[…] Vanity Fair reports in its April edition that President George Bush and the secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, signed off on a plan for the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to remove the Hamas authorities in Gaza. The plan called for Washington’s allies in the region to funnel arms and salaries to Fatah fighters who would lead a rising against Hamas.
But the project was controversial even within the administration, the magazine reports. “There were severe fissures among neoconservatives over this,” David Wurmser, a former Middle East adviser to the vice-president, Dick Cheney, told the magazine. “We were ripping each other to pieces.”
Wurmser resigned his post in the vice-president’s office in July 2007, only weeks after bloody clashes in Gaza between Hamas and Fatah that led to the Islamist organisation taking total control of the territory. “It looks to me that what happened wasn’t so much a coup by Hamas but an attempted coup by Fatah that was pre-empted before it could happen,” he said.
The Bush administration plan sought to undo the results of elections in the West Bank and Gaza in January 2006 which, to the chagrin of White House and State Department officials, saw Hamas win a majority of seats in the Palestinian legislature.
The project was approved by Bush, Rice, and Elliott Abrams, the hawkish deputy national security adviser. […]
This is how we “spread democracy” in the region? By plotting to overthrow democratically elected governments we don’t like?