Monday, September 17, 2012
The Dangerous U.S. Double Standard on Islamic Extremism
I have an article in Foreign Policy's Mideast Channel today on "The Dangerous U.S. Double Standard on Islamic Extremism." The focus is the U.S.'s continued support for and tolerance of Sunni Islamic movements in Syria and (as examined in the bulk of the article) in Bahrain, even as it falls victim to adherents of this very same ideology in Libya and elsewhere. In short, the U.S. seems not to have learned the lesson either of its ill-fated support for the mujahidin in Afghanistan or, relatedly, the attacks of 9/11.
Also, Freedom House has released a new "Countries at the Crossroads" report on Bahrain covering the period through November 2011. Not surprisingly, Bahrain's scores have been downgraded across the board.
Update: Christian Caryl agrees with me in the New York Review of Books blog: "Islamist Déjà Vu: The Lessons of 1979."
Update 2: Obligatory story from The Onion (warning: multiple phalluses).
Update 3: Chatham House has released a summary report for its June 2012 workshop on Bahrain titled "Youth Perspectives on the Future."
Update 4: Definitely Not Exaggerated Story of the Day® courtesy of the Jerusalem Post: "Bahrain seizes items Iran likely sought for nukes." As Black Bush would say, "Do I need to tell you what the fuck you can do with an aluminum tube!?! ALUMINUM!"
Update 5: Intelligence firm STRATFOR reports (login required for full text) that "Bahrain -- with the support of Saudi Arabia -- has begun a process to naturalize Sunni Syrian refugees in an effort to augment the minority Sunni population amid rising Shiite dissent." Shocking.
Posted by Justin Gengler at 9:16 PM