Tue, July 2, 2013 | RubinReports | By Barry Rubin
Here’s the story of the Middle East and of U.S. policy over decades in a few words in a headline from an article in the New York Times by Mark Landler and Jodi Rudoren: “Chaos in Middle East Grows as the U.S. Focuses on Israel.”
I’d call it: “Kerry Shuttles as the Middle East Burns.”
Once again the United States is too busy trying to get the Holy Grail of Arab-Israeli peace while every country is in turmoil. Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Iran, etc., are in dangerous crises. Yet the White House stays wake at night not about Benghazi but about fantasizing on dream-boundaries in Jerusalem. Once again, U.S. policy is trying to free Palestinian terrorists convicted of murder while tens of thousands of innocent people are being killed or imprisoned.
Not only is peace unobtainable because of Palestinian intransigence, but the powerful Islamist and nationalist forces don’t want peace. Peace with Israel would stir up more unrest and violence. Any Arab leaders who made peace would face overthrow and assassination. Everyone in the Middle East knows this; it often seems that nobody in Washington does. And Tony Blair, the negotiator for the Quartet — U.S., EU, UN, Russia — has been to Jerusalem 75 times in a decade with nothing to show for it.
Here’s another headline from the Washington Post: “Ëgypt’s Protesters find a new villain: the U.S. Ambassador.”
I’d rewrite this one as: “Ëgypt’s Protesters find a new villain: the U.S. President.”
In other words by helping to overthrow a U.S. ally, Obama bought 2.5 years of supposed popularity followed possibly by massive bloodshed along with a massive expression of a triumphalist anti-American, anti-Christian, antisemitic, anti-woman, anti-gay dictatorial movement.
Is it impossible to wake up, find a realpolitic, anti-Islamist strategy? Where are the experts to expose this emperor’s new clothes game?
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. His next book, “Nazis, Islamists and the Making of the Modern Middle East,” written with Wolfgang G. Schwanitz, will be published by Yale University Press in January 2014. His latest book is “Israel: An Introduction,” also published by Yale. Thirteen of his books can be read and downloaded for free at the website of the GLORIA Center including “The Arab States and the Palestine Conflict,” “The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East” and “The Truth About Syria.” His blog is Rubin Reports. His original articles are published at PJMedia.