My liberal pals (yes, I am bi-social) have been crowing that the electoral victory for Hamas is a blow for President Bush’s democracy program.

Scholar Fouad Adjami does not agree:

“This was not a defeat of President Bush’s ‘diplomacy of freedom’ that has just played out in Gaza and the West Bank. The claim that the bet on Arab democracy placed by the president has now been lost is shallow and partisan. These were Palestinians who voted a mix of incoherence and legitimate wrath at a ruling political class that had given them nothing but false bravado and fed them on a diet of maximalism. For decades, the outside world had asked precious little of the Palestinians. Arafat, the Maximum Leader of their movement, had never owned up to any historical responsibility, and there were always powers beyond waiting to bail him out, to wink at his deeds of terror, to subsidize the economy of extortion and plunder that he and his lieutenants, and his security services, had brought with them to the Palestinian territories in the aftermath of the peace of Oslo.”