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Rubin Reports

Obama’s Seven New Pillars of Middle East Wisdom (Part One)

September 9th, 2013 - 6:12 am

(See introduction here: ”Second-Term Obama Agenda: Why U.S. Policy Betrayed the Moderates”.)

Named after Lawrence of Arabia’s version, these are the new — hopefully temporary — seven pillars of Middle East policy:

1. Other than aid and official government rhetoric, the United States is now neutral on the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and — more accurately — is tilting toward the Palestinian side.

This does not mean disaster for Israel — and no Israeli official will say so in public — but it is a strategic reality. Some of the dynamics motivating this U.S. policy:

– The White House believes it can win over “moderate Islamists” in power, as in Egypt, Sudan, Turkey, Tunisia, Bahrain, Iran, and Syria, among other countries. This would form a pro-U.S. bloc against al-Qaeda, and secondarily against the Iran-Syria bloc. Only al-Qaeda cannot be won over; but the White House believes that even the Taliban, the Tehran rulers, Hezbollah, and Hamas might be convinced. (I’m not kidding, and can prove it.)

– Rather than mobilize active opposition to Palestinian Authority diplomatic gains in Europe, the UN, the World Court, and international institutions, the Obama administration is either leading, exploiting, or bowing to these gains.

– This, of course, intensifies Western cultural surrender to anti-Israel positions. Here’s an example: the highly prestigious Foyle’s bookstore in London has closed its Israel section. If you know London, you know what an intellectual earthquake that is.

–The United States will not privately pressure or publicly criticize Palestinian Authority policies or statements, but will not hesitate to do so for Israel.

-- The Palestinian Authority is not even held responsible for its total inability to deliver half the Palestinian forces, including Hamas and the Gaza Strip. (Imagine a White House not thrilled to use the Egyptian coup regime to press and suppress Hamas. Their strategy would be to make a deal: Palestinian concessions to get a state, in exchange for the capture of Gaza! Who has even thought of that?)

Of course the talks will not go anywhere, because the Palestinians know that they have a strong hand and they will overplay it. But, the administration’s willingness to punish Israel to win public relations points and to shore up the doomed U.S. alignment with Islamists has to be reckoned with.

The problem by no means regards U.S.-Israel relations alone, but with every Middle Eastern ally and with every potentially pro-U.S. democratic opposition movement.

2. The system the White House seeks to impose on the Middle East appears to be revolutionary Islamism. 

If many objective Iranian, Turkish, Kurdish, Israeli, and Arab observers see this as self-evident, Islamists themselves view Western policy as a sign of their own victory due to Allah’s backing plus Western fear and weakness.

Consider the bizarre situation in regard to Egypt. Last time, Egypt had to join the enemy Soviet bloc and wage war on a U.S. ally to be America’s enemy. Now, it can do so by … joining American goals, opposing terrorism, and working closely with U.S. allies.

3. Conservative traditionalists, moderates, and liberals seem to be viewed by the U .S. government as enemies, because only the Muslim Brotherhood can stop al-Qaeda by out-jihading them.

Instead of applauding the army coup in Egypt, the White House opposed it based on the belief that the Egyptian masses were the most reactionary advocates of dictatorship, and hate Christians, Jews, Shia Muslims, women, gays, and of course Americans.

That’s partly true, but doesn’t mean we should want the Muslim Brotherhood in power there. Instead, there is no notion of realpolitik or national interests, but just this strange foreign policy philosophy:

– Surrender is better because it avoids international friction, especially for conflicts involving America.

– Sharing power with anti–American radicals will bring internal stability. If you force the army to have a coalition with the Muslim Brotherhood or a predictably unstable two-state solution, you will get immunity from civil conflict.

– Betraying allies will make more people want to be allies.

These are the ideas that, remarkably, many pompous statesmen, prized experts, brilliant academics, and the totally ignorant (you’d be amazed how little many know despite their job titles) really believe. Just one example: a nationally leading political advisor to the government said that there were moderate Islamists. When I asked for examples, I was given two. Both have been dead for more than a century, and one a supporter of extreme radicals.

I have dozens of these examples. 

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As NATO, Russia, and China lined up against Obama, other parties began to speak out as more details about the rebels made their way into the mainstream press. Both sides in this war have committed their share of atrocities, but only the rebels have systematically attacked and massacred the Orthodox Christians. The Bible belt in American has never supported this President, and his relentless assault on religious liberty though Obamacare has enraged parishioners. Catholic organizations have also protested loudly, but it was not until the assumed invasion of Syria to the benefit of anti-Christian al Qaeda elements that the Pope spoke out. Calling for an end to the “spiral of sorrow and death,” he prayed with thousands for peace in Syria and an end to the conflict. But the implication was clear: Obama’s war would make things incalculably worse. Next door in Egypt last month, the Islamist Nazis re-enacted Kristallnacht. (Thankfully, the Egyptian military appears to have that situation under control following a stern crackdown on the Brothers and “Islamist terrorism.”)

