June 3, 2009
Reality check: "The Mother of All Myths"Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives, Political News and commentaries
Is the Obama administration falling for "The Mother of all Myths" in basing its Middle East policy on "linkage" between the Israeli-Palistinian conflict and peace in the Middle East? It surely appears so, just as administrations before him, although previous administrations have never embarked on "apology tours" in Europe and Latin America, and haven't told Muslims that America is a "Muslim country," as Obama has essentially done in Turkey and plans to do in Egypt, all which makes his following of the "linkage" myth all the more devastating for America and the West. His kowtowing to Muslims and demeaning America is unnecessary, because it does nothing but projects weakness to America's critics and has no impact whatsoever in moving any ME peace process forward.
As to the matter of linkage and ME peace, Michael J. Totten points out in his piece titled, "The Mother of All Myths" - that the populations of Egypt, Jordan, and other Arabic countries have a nearly inexhaustible list of grievances against the United States. Many are based on what he refers to as phantasmagoric and state-manufactured conspiracy theories that have nothing to do with the West Bank, Gaza, or anything else in the real world. His piece includes coments on Dennis Ross's book coming out next month that "inconveniently takes issue with the Obama Administration's thesis of "linkage" between the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and all other Middle East conflicts" - "the idea that if only the Palestinian conflict were solved, all other Middle East conflicts would melt away" and takes a look at the Middle East's five most serious problems aside from the Arab-Israeli conflict:
Dennis Ross, Special Advisor on Iran for the Secretary of State, has a book coming out next month that inconveniently takes issue with the Obama Administration's thesis of "linkage." "Of all the policy myths that have kept us from making real progress in the Middle East," Ross writes in a chapter titled "The Mother of All Myths," "one stands out for its impact and longevity: the idea that if only the Palestinian conflict were solved, all other Middle East conflicts would melt away." Meanwhile, the Obama Administration - which Ross currently works for - is pressuring Israel in part because the president hopes progress toward the resolution of the Palestinian conflict will help derail Iran's drive for the development of nuclear weapons.Read it all ...
Ross finished the manuscript and sold it to Viking Press before the president hired him, but he was right when he wrote it, and he's still right today. The biggest problems in the Middle East - and Iran's quest for nuclear weapons surely is one of them - have little or nothing to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Iranian regime's hatred of Israel is real, to be sure, and nuclear missiles in its arsenal would pose a serious threat, but Iran, in all likelihood, would wish to arm itself with the world's most powerful weapons even if Israel did not exist.
Scholar Martin Kramer identifies nine regional "conflict clusters" and argues that "these many conflicts are symptoms of the same malaise: the absence of a Middle Eastern order, to replace the old Islamic and European empires. But they are independent symptoms; one conflict does not cause another, and its 'resolution' cannot resolve another."
[...] Of the Middle East's five most serious problems aside from the Arab-Israeli conflict, only one - the war in Iraq - was caused in any way by Israel or the United States. And Israel is not involved in the war in Iraq. The other four - radical Islamism, the dearth of democracy outside Lebanon and Iraq, Iran's push for regional hegemony, and the conflict between Sunnis and Shias - simply can't be blamed on the United States, Israel, or the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Posted by Abdul at June 3, 2009 10:24 AM
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- Reality check: "The Mother of All Myths" - Jun 03, 2009