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Sunday, May 11, 2008

What Fouad Siniora and Mahmoud Abbas mean to Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia

In Sunday morning's JPost, Khaled Abu Toameh points out the many parallels between Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen. Reading his article should make you all wonder why the US tries to do anything in this region other than back Israel to the hilt. Here's part of it:
Many Arab analysts see the events in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon as part of a conflict between two camps in the Arab world - one supported by Teheran and Damascus, and the other openly affiliated with the US.

The Iranians and Syrians are using their proxies in Hizbullah and Hamas to undermine the "moderate" Arabs and to thwart what they see as Washington's attempts to consolidate its "hegemony" in the Middle East.

"The conflict in Lebanon is not between Sunnis and Shi'ites as the moderate Arabs claim," notes Abdel Bari Atwan, editor-in-chief of the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi daily. "Rather, it's a conflict between a program of resistance [against Israel] and a program of surrender. This is a conflict between those who have sided with the US in its wars against the Arabs and those who are on the other side. This is a conflict between those who defeated and humiliated Israel and those who were defeated by Israel."


The lesson to be drawn from what happened in the Gaza Strip and Beirut is that whenever the US openly backs an Arab, he or she is immediately discredited on the Arab street. Abbas and Saniora are the victims of their public affiliation with the US.

On the other hand, Washington's open efforts to undermine Hamas and Hizbullah over the past few years have backfired, increasing the two groups' power among their publics.

The regimes in Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have good reason to be worried. The triumph of Hizbullah and Hamas is certain to bolster the standing of other Islamic fundamentalists such as the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaida.•
In other words, the US is fooling itself if it believes that at the end of the day, the Arabs will freely choose anyone who is truly 'moderate,' and by backing the non-democratic but 'moderate' leaders like Mubarak, Abdullah and the House of Saud, the US is gaining nothing and will eventually lose out.

Food for thought at the very least.


At 8:37 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

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At 8:38 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

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At 8:39 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The so-called "moderate" Arab despots are the best of a bad bunch. That's a not a plea on their behalf. Its just an observation that their likely replacements will be far more extreme than them. And the Arab "street" in the Middle East is not inclined to side with those who favor moderation and compromise. Just the opposite. There is little the U.S and Israel can do on their own that can affect the fanaticism in Arab societies. True change must come from within those societies and that's something no quick fix peace agreement can ever bring about.

At 2:26 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


Agreed. Which means that unless the US is willing to do what it did in Germany and Japan at the end of World War II, it should stop throwing money at these despots, and hunker down to defend its one and only Democratic ally in the region.

I honestly believe the US will do that the day it is no longer dependent on Arab oil.


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