Sunday, July 08, 2007

Hamas Secures Release of Abducted Journalist

Reporter Alan Johnston is back in Britain.

Armed gunmen from the shadowy Army of Islam group snatched him on March 12 as he returned home to his flat in Gaza, where he had been reporting for the BBC for three years. He was released following pressure on his captors by Hamas, a group boycotted by the EU and the US because of its terror links and refusal to recognise Israel.
Once again, Hamas has shown that they can get things done, the kinds of things Fatah has never been able to do. And that they're willing to get those things done. It looks very much like they will soon arrange the release of Gilad Schalit with a prisoner-release deal.

Why has no one in government yet learned that these are in many ways the most straightforward and most sophisticated terrorists on the planet. Even while we can disagree with certain tactics (and with certain aspects of their agenda), they are deeply pragmatic and unhindered by corruption or renegade factions. I think, but don't know, that this is in no small part due to a certain genuine populism, despite (or perhaps in some ways because of) the Islamist authoritarianism.

Maybe if Kirkpatrick can distinguish between authoritarian and totalitarian, Rice can find some similar wordgames to give us a chance to find a way to work with Hamas. Or maybe not.

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