Middle East studies in the News
Centcom and the Frog [incl. Rashid Khalidi]
by Hillel Stavis
The Obama-Hillary-CENTCOM team is the fertilizer. The crop is Rob Malley, Susan Rice and Mark Perry. With a sleight-of-hand that Houdini would envy, Obama has practiced the pull towards-push away trick towards these Israel-unfriendly operatives that is inexorably pointing to an even stronger animus towards the Jewish State than has been demonstrated up to now.
Malley, the Arafat crony and prevaricator (not to mention his prominence on J Street's Board of Advisors - that's like enlisting David Duke to sit on the board of the NAACP) publishes ad nauseam pieces in the traditionally anti-Israel New York Review of Books while the NGO queen, Power, has not retreated one step from her advocacy of UN military intervention in the West Bank. The administration needs these surrogates to carry out its next "solution" to the Middle East conflict. And that, in a word, would be "engagement." We've seen how effective Obama's engagement fetish has been with the mad mullahs of Tehran. Having failed to apply effective sanctions on Iran's apparently unstoppable drive for nuclear weapons, he seems to have no compunctions about imposing potentially lethal "solutions" on Israel.
Mark Perry, the theatrical Middle East analyst is the latest guy at bat to push Obama's engagement obsession. Administration policy seems to be: "if it didn't work with Iran let's make it not work with Hizballah and Hamas." Obama and his "soft power" team are convinced that outcomes are irrelevant - it's all about "process."
Perry has a flair for the dramatic, beginning almost every performance with a patter of embarrassing name dropping (excerpt from a talk at Harvard as guest of Sara Roy, Hamas proponent):
But as this clip demonstrates, Perry has been engaging in self-fulfilling prophecy when it comes to advocating engagement with terrorist groups. The fundamental question is how significantly the military has come to be influenced by advocates and terrorist "engagers" like Perry, Malley and Khalidi.
The latest Perry revelation: "CENTCOM Thinks Outside the Box on Hamas and Hezbollah", follows close on the heels of his Foreign Policy piece attempting to link General Petraeus to the policy of distancing the United States from Israel, whose policies and behavior, he avers, have become a liability.
It would seem that the highest levels of US military thinking is now advocating "engagement" with two of the most irreconcilable terrorist entities on the planet, Hezbollah and Hamas. The last sentence of the report reflects the Obama "engagement" mania:
"The U.S. role of assistance to an integrated Lebanese defense force that includes Hizballah; and the continued training of Palestinian security forces in a Palestinian entity that includes Hamas in its government, would be more effective than providing assistance to entities--the government of Lebanon and Fatah--that represent only a part of the Lebanese and Palestinian populace respectively"
What we have in this ominous recommendation is the classic case of the frog in the saucepan. Slowly and inexorably, the acceptance of genocidal movements by Obama and his military advisors has taken root. Malley, along with his buddy, Rashid Khalidi, another close friend of the President and, anti-Israel academic have been arguing for years the inevitability of engaging Hamas and Hezbollah - all in interest of national security, of course. Compare the current trend for terrorist tolerance with a 1994 report by Dr. Stephen Pelletier for the Strategic Studies Institute of the United States Army War College. The report's introduction:
"This study argues that Hamas and Hizbollah, the two main religious groups fighting Israel, probably are more threatening to U.S. interests than is generally believed. It discusses the various openings that the groups were able to exploit to advance themselves, and particularly how they profited from errors on the Israelis' part."
We've come a long way in 16 years and the frog seems oblivious to his fate. Obama and his Cincinnatus, Petraeus, are even now talking about distinguishing the "good Taliban" from the "bad Taliban." Obama's Harvard and Chicago based advisers are determined to carry out Joseph Nye's ill-conceived doctrine of soft power, so much so, that it has now evolved into "nonexistent" power. Add the Walt/Mearsheimer nonsense and you can do business with just about anyone - except the Israelis of course.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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