Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Barry Rubin has some words for John Kerry

Mike L.

{Originally published at the Times of Israel.}

Well, actually Barry Rubin has many words for John Kerry, but let's just focus on a few.

In Kerry's confirmation hearings he was, with the clear exception of Rand Paul, largely scratched behind the ear by his Senatorial friends and colleagues.  Paul asked him just why it was that the United States government felt it necessary to send F-16 fighter jets and Abrams tanks to the genocidally anti-Semitic leader of Egypt.

Among Kerry's responses to the questions posed by Rand we get this:
The fact that sometimes other countries elect someone that you don’t completely agree with doesn’t give us permission to walk away from their election….
This response resonates with me due to the fact that throughout the "Arab Spring," and with the election of the anti-Semitic Muslim Brotherhood into power in Egypt, we were constantly told by progressive-left Jewish "Zionists" that, "Well, Gosh Darnit, that's democracy for ya!  Don't you want the rest of the world to have the blessings of democracy?  What do you have against democracy?  We have to respect other people's choices!  What are you, some kind of fascist?!"

Throughout the entirety of last year I was dumbfounded, disgusted, and amazed that people were making that argument.

In any case, this is Professor Rubin's response:
This is truly ignorant. Just because Egyptians—or anyone else—elected a government does not mean that U.S. policy must accept whatever that government does. Yet I think Kerry and Obama actually believe that it does mean that. Moreover, the Brotherhood didn’t just win but had U.S. backing. It was the party Obama favored. And now, of course, the regime has killed dozens of Egyptians in anti-government riots. It has also jammed through an ultimately anti-democratic constitution. The money and weapons the United States gives the Brotherhood government will help it consolidate power, buy off dissent and be able to repress the population. Is that what U.S. interests require, the consolidation of an Islamist regime in Egypt?
United States' foreign policy under Barack Obama is an absolute disaster and part of the reason that it is is because the administration believes that we are obligated to support any regime, with the sole exception of Israel, so long as it is democratically elected.  It doesn't matter to Obama that the Brotherhood is a fascist and theocratic organization with historical ties to the Nazis.  They honestly don't care, or at least, they very definitely do not seem to care.  They make no such noises, now do they?

But the Brotherhood did come to power through, more or less, democratic means.  They may have violently repressed the Coptic vote, but who are we to quibble?  And this means that as good liberals we must support our newly elected democratic friends in the Brotherhood, or so progressive-left "Zionists" told us throughout all of last year.

It's absolute nonsense, of course.  The first thing to understand is that we get to choose who we support in an election, including foreign elections.  Just as the United States was under no obligation to support the democratically elected government of Nazi Germany, so we are under no obligation to support the democratically elected government of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

And, really, how dumb must a Jew be to support an anti-Jewish organization like the Muslim Brotherhood?  How profound must the Jewish Stockholm Syndrome be to literally suggest that the rise of political Islam throughout the Middle East is a good thing because it represents "democracy"?

I just find it unfathomable.

Egypt will not be a democracy any time soon because it is highly unlikely that the Brotherhood will allow themselves to be voted out of power.

But in terms of U.S. foreign policy the bottom line is that the Obama administration has abdicated any responsibility for standing up for western interests because they believe that standing up for western interests is in opposition to standing up for western values.  But what kind of "values" is it that says you have to support those who would see you dead?

It simply makes no sense and it is something well beyond irresponsible.

Rubin writes:
He also missed an opportunity to point out that arms were sold to some countries precisely because they had made peace with Israel and other countries because they supported U.S. policy generally despite being very anti-Israel. Arms were not given, however, to countries led by anti-American revolutionary Islamist groups that also openly declared their support for genocide of Israel and all Jews generally.
The question is not if Obama is selling out American interests... and thereby selling out Israel, as well... but just why he is doing so.

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