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Saturday, February 11th 2006

Sharon's Colectomy

Sharon had an emergency colectomy. I’m not sure what this means for his prognosis which of course does not look terribly good.

Mr. Sharon, 77, has been in the coma since suffering a major stroke on Jan. 4, and hopes for a recovery were fading even before the latest complication.

Here’s DB’s Medical Rants on how Sharon’s state can bring the spotlight on end of life planning.

Sharon’s new party and his cabinet seem to have carried on his move towards peace well since his incapacitation but with Hamas’ win, it is hard to say what the future holds.

Surely you have to applaud the application of democracy even when it brings to power those who you are opposed to. That does not mean that elections don’t have consequences. Certainly the Palestinian people understood that electing Hamas had many benefits in terms of halting what they appeared to have viewed as a high level of corruption inside the PLO but that it would also negatively influence their relationship with the western world. I was for the west dramatically cutting Palestine’s aid unless the new parliament majority recognized Israel. I didn’t buy arguments that this was a sign of U.S. hypocrisy, as in America promotes democracy only as long as the results were favored by us. This would merely be diplomacy amongst legitimate governments.

I’ve heard some arguments against this course of action of late and they’ve certainly given me second thoughts. The major one concerns how removing aid would increase anti-western sentiment as well as radicalizing Palestinians even more, secondary to the radical Arab world stepping in with aid and influence after America and Europe removed themselves from the equation.

This doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. If Hamas wanted to radicalize even more and come to rely on Iran and other Islamic nations for aid there is nothing stopping them from forgoing American aid programs and seeking closer ties to Tehran. If that resource actually existed and was a real possibility it may happen even without America withdrawing aid.

I think pressure, financial and diplomatic, may be the only thing that causes Hamas to move to the middle.