The Bush administration, caught out by the rise of Hamas, embarked on a secret project for the armed overthrow of the Islamist government in Gaza, it emerged yesterday.
Vanity Fair reports in its April edition that President George Bush and the secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, signed off on a plan for the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to remove the Hamas authorities in Gaza. The plan called for Washington's allies in the region to funnel arms and salaries to Fatah fighters who would lead a rising against Hamas.
Democracy turned into a farce. Scores of dead women, men and children. A horrible situation (which was slowly showing some progress) made even worse. Yep, good job, Bush.
The Bush administration plan sought to undo the results of elections in the West Bank and Gaza in January 2006 which, to the chagrin of White House and State Department officials, saw Hamas win a majority of seats in the Palestinian legislature.
The project was approved by Bush, Rice, and Elliott Abrams, the hawkish deputy national security adviser.
The 2006 election result was seen as an affront to the central premise of the Bush administration's policy in the Middle East - that democratic elections would inexorably lead to pro-western governments.
Whoops. Is our face red!
Not that this is entirely news, we all knew that this is what was going on. Of course, the Bush administration is denying the report "in unusually strong terms".
More in Vanity Fair, which broke the story. And on Democracy Now: Iran Contra 2.0: How the Bush Admin Lied to Congress and Armed Fatah to Provoke Palestinian Civil War Aiming to Overthrow Hamas