It seems the Bush administration has decided to decide for the Palestinians what exactly it was they were voting for when they elected Hamas to a "surprise" victory in parliamentary elections. Karen Hughes, in her speech to the U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Qatar this past weekend said that America shares the Palestinians' hope for "a better life and your dream of a state of your own living side by side in peace with Israel..." Presumably the Palestinians voting for Hamas candidates were aware that Hamas not only doesn't recognize Israel but is quite openly dismissive of the Oslo accords, so perhaps, Ms. Hughes, most Palestinians aren't as keen to live "side by side" with Israelis as you think.
On the other hand, President Ahmadinejad of Iran, someone who seems to care little about public diplomacy, stated this week in a meeting with the head of the political office of Hamas (and if anyone is still wondering where financial support for the Palestinian government will come from if the U.S. and its allies cut them off, you can stop wondering) that "the Palestinians' vote in this election was to the liberation of the entire occupied territories through continuation of resistance and the establishment of an independent Palestinian country." But just in case his message wasn't quite clear he added that "the Palestinian nation's will annulled the Oslo agreement, the road map project, and all previous plans for Middle East."
It may be distasteful to take the words of a Holocaust-denier over the words of our Undersecretary of State, but I'm afraid that Dr. Ahmadinejad's may be the more accurate.
Now one question is whether Ms. Hughes, who also stated in her speech that "I'll never forget waking up in the morning and seeing the pictures in my newspaper, somewhat blurry because of the tears in my eyes -- of the long lines of men and women in Afghanistan and later Iraq -" cries (when she reads of Middle Eastern elections) out of sheer joy or out of utter pain.