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Why Westerners Exaggerate Moderation in the ME

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Posted on February 19 2010 2:30 pm
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by Barry Rubin

There are three basic reasons why many Westerners are so gullible that they often overstate the moderation—or inaccurately claim that a major step toward moderation has taken place—on the part of radical states or groups. Among the beneficiaries of these errors are: Fatah, Iran, Hamas, Hizballah, Libya, Muslim Brotherhood groups, the PLO, Sudan, Syria, the Taliban, and others, including many individuals.

Such errors are dangerous for a variety of reasons. Advocating engagement with extremists strengthens them; reducing sanctions or not instituting them has the same effect. Those who oppose such groups are stigmatized and don’t receive the support they need and deserve. Acts of terrorism and advocacy of genocide are ignored. People do die as a result of these errors, though rarely are they those who made the mistakes.

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