Vanity Fair and Gaza

They might carry on alarmingly about democracy, but if and when it happens with the wrong result all hell can break out from the US and allies. Well that’s the way it looks when Bush watched Hamas win in Palestinian elections, judged by most observers as a model of democracy.
Jewish Voice for Peace comments:
This is a rather explosive report, based on an article by David Rose:
“The Gaza Bombshell,” Vanity Fair, April 2008,
Vanity Fair reported that it has “obtained confidential documents, since
corroborated by sources in the US and Palestine, which lay bare a covert
initiative, approved by Bush and implemented by Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams to
provoke a Palestinian civil war.” The magazine adds that the plan “was for
forces led by Dahlan, and armed with new weapons supplied at America’s
behest, to give Fatah the muscle it needed to remove the
democratically-elected Hamas-led government from power.”
For me, the major lesson is that once again the US is being shown as an
extremely destructive force, whose aims have nothing to do with the well
being of Palestinians or Israelis.
Judith Norman adds:
One irony of this situation is that Israel originally (covertly) helped Hamas when it was first founded in the late 80’s, on the grounds that a religious extremist movement such as this would help undermine the PLO. As Uri Avnery points out (in
REVEALED: THE US PLAN TO START A PALESTINIAN CIVIL WAR
Report, The Electronic Intifada, 4 March 2008
United States officials including President George W. Bush and Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice participated in a conspiracy to arm and train
Contra-style Palestinian militias nominally loyal to the Fatah party to
overthrow the democratically-elected Hamas government in the Occupied
Palestinian Territories, an investigative article in the April 2008 issue of
Vanity Fair has revealed. [1]
The allegations of such a conspiracy, long reported by The Electronic
Intifada, are corroborated in Vanity Fair with confidential US government
documents, interviews with former US officials, Israeli officials and with
Muhammad Dahlan, the Gaza strongman personally chosen by Bush.
The article, by David Rose, recounts gruesome torture documented on
videotape of Hamas members by the US-armed and funded militias under
Dahlan’s control. Hamas had repeatedly alleged such torture as part of its
justification for its move to overthrow the Dahlan militias and take full
control of the interior of the Gaza Strip in June 2007.
Vanity Fair reported that it has “obtained confidential documents, since
corroborated by sources in the US and Palestine, which lay bare a covert
initiative, approved by Bush and implemented by Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams to
provoke a Palestinian civil war.” The magazine adds that the plan “was for
forces led by Dahlan, and armed with new weapons supplied at America’s
behest, to give Fatah the muscle it needed to remove the
democratically-elected Hamas-led government from power.”
Abrams was one of the key Reagan administration figures involved in the
Iran-Contra scandal in the 1980s, whereby the US illegally armed militias in
Nicaragua to overthrow the ruling Sandinista government. Abrams was
convicted and later pardoned for lying to Congress.
While it has been known that the US engaged in covert activity to subvert
Palestinian democracy and provoke Palestinians to shed each other’s blood,
the extent of the personal involvement of top US officials in attempting to
dictate the course of events in Palestine — while publicly preaching
democracy — has only now been brought to light.
Bush met and personally anointed Dahlan as “our guy” in 2003. In July 2007,
The Electronic Intifada reported on a leaked letter written by Dahlan and
sent to the Israeli defense minister in which he confirmed his role in a
conspiracy to overthrow then Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat
for whose replacement Bush had publicly called. Dahlan wrote: “Be certain
that Yasser Arafat’s final days are numbered, but allow us to finish him off
our way, not yours. And be sure as well that … the promises I made in
front of President Bush, I will give my life to keep.”
The US planning to overthrow the government elected by Palestinians under
occupation began immediately after the Hamas movement won a clear victory in
the January 2006 election for the Palestinian Legislative Council. Hamas,
however, proved “surprising resilient.”
At a meeting at Abbas’ Ramallah headquarters in October 2006, Rice
personally ordered Abbas to dissolve the government headed by Hamas’ Ismail
Haniyeh “within two weeks” and replace it with an unelected “emergency
government.”
When Abbas failed to act promptly on Rice’s order, the US stepped up its
efforts to arm Dahlan in preparation for the attempted coup. Hamas foiled
the coup plot by moving preemptively against Dahlan’s gangs, many of whom
refused to fight despite being furnished with tens of millions of dollars in
weapons and training. The US-conceived “emergency government” headed by a
former World Bank official, Salam Fayyad, was eventually appointed by Abbas,
but its authority is limited to parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
While the United States and Israel were the driving forces behind the civil
war and coup plot, others had a hand including several Arab states and their
intelligence services. “The scheme,” Rose writes, “bore some resemblance to
the Iran-contra scandal” in that “some of the money for the [Nicaraguan]
contras, like that for Fatah, was furnished by Arab allies as a result of US
lobbying.”
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