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Islamists Are Not Our Friends

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Islamists Are Not Our Friends – Dennis B. Ross
(dailyalert.org, Sept. 12, 2014)

A new fault line has emerged in Middle Eastern politics that will have profound implications for America’s foreign policy in the region. It is characterized by a fundamental division between Islamists – both Sunni and Shiite – and non-Islamists. What the Islamists all have in common is that they subordinate national identities to an Islamic identity.

Today, the non-Islamists want to know that the U.S. supports them. For America, that means not partnering with Iran against ISIS. It means actively competing with Iran in the rest of the region, independently of whether an acceptable nuclear deal can be reached with Tehran.

It means recognizing that Egypt is an essential part of the anti-Islamist coalition, and that American military aid should not be withheld because of differences over Egypt’s domestic behavior.

These non-Islamists are America’s natural partners in the region. They favor stability, the free flow of oil and gas, and they oppose terrorism. The forces that threaten us also threaten them. Do not reach out to Islamists; their creed is not compatible with pluralism or democracy. The writer was the U.S. chief negotiator for the Arab-Israeli conflict from 1993 to 2001 and a special assistant to the president for the Middle East and South Asia from 2009 to 2011. (New York Times)

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