Originally published at Rubin Reports. This column is an attempt to provide a running narrative of the Middle East. It will tell the news behind the news, including what the mainstream media has missed, especially because of its lack of knowledge of history.
Obama Says Iran-Israel Nuke Deal Is Only a 50/50 Chance
It is amazing that even though this is a low-probability, it has been talked about for a year. It has been the speculative centerpiece of the Obama administration (like its domestic centerpiece the Obamacare website. It is not just that the talk about this deal causes disruption in all foreign policy, but also that if it isn’t realized the administration will look like fools.
Second, who has been an ally 75 years and who has been an agent of state terrorism?! Vice President Joe Biden said, “The U.S. should make sure the Iranians don’t violate the agreement and build nuclear weapons.” Why is the United States going to do something like bombing them?
By the way, does anyone know how much money the cutting of sanctions is going to yield Iran? According to sources, it is at least 20 billion dollars. How many billion pieces of silver is the West going to get for possibly letting Iran get nuclear weapons?
Hagel Visits Pakistan
U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel visited Pakistan last week, with Afghanistan’s stalled peace process the main agenda item–given the strained relations between Washington and Islamabad.
In Washington, Obama had previously told Karzai to make friends with the Taliban. Why if you want to make friends do you keep fighting them? Karzai said openly that he was angry; he would rather push the United States out of Afghanistan–than end with his head put up on a pole. No wonder Karzai says he no longer trusts the United States.
Islamic Parties in Pakistan Are Blocking NATO Supplies
If you think that the U.S. supports “moderate” Islamists, look again. In fact, anyone who wants to know can read in the newspaper that support for Islamism is like Gresham’s law. In other words, as a coinage “bad Islamism drives out relatively moderate Islamism.”
For example, Pakistani Islamist groups are trying to block NATO supplies. Why?
- If NATO supplies fight against radicals then that’s a bad thing. It is better not to have NATO supplies if it strengthens the current government (or other more moderate factions).
- Islamists want to promote anti-Americanism and to forget that the U.S. gives Pakistan billions in aid. They want to promote an anti-Christian attitude. Isn’t all this obvious?
- Anti-Westernism weakens the Pakistani government.
- It is in line with Islamist ideology
You Can Understand Why Arabs, Iranians, Turks, and Israelis Think the U.S. is Playing “Cowboy” More Easily If You Comprehend What a Leading Egyptian Moderate Said Recently
Here is what the Egyptian author and business man Tarek Heggy said, “Egypt now needs to reexamine its relations with the U.S. …Nations with honor do not accept aid that is provided in such a manner… this aid benefits the U.S. much more than it benefits Egypt.” He isn’t exaggerating. He views the United States as acting like “cowboys.” First the U.S. supported Gamal Nasser, then Sadat, then Mubarak, then the Muslim Brotherhood–giving no perception or care of Egyptian interests. Now the United States doesn’t care if the military regime runs the country.
Excerpt from Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations
A decade is a long time in the Middle East. If it weren’t so serious, it would be a laugh. The United States initially said it wanted to have a 15-year Israeli army presence in the West Bank.
Supposedly, Abbas rejected any Israeli presence and offered a 10-year American presence, and it seems that Kerry agreed. This is absolutely ludicrous. This shows how easily the U.S. concedes on Israel’s strategic presence.
Does anyone think that the Palestinian Authority is going to hold the territory against daily attacks from Hamas and Fatah radicals? Do they believe that they are going to cede one inch of this territory? Do you believe that they’re going to collaborate secretly on attacks? Do you believe that they are not going to be overthrown before that from attacks?
The PA says there will be no agreement with Israel without more prisoner releases. Are we going to see Kerry demand this? Is the United States going to guarantee, at the possible cost of war, Palestinian stability? Has anyone in the White House studied Middle East history? Or is Israel going to have to defend against cross-border attacks, because–believe it or not–there are going to be attempts and successes.
Who’s Leading the Syrian Rebels?
Not long ago, Secretary of State John Kerry said “moderates” were leaders of the Syrian rebellion. Now, it is admitted that the Islamist fighters are actually stealing warehouses on the Turkish-Syrian border. The Free Syrian Army’s leadership has been taken over. This “moderate” force has no connection. The power is with the Islamic front, not the Free Syrian army.
In the latest development, the U.S. military officers had to admit that the leaders of the Free Syrian army had to flee back into Turkey.
You can imagine why the Syrian Rebel Islamists don’t like or trust the “moderates.” These moderates are officers who defected from the Syrian army. While they may be professional military men, they are former men of Asad. You see, the U.S. and Britain are supporting the last people that are really moderate or may be susceptible to the Islamists. These are people from a regime that was killing them and fighting them for years.
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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