Originally published at Rubin Reports.
President Obama: I’m sure that in the next few hours, as you visit Israel, you will say many nice things, you will receive a warm welcome, and that everyone you meet will speak of you as a wonderful president and a great friend. That’s fine.
But here’s what you need to know, what’s of the greatest importance that nobody is going to say to your face….
One Middle Eastern saying that has become widely known in the West is that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. In the Obama era, this has been transmuted into: The enemy of my friend is my friend. No, wait! U.S. policy has gone even further than that to: The enemy of myself is my friend!
Here’s a perfect example for understanding that point.
An Egyptian woman, her name’s Samira Ibrahim and she’s done a lot of courageous things. She’s also been criticized for sending tweets that are antisemitic, anti-American. Does the U.S. need to accept that when we want to make change you have to support people who do those things, financially and in terms of awards…because it pays off in the end, because it’s a trade-off we have to make?
This is what Erin Burnett of CNN asked former First Lady Barbara Bush in a recent interview.
This Samira Ibrahim case became controversial after it was discovered that she had tweeted joy about successful terrorist killings of Americans and Israelis plus even quoting Adolf Hitler on evil Jewish conspiracies. So should she get an award from the U.S. State Department? Should the U.S. government give money and First Lady Michelle Obama personally honor someone who quotes Hitler on the Jews, supports terrorist attacks on civilians, and endorses the September 11 attack? Wow.
And yet in her question, Burnett was perfectly summarizing Obama Administration Middle East policy.
Current U.S. strategy is to support anti-American, antisemitic radicals, even with arms and money, believing that “it pays off in the end.”
The nonsense here should be obvious: Why help put into power and then favor people who hate you, lie about you, and want to destroy you? What is the pay-off? That if you help your ideologically motivated enemies become the rulers they will then like you? That being in power will make them moderates, an idea that notably failed in the Israel-Palestinian “peace process” and on many other occasions?
More accurately the equation can be expressed in this manner: Today you give them guns; tomorrow they use those weapons to murder the U.S. ambassador when he tries to get them back.
But Burnett accurately reflects U.S. policy: you must put people who hate you into power and even flatter them and give them money. Burnett’s phrasing even implies that the United States is the one doing the overthrowing, “When we want to make a change….”
In February 2011, the New York Times described a secret White House study of the previous year planning for how “the administration could push for political change in countries with autocratic rulers who are also valuable allies of the United States….”
The goal, as the Washington Post described it about the same time, was to create “an alternative to `the Al- Qaeda narrative’ of Western interference.” And how would that be done? By helping Islamists into power, thus showing the United States was not anti-Islamist or, by questionable extension of that concept, not anti-Muslim.
No, you don’t have to do that. Change at any cost is not a necessity and what needs to be done is to help your friends, not your enemies. Is that clear?
Here is Israel’s true problem with the Obama Administration and the president personally. It is not so much about the long-dead “peace process” which the White House won’t acknowledge—even to itself—was killed by Palestinian intransigence or about bilateral U.S.-Israel relations. No, it is mainly about a U.S. policy of helping radical Islamists who are antisemites and openly call for wiping Israel off the map to get into power.
Consider how bizarre this is. The U.S. government helps install—or at least not try to stop—the takeover of key strategic countries by its own enemies and those eager to attack its ally, Israel. The likely outcome is to condemn the region to far more terrorism, oppression, ethnic massacres, war, and dictatorship. It is like backing “moderate” Communists during the Cold War.
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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