23 January 2009
Ceasefire - start Slap.
The sleeve is rolled up, the fingers are flexed - time to Slap.
In a momentous week, where millions of people watched the inauguration of a new President of the US - including the blooper reel - and got one last vice-presidential glimpse of Dick Cheney (Dick, when bucking for a worker's compensation claim, you should start before the last day on the job), today's Slap occurs in more dangerous surroundings. Flak jacket donned, we head into the Middle East for the riskiest slap yet...
As the political head of Hamas, Meshaal is a pivotal figure in history's biggest ongoing mess. Any analysis of the intricacies involved is beyond my ken, but as residents of Gaza begin the massive task of rebuilding after Israel's latest attacks (according to ABC News, "whole neighbourhoods have been literally flattened"), I know enough to spot a problem when Meshaal declares victory.
From his exile in Syria (when looking for the best position from which to proclaim victory, "in exile" isn't ideal), Khaled Meshaal announced that Israel hadn't achieved their aims... not because other nations brought pressure to bear, but because of Hamas. This is truly the old "I attacked his fist with my face" gag on an international scale. When I was in primary school, I managed an impressive unvictorious streak in playground fights, but not once did I raise my hands in triumph after a teacher dragged the other participant off me.
Whatever your opinion of the Palestinian conflict, whoever you assign the moral high ground to (if it can be assigned to anyone), it doesn't take an indepth knowledge of history or international diplomacy to realise that if the global community hadn't made noise, Israel would still be increasing the size of the Great Gaza Car Park. So, for Khaled Meshaal's "hooray for us!", with a vengeful hand and a battle-cry of "You're Not Helping!"... SLAP!
Link: Hamas declares victory in Gaza.
Quick post-note: if you've been following some Australian news, you may have noticed an obvious Slap candidate - a very minor religious figure who has had some offensive ideas of his posted online. As slapworthy as he is, I also have a huge problem with the amount of attention he has received, and so I won't add to it.