Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Barry Rubin: My Critique of Two “Neo-Conservative” Presidents: Obama and Bush

Chorus onstage sings, “Springtime for Hitler….”
Woman in audience: “This is shocking!”
Man in audience: “Outrageous!”
Bialystock at back of theatre smiling: “Ahhhhh, it’s going better than I expected!”
–”The Producers”

By Barry Rubin

A reader has accused me, in pretty nasty terms, of having been a big advocate for the Iraq war and thus presumably some satanic force in misleading the United States (Footnote). That is not true. In fact I was not a supporter at all, as friends know from hearing me argue against it. There are two possibilities here: either the person is deliberately lying or is confusing me with Michael Rubin, no relation. If the latter is so, the reader is welcome to apologize and withdraw his remarks.

Meanwhile, a hitherto unknown Huffington Post writer with no known expertise on the Middle East, has accused me of being not only an alarmist about revolutionary Islamism but also as a “neo-con,” which has become shorthand for “Jew.” These people are so intellectually bankrupt that they don’t even realize that they are arguing the precise opposite of their own claims. After all, if I were a “neo-con” I would have been very enthusiastic about the revolution, right?

As I have repeatedly pointed out–and shown in more than 20 books–my approach is to international affairs is that of a foreign policy Realist who focuses on national (or regime) interests as motivating Middle East governments and as the force that should be shaping U.S. policy. In 1979, I pointed out how President Jimmy Carter’s democracy agenda helped bring down the shah’s regime in Iran and also misread the incoming regime as “moderate,” being among the first to warn where Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was going and what the consequences would be.

Here’s a short passage from my book, Paved with Good Intentions, that’s relevant today:

Continue reading My Critique of Two “Neo-Conservative” Presidents: Obama and Bush 

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 in January 2012. 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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