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May 29, 2016 / 21 Iyar, 5776
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Why US Policy Betrayed the Moderates

Lost: Obama's Middle East policy, 2013-2016.
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If you favor Islamism, you cannot be accused of Islamophobia, a U.S.-sponsored movement except for the extremists of al-Qaida. Not liberals or real pro-democrats or conservative traditionalists or nationalists or communal nationalists, but Islamists.

That also means that non-Islamists can also be the enemy in Western eyes. Moderates are actually less desirable friends to terrorists and extremists. The West seems to view its three main threats as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Israel; its three main friends as Turkey, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Syrian Islamist rebels.

Consider this: In Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Turkey, and other countries, Western powers and especially America were seen to be behind Islamist governments. And in the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, and even Iran, they were portrayed in this way with perhaps somewhat less justice. But here is the bottom line: The overwhelming majority of Arab governments and the Turkish-Iranian democratic opposition had many reasons to think that the Western countries, and especially the United States, were actually supporting their Islamist foes. In 2013, that view became even more accurate.

It should be understood in the current regional picture that the Western world, and especially the Obama Administration, have taken the Islamists’ side in the battle between these forces.

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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