Barry Rubin Middle East US politics US State Department


Face the facts time. US foreign policy has been under the supervision of rank amateurs ever since the Obama administration was sworn in and took office. It’s been a complete disaster. KGS

No Wonder Hillary Resigned! Mr. Burns Explains U.S. Middle East Policy

By Barry Rubin

For a comprehensive statement of current U.S. Middle East policy you can’t do better than the testimony of Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs William J. Burns at the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on March 17, 2011.

It’s horrifying. Here’s my summary of the key point:

The United States will press for political reform and urge governments to talk to the opposition in Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia.

The United States will NOT press for political reform or urge governments to talk to the opposition in the Gaza Strip, Iran, Lebanon, Sudan, and Syria.

What do the governments in the first paragraph have in common? They have been friendly to the United States.

What do the governments in the second paragraph have in common? They are currently unfriendly to the United States.

In other words, the policy is to pressure your friends (they become weaker); engage your enemies (they become stronger). It is the exact opposite of what U.S. policy should be at this time.

There is a carefully thought out rationale for this policy. It is this:

If relatively moderate countries open their political process (even if it gives Islamists a chance to take power), they will become stronger and less likely to have radical revolutions. Their success will then show that the radical regimes have failed and everyone will see democracy works better. So the radicals will all decide to become moderate or be overthrown by their own people.

The above paragraph is not a joke or satire. This idea is very clearly expressed in the testimony and in other administration statements. This is a historical theme in U.S. foreign policy.

Read it all here at Barry’s Rubin Reports

One Response

  1. “What do the governments in the first paragraph have in common? They have been friendly to the United States.”

    They HAVE been. But why? By genuine sympathy for the US and its ideals or mere self-interest? The US have remained friendy with them by giving them support, money and that have worked so far but the US economy is being destroyed. China will sooner or later give them a better deal and the once time friends will become ennemies faster than you can say greedy.

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