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By Barry Rubin

Here is the real Middle East not the Fantasyland of the Obama Administration about President Bashar al-Asad as a reformer or the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. This is how things really work.

Taleb Ibrahim is a pro-regime propagandist frequently portrayed as a “political analyst” or some objective thinker in the international mass media. But speaking in Arabic he cuts loose, explaining that killing protestors is a duty because they are Israeli agents. Thus, those demonstrating against the government must be smashed, wiped out so a better future can be built for Syria.

The regime in Damascus is carrying out mass murder and calling for more killing yet Western governments still stand by and not only do nothing, they say nothing.

Meanwhile, despite an international military assault on Libya, dictator Muammar al-Qadhafi is still there, another sign of Western impotence. Hizballah was allowed to defeat the West by returning to southern Lebanon and smuggling in all the weapons it wanted from Syria (without any condemnation of Syria for violating the U.S.-sponsored, UN-mandated ceasefire. Iran zips along toward nuclear weapons; Islamist terror spreads in Egypt. The UN-mandated international investigation of terrorism in Lebanon doesn’t advance toward indicting Syria.

Yet we are told either that everything is going great or that the problems are inexplicable.

Has there ever been such a gap between reality and perception? The fascinating question here is how far things will go and how many people will be dead before there is the beginning of some comprehension that Obama and his advisors are dead wrong while most of the mass media has no idea what it’s talking about

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal, and a featured columnist at PajamasMedia His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). The website of the GLORIA Center is His PajamaMedia columns are mirrored and other articles available at 

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