The Hamas Victory: Another failure of intelligence

I'm not talking here about the other kind of intelligence, although as I watched President Bush in his last press conference trying to give his interpretation of the Hamas electoral victory and as I was trying to hide under my my bed, feeling embarassed for W. that thought came to my mind. Here is a highlight:
And so the elections should open the eyes of the old guard there in the Palestinian territories. I like the competition of ideas. I like people who have to go out and say, vote for me, and here's what I'm going to do. There's something healthy about a system that does that. And so the elections yesterday were very interesting.

I suppose someone could have made similar comments when Hitler got elected. Whatever...
I was thinking more about the other kind of intelligence, like one in the "CIA," especially since Bush in his press conference was explaining to me why he and his spooks need to listen to my phone conversations and read my emails in order to "protect America." Now... since Bush's body language and incoherent remarks (it seems that he was trying to recycle the "talking points" his spinners prepared when they were expecting that the Hamas would do well, but not win the elections)made it clear to me that our President and his spooks were "shocked! shocked! shocked!" upon learning the results of the elections in Palestine. Does that mean that if they had only listened to my phone conversations and read my emails they could have predicted the outcome? They could have actually read my blog without any special legal requirements. (see:
Here is my point: We've been discussing the intelligence failures on 9/11, Iraq's WMD, etc. And the Bushies/CIA have been defending themselves by arguing that there was not enought "human intelligence" ("Humnit." I love that lingo). You know, it's so difficult to penterate those tribal areas in Pakistan or Saddam's "inner circle." But let's see now: The West Bank, Gaza, Israel. We are talking here about the most "penetrated" piece of the land on earth. Hundreds of media organizations, NGOs, diplomatic services, businessmen, religious institutions, and, yes, spooks roam the Holy Land where an American passport and U.S. dollars can buy almost anything. In fact, it's not a secret that some of the top PLO guys receive stipends from the CIA, not to mention the fact that some of the "research institutes" and polling companies are getting funding from the U.S. and the E.U. Any Arab-American working for our intelligence services could settle in the West Bank and Gaza where the population is multilingual and where everyone talks. Did I mention that we are discussing here an area that is about the side of Montgomery Country, Maryland, where I live. So.. what was exactly is the problem? Why couldn't we figure out the electoral trends among the Palestinians? And what about the legendary Mossad? Sorry, guys, but if we couldn't get this election right, why do we even need an "intelligence service?" Well, maybe it's my own low intelligence, like the other intelligence, that can't figure that out.


Anonymous said…
Hitler wasn't elected.
Anonymous: Please, check your history books: The Nazis and Hitler were elected in the last parliamentary election held in Germany before WWII.
reed said…
Hitler wasn't elected to power. This is a common mistake, like the use of the word "comprise" to mean "compose."
Dear Anoynous and reed: Guys, thanks for teaching me the history of europe the first part of the 20th century. I've taught several courses on pre-wwII european politics. I suggest you read Kershaw's two-volume victory. To be brief, history of two democratic elections in Germany that brought Hitler to power:
1. July 1932: Parliamentary elections would provide the Nazis and Hitler the first opportunity to reach power. The Nazis, sensing total victory, campaigned with fanatical energy. Hitler was now speaking to adoring German audiences of up to 100,000 at a time. The phenomenon of large scale 'Führer worship' had begun. On July 31, the people voted and gave the Nazis 13,745,000 votes, 37% of the total, granting them 230 seats in the Reichstag. The Nazi party was now the largest and most powerful in Germany. That's called democratic election and an election victory (like Hamas). Following this election and using them as a basis for his political rise. Based on the election's results he should have selected by President Hiddenburg as chancellor. He wasn't at first by eventually was on January 1933. (Yes, Abbas could try to prevent the Hamas leader from becoming PM). So... the Nazi election victory led him to the chancellorship. Moreover...
2.On March 5, 1933, the last free elections were held in Germany. The Germans denied Hitler total majority but gave him the 44 per cent of the total vote, 17, 277,180. The largest party. After which Nazis began a systematic takeover of the state governments throughout Germany, ending a centuries old tradition of local political independence and leading to the dictatorship.

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