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Posts Tagged ‘barry rubin’

On International Affairs Romney Has Not Yet Even Begun to Fight

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Visit Rubin Reports.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has written an op-ed piece about what’s wrong with President Barack Obama’s Middle East policy and what he would do if he is elected president. There aren’t many surprises but it reminds us how far Romney has to go before he can be said to have articulated a clear foreign policy of his own.

Romney lists five crises in the region that he feels place U.S. security at risk and that are neglected by Obama: the Syrian civil war; Muslim Brotherhood takeover in Egypt; murder of the U.S. ambassador to Libya; violent protests at U.S. embassies; and Iran’s continued progress toward having nuclear weapons as it continues to promise to annihilate Israel.

Romney continues: “Yet amid this upheaval, our country seems to be at the mercy of events rather than shaping them. We’re not moving them in a direction that protects our people or our allies.” These crises, however, could pull America into serious conflict.

The problem, he says, is that Obama’s policy

has allowed our leadership to atrophy…by a president who thinks that weakness will win favor with our adversaries….[By] stepping away from our allies, President Obama has heightened the prospect of conflict and instability. He does not understand that an American policy that lacks resolve can provoke aggression and encourage disorder.

He criticizes Obama for misreading the “Arab Spring,” moving away from Israel and lacking sufficient credibility to deter Iran. He also speaks of “using the full spectrum of our soft power to encourage liberty and opportunity for those who have for too long known only corruption and oppression.”

Romney calls for restoring the strength of America’s economy, military, and values. “That will require a very different set of policies from those President Obama is pursuing.”

Such an approach is acceptable for a short op-ed but hardly constitutes a foreign policy strategy. Aside from people noticing on their own that Obama’s policy is disastrous, Romney is going to have to do better if he thinks that the Middle East issue—or any international issue—is going to gain him support.

But what does Romney plan to do on these issues? While some of this can be expected to surface in the debates, he has not yet articulated a serious foreign policy plan with a little more than a month to go before the election. That’s extraordinary.

There are answers about what he should be saying which I have discussed in many previous articles and won’t take your time with now. An inspiring and persuasive alternative to Obama policy could be articulated.

But I am getting the feeling that either his campaign is thin regarding expertise on the Middle East or that those people are not being listened to by those higher up. It’s understandable that Romney might feel only the economy matters. Yet he is going to have to show that he could be a successful president internationally as well.

The process of doing so has not even begun and it is now late in the campaign.

Visit Rubin Reports.

Theory of Palestinian Centrality no Longer Viable

Monday, September 24th, 2012

While the entire Middle East explodes around us and the states which traditionally waged open war on us, such as Egypt, are in the process of returning to their aggressive postures (with a little help from an Obama-led bailout in Egypt’s case), there may be a silver lining for Israel: The theory of Palestinian centrality is no longer viable.

According to the theory, the main Arab/Muslim/Middle Eastern claim against the United States and the reason for violence in the region is the lack of justice for the Palestinians. If a peace accord between Israel and the Palestinian Authority can be reached and a Palestinian state established all of the hatred will melt away and the region will be at peace.

In an interview I conducted with Elliot Abrams for the Jerusalem Post, for example, Abrams recounted how immediately after the 9-11 attacks, officials in the State Department proposed to President Bush that he pursue an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord, on the grounds that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the main source of Arab hatred for the United States.

(Abrams said Bush rejected this argument, but not that long after 9-11, Bush adopted the Road Map for Peace).

Another example is the Iraq Study Group report, which was commissioned by President Bush to find solutions to the violence in Iraq. One of the report’s key recommendations was pursuing Israeli-Arab peace.

The theory of Palestinian centrality has been put forward by many in the diplomatic field, probably because  this is what their Arab counterparts are telling them.

For example, in July 2008 then-Senator-and-candidate Barack Obama explained to NBC’s Tom Brokaw on Meet the Press why Jordan’s King Abdullah was correct in asserting that Iran was not the number one threat to peace but that “the lack of peace [between Israel and the Palestinians] is the major threat.”

Obama said as follows:

[O]ne thing I want to pick up on, because I think King, King Abdullah is as savvy a analyst of the region and player in the region as, as there is, one of the points that he made and I think a lot of people made, is that we’ve got to have an overarching strategy recognizing that all these issues are connected.  If we can solve the Israeli/Palestinian process, then that will make it easier for Arab states and the Gulf states to support us when it comes to issues like Iraq and Afghanistan.

