Tawfik Hamid, an ex-jihadist and author from Egypt, says the United States has empowered radical Islamists by adopting a naive diplomatic approach in the Middle East. Hamid faults the Obama Administration for embracing “sudden democracy syndrome,” encouraging the downfall of longstanding regimes and siding with revolutionary forces throughout the region. The problem with that policy, asserts Hamid: Once the militants are in the driving seat, they won’t hesitate to violently turn against their Washington patrons, as evidenced by the brutal murder of the US ambassador in Libya.
Hamid is interviewed here by Russia Today, the Russian global TV network. The Russians have their own motives, of course, for wanting to apply the brakes to Islamic extremism. Not only is Russia flanked on its southern border by several predominantly Muslim nations, but Russia also has propped up Syrian dictator Bashar Assad in his civil war against a rebel alliance that includes militia connected to al-Qaeda.