A Dead End in the Muslim World

Commentators turn from health care to foreign policy, discussing anti-Westernism and Islamic fundamentalism.

This article is from the archive of our partner .

While everyone else argues about health-care reform, a couple commentators are busy giving last rites to hopes for improved U.S.-Muslim relations. Taking stock of the anti-Americanism in Iran and the anti-Western stance of radical Islam, the writers' message is clear: "love thy neighbor" is a tough sell if your neighbor hates you.

  • The Ayatollah Needs Anti-Americanism, Edward Luttwak announced in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. The "offer of unconditional talks backfired," and "Mr. Obama’s problem," Luttwak posits, "is that Khamenei could only have chosen Ahmadinejad because he does not want friendly talks with the U.S." Anti-Americanism is a crucial buttress to the regime, whose "generous funding of Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad is extremely unpopular in Iran."

  • Is 'Islam' at War With Us?  Islamic Jihad is precisely the focus of Frank Gaffney’s response today to John Brennan, who stated last week that "America is not and never will be at war with Islam." While Brennan drew a line between Al Qaeda's "murderous agenda […] to replace sovereign nations with a global caliphate," Gaffney argued that the "global caliphate is the stated goal of all those who adhere to what authoritative Islam calls Shariah--a number that includes many millions of people the world over."

  • You Want to Talk Fascism?  Clifford May of the National Review wants to reserve the terms "Nazi" and "fascist" for those who really deserve it--not Obama or protesters, but the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and current Iranian rulers who promise a world without America:
Hitler preached that Germans and Aryans were a master race, born to rule the world. Militant Islamists--whether Shiite (like Khomeini) or Sunni (like Osama bin Laden)--also are supremacist, though they substitute religion for race, the "Nation of Islam" for the German nation. They claim Muslims--led by them--have a divine right to rule.
  • Anti-West Paranoia  Not everyone considers the current Iranian regime fascist, but neither are American conservatives the only ones to consider it hostile. The release of Roxana Saberi seemed promising, "but these days are gone," writes Martin Gehlen in the German newspaper Die Zeit. With the arrests and accusations against Westerners in Iran, he sees little hope for improvement. "In the inner power struggle in Iran, all barriers have fallen. And in the foreign policy operations of the regime, anti-Western paranoia has free rein."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.