Sunday, April 29, 2012

Barry Rubin: Experts Agree: Anti-American Repressive Radicals Taking Power in the Middle East Makes the World A Better Place

by Barry Rubin

Let me sum up the situation regarding U.S. policy toward revolutionary Islamism like this. A man threatens, “Surrender or I’ll kill you!” The victim surrenders and then boasts of how he put an end to violence by offering an alternative, peaceful “channel” of expression!

Michael Hirsh has responded to my critique of his article. Amazingly, yet typical of our era, he didn’t engage with a single—not a single—idea I presented. It’s clear that Hirsh knows nothing about the Middle East and so is merely arguing based on unsuitable analogies, a lack of knowledge about history, and a blind faith in “experts” who don’t seem to be very expert at all.

Hirsh’s main point is a partisan political characterization This’s how things work now. You cast the person in a political category your readers detest, signaling the readers that they should ignore the substance of what that person says. Thus, Hirsh begins:

“On the Web, other conservatives joined in: Barry Rubin, a zealously pro-Israel writer, addressing what he called the “great controversy” that “erupted” over my article, acknowledged that Obama had discarded the GWOT.”

I don’t write as a conservative but as a foreign policy analyst of the Realist school who has dealt professionally with the Middle East for 35 years almost to the day (happy anniversary!). I also guess he didn’t want to add that I’m a zealously pro-American writer, too. And ironically, I’m the one who represents a liberal position here, not those who are indifferent to a right-wing repressive, dictatorial, and clerical regime gaining power.
Continue reading Experts Agree: Anti-American Repressive Radicals Taking Power in the Middle East Makes the World A Better Place

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, was 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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