Fools Rush In Where Statesmen Fear to Tread
--The Iranian government does not want the United States to help them reach a nuclear accord.
--The Palestinian regime does not want the United States to help them reach a two-state solution.
--Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad does not want the United States to help him reach a diplomatic solution to who rules Syria.
--The Syrian rebels do not want the United States to help them reach a moderate democratic state in Syria. Here's my favorite recent quote from a rebel commander: "Throughout history, nobody has suffered injustice under the state of Islam – the state of truth and justice." With that attitude I'm sure that things will be fine. Islam, he adds, must be the sole source of law. His important group has been eligible to receive weapons according to U.S. guidelines, though it won't be trained and armed directly by the U.S. government.
Moderate is an over-used word to say the least. The Free Syrian Army has about 300 moderates sitting in Turkey and will now get arms to distribute among its about 30,000 radical Islamist soldiers in Syria.
Incidentally, the mass media is really baffling and pitiful. On June 22 the New York Times reported that the Syrian rebels are getting arms from Libya. I reported that more than eight months ago and there were two UN reports discussing that in detail last year! Maybe they should start reading the blogs. In fact, during the Stalin era, it was said in hindsight that you got a better picture of the USSR's social conditions from reading Reader's Digest than from reading the New York Times. That's certainly true for the contemporary Middle East regarding the good blogs and sites.
In other matters, a reader asks about my recent writing on Egypt:
”Barry, A good piece! I grant that the West too often misread the Mid-East. But what of the present troubles/demonstrations and fierce critique towards [Egyptian President] Morsi and the MB? Is it only 'futile' rear-guard action from some liberals/reformists? Or are there more people ‘out there' truly seeing reality and wanting change accordingly you think?”
My response is this: The problem is that the Egyptian opposition—like the Turkish, Lebanese, Tunisian, and Syrian moderate forces--is very disunited, very disorganized, and lacking support from any powerful institution, namely the army.
They do, however, have some significant backing from the courts, which are about to rule on the legality of the past elections. But I am very pessimistic about the moderate opposition in all these countries, especially because they can expect no support from the Obama administration. Unless the army decides that things are really getting out of hand -- and I think it is going to take more than the present situation to get them to go into action.
And remember that a large share of the army is Islamist and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood. If the generals secretly know that intervention would lead to a civil war within the army, they will not act.
What the heck is the U.S. line on Egypt? To support the elected repressive, anti-American, anti-Christian, antisemitic, anti-woman, anti-gay regime which cannot even decide on taking billions of dollars from international banks which would never be paid back?
Unhappiness is when you know that Iran’s regime is smarter than the U.S. government.
Maximum unhappiness means knowing that Iran's, the Muslim Brotherhood's, al-Qaida’s, and Turkey's leaders are smarter than America's.
"I told you! i didn't break the Middle East! I think it was Obama, and Hillary, and Panetta, and Kerry and Powers, and Hagel, and of course Brennan. Did I mention Obama? Now let me go back to sleep like most of the American public! "
Maisie Rubin photo by Judy Rubin