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  1. #1
    Andrewtx's Avatar
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    Palestinian leadership hit by political earthquake

    CNN reporting: Hamas supporters raise their flag over Palestinian parliament, rush into building.


    Palestinian PM says government will quit after Hamas win
    Israeli PM: 'Will not negotiate' with those who won't fight terrorism

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/...ion/index.html

    RAMALLAH, West Bank (CNN) -- In a stunning development ahead of official election results, Prime Minister Ahmed Qorei said Thursday he and others in the Palestinian Authority government will resign in the wake of Hamas' apparent parliamentary victory.

    The announcement followed estimates from Wednesday's election that said Hamas had won a majority of seats in the 132-seat Palestinian Legislative Council, supplanting the ruling Fatah party.

    Qorei's office said it will be up to Hamas to form a new government.

    "It's the choice of the people and it should be respected," Qorei said. "I think, if the majority is approved and has been reached, I think Hamas should form a new government, it's true. The president should ask Hamas to form a new government.

    "For me personally, I sent my resignation to the president to enable him to choose a new prime minister," Qorei said.

    Initial election results are scheduled to be released Thursday at 7 p.m. (noon ET).

    Exit polls earlier had shown Hamas thrusting itself into the center of Palestinian politics but had not indicated an outright majority win by the group.

    The exit poll from Bir Zeit University, a respected Palestinian school, showed Fatah garnered 46.4 percent of the vote and Hamas won 39.8 percent in the Palestinian Legislative Council. That translates into 63 seats for Fatah and 58 for Hamas, according to the exit poll.

    But other polls showed Hamas earning a slim majority, a claim echoed by some Hamas officials, prompting a warning from Israel.

    Acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel could not accept a situation in which Hamas in its current configuration -- committed to the destruction of Israel -- was a part of the Palestinian Authority.

    "I will not negotiate with a government that does not meet its most basic obligations -- to fight terrorism. We are prepared to assist the Palestinians and [Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas] very much but they must meet their commitments," Olmert said, according to a statement released by his office.

    The European Union, meanwhile, said it was prepared to work with any government -- to a point.

    "We are prepared to work with any Palestinian government, if this government seeks peace, using peaceful means," said Benita Ferrero-Waldner, EU external relations commissioner.

    Hamas, which boycotted the last election in 1996, capitalized on widespread dissatisfaction with what is seen as corruption within the Palestinian Authority and Fatah, and a perceived inability by the authority to manage the affairs of the Palestinians.

    Fatah was formed in 1965 by longtime Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who died in November 2004, and dominated Palestinian politics for decades as the mainstream Palestinian nationalist movement.

    "Mostly, they were voting for opposition and voting against Fatah -- against corruption, against nepotism, against the failure of the peace process, and against the lack of leadership," said Mustafa Barghouti with the Palestinian National Initiative, a democratic opposition movement.

    He said Wednesday "was a great day for Palestine. This is the best democratic practice ever in the Arab world." (Watch Gaza residents talk about why election day is so important -- 2:32)

    Hamas has called for the destruction of Israel. The group's military wing, Izzedine al Qassam, has admitted responsibility for terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians as well as attacks against the Israeli military. The group is listed as a terrorist group by Israel and the U.S. State Department.

    Turnout near 78 percent
    Election officials estimated about 77.7 percent of the eligible 1.3 million voters turned out to cast their ballots at more than 1,000 polling stations. Voting closed around 7 p.m. (noon ET) in Gaza and the West Bank, and it was extended in predominantly Arab east Jerusalem for two hours to accommodate heavy turnout. (Watch how preliminary results divide up seats -- 3:05)

    Among those who joined the voters were Abbas and Mahmoud Zahar, the leader of Hamas. Militant Palestinian groups had agreed to a cease-fire during the voting, and there were no reports of major violence.

    "We are embarking on a new era, and we call on the international community to help us return to the negotiating table with the Israelis, to conclude a peace agreement and implement it," Abbas said at the end of the election.

    Palestinian Foreign Minister Nasser al-Kidwa told CNN: "It's a happy day. There is no doubt about that. And I think that the Palestinian people are generally happy because of this." (Read how the vote demonstrates Palestinians' will to flex their political muscle)

    Flag waving and anger
    At polling sites in Gaza, many voters jubilantly waved the green flag of Hamas and expressed anger at Fatah.

    "Fatah hasn't done anything for us, for our children," said one Hamas voter at a polling site in Gaza.

    Another said: "Fatah only helps itself. We want to see what Hamas can do for us."

    The results of the election were being closely monitored by the United States and European Union, both of which have threatened to cut aid if Hamas becomes part of the government.

    The U.S. State Department was blunt.

    "We view Hamas as a terrorist organization. We don't deal with Hamas. And under the current circumstances, I don't see that changing," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

    Impact on the peace process?
    There have been talks about a power-sharing coalition, in which Fatah maintains the more political posts and Hamas has lower-level ministry positions.

    Asked how Palestinians could move forward with peacemaking with Israel, al-Kidwa told CNN, "Maybe this is one of the reasons why we prefer not to have it in the government at this stage."

    He added: "We have to maintain making peace with Israel as a priority. Actually, this is in our interest, in the interests of the Palestinian people. We need to reach final settlement with Israelis."

  2. #2
    Einstein's Avatar
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    Unless Hamas refrain from terror I can not see that it would help the peace process one iota. From experience I know you can not negotiate with terrorists, and a leopard don't change it's spots.
    Servamus et Servimus........"To Serve and Protect"

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    It'll definitely be interesting to see how this develops. They could go the direction of Hizb Allah in Lebanon which holds 23 parliamentary seats and has shifted its focus to community initiatives and trying to achieve political legitimacy for its existence.

