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Monday, January 10, 2005

$20 on Abu Mazen to ‘Finish’

I’m a bit tired this morning… I was up late watching the returns on the Palestinian Elections. Late into the night as the precincts reported in it became clear that it was going to be a nail-biter. The exit polls, as reported by the various networks, made it difficult to accurately predict the final outcome... and when I drifted off about 4:00AM there had yet to be a concession speech.

Of course I’m kidding. The typical American high school has a more hotly contested election for class officers (not to mention fewer irregularities).

The funny thing is that when betting on a horse race one usually has the option of picking a horse to ‘Win’ (1st place), ‘Place’ (2nd place) or ‘Show’ (3rd place).

But this was what they generally call a ‘one horse race’… all the smart money was on that sway-backed, old gray mare named Dr. Mahmoud Abbas (his doctoral thesis, for those who might be interested, is a fairly scholarly denial of the holocaust), not to win, place or show… but simply to trot around the track and unceremoniously ‘finish’.

One thing that struck me as interesting is that in the weeks leading up to the election, the western press completely dropped the standard practice of using ‘Abu Mazen’ parenthetically after his real name. I guess the powers-that-be figured that if the PA was going to go to the trouble of dressing up an old war horse as a legitimate candidate for civilian office, they should probably stop referring to him by his nom de guerre.  A nice touch, if you think about it.

As jaded as I may sound this morning, I have no choice but to be hopeful for some sort of positive change.  The alternative is too dismal to contemplate.

We’ve been told over and over that even though Dr. Abbas was already the de facto leader of the PA and all of its security apparatus, he couldn’t control all the 'militant factions' (another interesting euphemism) until he received a mandate to rule via legally binding elections.

Well, he has his mandate, for what it’s worth. Now let’s see if the Palestinian people will ever have the opportunity to collect on their bet.


Posted by David Bogner on January 10, 2005 | Permalink


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Unfortunately I expect that for a while you are going to be forced to continue gunslinging while you are slinging hash.

Thus far I am not impressed with Abbas and am concerned about the continued pandering to groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Posted by: Jack | Jan 10, 2005 5:47:03 PM

I sadly agree with Jack. I keep remembering the song by The Who.
"Meet the new boss,
same as the old boss...
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again."
There's a great Cox and Forkum cartoon about Abu Mazen that you can see by clicking on my name.

By the way, I know when the next American elections are. I didn't hear how frequently the PA is going to have elections now that they're a democracy. /sarcasm

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Jan 10, 2005 9:03:24 PM

Jack... Pandering doesn't even begin to describe his relationship with the terrorists. He has become their apologist.

Doctor Bean... Palestinian elections will be a lot like the directions on the antacid bottle: Repeat as needed. Obviously that bit of advice is open to wide interpretation.

Posted by: David | Jan 10, 2005 10:41:03 PM

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