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Sat, April 16, 2011 | Rubin Report | By Barry Rubin

An Iraqi watches televised coverage of the inauguration of U.S. President Barack Obama at a cafe in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City in Baghdad, Iraq on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)


Explaining the Middle East to President Obama In One Sentence

How would you explain the Middle East to President Obama in one sentence? Here’s my take:

Arabic-speaking Middle Eastern societies are stuck between tradition and modernity, barraged by decades of hate speech, extremist ideologies, scapegoating, and statism depriving people of freedom and so, as a consequence, it’s not surprising they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them — America, the West, Israel — and blame them for all problems.

The words in bold are from Obama’s fund-raising speech in San Francisco during the last election, applied to Americans who live in small towns and weren’t going to vote for him.

And now how would you explain to him in one sentence what he should do about the Middle East:

Your job is to protect the United States and its friends from extremism — not apologize, appease, or try to win over your enemies — and help to break this closed circle of radicalism rather than become its codependent, enabler, or — worst of all — join in with its fantasies and misunderstandings of reality.

2 Comments to “Explaining the Middle East to President Obama In One Sentence”

  1. Explaining the Middle East to President #Obama In One Sentence | #tcot #Israel

  2. avatar Elisabeth says:

    RT @CrethiPlethi: Explaining the Middle East to President #Obama In One Sentence | #tcot #Israel


Quotes and Sayings

About the Region, Islam and cultural totalitarianism...

    Despite our small numbers and lack of preparedness, we have not yet lost a single settlement…In contrast, about one hundred Arab towns and villages have been abandoned, and more than 150,000 Arabs have moved to the interior of the country or to neighboring Arab countries … To date, not one Jewish settlement, however remote, weak or isolated, has been abandoned. On the other hand, entire cities have been deserted by the Arabs. Tiberias and Haifa were simply evacuated after the first defeat, although the Arabs were not threatened with destruction or slaughter … We hope that there will soon be a free parliament in the State of Israel, based on democratic elections by all its Jewish citizens and those Arab citizens who choose to stay here.

    — David Ben-Gurion, Knesset debates, 4 may 1948

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