The sovereign can no longer say, "You shall think as I do on pain of death;" but he says, "You are free to think differently from me, and to retain your life, your property, and all that you possess; but if such be your determination, you are henceforth an alien among your people."

(Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835)

Thursday, 1 July 2010

CENTCOM report: talking to Hamas and Hezbollah

Seems like the US military is leading innovative thinking: in a report by the Central Command (CENTCOM), Gen. Petraeus old working place, a study group called Red Team evaluated the pains and gains of talking to Hamas and Hezbollah.

The reason why Israel is furiously blocking this move is also mentioned in the report:

The Red Team also claims that reconciliation with Fatah, when coupled with Hamas's explicit renunciation of violence, would gain "widespread international support and deprive the Israelis of any legitimate justification to continue settlement building and delay statehood negotiations."


  1. Valentin Pikul4 July 2010 at 03:26

    So one week you're fairly critical of the role of intelligence, but the next you're happy to quote an intelligence report that neatly fits your own view. interesting.

    firstly, there is obviously an agenda at play here. it's an 'intelligence' report (usually aren't these classified? so us normal plebs can't see them?) that has somehow found its way to foreign policy magazine. isn't that strange?!

    secondly, the so-called red-team unit has a responsibility to think outside the box. but unfortunately, its outcome is a little weird to say the least. it makes assumptions about the willingness of both hamas and hezbollah to engage in both the lebanese and palestinian security structures..but makes no mention of the organisations' current negative (to say the least) views of israel (hamas charter etc). for hamas to want to join with fatah in the security structures(or any at that matter) would be a massive step given the hostility between the two factions. but nothing is mentioned about this.

    i really get the feeling that you, frederick, are happy to quote any report that supports your own view and focuses on the wrongs of israel or the possible positive views towards hamas and other opponents of israel (when there is no clear and current evidence of such a view), but i have not seen any post of yours that focuses on ANY negative issues or wrong-doings of Hamas and its rule in the Gaza, for example. Please show a little balance! The situation in the middle east is complex and multi-faceted - so merely concentrating on the wrongs of israel just won't cut the mustard.

  2. I appreciate your comment! I have the feeling that we both share the same agenda: that there may be peace for Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, and the region. The question is how we go about.

    There is a convincing proposal for a settlement of the conflict on the table, to which I referred to in an earlier post (see Geneva initiative). Do you agree with this proposal?

    The follow up would be how to reach this goal. History shows that the we need another way of tackling the problem, because all past attempts were in vain.

    Do you think ignoring Hamas and Hizbollah will make Israel more safe? Please elaborate!