Friday, October 26, 2007

The U.S. Dilemma Over Pakistan

by Joseph Puder from The Philadelphia Bulletin

Fair elections are one of the features of a functioning democracy but not the decisive factor in creating a democratic society. Building democratic institutions - a civil society and establishing the rule-of law - should precede any elections, especially in nations with a tradition of extremism and violence. The Palestinians are a case in point. The Bush administration encouraged the participation of Hamas in a fair election that resulted in bringing them to power and creating a terrorist entity. Hamas, originally the Gazan branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, openly seeks the destruction of Israel. Both Tehran's fanatical Shiite ayatollahs and Riyadh's Sunni Wahhabis are supporting and mentoring Hamas, and it is unlikely that Hamas government will develop into a democratic society or will allow open, free elections in the future.

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