Mittwoch, Juni 20, 2007

Why Hamas Won and Why It Matters...

Ralph Peters is someone who I've quoted more than once.

He has a new piece up which wraps up the problem better than anyone else.

What we are seeing in the Middle East is basically no different than what went on during the Thirty Years' War: it's a religious war, which is fought with no holds barred and a clear willingness to die for your cause, which, given the secular nature of the opposition, means that you only need a few fanatics to take over Gaza.

Only 0,3% of the population in Gaza was involved in the fighting, and if you applied the usual military calculus, Hamas should have been destroyed. The difference is that Hamas was willing to die for its cause and the secular Fatah was not.

That's key to understanding the whole problem, that and the fact that conflict resolution must include the underlying conflicts, resolve them, rather than being conflict postponement or conflict avoidance. Such wars are like earthquakes: once the tension along fault lines starts to build up, it is either released gradually in a series of small shocks until the tension is relieved, or there is a major earthquake that realigns the entire region until the tensions start building up again.

In this case, the Middle East is a legacy of the conflicts in the Cold War, where the Soviets financed and trained many, many frustrated and angry young men who are now leading the various political-religious splinter groups into chaos.

The question becomes whether one can merely wait out the smaller shocks or whether they are less indicative of a release of tension as more indicative that the tension continues to build.

PS: I found this here with someone who was there and saw how Hamas won. They won because Fatah didn't fight...

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