The early summer of our discontent
Dr. Barry Rubin, director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal, has a warning regarding the march of Islamism and the boost it is likely to get next month.
A confluence of events will likely bring out in stark relief how the west's policy of ignoring the threat of Islamic radicalism - or minimizing it - will more than likely lead to several setbacks in June for the security of the west and Israel.
He points out that in order not to confront the evil, you must:
Pretend that this solution-which isn't going to happen--will solve all other problems, as if personal and state ambition, ethnic conflict, ideological battles, and all sorts of disputes didn't exist in the region which have nothing to do with this. Not to mention that fact that any compromise peace would actually enrage large elements of opinion and galvanize the Islamists into even more violence.
Pretend that Iran's regime will be talked out of having nuclear weapons by either the charm of Western leaders or relatively limited sanctions when Tehran already knows everything is a big bluff.
Pretend that Islamists can be moderated when they think they're winning, believe themselves to be following the will of the deity, and see daily proof that their rivals are eager to make concessions.
Pretend that Syria can be wooed into changing course when it is so dependent on its alliance with the Iranian regime, thinks that it's on the winning side, and tightening its control over Lebanon.
Next month, there will be elections in Iran and Lebanon. In both countries, radicals are likely to either win re-election (Ahmadinejad in Iran) or come to power as a result of the backing of Iran and Syria (Lebanon).
Rubin points out that the threat of Iran has displaced the Israeli-Palestinian question as the number one concern of people across the entire Middle East. And yet, we have the current Administration cozying up to the mullahs while doing everything possible to undermine Israeli security. Our efforts at rapproachment with Syria along with our virtual ignoring the building threat posed by Hezb'allah in Lebanon who very well might win a smashing victory in next month's parliamentary elections means that Israel will be surrounded on two sides by enemies that have sworn to destroy them who are backed by a third who may have the capability to make good on that threat very shortly.
It may be the beginning of a very long, hot summer.