight the War against the Jews...just like the money and weapons given to Arafat were.

Almost all of the billions given to the Palestinians since Oslo has consistently ended up either being stolen or to finance terrorism.

You would think the lesson would have sunken in by now.

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