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Roger Cohen’s Hypocrisy

Posted By Eldad Tzioni On March 9, 2011 @ 9:00 am In Right to Exist | Comments Disabled

In Tuesday’s Roger Cohen column in the New York Times, he shows how much more moral and wise he is than the Western world:

The Arab Spring is also a Western Winter.

I’m glad the United States and Europe have gotten behind the Bahrain-to-Benghazi awakening. But I’ve not heard enough self-criticism.

Hearings should be held in the U.S. Congress and throughout Western legislatures on these questions: How did we back, use and encourage the brutality of Arab dictators over so many years? To what degree did that cynical encouragement of despots foster the very jihadist rage Western societies sought to curb?

The West has long known what the likes of Qaddafi and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak did.

Indeed. How can any Westerner have supported stable but oppressive Arab governments?

Instead, the West should be supporting these guys, as Cohen has written in the past:

Britain aligned itself with the U.S. position on Hezbollah, but has now seen its error. Bill Marston, a Foreign Office spokesman, told Al Jazeera: “Hezbollah is a political phenomenon and part and parcel of the national fabric in Lebanon. We have to admit this.”

Hallelujah.

Precisely the same thing could be said of Hamas in Gaza. It is a political phenomenon, part of the national fabric there.

[The U.S.] should initiate diplomatic contacts with the political wing of Hezbollah. The Obama administration should also look carefully at how to reach moderate Hamas elements and engineer a Hamas-Fatah reconciliation.

You see, Cohen is wise. He actually goes into these other countries and talks to carefully selected people under the watchful eyes of the secret services, so he has wisdom that US diplomats do not have (except when they do.)

So Cohen certainly knew what he was talking about when he wrote, in March 2009 during his visit to Iran where he declared that the Jews there suffered practically no discrimination:

The June presidential election pitting the incumbent, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, against Mohammad Khatami (a former president who once spoke in a synagogue) will be a genuine contest as compared to the charades that pass for elections in many Arab states.

See how wise Cohen is? Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas are the good, democratic choice for the Middle East! Hezbollah, which has had a crucial role in turning Lebanon from a cosmopolitan and tolerant society into an Iranian satellite state armed to the teeth against Israel, is the model for all Arab states. Islamist Hamas, which chose to shoot rockets into Israeli communities after Israel withdrew every single resident and soldier, should be propped up with Western gifts and recognition. Arabs need to learn about free and fair elections from Iran. Hateful rhetoric against Jews and Israel are mere words, but Roger Cohen enjoying coffee with Islamic fundamentalists prove they are really the good guys. As he wrote, “Perhaps I have a bias toward facts over words, but I say the reality of Iranian civility toward Jews tells us more about Iran – its sophistication and culture – than all the inflammatory rhetoric.”

Cohen’s thinking is simple: Western-backed authoritarian governments=bad.  Iranian-backed Islamist authoritarian governments=good.

Cohen self-righteously tells Westerners that they need to engage in more self-criticism for their support of Arab authoritarian regimes.

But Roger Cohen sees no reason to admit any mistakes about his anti-democratic, Sharia-loving friends from Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas.


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