RE: [lpsf-discuss] Re: Convention Carnage

A good article here. As being a State is a recipe for disaster, it may
seem that anyone who expects to be the state can expect to fail. That's
the reason the LP is failing right along side the Dems and Repubs.

Unlike the beginning of the LP, the party is attracting people who
actually think obtaining state power is a good thing. That's a bad thing
for the LP.

What we are seeing is that attachment to the state and its apparatus
will lose for Liberty. Avoiding the state and its apparatus will win for

Ron Paul has done as good a job as possible within the context of
political power. Anyone locally who wants to lobby for his positions and
participate in that side of activism even as a Republican will have my
full support.

For the rest of us...with apologies to Joanie Mitchell..."We don't need
some piece of paper from the" LP "to keep us tried and true" to Liberty.


To Be or Not To Be a State?

by William S. Lind <mailto:dkern@…>

When Hamas won the Palestinian elections, a highly successful Fourth
Generation entity became a state. No doubt that was one of Hamas's
highest aspirations. But by becoming a state, it became far more
vulnerable to other states than it was as a non-state entity. How Hamas
deals with this problem may say a great deal about the future of Fourth
Generation war.

Hamas may have presumed that once it won a free election, other states,
including the United States and Israel, would have to recognize its
legitimacy. Great expectations are seldom fulfilled in the amoral world
of international politics. When the Washington Establishment calls for
"free elections," what it means is elections that elect the people it
wants to deal with. Hamas does not fall into that category. Washington
therefore greeted Hamas's electoral victory with a full-court press to
destroy the new Hamas leadership of the Palestinian Authority, a "state"
that bears a state's burdens with none of a state's assets. Both
Machiavelli and Metternich were no doubt delighted by this act of
Wilsonian hypocrisy, a variety that often exceeds their own and does so
with a straight face, an act they could never quite master, being

In cooperation with Israel (can Washington now do anything except in
cooperation with Israel?) the U.S. imposed a starvation blockade on the
Palestinian territories. Instead of British armored cruisers, the
blockaders this time are U.S. banking laws, plus Israeli-withholding of
Palestinian tax receipts. As the government of a quasi-state, Hamas
found itself with no money. PA employees went unpaid and PA services,
such as they were, largely collapsed. The burden, as always, fell on
average Palestinians.

In the past week, Israel has upped the ante by threatening a full-scale
military attack on Gaza. The Israelis had already been escalating
quietly: a raid here, a missile there, artillery shells somewhere else.
With Palestinian civilians dying, Hamas had to respond. It did so with a
raid on an Israeli army post, a legitimate military target. (Attacks on
military targets are not "terrorism.") The well-planned and brilliantly
conducted raid (so well done as to suggest Hezbollah assistance) killed
two Israeli soldiers and captured one.

Normally, that captured Israeli would be a Hamas asset. But now that
Hamas is a state, it has discovered Cpl. Gilad Shalit is a major
liability. Israel is refusing all deals for his return. If Hamas returns
him without a deal, it will be humiliated. If it continues to hold him,
Israel will up the military pressure; it is already destroying PA
targets such as government offices and arresting PA cabinet members. If
it kills him, the Israeli public will back whatever revenge strikes the
Israeli military wants. Hamas is now far more targetable than it was as
a non-state entity, but is no better able to defend itself or Palestine
than it was as Fourth Generation force. 4GW forces are generally unable
to defend territory or fixed targets against state armed forces, but
they have no reason to do so. Now, as a quasi-state, Hamas must do so or
appear to be defeated.

Does the sign really say "No Exit" for Hamas? It may, so long as Hamas
remains a state, or has aspirations to be one. Washington's and Tel
Aviv's obvious goal is to push the Hamas government to the point where
it must choose between a humanitarian catastrophe for the Palestinian
people and resignation, with the return of corrupt and compliant Fatah
to power. Either way, Hamas will have suffered an enormous defeat, to
the point where it is unlikely to be a serious alternative ever again.

There is, however, another way out for Hamas. It can call and raise
Washington's and Tel Aviv's bets. How? By voting to dissolve the
Palestinian Authority. Ending the PA would dump the Palestinian
territories and their inhabitants right back in Israel's lap. Under
international law, as the occupying power, Israel would be responsible
for everything in the territories: security, human services, utilities
and infrastructure, the economy, the whole megillah (oy!). Israel could
try to restore the PA in cooperation with Fatah, but if Fatah joined
Israel in doing so, it would destroy what legitimacy it has left. Hamas
could meanwhile return to a 4GW war against Israel, unencumbered with
the dubious assets of a state, and with lots more targets as Israel
attempted to run the Palestinian Territories itself.

Hamas faces what may be a defining moment, not only for itself but for
Fourth Generation entities elsewhere. Does it want the trappings of a
state so much that it will render itself targetable as a state, or can
it see through the glitter of being "cabinet ministers" and the like and
go instead for substance by retaining non-state status? To be or not to
be a state, that is the question - for Hamas and soon enough for other
4GW entities as well.

July 6, 2006

William Lind [send him mail <mailto:dkern@…> ] is
Director of the Center for Cultural Conservatism at the Free Congress
Foundation. The views expressed in this article are those of Mr. Lind,
writing in his personal capacity.

Copyright (c) 2006 William S. Lind

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