Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Frédéric Encel the worse for wear...

Over at LOTF, I've posted a complete translation of an online chat at lemonde.fr with Frédéric Encel. I've long considered Encel to be a lonely but eloquent voice of reason on Middle East matters. Yet I have to admit he doesn't come across to well here:
Milan: If the Israelis withdraw from the Gaza strip, don't we risk seeing the rise of an Islamic regime? What is the future of Islamism in the region, in your opinion?

Frédéric Encel
: This is a central question: it is likely that Gaza could ultimately be governed by an Islamo-nationalist leadership. Which would be a catastrophe, not only for the prospect of peace, but also for the Palestinian population. Now, such is to-day the lot of most Arab states: if the current nationalist or monarchist leadership were to fall, it would be to the profit of the Islamists. For this reason, the regional situation is therefore very serious and the West would be well inspired to give more support, particularly economic and social, to the authoritarian regimes that are more or less struggling with their Islamist oppositions.
Not the answer I was looking for.