The Corner

Moderate Islamists? Really?

Walter Russell Mead’s Wall Street Journal piece (linked in today’s web briefing) truly is a must-read. It offers a comprehensive critique of the administration’s Middle East policies, from the perspective of a former supporter. While you should read the entire thing, this paragraph, describing the administration’s strategy, was particularly illuminating:

The plan was simple but elegant: The U.S. would work with moderate Islamist groups like Turkey’s AK Party and Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood to make the Middle East more democratic. This would kill three birds with one stone. First, by aligning itself with these parties, the Obama administration would narrow the gap between the ‘moderate middle’ of the Muslim world and the U.S. Second, by showing Muslims that peaceful, moderate parties could achieve beneficial results, it would isolate the terrorists and radicals, further marginalizing them in the Islamic world. Finally, these groups with American support could bring democracy to more Middle Eastern countries, leading to improved economic and social conditions, gradually eradicating the ills and grievances that drove some people to fanatical and terroristic groups.

Anyone notice one of the key problematic words? It’s ”moderate” — especially when connected with Islamists. (One of the others is “democratic” — especially when democracy leads straight to the Muslim Brotherhood.) 

There is nothing moderate about the Muslim Brotherhood. Now, to be clear, they may not be as immediately or as indiscriminately violent as al-Qaeda, but Andrew McCarthy refers to the Brothers as “Muslim supremacists” for a reason. (I prefer the term “jihadists.”) Unlike your typical Arab strongman, who may aspire to regional hegemony, the Muslim supremacist seeks the dominion of Islam, not just in the Middle East and other historically Muslim regions, but over Europe, the United States, and the rest of the non-Islamic world.  

This is not an ideology motivated primarily by colonial-era grievances, income inequality, or the other obsessions of the academic breeding grounds for Obama-administration incompetence, but instead by a desire for Islam to triumph. That desire cannot be appeased, only resisted. As I said on the radio last week, there are only three acceptable states of being in the eyes of the Brothers: (1) Muslim; (2) dead; or (3) dhimmi. This reality is so basic and plainly obvious that it boggles the mind that our so-called elite can’t see it. Willful Blindness indeed.

Memo to the Obama administration: George Bush was not the root cause of Islamic rage, and switching out leaders — even to lightbringers — does not bring us into the Ummah, so we are still the enemy.

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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