Before checking out Diana West’s article entitled, Uncle Sam and the Saudi Crescent, consider op-eds penned by former president George W. Bush and his former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice last year; both were bizarre. In May, Bush expressed his continued support for the ‘Arab Spring’ and then in November, Rice continued arguing in support of the Muslim Brotherhood – even if al-Qaeda triumphed – in Syria.
Last May, via the WSJ, Bush wrote:
Some in both parties in Washington look at the risks inherent in democratic change—particularly in the Middle East and North Africa—and find the dangers too great. America, they argue, should be content with supporting the flawed leaders they know in the name of stability.
But in the long run, this foreign policy approach is not realistic. It is not within the power of America to indefinitely preserve the old order, which is inherently unstable. Oppressive governments distrust the diffusion of choice and power, choking off the best source of national prosperity and success.
This is the inbuilt crisis of tyranny. It fears and fights the very human attributes that make a nation great: creativity, enterprise and responsibility. Dictators can maintain power for a time by feeding resentments toward enemies—internal or external, real or imagined. But eventually, in societies of scarcity and mediocrity, their failure becomes evident.
Six months after the fruit of the ‘Arab Spring’ had time to stink even more, Rice’s op-ed appeared in the Washington Post. In it, she called for support of the Brotherhood forces in Syria, while acknowledging (but dismissing) the fact that it would benefit al-Qaeda:
Certainly there are risks. After more than a year of brutal conflict, the most extreme elements of the opposition — including al-Qaeda — have been empowered. Civil wars tend to strengthen the worst forces. The overthrow of Assad could indeed bring these dangerous groups to power.
But the breakdown of the Middle East state system is a graver risk. Iran will win, our allies will lose, and for decades the region’s misery and violence will make today’s chaos look tame.
Who are our allies, Miss Rice? Saudi Arabia? Hardly.
Rice even referenced Iran’s desire to do away with national borders as a reason to fight them. Well, yeah, but for some reason, Rice came off as completely disinterested in acknowledging the goal of the Brotherhood, which is the same thing – even more dangerous – via the return of the Ottoman Empire, centered in Turkey.
If you’re like most people who have become educated about the Muslim Brotherhood, such perspectives enunciated by Bush and Rice long after they should obviously understand the threat, made no real sense.
Again, Bush and Rice had / have access to far more information than we citizens so the ability of each to understand the threat shouldn’t be a factor.
So, what gives?
In her latest piece, Uncle Sam and the Saudi Crescent, Diana West provides some of the answers.