It will also weaken Iran, which has been using Hamas and Hezbollah as a way to stir up mischief in the region.  If we’ve gotten an Israeli/Palestinian peace deal, maybe at the same time peeling Syria out of the Iranian orbit, that makes it easier to isolate Iran so that they have a tougher time developing a nuclear weapon.

In other words, because of Palestinian centrality an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement is the silver bullet to all the problems of the Middle East.

(Side note: Brokaw asked Obama if he told Abudulla that as president he “would appoint a presidential envoy who would report only to you to work exclusively on the issues of peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis.” Obama said ” I told him something approximating that.” Obama also told former President JimmyCarter that he wouldn’t wait a month to make a peace agreement a top priority. Two days after being sworn in as President, Obama appointed George Mitchell as a special envoy and pressured Israel for the next two years).

But as Barry Rubin noted in his article today on the JewishPress.com:

Remember the old argument that the Arab-Israel or Israel-Palestinian conflict was the centerpiece of the region; all the Arabs cared about, and what they judged the West by? Now there are a dozen other issues more important to the extent that this cannot even be hidden by the Western mass media and “experts.”

With Muslims attacking American U.S. embassies in the Middle East and rioting all over the world over an obscure youtube video, and various Muslim factions vying for power, the State Department, the E.U., etc., can no longer seriously contend that regional volatility and violence is related to Israel – either Western support Israel or the fact that a Palestinian state has not been established or that Israeli-Palestinian/Arab peace accords have not been signed.

In Radical Eyes, Libya Makes Obama an Imperialist Enemy

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Originally published at Rubin Reports

It is amazing how events in international affairs that would have been easily and accurately understood decades ago are now surrounded by obfuscation and misunderstanding. Such is the case with Libya and the U.S. role there. Forget Obama’s Cairo speech and all that bowing, apologizing, appeasing, and empathy. All of it is meaningless now.

The facts are clear. Along with its NATO allies, the United States helped overthrow the dictatorship of Muammar Qadhafi in Libya and installed a new regime. This government, non-Islamist, technocratic, and led by defected old regime politicians or former exiles, won the election and is now in power.

What does this mean? Simple. Libya is now a U.S. client state. In the eyes of many Arabs and Muslims—especially the radicals but not just them—Libya is now an American puppet state. Most important of all it is not an Islamist Sharia state. The revolutionaries—a group including the Muslim Brotherhood, radical small groups, and the local al-Qaida affiliates–want to change that situation.

How do you do that? One way is to attack the regime’s institutions, including raiding police stations to get weapons. Another way is to assassinate officials. A tempting way to build popular support is to murder Americans.

The killing of the ambassador and five other Americans (a Foreign Service reserve officer, two bodyguards, and two Marines) has nothing to do with a video made in California. It has everything to do with the Libyan Islamist revolution. This revolution will go on for years and will become increasingly bloodier. It is nothing short of amazing that U.S. leaders don’t seem to recognize this.

Let’s sum it up in a slogan:

Bush occupied Iraq and Afghanistan; Obama occupied Libya and killed Usama bin Ladin. Have no doubt that the revolutionaries—including the Muslim Brotherhood—and a lot of others view Obama as just as bad as Bush. Obama’s attempts at appeasement have further convinced them that America is finished and easily bullied. In his speech of September 2010 calling for revolution in Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood leader Muhammad al-Badi explicitly said that.

In Iraq, a combination of factors has defused the situation directly, though resentments born years ago still are part of the package of genuinely popular but also Jihadi-stimulated anti-Americanism. The surge won the war and the long-planned withdrawal was implemented by Obama. A government exists which is hardly a model of democracy but sufficiently stable for the foreseeable future. The Sunni have basically given up trying to take over the country; the central government accepts the Kurds having a de facto state in the north. A lot of people are still being murdered by terrorism.

Afghanistan, because it isn’t an Arab country, has a relatively small impact in the Arabic-speaking world and eventually the U.S. forces will withdraw from there as well. The Taliban, treacherously aided by forces including official government agencies in Pakistan, will go on trying to overthrow the U.S.-sponsored government and might succeed. But that’s a problem for the future.

As for bin Ladin, obviously his death is a cause for al-Qaida to seek revenge. But, of course, they’d be attacking Americans and U.S. installations even if he was still alive. It’s a myth that al-Qaida has been defeated. Precisely because it is so decentralized, the group’s local affiliates are quite active in North Africa, Yemen, Egypt (especially the Sinai Peninsula for the first time ever), the Gaza Strip, and increasingly in Syria.

