Mood: don't ask
Topic: "Geneva Accords Redux"
In 1954, after the fall of Dienbienphu in French Indo-China, the Geneva Accords provided for the end of European rule in the nation that is today the Republic of Vietnam. The Accords called for "free and open elections" to establish a national government based on the will of the indigenous peoples of that land. History tells us that the United States of America, in support of the Catholic minority in the southern regions, refused to sign the Accords. The majority of the potential electorate, it seems, were predominantly Communists and they were loyal to a leader named Ho Chi Minh.
In brief, elections were not held because the United States of America felt that the guys they wanted to win would lose.
Frodo, not unlike many other citizens of Middle Earth, believed that to fight a war against one of the guiding principles of democracy, i.e. free and open elections, was the worst kind of hypocrisy. The United States of America however, took the posture that the threat of Communism was so great that it could tumble fragile nations into the hands of the Communist dictators one after the other, just like dominoes.
It did not matter that the leadership in the southern regions was corrupt. It did not matter that their governments were cruel and despotic. It did not matter that the minority were supported entirely by US Foreign Aid. They were against the Communists, and that was all that mattered.
Amid all the tragedy of those endless years of war, Frodo was convinced that such stupidity would not be repeated while he inhabited Middle Earth.
Today, the President of the United States announced that his nation would not recognize or deal with the winners in the Palestinian election given their present position on relations with Israel. It did not matter that their existing leadership was historically corrupt and inefficient. It did not matter that the winners are part of the regional religious majority, i.e. Sunni Muslim. It did not matter that a "free and open" democratic election, the supposed objective of the long and costly War in Iraq, had clearly spoken for the peoples of the area. It was not "our guys" who won.
Frodo recognizes that there are many, and very good, arguments to support the President of the United States in this policy decision. There are many who will immediately point to the threat of terror, as did those who once pointed to the threat of Communism, as justification. Frodo fears that the philosophical rejection of that example which our own history shows us, will, once again, cost the United States of America very, very dearly.
Hamas, as a governing entity, will need more than $70 Million beyond its' resources every month in order to maintain control in Palestine. The shortfall will not be made up by US Foreign Aid. Sunni Muslims will rally to their brothers. The majority Sunni governments of Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, et al, provide capital. Sunni insurgents join with Hamas in their desperate struggle to rid their lands of foreign intervention. The majority Shi'ia nations of the region, Iran and Iraq, grow closer every day as religious fundamentalists fill the leadership vacuum. The Shi'ia can be a battleground, or they can be an ally for Hamas. Only time and technology will tell.
Condoleezza Rice will talk to Tony Blair. Vladimir Putin will talk to Jacques Chirac. Frau Merkel will talk to Prime Minister Koizumi.
George W. Bush will sing to the choir.
Frodo watches the little Hobbits next door. Through his tears he sees camouflage uniforms and automatic weapons, just beyond their horizon. With all his heart Frodo knows we have learned nothing, nothing at all. We still have the dumbest people in the greatest positions of power, and we have given them the rope to tie around the necks of those little Hobbits.