Friday 22 June 2007

More tunnel vision from The Guardian

They're at it again. Today's Guardian has Jonathan Steele in full-blown conspiracy-theory mode, suggesting the recent Hamas revolt was (what else?) a US plot. His headline runs: 'Hamas acted on a very real fear of a US-sponsored coup' , followed by this subheading: 'Washington's fingerprints are all over the chaos that has hit Palestinians.'

For an alternative account, see Michael Hirst's article in this week's Tablet, in which he sees recent events as part of a strategy by al-Qaeda, Syria and Iran to destabilize Israel. According to Hirst:

Hamas, which signed a memorandum of understanding with Iran last June, makes no secret of the fact that it now receives most of its financial (some £400 million, analysts suggest) and military support from Tehran. Colonel Bahaa Balusha, the Fatah-loyal head of Palestinian intelligence in Gaza who fled to Ramallah as war raged across the strip, believes the takeover by Hamas last week was carried out under orders from Iran. He said that Fatah's forces had been outgunned with Iranian-supplied state-of-the-art artillery supplied by Hamas fighters, who were working on 'an Iranian agenda' that involved a wider conflict in the region.

Hirst also describes the part played by Iran and Syria in the arming and training of Hezbollah , as well as the infiltration of Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon by al-Qaeda-linked groups associated with the Iraqi insurgency.

Of course, you won't read about any of this in Steele's article, or anywhere else in The Guardian, which seems stuck in the pseudo-leftist mindset described so well by Danny Postel, in which all events are viewed through the prism of anti-imperialism and, whatever happens, America must be to blame. As Postel says:

Anti-imperialism can turn into a kind of tunnel vision, its own form of fundamentalism. Cases that fall outside its scheme simply get left out, and our solidarity with struggles around the world is determined by George Bush, rather than by our principles.

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