Others who are not al-Qaida and never saw bin Ladin as their leader will opportunistically use the U.S. killing of the September 11 architect to stir up anger. They will also use inevitable periodic incidents like this You-Tube video. There will always be more such incidents. Jihadis are surfing the Internet looking for some obscure incident or writing to promote. That’s what happened with the video, which some of them translated into Arabic and widely circulated. And when there is no real such incident the revolutionaries will fabricate one, as they have been doing against Israel for decades.

Aside from everything else, Libya has two special factors. First, it is beset by tribalism and regionalism which create a complex web of conflicts. Despite its oil wealth, this factor makes Libya extremely hard to govern. Some tribal and regionalist forces will remain interest groups; others will adopt a revolutionary Islamist ideology. There is no way of resolving these issues. Any Libyan government will have to go for massive repression—which Qadhafi did and the current government won’t—or engage in a constant juggling game.

Romney Tells the Key Truth Needed to Comprehend the Israel-Palestinian Conflict

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Visit Barry Rubin’s blog, Rubin Reports.

So much has the debate been shifted “that what thirty years ago was a common-sense given is now considered a landmark breakthrough” (Victor Davis Hanson).

You see, here’s what you have to do. You’ve got to take the most basic logical statements—the ones absolutely necessary to understand reality—and rule them out of bounds. For example, there’s nothing wrong with the economy. To say so is, well, racist. And there’s nothing wrong with a government policy that refuses to control the country’s borders. To say so is, well, racist. In fact, you can’t criticize this U.S. government at all because to do so is, well, racist.

And you can’t point out that America’s problem in the Middle East is not due to an obscure video on You-Tube but to a massive revolutionary Islamist movement determined to destroy American influence in the region, take over every country there, smash the Christians, subordinate the women, impose a dictatorship, and commit genocide against Israel. Yep, you got it! Racist again!

This brings us to the latest attack on presidential candidate Mitt Romney. It is impossible to understand the Arab-Israel, Israel-Palestinian conflict or Israel’s situation without comprehending that the Palestinian leadership doesn’t want real peace and a real two state solution ending the conflict. If things were different, they could have had a Palestinian state in 1948 or on numerous occasions thereafter, notably including at the Camp David meeting and with President Bill Clinton’s proposal (based on an Israeli proposal) in 2000.

So Romney stated this basic, easily provable and highly demonstrable truth, without which the whole issue makes no sense whatsoever. Woe unto him, as he is portrayed as being ignorant, bigoted, and troublesome for stating the basic pro-Israel position that most Democratic politicians accepted a few years ago. It was precisely what Clinton learned when Yasir Arafat turned down his very serious offer in 2000.

The whole attack on Romney is rather humorous since the left-wing magazine that had a series of “revelations” about a speech he made during his trip to Israel—“revelations” I’d all heard a week ago—is quoting things that make perfect sense.

Romney said that one of the two ways he considered looking at the issue—a major qualification—is:

“That the Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish.”

He then continued doing the most basic, responsible thing a statesman can do. Romney posited that a Palestinian state existed and then discussed how this might create terrible security dangers for Israel, including direct attack and the opening of Palestine’s territory to radical regimes’ armies. For the mean time, the only choice might be the status quo.

This is the kind of thing Israeli analysts, and many Americans, have been saying for decades and detailing. It is the basis framework of how any country must plan its survival, strategy, and national security.

What makes this even more ludicrous is that it is not so far from Obama’s own statements, though of course he did not say such things in so many years. The president admitted that he tried very hard to make progress and failed; noted that peacemaking was hard; grudgingly hinted that it wasn’t all Israel’s fault; and in practice put the issue on the back burner.

That behavior represents the conclusion that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is not ready to make peace. It seems quite reasonable to posit that Obama has reached the same conclusion as the one Romney articulated.

To begin with, remember there are two Palestinian leaderships today. Hamas is openly against peace, though a surprising number of people seem to forget that periodically. The PA is genuinely relatively more moderate—a factor that has some benefits–and certainly far more subtle. But on this issue the bottom line is precisely the same.

Why doesn’t the PA want a real, lasting peace? For a lot of reasons. Much, not all but probably 90 percent, of the leadership still believes that they should and will take power in all of the land from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean. Even though they know Israel is not likely to go away easily or even at all, they hope that something will turn up. At any rate, as Palestinian leaders have often said, it is better not to make any concessions and to leave the issue open for possible total victory to the next generation.