First the WASPs and Evangelicals, then the Orthodox, and now the Vatican. So it was that Obama lost Christianity en total. For the first time in history, it can perhaps be written that the American government was at war with Christianity. A stain not to be forgotten. The future will hold whether or not the Democrat Party will die on the hill of Christian persecution and genocide.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As usual I find a Rubin analysis to be insightful, revealing and convincing. Nevertheless, I, as many times in the past re Rubin's analyses, feel that something is missing. Let me examine the basic theses concerning Obama's policy for the Middle East according to Rubin (in supersimplified form):

1. Obama views the Palestinian / Israel conflict as THE conflict, relative to which the "correct" resolution will resolve America's problems in the area, because the resolution will win over the "moderates" (or make Arabs moderate), thereby ending the threat of Islamic violence by Al-Q.
2. Obama holds that "radical Islam" is the key, i.e., is THE instrument, which, if installed, will be most open to his solution such that MB-type radicals will tame the lust for violence of Al-Q.
3. The central pillar is the belief that, if the MB (or Mullahs in Teheran) can be kept happy (particularly by pushing a pro-Palestinain policy against Israel), then the problems of the Middle East will findally experience a solution.

I can comprehend the logic of such a policy and it surely frees Obama from accusations of being a closet-Muslim or a closet-communist or a combination of both. In essence, Obama seems, if I understand the Rubin analysis, SIMLPY to have made a mistake in judgment. If this is true than I see myself forced to conclude that, at least theoretically, the "Second Coming" (Newsweek's vision of BO) could be persuaded of the errors of his way (if only PJM could just catch his ear). But ...!

At the UN Obama stated that the future does not belong to those who INSULT Islam. Well, what could "insult"mean? If someone were to say: "Mohammed was a ß*+ who abused young =)&!! and ate Christians babies for breadfeast", that someone would, indeed, have concocted an "insult", one worthy of a defamation suit. Does such a rediculous example truely typfy what an insult of the Prophet means, i.e., according to Obama? Let us consider some serious opinions:

a. R. Spencer writes a book claiming that Mohammed never existed. b. Raymond Ibrahim writes a book about about Islam's new, yet, continuing persecution of Christians. c. Fr. Botros (translated by Ibrahim) examines the Koran and the hadiths and compiles a sexual history of Mohammed which, well, present a sexual pervert. Finally, d. Prof. Armin Geus publishes his "The Sickness of the Prophet. An Essay in Pathology" (my trans. from German) in which he does indeed find Mohammed to be patholocigally sick. All these works are serious, professional and rationally argued theses. They are open to counter agruments, as any research project should be. BUT, all such theses, qua being theses, constitute INSULTS of Islam and of the Prophet--and they are experienced as such by many, many Muslims, not just radicals (just consider the rediculous, but world-wide violent reaction to a couple of amusing Danish put-down cartoons of the Prophet). Now back to Obama:

If "insults" (and I mean "real" ones) do not belong to Islam in the future, what does this say about Obama's stance vis-à-vis Islam? He has never said such things about Christianity or Buddhism or Hinduism or any religion-ism other than Islam. Why just Islam? Why does Islam seem to be so special to Obama? But, is it just Islam, or rather not a specific type of "radical" Islam? "Radicals" constitute, of course, the answer ot my question (as Ruben poiints out). What then is the point of my thoughts?

I continually find myself not fully satisfied by Rubin's analyses because I find it difficult to accept the thesis that Obama has simply made judgments of error. All I know of Obama including his remarks on Islam (or certain groups thereof) leave me with the irrepressible suspicion that Obama has not simply made a poor judgment, rather has formulated one that reflects his own deep ideological preference, i.e., Obama finds that radical Islam evinces a belief and actional system that does, indeed, correspond to his own positive beliefs and, therefore, a sythem that he should further on its own merits. Am I alone here? Have I become conspiratorial nut? Has Obama just judged falsely, despite my suspicions?

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Your suspicions are correct, you are not alone and, to sum it all up, Islam is the problem.

The defense of the West, and for that matter the rest, of the world is a solid, forceful, unrelenting intellectual, and psychological attack on Islam. Put Islam to the same test as Christianity.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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