The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Welfare reform -- ME Style

Little more than a week has passed since the Hamas victory in the Palestinian elections, and the EU is trying to fashion a set of conditions that will allow them to keep funding the Palestinians to the tune of $600 million per year. $600 million could, of course, buy better education, better nutrition, better jobs, … Instead, past expenditures have bought schools that teach hatred, abject poverty but enriched PLO leaders (Hamas soon to follow), and an economy that makes African countries look wealthy (Yeah, I know, it’s all the fault of the oppressors).

Sadly, the US is sure to follow and continue its contributions of $400 million per year. All that needs to happen is for one Palestinian family to claim that a funds cut-off will lead them toward starvation, parade a family of 8 children, running noses, wild hair, and bedraggled clothes in front of media cameras, and any resolve we have to cut funds for terrorist groups (Hamas is, after all, a terrorist group) will crumble.

Hamas, no fools, if a bit irrational, will smile and imply that peace is possible, maybe even make noises about recognizing Israel’s right to exist (without ever doing so), and many EU and US politicians will have their cover.

Those Politicians will attribute rational strategies to a gang of Islamists who are driven by irrational faith that the Jew in their midst can be eradicated, and after that, the West must convert or be destroyed. They will believe (counter to the lessons of the past 50 years) that just a little more support, and a little more flexibility (on their part) will reform people who cannot be reformed because they have no desire to change, no desire to confront the day-to-day problems of building a country and creating useful lives for its citizens.

Ralph Peters in an article in the The Weekly Standard comments on this when he writes:

One of the most consistently disheartening experiences an adult can have today is to listen to the endless attempts by our intellectuals and intelligence professionals to explain religious terrorism in clinical terms, assigning rational motives to men who have moved irrevocably beyond reason. We suffer under layers of intellectual asymmetries that hinder us from an intuitive recognition of our enemies. Our rear-guard rationalists range from those convinced that every security problem has a technological solution, if only it can be found, to those who insist that members of al Qaeda and its affiliates are motivated by finite, comprehensible, and logical ambitions that, if satisfied, would make our problems disappear.

And so, I suspect we’ll hold our nose and continue funding the Palestinians, and in doing so, perpetuate their failed society. Welfare Reform, Middle-East (ME) style.