Obama is a New Kind of Leftist

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Visit Barry Rubin’s blog, Rubin Reports.

Barack Obama is not a Communist, a fascist, a Muslim, a Marxist, a Progressive (in the pre-1920s’ meaning of that word, before it just became a cover for Communists and other leftists), or even a socialist. Obama and those who control much of America’s academia, mass media, and entertainment industry—plus a number of trade unions and hundreds of foundations, think tanks, and front groups—are believers in a new, very American form of leftism. It is very statist, very dangerous for freedom, and economically destructive. But we first have to identify what “it” is. Our difficulty in doing so has been a huge reason why we have not persuaded more people–though goodness knows a lot of people have woken up that there is a huge problem here.

Yet calling Obama those various names doesn’t persuade a large portion of the American population because they sense that these definitions aren’t accurate and can come up valid counter-arguments or be fed by schools and media with phony ones. And all of those who rage in the talk-back columns of websites aren’t persuading anyone anything except, perhaps, that Obama’s opponents are delusional. You may not like hearing that but it’s the truth.

I’m amazed and amused by people who say that Obama cannot be a leftist because he–gasp!–appointed people from Wall Street to his cabinet and favors certain specific companies and banks. Excuse me, you are merely saying perhaps that by engaging in corruption and getting some big favored capitalists to give him big campaign donations in exchange for favors that Obama isn’t an “honest” leftist. If the left can get support from some such people it would be foolish to throw away the chance. Refusing to act like that was how the Old Left and the 1960s’ New Left behaved and we saw what happened to them.

We are in a totally new era. The nineteenth and early twentieth century debates and categories no longer hold. Indeed, when the New Leftists climbed out of the wreckage of the 1960s-early 1970s they realized this and successfully built something very new. (If you are looking for a “prehistoric” founding document in terms of some important themes, albeit very much altered, read the original Weatherman Manifesto and then delete all the hysterical parts. Dress it up in a suit and tie and seat it behind the desk of a professor, foundation director, reporter, or politician. I don’t have the space here to explain this point in detail.)

Let’s start with the word “socialist.” The European socialist, or social democratic, movement was strongly anti-Communist. Did they hate their countries? Remember, these were the people who remained patriots during World War One, that’s one of the main reasons they first broke with the Communists. The European Socialists gave up the idea of abolishing capitalism many decades ago. While some parties were further to the left (notably in Spain and Sweden), most had settled into relatively moderate positions. When was the last time they nationalized anything?

Moreover, remember that European statism is as much of conservative as of socialist origin. Consider France, a country whose high degree of centralization goes back to feudal times and Napoleon, not to mention the Gaullists. America is very exceptional all right, but because it broke with both European conservative and leftist models. The welfare states there were the results of multi-partisan efforts.

Have European socialists—I’m not talking here about left-wing academics and journalists—fallen in love with Barack Obama? Not at all. They might like Obama more than George W. Bush but they liked Bill Clinton better than either one. Not only do they not see Obama as a comrade but they could probably give him good advice about why his policies will inevitably fail. They may not have the answers for their own countries but they understand capitalism and how to make it work—and want to make it work—far more than he does.

So here’s a key point: Obama and his ideological comrades—let me call them the New New Left (NNL)—are to the left of almost all of the European Socialist parties.

Is Obama and company a Marxist group or a bunch of Communists, (referring to the movement begun by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and run thereafter by Joseph Stalin). Well, certainly there are parallels and ideas taken from that movement. But in many ways they have turned Marxism on its head. Let me give one critical example. Marxists held that material conditions were primary and would determine the course of history. The NNL rejects this and argues that it can use ideas and modern methods of advertising, educational indoctrination, a takeover of most media, and so on to bring about the fundamental transformation of America. They draw mainly from a deviant form developed by such people as Antonio Gramsci and the Frankfurt School. But they have learned the most by taking mainstream American techniques and putting them at the service of radical ideology.

Egypt Kicks Sand in Obama’s Face

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

I could write a 300-page book on how the Obama Administration’s Middle East policy has damaged Israel. I could write an 800-page book about how the Obama Administration’s Middle East policy has damaged U.S. interests. But why bother?

This is all you need to know:

The U.S. government asked its good buddy Egyptian President al-Mursi to inspect an Iranian ship suspected of carrying arms to Syria while it passed through the Suez Canal. Remember that to do so is arguably in Egypt’s own interest since Cairo is supporting the rebels while Tehran backs the regime. But it is also possible that the U.S. government blundered, or was badly timed, since international agreements dictate that Egypt is not supposed to inspect ships in the Canal itself.

