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MEMO to the Editor

Tackling ISIS

Dear Editor,

Re: What's Their Plan

As Tom Friedman points out, there are difficulties galore in trying to tackle ISIS (Sept 13). However, he captures the real problem when he says, "We so underestimate how starved Arabs are...for clean, decent governance".

That's true, but who's to blame? The US and its allies in the West and across the Middle East have not only shunned the victors of genuinely free and fair elections in Palestine and Egypt but also backed their downfall. Neither Hamas nor the Muslim Brotherhood have been allowed to demonstrate if they can govern well. The preferred administrations run by Abbas in Ramallah and Al-Sisi in Cairo, meanwhile, are openly corrupt and ride roughshod over democratic norms.

"Clean, decent governance" in the Arab world would remove "our guys" in the dictatorships which promote Western "interests". That's the real root cause of ISIS and its ilk; tackle that, or resentful extremism will continue to grow.

Ibrahim Hewitt
Senior Editor,
Middle East Monitor