The disparity between the administration’s treatment of the Mursi government on the one hand and the Netanyahu government on the other places the nature of its Middle East policy in stark relief.
Obama came into office with a theory on which he based his Middle East policy. His theory was that jihadists hate America because the US supports Israel. By placing what Obama referred to as “daylight” between the US and Israel, he believed he would convince the jihadists to put aside their hatred of America.
Obama has implemented this policy for three and a half years. And its record of spectacular failure is unbroken.
Obama’s failure is exposed in all its dangerous consequence by a simple fact. Since he entered office, the Americans have dispensed with far fewer jihadists than they have empowered.
Since January 2009, the Muslim world has become vastly more radicalized. No Islamist government in power in 2009 has been overthrown. But several key states – first and foremost Egypt – that were led by pro-Western, US-allied governments when Obama entered office are now ruled by Islamists.
It is true that the election results in Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and elsewhere are not Obama’s fault. But they still expose the wrongness of his policy. Obama’s policy of putting daylight between the US and Israel, and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood against US allies like Mubarak, involves being bad to America’s friends and good to America’s enemies.
This policy cannot help but strengthen your enemies against yourself and your friends.
Rather than contend with the bitter consequences of his policy, Obama and his surrogates have opted to simply deny the dangerous reality he has engendered through his actions. Even worse they have come up with explanations for maintaining this policy despite its flagrant failure.
Nowhere was this effort more obvious than in a made-to-order New York Times analysis this week titled, “As Islamists gain influence, Washington reassesses who its friends are.”
The analysis embraces the notion that it is possible and reasonable to appease the likes of Mursi and his America-hating jihadist supporters and coalition partners. It quotes Michele Dunne from the Atlantic Council who claimed that on the one hand, if the Muslim Brotherhood and its radical comrades are allowed to take over Egypt, their entry into mainstream politics should reduce the terrorism threat. On the other hand, she warned, “If Islamist groups like the Brotherhood lose faith in democracy, that’s when there could be dire consequences.”
In other words, the analysis argues that the US should respond to the ascent of its enemies by pretending its enemies are its friends.
Aside from its jaw-dropping irresponsibility, this bit of intellectual sophistry requires a complete denial of reality. The Taliban were in power in Afghanistan in 2001. Their political power didn’t stop them from cooperating with al-Qaida. Hamas has been in charge of Gaza since 2007. That hasn’t stopped it from carrying out terrorism against Israel. The mullahs have been in charge of Iran from 33 years. That hasn’t stopped them from serving as the largest terrorism sponsors in the world. Hezbollah has been involved in mainstream politics in Lebanon since 2000 and it has remained one of the most active terrorist organizations in the world.
And so on and so forth.
Back in the 1980s, the Reagan administration happily cooperated with the precursors of al-Qaida in America’s covert war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. It never occurred to the Americans then that the same people working with them to overthrow the Soviets would one day follow the lead of the blind sheikh and attack America.
Unlike the mujahadin in Afghanistan, the Muslim Brotherhood has never fought a common foe with the Americans. The US is supporting it for nothing – while seeking to win its support by turning on America’s most stable allies.
Can there be any doubt that this policy will end badly?
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