The Egyptian government despite three decades of massive U.S. aid, licensing to produce advanced American tanks and other equipment, strategic backing, and an invitation to Washington to meet Obama—refused. Indeed, al-Mursi headed for Tehran to attend a “non-aligned” conference.

Does this mean Egypt is going to ally with Iran? No, Egypt will fight Iran for influence tooth and nail. The two countries will kill the others’ surrogates. But it means al-Mursi feels no friendlier toward America than he does toward Iran. And Cairo will not lift a finger to help Washington against Tehran unless by doing so the Egyptian Brotherhood advances its own cause of putting more Sunni Islamists (anti-Americans, of course) into power.And right now that means Syria. Indeed, at the Tehran meeting al-Mursi called for the overthrow of the Syrian regime while the Iranian media mistranslated that as a statement of support for Syria’s government. (Wow, that will make the Egyptians mad!)

In other words, under Jimmy Carter’s watch we got Islamist Iran—and, yes, things could have turned out very differently—and under Obama’s watch—and, yes, things could have turned out very differently— we got Islamist Egypt.

Egypt, the Arab world’s most important single country, has been turned from an ally of America against the Iranian threat into, at best, a neutral between Washington and Tehran that will do nothing to help America.

Egypt, the Arab world’s most important single country, has been turned from an ally of America—albeit an imperfect one of course—in maintaining and trying to extend Arab-Israeli peace into a leading advocate of expanding the conflict and even potentially going to war.

Egypt, the Arab world’s most important single country, has been turned from an ally of America in fighting international terrorism into an ally of most international terrorist groups except those that occasionally target Egypt itself.

But here’s one for the 600 rabbis who front for Obama: The destruction of the Egyptian natural gas pipeline and deal, as a result of the instability and revolution that the U.S. government helped promote, has done as much economic damage to Israel as all the Arab and Islamic sabotage, boycotts and Western sanctions or disinvestments in its history.
But wait there’s more, lot’s more.

After meeting Egypt’s new president, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said, “I was convinced that President Mursi is his own man,” adding that the new president is committed to democratic reforms and to representing all Egyptians.
Question: How does Panetta know this?

Answer: This is what Mursi told him.

Of course, by endorsing Mursi before he does anything, the U.S. government puts its seal of approval on the Muslim Brotherhood regime. Shouldn’t it have to do something to prove itself before Obama gives up all that leverage? What next? Perhaps Mursi will get the Nobel Peace Prize after a couple of months in office.

Note the phrase “his own man.” What does that mean? Why that Mursi won’t follow the Brotherhood’s orders. He will even stand up against it, presumably to be more moderate, right? There is no reason to believe that this is true.

Panetta added: “They agreed that they would cooperate in every way possible to ensure that extremists like al Qaeda are dealt with.” Of course, they are more likely to cooperate against al-Qaeda, a group they don’t like. But will they cooperate against Egyptian Salafist terrorists, Hamas, and lots of other terrorists? Of course not.

Indeed, at the precise moment Panetta was meeting Mursi, the new president was releasing Islamist terrorists from Egyptian prisons. These include terrorists from Islamic Jihad which is part of the al-Qaeda coalition! How do you square that one, Secretary Panetta?

And finally, Mursi pointed out to Panetta that his own son was born in California, when the future Egyptian president was studying there. His son, Mursi pointed out, could be the president of the United States one day.

I’ll let you, dear readers, pick up on that previous paragraph.

Of course, the Obama Administration can claim one success in Egypt: the regime pulled its forces out of eastern Sinai in accord with the Egypt-Israel peace treaty. The problem is that it has been reported in the Egyptian media—a good source though not confirmed—that the regime made a deal with the al-Qaida terrorists who attacked Israel. If they promised to stop fighting (for how long?) the Egyptian government would release all of their gunmen.

Meanwhile the most important (formerly) pro-Islamist moderate intellectual in the Arabic-speaking world has defected, an event of monumental importance that is being ignored in the West. The Egyptian sociologist Saad ed-Din Ibrahim hated the Mubarak regime so much that he joined with the Islamists as allies and insisted that they were really moderate.

Now here’s an interview he just gave (view this clip on MEMRITV) spoke as follows:

Interviewer: “You indicated that the Muslim Brotherhood are hijacking the country, not merely the top political posts. Is the Muslim Brotherhood indeed about to hijack the country?”

