This article was cross-posted at CiFWatch
Alastair Crooke, in his Guardian comment column (where else would it be?) of today, bemoans Europe’s failure on Middle East policy, as proven by the Palileaks papers (assuming there is any truth to them at all).
He is upset that Tony Blair’s counter-insurgency (“Coin”) surge, which he initiated in response to President Bush’s request, against Palestinian terrorists meant that the Europeans were not in a position to negotiate with Hamas.
Blair’s Coin surge was his response to Bush. The Palestine Papers reveal “a security drive” with the objective of
“degrading the capabilities of the rejectionists: Hamas, PIJ [Palestinian Islamic Jihad], and the al-Aqsa Brigades – through the disruption of their leaderships’ communications and command and control capabilities, the detention of key middle-ranking officers, and the confiscation of their arsenals and financial resources held within the occupied territories. US and – informally – UK monitors would report both to Israel and to the Quartet. We could also explore the temporary internment of leading Hamas and PIJ figures.”
To Crooke this is a bad thing. I told you his name was apt.
The poor Europeans then complained that:
US wants to see a Hamas government fail. The EU will encourage Hamas to change and will try to make things work as much as possible.
but that didn’t work out so well, because
The EU had endorsed the Quartet conditions for engagement with Hamas – conditions that the UN representative at the time told the UN secretary general were hurdles raised precisely in order to prevent Hamas from meeting them, rather than as guidelines intended to open the path for diplomatic solutions. Soon after, British and American intelligence services were preparing a “soft” coup to remove Hamas from power in Gaza.
Unfortunately for us, none of these plans of Bush and Blair come to complete fruition, and in actuality the EU’s and Crooke’s wishes were fulfilled to a certain extent, for Hamas is still in power and the terrorists are still active both in Gaza and in Yehuda and Shomron.
In short, I’m not quite sure what Crooke is complaining about. Perhaps it just bothers him that the EU didn’t get to make peace with Hamas and win the Nobel Peace Prize.
Perhaps it would help to know that his Guardian profile states
Alastair Crooke is the founder and director of the Conflicts Forum, which works for engagement between political Islam and the West, and a regular contributor to Bitter Lemons International
That explains everything.