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Thursday, April 07, 2011

What's for an Islamist not to like?

Barry Rubin prepares a scorecard of recent events in the Middle East and concludes that the Islamists are the big winners.
Let’s list the main aspects of U.S. policy:

--It is now in no way opposed to Muslim Brotherhoods or Hizballah being in government and has helped create a situation in Egypt where the Brotherhood is making a bid for leadership.

--Backing for all practical purposes Syrian repression of its own democratic upsurge because it sees dictator Bashar al-Assad as a “reformer.” (Ironically, Mubarak was much more of a reformer than Assad, at least on social and economic issues.)

--Doing nothing about Lebanon, where Hizballah and its allies have gained power, making the country a satellite of Iran and Syria;

--Thinking that the Turkish regime is just fine, in fact a model for other countries (which is strange since the regime is now an ally of Iran, Syria, Hamas, and Hizballah);

--Highly critical of Bahrain’s suppression of its opposition (part of which is pro-Iranian);

--Intervening in Libya, an operation to which none of the Islamists are opposed because they hope to benefit from it. In addition, the U.S. forces could get bogged down in there. Isn't the Libya war just another version of the invasion of Iraq except with less rationale, less to gain, and more to lose?

--Distancing itself more from Israel than any previous administration has for the last 50 years.

--Refusing to back the Saudis, having created the worst friction in the history of the U.S.-Saudi relationship.

What’s there for a revolutionary Islamist not to like? Obviously, they’d like an end to U.S. sanctions on Iran and other things but, generally speaking, American policy is terrific from their standpoint.
What could go wrong?

Read the whole thing.

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