Ibrahim: “Well, this is how it seems to me, as well as to other observers, some of whom are more knowledgeable than me about the Brotherhood,” long-time members, who have now helped him understand the Brotherhood’s “desire to hijack everything and to control everything.”

I assume Ibrahim is referring to relative moderates in the Brotherhood–and some of these individuals have also spoken publicly–who have either quit the Brotherhood in disgust or been expelled.

I suggest Ibrahim and these people, not to mention the liberals packing their bags and the Christians piling up sandbags, know better than Panetta.

Where are all the Anti-Islamist Muslims?

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Visit Barry Rubin’s blog Rubin Reports.

A reader asks: where are all these tens and even hundreds of millions of Muslim anti-Islamists.

I wrote an entire book about the liberals and moderates called “The Long War for Freedom.” There are a number of scholars who have written such books, even analogies of moderate Muslim writings. Oh, yes, and then there is every book and article written by non-Islamist Muslims over decades.

The problem today is that we are caught between two lies. The mainstream Western lie is that Islam is a religion of peace full stop. There is nothing at all militant in its texts. A small fringe of extremists have misinterpreted it or are even heretics. So all Muslims are moderates pretty much, either moderate moderates or moderate Islamists. And anyone who says otherwise is an Islamophobic racist.

That is a lie.

But then there are those—far smaller in number and lacking power in the mainstream media or universities but present in other places—who say Islam is the problem full stop. It is inevitably militant, extremist, and violence. There is no such thing as political Islamism because all Muslims want Sharia dictatorships. So the radicals are proper representatives and there are few or no moderates at all. And anyone who says otherwise is a wimpy apologist sell-out.

And that’s a lie.

Let me once again define the two key groups of Muslims who are anti-Islamist and relatively moderate by far in comparison:

Muslims who are moderates are people whose religion is Islam but are not revolutionary Islamists. They might be Arab nationalists, or pro-democratic; they might be primarily loyal to identities as Turks, Kurds, Berbers, Iranians; or supporters of a communal-ethnic grouping like the Sunni Muslims of Lebanon or many of the Muslims of both types in Iraq or a variety of Muslims in the former Soviet republics and Russia itself who have national or communal identities. [Note: I don’t consider Alawites or Druze to be Muslims but if you do then you can count them as anti-Islamist Muslims, too.]

And don’t forget all those Indian Muslims and Muslims in many countries who might support any one of many different parties or movements. There are Muslims who are left-wing, too. And then there are huge numbers of African Muslims who aren’t Islamists but have other loyalties.

In other words, lots of Muslims have their own political views. Remember for example that 60 percent of Tunisians voted for secular parties. In Turkey, the Islamists had to disguise themselves and there are so many opposed to them that if the rival parties ever got their act together they could toss them out of office. Even in Syria there are lots of liberal, moderate, or traditional Sunni Muslims. If we only helped those people rather than the Islamists (thanks to Obama policy and its funneling through Islamist Turkey and financing by Qatar and Saudi Arabia) the moderates might even win.

These people listed above vary in their religious views from pious, to different varieties, to lax, or secular but they are still Muslims.

There are far fewer people who could be called moderates who want to reform Islam in some active way. Perhaps it is the relative shortage of these people that is misleading. The number of liberal Muslim reformers is not large, partly due to repression and intimidation. To some extent, though not completely, a lot of the alleged power of the reform movement is a creation of Western apologist propaganda. Yes, real moderate reformers do exist—a variety of articles and books deal with their ideas—and they are courageous people. Unfortunately, the Western mass media often favors the phonies.

Yet aside from all the varieties of Islam (one of which is the moderate Sufi view) and relative secularists and the sincere but relatively inactive Muslims, there’s something else, too. I call it conservative-traditional Islam and it has been very powerful. Conservative-traditional Islam has dominated, for example, the Arab world and Iran and Turkey and lots of other places for decades. It has several different approaches.

Among the Shia there is the “Quietist” Islam which means to be very religious and stay out of politics. This is the Islam that Ayatollah Khomeini battled, defeated, and his regime has tried to repress. But it is very much alive and one day—though it might take many decades—it will boot out the Islamists of today right to the bottom of the Persian Gulf. It is also very active in Lebanon and in Iraq, too.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/rubin-reports/there-are-moderate-muslims-who-oppose-islamism-and-we-must-support-them/2012/08/30/

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