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    Andrewtx's Avatar
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    I was waiting for your input, electra!

    The president's news conference this morning was pretty interesting. Though he basically stated as expected that the United States won't deal with a government that sponsors terrorism, he did express an understanding, almost an empathy, with the Palestinians for the discontent that they clearly felt with the ineffectual Palestinian authority.

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    The bottom line is that they were apparently elected fair and square. We'll just put them on the shit list with the others.

    That's what concerns me about that shithole known as Irag- our blood and billions will be spilled so the savages can freely elect an American hating cleric.

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    Andrewtx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrickCop
    The bottom line is that they were apparently elected fair and square. We'll just put them on the shit list with the others.

    That's what concerns me about that shithole known as Irag- our blood and billions will be spilled so the savages can freely elect an American hating cleric.

    Yes, Hamas was elected into power, but as others have pointed out, one election doesn't make a democracy. And democracy is the long-term objective of Bush's foreign policy. So I don't think it's accurate to say that we've in any sense reached our goal only for it to backfire.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrickCop
    That's what concerns me about that shithole known as Irag- our blood and billions will be spilled so the savages can freely elect an American hating cleric.
    Wait till we have to start something with Iran... Who here believes that UN sanctions will do anything but give them more time to import RPG's and missiles, if not time to build a nuclear warhead?

    I assume the UN will want to give sanctions at least a year or two to see if they'll work as well as all the other sanctions that the UN has ever imposed - Sanctions worked so well with Iraq

    Unlike Iraq, though, Iran and their allies can fight us back. I'm not sure our military could win at the current staffing levels and weapons stockpiles, without glazing the place over. It would also be in character for N. Korea to start trouble if they saw an opportunity. Then we'd be fighting on four fronts, something that we haven't had to do in my lifetime.

    With so much of our high-tech and machine & tool industry closed down in recent years due to cheap Chineese imports, we probably couldn't look to our civilian industry to start manufacturing a lot of military goods like we did in WWII - If China embargoed us, we're screwed. I think we're even less prepared for what could happen with all this than we were for Katrina.
    .
    Last edited by TXCharlie; 01-26-06 at 07:19 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrewtx
    Yes, Hamas was elected into power, but as others have pointed out, one election doesn't make a democracy. And democracy is the long-term objective of Bush's foreign policy. So I don't think it's accurate to say that we've in any sense reached our goal only for it to backfire.
    I agree with you but either way they were freely elected. The Iranians elected that a-hole. I'm willing to bet there'd still be a plethora of rabidly Anti -US Leaders even if the majority of ME countries were a democracy.

    BTW Democracy does not insulate a country from electing a scumb bag (Look at Clinton).

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrickCop
    BTW Democracy does not insulate a country from electing a scumb bag (Look at Clinton).
    I go back & forth on whether Hillary would be an improvement over Bill. I'm afraid we'll find out, unless we get them Iraqi troops trained and tell them that they have to sink or swim before 2008.

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    I have no doubt that the clueless Howard Dean led Democratic Party will give her the nomination but Hillary is deluding herself if she thinks she will be elected President.....

    The election would be another red state tidal wave with two or three droplets of blue.

    I'm praying for Hillary to be "their guy".

  11. #11
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    Hillary is a very dangerous candidate.

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    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    I'd love to see Condi Rice and our Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson run as a team on the Republican ticket.

    They could bitch-slap Hillary and get away with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TXCharlie
    Wait till we have to start something with Iran... Who here believes that UN sanctions will do anything but give them more time to import RPG's and missiles, if not time to build a nuclear warhead?

    I assume the UN will want to give sanctions at least a year or two to see if they'll work as well as all the other sanctions that the UN has ever imposed - Sanctions worked so well with Iraq
    There won't be any sanctions. The members of the security council with veto power ie: France and Russia wouldn't allow it. That the way I read it anyway.
    Unlike Iraq, though, Iran and their allies can fight us back. I'm not sure our military could win at the current staffing levels and weapons stockpiles, without glazing the place over. It would also be in character for N. Korea to start trouble if they saw an opportunity. Then we'd be fighting on four fronts, something that we haven't had to do in my lifetime.

    With so much of our high-tech and machine & tool industry closed down in recent years due to cheap Chineese imports, we probably couldn't look to our civilian industry to start manufacturing a lot of military goods like we did in WWII - If China embargoed us, we're screwed. I think we're even less prepared for what could happen with all this than we were for Katrina.
    .
    Iran was stalemated with Iraq for what? 10 years? I'm sure we would have no trouble with Iran even with 130K troops on the ground elsewhere. I believe we would also have some British, Canadians, and others with us if we go after Iran. I work in the tool, die, and machine field and there is all kinds of capacity that isn't used. If it ever did hit the fan you'd be surprised what the industry is able to do.

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    mx,

    Straying off topic a bit...

    Outside of the Brits and Aussies I doubt there'd be many countries willing to help us go after Iran. The other countries talk tough but bury their head in the sand when it's time to man up. I agree that sanctions would never work- China and Russia have extrensive economic interests in Iran and would never go along with it. They undoubtedly enjoy the headaches Iran gives the US.

    Canada's (recently defeated) PM was no friend of the US. How pathetically ironic that he could talk shit about the US because he knew we would unleash hell if any country was insane enough to attack them. Canada has the best of both worlds when it come to military protection vs. budget expenses.

 

 

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