Palestinians welcome Israeli soldiers
: I heard it on NPR: Palestinian residents of Nablus are welcoming the return of Israeli soldiers. Yes, you read that right; I heard it right; you can listen here. Linda Gradstein reports that armed Palestinian gangs were terrorizing the town, killing and kidnapping — yes, terrorizing — innocent Palestinians. Naturally, she finds someone to blame the Israelis, but that’s a throwaway. The gist of the report remains the same: Palestinian control has brought anarchy to Nablus; Israeli occupation has brought order.
First, let’s give credit to Gradstein for not letting the party line get in the way of a good story. This is fair and balanced reporting.
: Second, let’s look at the issue of security and order in both Palestine and Iraq as well as Afghanistan. Those who are pushing for immediate handover of government authority to the locals in those places (read: France & Friends) do a dangerous disservice to the people there.
In the name of anti-American and anti-Israeli sentiment and misplaced political motives, they push for immediate handover but that will result in immediate anarchy and a lack of security.
They put politics first. But politics don’t mean a thing to the average person on the average day and those who argue politics all day forget that. Palestinians need security. Afghanis need security and basic services. Iraqis need basic services (which they’re getting now) and security.
None of them will get any of that from a government that is not ready, that is vulnerable to factional and ethnic infighting and undermining, that is not backed by a strong constitution and equally strong administration.
Time is needed to build those governments — their political bases as well as their operational infrastructure. Money is needed (yes, $87 billion). And intestinal fortitude is needed to stand up to those who would, irresponsibly, hand over control because it makes them feel good.
So the story of Nablus and security is an important object lesson, one even NPR sees.
: Update: Glenn Reynolds links to more sites arguing that “premature Iraqification” (which sounds like a condition spam would promise to cure) is bad.