Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Truces and Sovereignty

Hamas says it will not police truce with Israel

I love the first quote:

The militant group Hamas said it remains committed to a cease-fire with Israel, but will not act as Israel's "police force" in confronting militants who breach the truce.

I am confirming my original suspicion that Hamas had no clue about what it was getting into when it won the election. Hamas is the elected government of the West Bank and Gaza (but only recognized as de facto sovereign over Gaza). It gets more complicated, because no state except Israel has claim to the West Bank (as occupier), but thats better saved for another time. I'm going to simplify things a bit and just say that Hamas runs Gaza and attempts to lay claim to sovereignty there.

I'm a fan of de facto sovereignty, as what is higher than a state right now that can enforce the de jure? I suppose only other states or 'superpowers'. As it stands, the Hamas vs Fatah government spat really has no significance in Gaza. Hamas is supposed to be in charge and fought for control. Israel accepted the de facto rule of Hamas over Gaza and negotiated a truce with them. (Last week or so)

Coming to recent (last few days) events, some rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel. This was after the truce. I see that Hamas wants to have it both ways. They want to be the de facto and de jure government of Gaza. As the government they wanted to be able to negotiate truces and treaties. But, they also do not want to be responsible for their citizens. They do not want to 'police' their own people. The way I see it, either they broke the truce because they condone and do nothing to stop the rocket attacks, or they are not the de facto government of Gaza. I am not saying that they can stop every attack as that would be impossible. What they can do is not proclaim that it is not their problem. As the people in charge, it is their problem.

Imagine (you have to try really hard) that Bush just negotiated a promise to not attack Iran if they stopped their nuclear weapons activities. Blackwater (everyone's favorite PMC to hate on) decides to invade Iran. The United States would most likely use its own military or civilian measures to stop Blackwater. In that case, we would be allied with Iran against rouge elements based in our country. We would take care of Blackwater because their actions undermine US national interests (remember, we made a truce) and also undermine US sovereignty.

Hamas needs to step up. They need to hold "a rifle in the face of a resistance fighter." even if it doesn't make any one "enjoy a happy moment". That is part of the responsibility of governing a group of people.

I found a perfect word to describe Hamas and a few other groups that have elections that don't mean anything. Anocracy.

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