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By Kam Zarrabi, Intellectual Discourse


A good friend drew my attention to an Opinion article by Mr. Fouad Ajami, "The Foreign Policy Difference", in the September 10th issue of the Wall Street Journal.


Mr. Ajami is an aspiring neo-neoconservative voice hollering for recognition at the doorsteps of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) headquarters. This  so called "Number-One Expert" in Middle East affairs has been the darling of the conservative media as a frequent guest on FOX television and a commentator for various national newspapers. He wasn't like that not that long ago; but that is a different story - whatever floats his boat!


Cutting through his well-written and eruditely worded commentary contrasting the foreign policy strategies of John McCain and Barack Obama, one might logically draw the following conclusion:

Mr. Ajami seems to be parroting the Mission Statement or the neoconservative manifesto of the Project for the New American Century: Since America is destined to be the great global empire of the new century, anything that might hinder achieving that goal is, by definition, Evil. And, there is only one way to deal with Evil in the perennial battle between Good and Evil, and that is to eliminate it by whatever means - barring none - including nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass annihilation, available to the forces of Good.


Kam Zarrabi is the author of
In Zarathushtra's Shadow

Here, Mr. Ajami seems to forget that John McCain has on several occasions suggested that he would prefer engaging America's allies and the United Nations in confronting the global evil that supposedly threatens the foundations of the Western civilization. But, as the PNAC manifesto clearly implies, should America's allies and the UN fail to understand and appreciate that America's imperial design for global hegemony is an inviolable entitlement decree d by a Higher Source, America must carry this difficult, yet noble, burden unilaterally on its own.


Here, Ajami sees Mr. McCain, and perhaps Mrs. Palin, as the kind of leaders America needs to take this nation to its second heavenly ordained manifest destiny - a combination of no-nonsense, battle hardened war hero and a pit-bull-of-a-hockey-mom with luscious lips and a cheer-leader voice!


On one point, and only one, Fouad Ajami was right on the mark. Barack Obama did change his tune about Iran after he received a good talking-to by the Israeli Likudniks. After that visit to Israel, Obama did decide that "no options would be off the table" in dealing with the Iranian regime. Joe Biden has also been sounding off his newly toughened rhetoric regarding Iran.


Ajami laments that Obama's change of heart has not been very convincing, not "particularly convincing" to the Israelis or to Fouad. He did not expound on Biden in his articl e, or to why, in his opinion, Obama or his running mate changed their tunes. I believe Mrs. Palin was also assisted by the arch Zionist, Joe Lieberman, to see "the light" through proper counseling by AIPAC godfathers who were somewhat unconvinced of her "commitments!"


I admit I do not buy into the gospel-clad claims to expertise by the older Orientalists like Bernard Lewis or the neo-Orientalists such as Fouad Ajami, each having gained their tenure through appealing to the impressionable, historically illiterate, sophomoric audiences. However, I have little doubt that Mr. Ajami, contrary to how he has been portraying himself in front of the media, knows better.


Mr. Ajami cannot truly believe that Iran is an aggressive threat, meaning the probability of initiating an attack,  against Israel, Western Europe or the United States. More than likely, he believes that the "threat" Iran poses is in attempting to defend itself or to retaliate in any way it can in case of an attack upon its soil. Of course, Fouad-minded hypocrites might argue that resisting the forces of Good in the pursuit of the Noble, is defying the will of the Divine and, there fore, a kind of "threat" deserving of serious preemption.


With his own Middle Eastern background and upbringing, Fouad Ajami can appreciate the power of religious fundamentalism as it has served the interests of power mongers, dictators and terrorists in the name of and sanctioned by the Divine authority. But he seems to have a problem acknowledging the macabre parallels between that kind of fundamentalism and the kind he seems to support emanating from the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.


What price tenure, Mr. Ajami?!


Kam Zarrabi

Kam Zarrabi is the author of In Zarathushtra's Shadow and Necessary Illusion. He is available to conduct lectures and seminars on international affairs, particularly in relation to Iran, with focus on US/Iran issues, at formal and informal gatherings or academic centers anywhere in the country. To make the necessary arrangements, please contact him at More information about Mr. Zarrabi and his work is available at:


... Payvand News - 09/12/08 ... --

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