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.


  1. In the spirit of continuing to defy those who plot against our beloved nation and look to sabotage the march of economic progress, I am delighted to share with you some more uplifting news:

    1) MAF announced that Bahrain City Centre has seen an increase of 23% tenant sales

    2) Batelco has entered into acquisition talks with Cable & Wireless for the US$ 1 billion acquisition of some of its operations which include Monaco, Seychelles, Maldives and Falkland Islands.

    3) The mega "Villamar" project at the Bahrain Financial Harbour has resumed construction for the first time in 2 years and confirms completion by August 2013.

    4) The demand for expat housing is up by over 30% driven by a gradual return of Western expats to the country. Real Estate agencies are claiming that this is largely the return of expat families of Saudi-Eastern province based employees.

    5) PineBridge Investments has continued with the build out of its team with the hiring of a COO and Head of Client Services.

    The march of economic progress continues....

    Is the glass half full or half empty?

    1. This is definitely the "Lets ignore the giant elephant in the room" approach.

    2. They wish they were an elephant. Maybe a monkey's uncle is more appropriate.

    3. obvious troll is obvious


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