Democracy and Hamas
Hamas's recent victory raises a variation on an age-old question: Can a democratic vote of the people destroy the democrary that allowed the vote to begin with? Can, for example, a democratic vote approve a communist state? In favor is the argument that the people can choose whatever form of government they wish. Against is the realization that such a vote may never be reconsidered by a subsequent vote in favor of democracy. Can a democratic vote of the people approve/create a terrorist state, an outlaw in the international community? I'm reminded of a comment to an earlier post that declared that American's invasion of Iraq violated international law. But what is international law? Who decides what actions violate international law? How is international law enforced? The same questions arise in the wake of Hamas's victory. Clearly, by attacking another sovereign, Hamas has violated international law, such as it is. A liberal friend pointed out years ago that this law is unenforceable against Hamas because they represented no internationally recognized nation state. Now, they do. Should the international community now act to condemn Hamas's actions by condemning the state they now democratically represent? Should the international community wait to see if Hamas changes their approach now that they are in power? If Israel pre-emptively strikes against Hamas, how should the international community react? At a fundamental level, if a democratic election elects a terrorist government, to what extent should the general population that voted be considered supporters of terrorism? Does it matter that the vast majority of the eligible population voted or that they had a moderate alternative, making the vote a true test of the general population's extremism? What is the appropriate international response to a nation/state who chooses to be represented by a terrorist organization? No answers; only questions. What do you think?