Wed, May 11, 2011 | Rubin Reports | By Barry Rubin
U.S. Middle East Policy Becomes Clinically Insane
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s latest pronouncements are just plain horrifying. Consider what she said in this interview:
1. On Egypt:
“QUESTION: Should we fear the Muslim Brotherhood?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think we don’t know enough yet to understand exactly what they’re morphing into. And I’m — I mean, for me, the jury is out. There are some Islamist elements that are coming to the surface to Egypt that I think on just the face of it are —
QUESTION: Coming out of jails, in fact.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Coming out in jails, coming out of the shadows that are inimical to a democracy, to the kind of freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of conscience that was the aspiration in Tahrir Square.”
“We don’t know enough….”
Really? Read any speech or interview by the leader and deputy leader of the Brotherhood, full of Jihadist rhetoric, genocidal rage against Jews, insistence on making Egypt an Islamist state, and loathing of America. What’s morphing? It’s just an illusion based on clever efforts to fool the dim-witted dhimmis.
Those people “coming out of jails”
They are openly holding joint meetings and demonstrations with the Muslim Brotherhood. The two are allied now. Even probable next president of Egypt Amr Moussa knows that. I know it, why doesn’t she know it?
“The jury is out”
And when will the U.S. government see the danger of the Brotherhood, after it takes power and starts down the road to war with Israel and open enmity to the United States?
The jury is as much out on the Muslim Brotherhood as it is on Usama bin Laden.
And here’s another equally horrifying interview:
“Q: At this point, [Syria] is a country where they have killed most people in the street.
“CLINTON: Well, I don’t have that comparison, but what I do know is that they have an opportunity still to bring about a reform agenda. Nobody believed [Libyan leader Muammar] Qadhafi would do that. People do believe there is a possible path forward with Syria.”
So the U.S. government still hopes that President Bashar al-Assad will be a reformer? I won’t bother to list once again all the evidence to the contrary both in his past performance and in understanding his interests.
But here is something remarkable. Clinton mentions Qadhafi. Yet Qadhafi did “reform” his foreign policy after he was scared, following the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, that he’d be next on the list. So pressure showed successful results in Libya while the Obama Administration’s appeasement of Syria failed totally — and will continue to fail totally. Pay attention and learn the lesson please.
But apparently the “jury is still out” on Hamas, too. What, we don’t have enough information to evaluate that group? Perhaps it is “morphing?” The Obama Administration strongly criticized Israel for withholding the transfer of tax revenue to the Palestinian Authority. Of course, that money is only due to be handed over according to the Oslo agreement, which the PA no longer observes and Hamas opposes completely.
American officials said the administration, is,
“Waiting to see what this reconciliation agreement looks like in practical terms, before we make any decisions about future assistance.”
Memo to Obama Administration: A country doesn’t just watch and wait as others trash its interests. It does something. When one of your clients, who you are ceaselessly helping and to which you are giving large amounts of money, joins forces with an openly genocidal terrorist organization allied with your worst enemies, how long do you have to wait to see what’s going to happen?
From Clinton’s first interview:
“We are losing the war of ideas because we are not in the arena the way we were in the Cold War.”
Well, if you cannot define the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and Syria as hostile you certainly are not in the arena. Imagine the Cold War in these terms! How long would the United States have been saying the “jury is out” on the nature of the Soviet Union? Thank goodness President Harry Truman understood the situation in 1947. By Obama Administration standards it would have taken until the mid-1960s.
But Clinton isn’t that stupid. She’s stuttering so much in these interviews because she has to follow the president’s political line, and that is very stupid indeed. And much worse, it is very dangerous.
About the author,
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal, and a featured columnist at PajamasMedia http://pajamasmedia.com/barryrubin/ His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). The website of the GLORIA Center is http://www.gloria-center.org/. His PajamaMedia columns are mirrored and other articles available at http://www.rubinreports.blogspot.com/.