George Friedman refers to the perennial optimism of the free-elections crowd as "the universal self-delusion of the West." He claims to be unsurprised by the Hamas victory; he sees it as part of a trend toward Islamists taking power across the Arab world. With regard to the peace process, he predicts much near-term drama but ultimately little serious change.
Friedman points out that Fatah is far from "over"; they will continue to apply pressure, forcing Hamas to take prompt action. There is a theory, widely held among Israelis, that Hamas will collapse under its own inexperience with the processes of governance. But in the meantime, the West finds itself in a conundrum:
Should we give aid to terrorists? Or should we reject the outcome of free and fair democratic elections?
With two bedrock principles of the Bush Doctrine now in conflict, which one will win out?
p.s. Did you know that the Google Spider has a premium subscription to Stratfor, and that it caches the results? [1,2]