Eric Margolis on Hamas, Israel & Egypt (Parts 1, 2 & 3)
In this three-part video interview, conservative author Eric Margolis (American Raj: Liberation or Domination? Resolving the Conflict between the West and the Muslim World) analyzes Western actions in the Muslim world, focusing on the current Israel-Gaza conflict.
PART I: Who and what is Hamas?
Hamas is more of a threat to corrupt Arab regimes than to Israel. Hamas is a national liberation movement, founded in 1987 in opposition to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which it saw as corrupt and ineffective.
PART II: Hamas and the Arab World
Egypt is a corrupt dictatorship afraid that Hamas' ideology of democratic elections and anti-corruption, social services, equal distribution of wealth, etc. will infect its citizenry. The US has enabled the military dictatorship of General Hosni Mubarak, a clone of the Shah of Iran, since 1981. Egypt blocks its border with Gaza, contributing to the open air prison condition.
Worse, Hamas has failed in PR and militarily. The pathetic Palestinians can't even come up with one spokesperson who speaks English and doesn't rant and rave. Lobbing useless antiquated bombs into Israel indicates their naiveté. They overestimated their own strength and underestimated Israel's response. But this is not a military campaign; it's a prison riot by 1.5 million people on a tiny piece of land who have been bombed, shot at, shelled and blockaded. Over seventy percent of their children are starving. Of course their actions are not sane; they are the actions of desperate people.
PART III: Obama and Gaza
Hamas is regarded by the US-backed governments of the Middle East as a dire threat, because these are basically monarchies or dictatorships – they're oligarchies. They do very little for their people (except the oil states). Hamas is coming on with a revolutionary message: Share the wealth, we'll take care of the people, fight corruption, stand up to Israel, stop licking the hands of the Americans. This is not what these people want to hear.
There was a collusion between the US, Israel, Egypt and Britain to lock up Gaza, put it under siege and try to crush Hamas. Bush's final act is to set the table for a two-state solution by killing all Hamas leaders – a Carthaginian peace. Reminds me of the Battle of Algiers. The PLO will settle for tribal areas, but there will be no Israeli withdrawal from useful parts of the West Bank. Palestine is now fated to become an Israeli protectorate. Obama's silence is dismaying.
Eric Margolis is a member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies and a contributing editor to American Conservative . A journalist born in New York City, he holds degrees from Georgetown, the University of Geneva, and New York University. During the Vietnam War he served as a US Army infantryman. Margolis is the author of War at the Top of the World –- The Struggle for Afghanistan and Asia is a syndicated columnist and broadcaster whose articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The International Herald Tribune, Mainichi Shimbun and US Naval Institute Proceedings .
Margolis is an expert of military affairs, a former instructor in strategy and tactics in the US Army, and a member of the Institute of Regional Studies in Islamabad, Pakistan. Margolis' books have been published in the US, Canada, Britain, and India. He often appears and contributes to national and international news items for outlets such as CNN, ABC, CBC and Voice of America to the Wall Street Journal and Maninichi-Tokyo. He broadcasts regularly on foreign affairs for Canadian TV (TV Ontario and CBC), radio, and has appeared on ABC, CBS, CNN, and PBS.