THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA

An Online Journal of Political Commentary & Analysis
Volume XIII, Issue # 127, May 20, 2011
Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr., Editor
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OBAMA'S MIDDLE EAST SPEECH: SO BALANCED, IT GOES NOWHERE
By Raymond Ibrahim

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA'S SPEECH ON U.S. FOREIGN & NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY IN THE ISLAMIC MIDDLE EAST:  CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST VERSUS THE ALTERNATIVE, ISLAMIST RULE -- MAJORITARIAN DICTATORSHIP IN MUSLIM-MAJORITY COUNTRIES -- THE FATE OF CHRISTIANS, JEWS, & OTHER NON-MUSLIM MINORITIES IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD -- MINORITY RIGHTS & SHARIA LAW -- OBAMA'S WEAK & CONTRADICTORY ANALYSIS
FULL STORY:   One of the problems with Obama's Middle East speech was that parts of it were so deliberately balanced so meant to appease all sides that they go nowhere. For example, look at the portions where he discusses democracy in the Middle East versus the alternative Islamist rule, which he does not name. One sentence seems to say that a "true" democracy is necessary, only to be followed by one that seems open to Islamist rule, and so on. Consider the following excerpts:

    "Not every country will follow our particular form of representative democracy, and there will be times when our shortterm interests do not align perfectly with our longterm vision of the region."

This seems to say he's now open to Islamists' having a prominent role, in the hopes that, in future, more enlightened constitutional reforms will take place.

    "But we can and will speak out for a set of core principles principles that have guided our response to the events over the past six months."

This implies the opposite: that Islamists can't just have a blank check, as it were.

    "Such open discourse is important, even if what is said does not square with our worldview. America respects the right of all peaceful and law-abiding voices to be heard, even if we disagree with them."

This is very open to Islamist rule, since many Islamists, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, are "peaceful and law-abiding," at least until they assume power.

    "We look forward to working with all who embrace genuine and inclusive democracy."

This is another reverse implying that only "true" supporters of democracy are welcome.

    "What we will oppose is an attempt by any group to restrict the rights of others, and to hold power through coercion not consent."

This is immensely vague: What if a group restricts the rights of its minorities but with consent from the majority, as is the case when a majority of Muslims support Islamist/Sharia rule [unlimited rule by Islamists, under Sharia law]?

In the end, however, when one moves beyond all the verbiage, it is clear where Obama is going with all this:

    "There must be no doubt that the United States of America welcomes change that advances self-determination and opportunity. Yes, there will be perils that accompany this moment of promise. But, after decades of accepting the world as it is in the region, we have a chance to pursue the world as it should be."

In short, let's take risks today, in the hopes of achieving an earthly utopia tomorrow a thing unprecedented in human history.


LINKS TO RELATED TOPICS:
Islamism & Jihadism -- The Threat of Radical Islam
Page Three    Page Two    Page One

Middle East -- Arabs, Arab States,
& Their Middle Eastern Neighbors

American Foreign Policy -- The Middle East

International Politics & World Disorder:
War, Peace, & Geopolitics in the Real World:
Foreign Affairs & U.S. National Security

   Page Two    Page One

Islamist Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.A.

Osama bin Laden & the Islamist Declaration of War
Against the U.S.A. & Western Civilization

Islamist International Terrorism &
U.S. Intelligence Agencies

Counterterrorism & U.S. National Security

U.S. National Security Strategy



Raymond Ibrahim, a historian of Islam, Islamism and the Middle East, is the Associate Director of the Middle East Forum, a guest lecturer at the National Defense Intelligence College, and the editor of The Al-Qa'ida Reader, a collection of tranlations of key texts and documents of the Islamist movement. Ibrahim's translations of the religious texts and political propaganda comprising this collection help readers comprehend the origins, development, history, and serious danger of the Islamist war doctrines of Usama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Founders of Al-Qa'ida and implacable enemies of the U.S.A. and the West.


The foregoing article by Raymon Ibrahim was originally published in National Review Online, May 19, 2011, and can be found on the Internet website maintained by the Middle East Forum, a foreign policy think tank which seeks to define and promote American interests in the Middle East, defining U.S. interests to include fighting radical Islam, working for Palestinian Arab acceptance of the State of Israel, improving the management of U.S. efforts to promote constitutional democracy in the Middle East, reducing America's energy dependence on the Middle East, more robustly asserting U.S. interests vis--vis Saudi Arabia, and countering the Iranian threat. (URL: http://www.meforum.org/2908/obama-middle- east-speech)


Republished with Permission of the Middle East Forum
Reprinted from the Middle East Forum News
mefnews@meforum.org (MEF NEWS)
May 20, 2011




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