Pragmatism?

Arguing for a more “pragmatic” foreign policy, Mohamad Bazzi chastises President Bush for conflating Al Qaeda with Hezbollah and Hamas. Hezbollah and Hamas, he writes, “are political and military movements deeply embedded in their societies.” Thus, in his view, since the the Lebanese and Palestinian peoples respectively have continued to grant Hezbollah and Hamas more power, they are legitimate entities, representative of their constituencies:

At the heart of Bush’s fantasy is that Muslims would reject Islamist groups if they could choose their own political leaders in free and fair elections. But that argument was undercut in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, two of the most liberal and diverse societies in the region. Both Hezbollah and Hamas have gained political power and strength in recent years, partly through the ballot box.

This, according to Bazzi, separates Hezbollah and Hamas from Al Qaeda. Whereas the latter deserves the President’s admonishment since it “is the terrorist group responsible for the September 11 attacks,” “Hamas and Hezbollah are traditional Islamist and nationalist movements based in specific countries.”

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Pragmatism?

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