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September 28, 2016 / 25 Elul, 5776
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Democratic Platform: No Mention of Islamist Challenge, No Support for Arab Liberals


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President Barack Obama accepting the Democratic nomination Thursday night

President Barack Obama accepting the Democratic nomination Thursday night
Photo Credit: DNC



What can one say? The administration pushed out an allied government, then pressed against America’s best friends there, and helped produced a “democracy” that is hourly now headed toward being an anti-American dictatorship. There is no hint of any of these problems. And by the way—let’s make this clear—the administration didn’t just support the moderate liberal reformers but the anti-democratic Islamists. Incidentally, do any of those “universal rights” contradict Sharia law?

There’s a sentence on Libya (a relative success story) and Yemen (a disaster but what else is new?) Most interesting is the discussion of Iran and Syria.

Here is Iran, officially declared by the United States as the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism, a country murdering Americans in Iraq and elsewhere, and a place where a massive opposition has been crushed. So what does the platform say about that?

“In Iran, President Obama spoke out in support of the pro-democracy protestors and imposed human rights sanctions on the Iranian government.”

Yes, that’s it. What human rights sanctions? How about: We support the Iranian people in struggling against and overthrowing a brutal dictatorship. And by the way we’re sorry we didn’t say anything when the regime stole the election and shot down demonstrators in the street but instead congratulated President Ahmadinejad on his reelection.

Concerning Syria:

“We have led the international community to politically and economically isolate the regime, to increase pressure on President Assad to step down, and to provide assistance to unify the Syrian opposition in order to enable a stable transition. Moving forward, we will work to hasten the end of the Assad regime and support a political transition to a stable and democratic Syria.”

Or, in other words, we acted as if Assad was our good buddy for more than two years and flattered him, then when we had to we finally recognized what he was like and we are giving guns to the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists to take over. Oh yes and we organized a transitional council dominated by anti-American Islamists.

Oh, I forgot they cannot talk about revolutionary Islamism.

If you want to talk about a war on women, note that the platform has a whole section of vague promises about “Standing up for Women’s Rights around the Globe” followed by one on “Gay Rights as Human Rights.” Given the failure to deal with the treatment of women and gays (not to mention Christians) by Islamists, this is a joke. Radical Islamism trumps everything including “universal values.”

Let us imagine a party platform in, say, 1950, that didn’t mention Communism, devoted just a few sentences to the USSR, ignored supporting the liberation of the satellite states, and put forward no strategy for dealing with this challenge. Liberals and Democrats (some because they are radicals in disguise; others because they are intimidated) met the challenge of the Cold War. They are not facing up to this one.

At first glance and to the general public, the Middle East and international affairs sections of the Democratic platform might seem impressive. In fact, they show an administration while it can claim some credits—often for merely continuing predecessors’ policies—is going to be extremely dangerous if it rules for four more years.

Visit Barry Rubin’s Blog, Rubin Reports. 

Barry Rubin

About the Author: Professor Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. See the GLORIA/MERIA site at www.gloria-center.org.


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