Thursday, April 14, 2011

Barry Rubin: Clinton: The Situation is Unsustainable Because I Say So

Barry Rubin's posts now appear on Pajamas Media:

"Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin

God hath numbered thy kingdom, and brought it to an end.
Thou art weighed in the balances, and are found wanting.
thy kingdom is given to the Persians."

--The Book of Daniel, Chapter Five

By Barry Rubin

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a U.S.-Islamic forum that the U.S. government would soon launch a new initiative to promote Israel-Palestinian peace.

Oh, goodie.

But what really shocked me is something she said, proving once again that this administration's leaders have feet that spend more time in their mouths than on the ground:

"The status quo between Palestinians and Israelis is no more sustainable than the political systems that have crumbled in recent months."

Think about that statement. The Tunisian and Egyptian regimes fell. Was that inevitable? Were they simply unsustainable? What if their armies wanted to keep them into power, or just threw out the dictators and kept the same regime?

But wait! Several political systems did NOT crumble in recent months. At least, not yet. So is Clinton saying that the crumbling of the political systems in Bahrain, Iran, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen is also inevitable? Or is the fact that they have not crumbled in recent months mean they are sustainable?

Also does the fact that the United States supports or opposes a political system have something to do with whether it is sustainable? You know, saying things like: Mubarak must go! Yesterday! Or sending military forces to Libya? Now what if the Saudis send military forces to Bahrain to shore up the regime, does that mean its fall is or is not inevitable?

Might Arab leaders listening to such statements ask themselves if the United States views them as being on their death bed? Do they need to dump the United States before the United States dumps them? Does anyone writing these speeches and reading them publicly have any notion about what this sounds like to foreign allies?

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 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). His latest book is Israel: An Introduction, to be published by Yale University Press later this year. You can read more of Barry Rubin's posts at Rubin Reportsand now on his new blog, Rubin Reports, on Pajamas Media

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NormanF said...

The US is shedding allies left and right and is getting cozy with the region's tyrannies.

Jerusalem should get the message.

Daled Amos said...

Considering that the US is basically Israel's only ally makes that message hard to accept.