Thursday, December 02, 2004

A terrorist only a liberal could love

Real Clear Politics links to an article in the New York Observer by Nicholas von Hoffman with the provocative title "Democrats Must Oppose Bush’s Imperial Conquests". You can usually count on Real Clear Politics to point out interesting and factual articles, relevant to the times. I have no idea how this one got through their screen. Perhaps it caught their eye because it starts off well, observing that a major reason that Kerry lost the last election was because he failed to elucidate a coherent foreign policy. But then the article slips in this little bit of disinformation.
By newspaper accounts, the most popular Palestinian politician is not a member of the geezer-ocracy but Marwan Barghouti, a 42-year-old dynamo residing in one of the places Israel keeps for misbehaving Arabs. A Democratic foreign policy might have as one of its planks a demand that Mr. Barghouti be released from jail so he can run for office. If elected, the Israelis will not find him easy to negotiate with, but better a politician who has a popular mandate than a couple of old guys who will sign any piece of paper the Israelis stick in front of them but will not be able to deliver their people.
Oh dear, where to begin. Let's see, Barghouti is supposedly "a 42-year-old dynamo residing in one of the places Israel keeps for misbehaving Arabs." Gosh that sounds awful. What is Barghouti in for, publishing an anti Israeli blog? Well actually it turns out that Barghouti is the founder of a terrorist group, the ominously named "Al Aqsa Martyr Brigades". He was convicted of directing terrorist attacks on innocent civilians. This is the man that Mr. von Hoffman wants Israel to release.
Why should they release him? Because he can deliver the people. OK, fine. But you have to ask yourself, why is Barghouti so popular with the people? He came into power during the first Intifada when he was arrested and exiled for exhorting Palestinians to violence. He increased his popularity in the second Intifada as a military commander and founder of the terrorist brigades. He is famous for killing Israelis. He is popular because he kills Israelis. The only people that he can deliver are those who want him to kill more Israelis.

If that's the sort of leader you want for the Palestinians, than peace is the last thing on your mind.


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