Thursday, January 26, 2006

Mark Steyn on Hamas's Win

Steyn spoke about the Palestinian election on Hugh Hewitt's radio show:
They won a landslide. And you know, I don't want to make a frivolous comparison, but in a sense, this is a kind of Joel Stein vote. I mean, they're basically saying that the Fatah line, which is that we believe in a two-state solution, but at the same time, we subsidize and glorify terrorism and suicide bombers. They're saying to hell with that humbug hypocrisy line. Let's vote for the party that says we don't believe in a two-state solution, where what we are, we want to drive every last Jew into the sea. And in that sense, this is a less hypocritical expression of where the Palestinian people are at, than supporting Fatah was. Also, I would say that of course, Fatah was incredibly corrupt. Basically, they were in the tenth year of the five year parliament. I mean, you can imagine if the Bush administration says don't worry, folks, we're going to stick around until 2013. And Fatah had spent most of the last ten years taking all the money from the European Union, and basically salting it away in their Swiss bank accounts. That's...eventually, that's going to catch up with you.

HH: The other thing that comes to mind that my friend, Dennis Prager, made very obvious, no honest person can deny now that the Palestinian people want Israel destroyed.

MS: No, and that's right. And I think you're much better knowing honestly and truly where people stand. And often times, particularly in the Middle East, the West has gotten into trouble because its believed leaders who have come up with a form of words that plays well in English language media, and that is not what they tell their own people, or where their people are. And the great thing about Hamas is they're perfectly open. They want to destroy Israel, they don't want it there. That's their bottom line. And I think that's very clarifying.

HH: Let's be cold and clear-eyed about this, Mark Steyn. I believe this means there is an inevitable war out there between Israel and Palestine, because Hamas is going to have to deliver to its constituents what it wants, doesn't it?

MS: Well, I don't think it will...I don't actually think it will be a war. In a sense, I think in the immediate future, what it does is it gives Israel a greater leeway to secure itself with the wall. Nobody's going to argue when you're living next to Hamas that you don't have the right to build a wall. That argument, which the Europeans and other people have made, looks absolutely stupid now. But I think what it does tell you is that in the end, the Palestinians are the most comprehensively wrecked people on the face of the Earth. Every city you go go to New York, you go to London, you go to Paris, you meet talented, energetic Palestinian doctors and lawyers and accountants. All the talent got out of there in the late 1940's and early 50's. You imagine people, third, fourth generation, the people who stuck around because of this insane dream that they're going to get some olive grove of their great-grandfathers back one day, can you imagine what kind of idiot is going to stick around for sixty years for that? So it's the absolute worst of the Palestinian people who are in Gaza, and in the West Bank. And it's a terrible tragedy for them. But it is the fact that they've been wrecked by being essentially mollycoddled by the U.N. and world opinion for sixty years.
Steyn also discussed his belief that Saddam did have WMD in Iraq, with host Hugh Hewitt:
I want to switch, if I can, to Saddam, and his general who is running around the United States with a new book saying that they shipped airplane loads of WMD out of Iraq and into Syria. Mark Steyn, he can make his own case, but if a ranking Saddamite had come forward and said there were no WMD's, do you think he would be getting what? 5, 10, 100 times the publicity that this fellow is?

MS: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. I don't think...the fact of the matter is, when you look at the regime's behavior, they behaved as if they had WMD. When you're in that, what you call the Syrian Desert, which is...sort of spreads over Syria, Jordan and Iraq, when you're in that part of the world, you stumble across these huge bases that just have numbers and letters. They're all called H-2 and H-3. And these things go on for mile. And you drive in them, because when I was there, the gates had all been sort of torn down. And you think, well, what the hell is this? It's not an airfield or anything. What was he keeping here? And then you go up to the Syrian border, and you see it's basically just a line in the sand. There was all kinds of stuff that disappeared over there, because essentially, the United States and the United Nations chose to give Saddam effectively a year to get the stuff out of the country.