erik lundegaard

The U.S. Right-Wing: Sharing Conspiracy Theories with the Middle East

John Lee Anderson's reporting, or “letter,” from Syria (in New Yorker parlance), entitled “The Implosion: On the front lines of a burgeoning civil war,” which is now a few weeks old, is one of those articles you really need to read if you're at all interested in fathoming what's going on in that country. To a degree, of course. If before I understood bupkis, I now understand bupkis +1. But it's an improvement. Check it out.

I'm nearly 50 now and not surprised by much these days, but this part just threw me:

Skepticism about the rebels was common among Assad’s supporters. One influential businessman, Nabil Toumeh, informed me that what was taking place in Syria was the result of a plan—dreamed up years before by Zbigniew Brzezinski, and supported by Israel—to help the Muslim Brotherhood take over the Middle East. “After fifty years of persecution, they are being given power, and this will bring the Arab world to a state of backwardness,” he said. Assad’s friend told me, “This is not the Arab Spring. It’s the awakening of the extremes of Islam.” The Brotherhood was trying to seize power in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya, but it would not happen in Syria. “There is no reasoning with these people; with them, it is only God.”

But in Zabadani one of the protesters, a Sunni, told me, “There’s no Muslim Brotherhood here. The people are Muslims, yes. But the Brotherhood doesn’t have any real plan for them. What we want is freedom, to be able to protest in peace without being fired upon.”

We'll never get away from these insane conspiracy theories, will we? It's one thing, I suppose, that right-wing nutjobs in the U.S. have in common with some folks in the Middle East: they both think the Obama administration favors the Muslim Brotherhood.

The right-wing nutjobs think he favors the Brotherhood because he is Muslim. (Or because he's Obama and he's black and he's all foreign-y and they just don't like him.) The Syrian nutjobs think the Obama administration favors the Muslim Brotherhood—and before him the Bush and Clinton and Bush and Reagan administrations—in order to better foment radical Islam and keep Arab countries backward.

I.e., the very thing the U.S. doesn't want in the Middle East is the very thing some Middle Easterners think the U.S. has plotted for decades to unleash.

I throw up my hands.

Read the article.

Map of Syria

Will that lake's name change anytime soon?

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Posted at 05:28 AM on Sat. Mar 10, 2012 in category Politics  

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