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September 28, 2016 / 25 Elul, 5776
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US Mideast Paradox: My Friend who Acts Like an Enemy is my Enemy

A large part of the problem with Obama’s policy is that he not only treated enemies as friends and did not pressure supposed friends that acted like enemies, he joined them.

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Of course, a large part of the problem with Obama’s policy is that he not only treated enemies as friends and did not pressure supposed friends that acted like enemies, he joined them. Thus, Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia are arming anti-American Islamist forces in Syria with U.S. intelligence officers supervising the weapons’ supplying. The only restriction is that the guns don’t go to groups affiliated with al-Qaida. Otherwise, it doesn’t matter how extremist they are. In Libya, one of the groups—treated as “good guys”– supplied with guns by the United States during the civil war there went on to kill the U.S. ambassador.

Yet given the current situation, especially in the Middle East, a realistic policy would make the enemies’ list seem too long and discouraging. In political and diplomatic terms that means the truth will be covered up. The important question is: How far does a country have to go, how futile and even counterproductive do the pay-offs have to be, before it is no longer treated as a friend.

Originally published at 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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