Article on Hamas for C11

I have an article up at Culture11 on the “rationality” (means-end rationality not the rationality of their goals/ends in mind) of Hamas. The link is here. Big ups to political editor extraordinaire James Poulos.

A sneak peak:

There is a method to the madness of Hamas that comports with this reality. Hamas seeks to fight in the only way it can win, given the military, economic, and political disparity between the two countries. Whatever else one thinks, Hamas is rational enough — in its means, if not its goals — to fight in the way that maximizes both its advantages and Israel’s disadvantages simultaneously. So the more Hamas militants and/or Gaza civilians are killed (up to an extreme point, of course), the more Hamas achieves tactical, asymmetric success against Israel — leading to a victory for Hamas that further delegitimizes Fatah and moderate Arab regimes like Egypt’s.

The reality in question being irregular insurgent warfare against a conventionally armed nation-state.

The implication (left implied) for Israel is a counter-intuitive one. The argument is that Hamas should be brought into the political process as a way to neutralize them and shift the “Low-Intensity Conflict” in the long run to their favor. Because Israel wins fights against nation-states.

Take Hezbollah who either won or fought to a draw (depending on your pov) their short war with Israel in 2006. After that conflict, Hezbollah was brought formally into The Lebanese State. Hezbollah has not (so far as I know) changed their official position on seeking the total destruction of the state of Israel. But has Hezbollah joined in this round of conflict? Not yet and I don’t think they will. They have a stake now in the (admittedly ramshackle) Lebanese state. They are now in a coalition government and their actions as they realized in 2006 could and did cause Lebanese not of their ethnic background/political persuasion to get killed. That’s bad for their legitimacy.

The same I think could be done with Hamas. They won’t change their rhetoric on destroying Israel but the logic of statecraft begins to takeover at some point. The Peace Process to date has been under the assumption that the Palestinians get a state when they act right (accept Israel, stop attacks, etc.).  What if that is backwards?  What if the state has to be built first in order that (from Israel’s pov) the long term strategy will play to their advantage and leave the Palestinians having to take up state buildup?

Just a reminder that I blog fairly frequently at Culture 11’s Faith Blog, Credo. Here is a piece up today on Anglo-Catholicism.

Published in: on January 7, 2009 at 1:12 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , ,

Other Postings

Sorry posting has been a little light this week.  It’s my final week of school and I was heavy into paper writing.  It slows down massively after this Wed. (thank the heavens).  So blogging should pick up.

In the meantime, I have written a few posts over at The Credo Blog at Culture11, for those interested.

This one on the question of “turn the other cheek”

This one on a renewed paganism in Christmas (and is that all a bad thing and is it really pagan after all?)

This one on the need for a constructive renewal of the meaning of the word consumption/consumer

Published in: on December 6, 2008 at 11:41 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Recent Culture11 Posts

Another world in view (on the Kingdom)
Exegesis of Psalm 34

Published in: on November 4, 2008 at 2:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Shameless Plug: Vote Canada Culture 11 Edition

I have an article up today at (the Conservative Answer to Slate–Query: What is the Question?).  The link is here.

Thanks go to James “The Godfather of Postmodern Conservatism” Poulos, the Mike to the PomoCon Mechanics (as it were), for asking me to do the piece.

Thanks also to Kate McMillian, Adam Daifallah, and Lore Weaver–Canadian conservative bloggers–who graciously responded to some questions I sent them for the piece.

Double happy happy joy joy is that the piece is paired with a piece by friend of the site (and skypecast partner) Scott Payne from Politics of Scrabble.  Scott’s piece at C11 is here.

Both of our pieces–on this day of Canadian Federal Elections–analyze whether the US conservatives can learn anything from their cousins to the North (Canadian Tories) particularly in what looks like the coming bloodletting that will be the November Elections and the end of the Reaganite coalition whose veins have been opened via the Bush administration.

For readers who’ve ended up at Indistinct Union from Culture11, welcome. Feel free to have a look around, drop me a line if you feel so moved (email on the right-hand bar).

For veteran readers wondering how I ended up with a piece for a conservative publication, heterdox conservative bloggers have always been the heaviest portion of my diet of internet political reading. I would fit in well with a Cameron British Toryism and its emphasis on local communitarian-ish impulses.

Like John Cole I’m something of a disillusioned ex-Republican. I didn’t really have a dog in the Bush-Gore race at the time, and I was willing to give George a shot (I admired his father), but unlike John, I got off the bus in the runup to the Iraq War. I knew it was all going to go downhill when he was pushing for tax cuts and another (unnecessary) war. Plus I never got the Clinton hatred/hysteria.

On the other hand, as we are, I believe, headed into a period of Democratic dominance, I’m a big believer in a strong (and sane) opposition party. My fear is the Republicans will double down around their own wing nutty base and become even more ideologically rigid following the coming electoral blowout.

Update I: Since I got a South Park reference in the piece (re: Canada), here’s a visual.

@ 2 min starts the brilliant Wizard of Oz takeoff. Best part starts at 3:35 (the one road in question is the Trans-Canada Highway). Part 1 here and Part 3 here.

Bonus one here:

Published in: on October 14, 2008 at 6:35 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: , ,