Monday, July 08, 2019

There are no red states or blue states in the Middle East, just a GOP that has lost any sense that policy matters

The title of this article is that the middle east is now divided into "Red States and Blue States." But when you read the article it frames it as "Republican countries" vs. "Democratic causes":
It is now possible to divide the Middle East between “Republican Party countries” and “Democratic Party causes.” This is a phenomenon of at least the last decade, but it has become more pronounced during the Trump era. Aside from Jordan—there is almost no one in Washington who does not like King Abdullah—the lineups are clear: Israel, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia are Republican in the sense that the party’s leaders and voters are sympathetic to them or more sympathetic to them than Democrats are. At the same time, Democrats tend to identify with the Iran nuclear deal and the Palestinians.
Actually, all that is really going on is the Republican party is lining up behind the Middle Eastern autocrats plus Israel. It is really dumb to make it seem like Republican's blind support for these countries is anything like Democrats having "causes" in the region. Both parties have always had causes all over the world. For a long time the Republican's cause was anti-communism. During the Bush era the Republican's cause in the Middle East was spreading democracy (remember the "freedom agenda"?)

The normal thing for an American political party to have is a cause. Having a cause is part of putting together a coherent foreign policy. What is weird is that Republicans have abandoned all their causes and are no longer attempting a logically coherent foreign policy. Instead, they are insisting upon blind fealty to Israel and an assortment of authoritarian Arab countries whose only real virtue is their ability to flatter Trump.

(via Memeorandum)