By Barry Rubin
It’s ironic that the man most responsible for the West’s current policy disaster in the region thinks this is so in America’s Middle West but not so in the Middle East.
But there’s more, much more.
The Islamists—and certainly the Muslim Brotherhood—is disciplined and unified. We keep hearing about “splits” in the Brotherhood that are merely tactical maneuvers, showing the Islamists are smarter—or at least better able to fool people--than the reporters who cover them.
On the contrary, the moderates are always feuding, engaging in bitter personal disputes and ideological hairsplitting while there ship is sinking amidst a crowd of sharks. That’s what happened in Turkey, Tunisia, and Egypt. In the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Fatah leaders ran against each other while Hamas candidates sailed by with pluralities to win the election.
The fact that the Islamists are better organized than the moderates not because they have had more time but simply because they are better at organizing. The liberals tend to be intellectuals who think that writing an op-ed is a major political accomplishment. The democrats have far fewer dedicated volunteers and they have less money, too. And they are worse at stating and spreading their message—true, their message is more complicated—than the Islamists.