Surfing the blogosphere today, I came across an interesting confluence of posts. Interesting to me, at least. I promise to post more photos of our Maximum Leader and Jacob later for those that find this boring.
Where was I?
Oh yes, here it is. Always on Watch had a post with lots of discussion about how members of Hamas are being educated in the US. This was picked up by Gates of Vienna (a very worthy blog) and carried further. Laurence Simon, who deserves, but has yet to be given a place in the heavens of the Feline Theocracy, had a post earlier about Hamas and the Palestinian banks.
Here’s the gist of it. Members of Hamas are going to our colleges here in the US. Meanwhile, back at home, Hamas is threatening their own banks that don’t pay the nation’s civil servants. Always on Watch objects to the US training a future generation of Hamas businessmen who will use their knowledge to come back at us with guns and bombs.
First of all, if the situation in Gaza and the West Bank is any guide, the Hamas students are not getting their money’s worth. If they’re learning economics, it certainly can’t be capitalism.
1. Threatening banks until they hand out cash is a surefire way to wreck your banking industry. As soon as investors find out that their bank is handing out cash at gunpoint, they’ll sprint for the nearest bank and take all their money to keep it from being appropriated. That’s called a run on a bank. It’s a VERY bad thing.
2. As has been noted numerous times by Laurence Simon, blowing things up and waving guns around is a poor way to generate profit. It works if you’re a Viking and you’re about to raid the coast of Medieval England, but if you’re in Hamas and are on the short end of 25-1 kill ratios when you attack Israel, it’s another VERY bad idea.
3. Right next door, Jordan is showing everyone how to do it right when you’ve been dealt a bad hand. Caught in the crossfire between Israel and the Arabs, blessed with a country nearly free of natural resources, they’re playing every conceivable angle to get trade and loans from the West, the Arabs and everyone in between. Zarqawi may have come from there, but he was an exception, not the rule. Meanwhile, Hamas can’t tie their shoes without screaming obscene threats against Israel. If the Hamas folks are studying marketing, they certainly don’t seem to be learning it.
Secondly, if our goal is to transform the Arab world into a modern, liberal democracy, we’re going to have to interact with them as much as possible and accept the chance that some of them will remain unreformed at the end. If you demand a 100% conversion rate as an evangelist in order to start, you’ll never begin. And evangelists are what we are.
We are preaching the gospel of free trade, free markets and free people. Sometimes the cannibals eat the missionaries. It’s a risk you take when you try to change a culture. If you won’t accept that risk, then you need to change your goal.
Technorati tags: hamas education business economics Jordan