Qatar plays both sides, as does Pakistan. Syria’s dictatorship today portrays itself as a bulwark against Islamism when it was promoting revolutionary Islamism up to the moment of the civil war. Iran, Gaza, Egypt, Turkey, and Lebanon are all controlled by Islamists of various varieties.
Then there are the courageous but always neglected real moderates in places like Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran, people for whom the West does pretty much nothing.
Generally speaking, Western policies are the exact opposite of what they should be. There is no sign of change in that regard.
If the Western elite doesn’t get any of this and shows over many years incapability in doing so, it is necessary to educate and build a new elite. If the fashionable Middle East “experts” speak nonsense you better find someone else to listen to. If politicians don’t get it, some who do comprehend what’s going on must be elected. If the mass media keeps missing the point there must be an alternative mass media that can explain the truth to people.
This is not a theological dispute. This is not a therapy session. This is not a contest to say the right things so you get invited to a Washington dinner party. It is a political struggle for power in which the losers end up dead or fleeing into exile or having their diplomats shot dead.
Visit Barry Rubin’s blog, Rubin Reports.
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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