The Infatada has failed the Palestinians. Only now are some recognizing this. From MEMRI:
"Palestinian columnists have recently published articles assessing the four years of the Intifada, in which they admitted that the grave harm caused to the Palestinians stemmed from their choice of suicide/martyrdom operations as the primary method of struggle. In addition, the PA's status as the leader of the Palestinian people has been undermined, and signs of anarchy in Palestinian society have increased. Some of the accounts described the Palestinians as closer to defeat than to victory, and complained about the lack of political achievements, lack of goals, and lack of strategic planning. The following are excerpts from the columns: "
When you embrace a culture of violence, it will consume you and darken your path toward self destruction.
I believe the Palestinians missed a great opportunity after 911 and again afterward. Naturally this is now a retrospective analysis and i do not blame the Palestinian leadership for missing it, after all nearly all of Western Europe leadership misread it as well. However, the Europeans already have their cozy nations, the Palestinians were still in line for one.
The Palestinians are clearly mismatched on the ground, suicide bombing and all. Their only chance to win the war is to repeat the success of the North Vietnamese, who lost the ground war but won the political war. While the terrorism associated with the infatada maybe justified by some pseudo-intellectual elite apologists, especially in Europe, it never was anywhere accepted by the Americans. This is important to acknowledge because the Europeans have little to no influence over Israel like the US does; only the US can leverage the Israeli toward a Palestinian state. The scenes of Palestinians dancing in the streets on 912 have alienated their cause toward a Palestinian state with the majority of Americans. The leadership should have calculated the course of event, whether the US would withraw from the Middle East or re-engage with renewed and aggressive vigor. Bush's speech should certainly have given them a clue were they listening. The bold move would have been for the Palestinian leadership to take the opportunity to acknowledge the failures of the infitada and renounce it. Better yet, renounce terrorism and proposed to help the US against terrorists. It would have been a tremendous opportunity to save face and renounce a fruitless strategy and join the winning side. As allies, the Palestinian would have had real leverage against the Israeli and effectively countered and neutralized the Israeli. But perhaps they could not ascertain whether the US will prevail or not. That question was resoundly answered in Afghanistan. Again the Palestinians had a second opportunity to renounce terrorism and join the war against terror when the US offered the "road map." Again they stuck to their tried and true, though failing path. Now come their third swing at bat with the passing of Arafat. The conventional path would be for the Palestinian to consolidate and continue as before. The radical move would be to swing against terrorism and approach the US as allies. Some in the PLA already has the support of the Bush administration, not to mention that Bush is the only president to publically state the Palestinian should have a state. It will not be easy to neutralize Hamas and Hezbolla but the Israeli have already done much recently to weaken both. The timing is perfect, the opportunity tremendous, the null alternative is doom. Continuing on the path of cultural violence without likelihood of victory will destroy the Palestinians.
Third time at bat, i hope them well, but i expect a strike out.