The rush to elections in Iraq did not deliver Democracy. The electorate split along sectarian lines, and loathsome forces, such as the Al Sadr’s merry men, gained positions of power. They saw the elections as a way to gain absolute power rather than a step towards a civil society, based on the rule of law.

In totalitarian states, such as Cuba, North Korea and Iran, elections are a charade. In the Islamic world, Democracy means one man, one vote, one time. This has been proven truer than ever in Gaza. Powerline has a key quote:

“The American strategy has totally collapsed,” Israeli officials said. “They carried out an exercise in democracy, and that led to the election of Hamas. Then they wanted to arm the Fatah operatives in Gaza so they would fight Hamas, instead of blocking the weapons and the money being smuggled into the strip.”

Hey presto: Hamas now has a base in Gaza, with no remaining internal opposition, and 1.3 million people held hostage against a full scale Israeli operation to root Hamas out.

Condi Rice and Foggy Bottom are betting on Arafat’s bag man to pull the fat from the fire. Fat hope.