Sunday, July 7, 2013

Obama Administration Middle East Policy: See What I’ve Been Trying to Tell You?



by Barry Rubin



photo: White House
A self-interview

First, I want to apologize that I have often used intemperate language to describe U.S. policy and the people making it in the last 4.5 years. Perhaps I have put off some of you who would otherwise have been persuaded that something is very wrong. Therefore, I have tried to do another version of this approach. Remember, I’m not responsible for the way the questions are phrased here.

Q: How can the United States become the ally of the Muslim Brotherhood, a one-time Nazi collaborator which has never changed its political line since; a movement to impose Sharia states and restore the caliphate; a movement that is genocidal against Jews, and is also anti-Christian, anti-Shia (all Shia, not just the Islamists), wants to kill gays and make women into second-class citizens?

A: Pretty amazing isn’t it? Can Americans really not realize this?

Q: How can the United States—the very same politicians—oppose support for the pro-American Nicaraguan Contras against the pro-Communist Sandinistas but now support with arms the ant-American Syrian rebels—Brotherhood and worse?

A: Pretty amazing isn’t it? Can Americans really not realize this?

Q: How can the U.S. government stand by passively and watch four American officials be murdered by al-Qaida in Libya?

A: Pretty amazing isn’t it? Can Americans really not realize this?

Q: How can the U.S. government pretend that the Israel-Palestinian peace process is going to work when the Palestinians refuse to negotiate for a dozen years, and the Palestinian Authority, because of Hamas ruling Gaza, doesn’t even represent the Palestinians?

A: Pretty amazing isn’t it? Can Americans really not realize this?

Q: How can the U.S. government support the Mursi Egyptian regime—anti-American and wanting to install Sharia in a strict version—yet refuse to back the pro-American Mubarak regime?

A: Pretty amazing isn’t it? Can Americans really not realize this?

Q: How can the U.S. government allow internal influences on itself by the Muslim Brotherhood?

A: Pretty amazing isn’t it? Can Americans really not realize this?

Q: How can the U.S. government censor what the military and FBI teaches the people on the front lines of the counterterrorist struggle so that they don’t even understand political Islamism?

A: Pretty amazing isn’t it? Can Americans really not realize this?

Q: How can Israel be constantly criticized for intransigence despite the risks and concessions it has taken during the last 21 years while the Palestinian Authority is portrayed as moderate and flexible when it won’t even talk and continues to glorify terrorists and almost always reject Israel’s existence?

A: Pretty amazing isn’t it? Can Americans really not realize this?

Q: How can the Western media portray the new Iranian president as a moderate when he has always been a mainstream regime security official and hasn’t even done anything yet?

A: Pretty amazing isn’t it? Can Americans really not realize this? Next thing you know he’ll get the Nobel Peace Prize without having done anything.

Q: How can the U.S. government ignore a dozen years’ record of an Islamizing regime in Turkey, the destruction of democratic institutions, and now the violent suppression of peaceful demonstrations?

A: Pretty amazing isn’t it? Can Americans really not realize this?

Q; How is anti-Israel sentiment reaching record heights in the American elite without any real reaction from the American Jewish community and support for the actual policies—though not the cultural-ideological manifestations—by American Jewish politicians?

A: Pretty amazing isn’t it? Can Americans really not realize this?

Q: How can U.S. policy negotiate with the Taliban when anyone should see that this will signal the Afghan government that it cannot trust Washington and there’s also that little matter of September 11?

A: Pretty amazing isn’t it? Can Americans really not realize this?

Q: How can the U.S. government and media constantly criticize Israel as intransigent when the Palestinian Authority has refused to negotiate seriously for 12 years while Israel has been ready to talk at any time without preconditions and has repeatedly made concessions to encourage talks?

A: Pretty amazing isn’t it? Can Americans really not realize this?

Q: Well, don’t you have anything else to say?

A: Sure. Look, I don’t have any problem understanding why this is U.S. policy. Some people tell me that while my ideas are good my harsh language prevents serious open-minded others from listening to it. I think the rules have changed. That dissent is kept out of the mass media as much as possible. Why don’t I hear what I’m saying with nicer wording? Doesn’t the strength of the argument and evidence prevail any more? Isn’t the crisis  bad enough to justify urgency and strong warnings? Have’n't my predictions been accurate? If you want take my arguments, change the wording, and explain in a polite way the worst Middle East policy in U.S. history go right ahead. Oh, and remember how many people are dying, being oppressed, and injured because of these policies.

What I cannot understand is that about half the American people, and more than half of American Jews who are facing the government that has been more indifferent to U.S. interests, that is signalling a desire to appease enemies and jettison friends, and an indifference to Israel’s security (I mean regional mainly, not so much bilateral) greater than any administration in history, seem as if they don’t realize it after four years of  error.

Posted originally via RubinReports 


Barry Rubin

Source: http://www.gloria-center.org/2013/07/obama-administration-middle-east-policy-see-what-ive-been-trying-to-tell-you/

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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