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A couple of weeks ago I wrote this post on  why the Saudi-UAE views of radical Islam will be more influential during the Trump administration.  A long-time reader, an extremely smart and distinguished analyst of Middle East politics, left this 1,000 word comment:

I agree that the Saudi/Emirati perspective on pol Islam will be more influential than Qatari ones. I think this is manifestly the case, given recent appointments and because they overlap with the language members of the administration adopted publicly during the campaign and since the beginning of the admin. I think it is inaccurate to characterize the Obamian view as being close to or synonymous with the Qatari one. The Qataris actively associate themselves with a Brotherhood-light internationalism, which the Obama people never embraced. They took a view that distinguished between violent versus non-violent Islamists and prioritized the threat assessment of the violent ones. It attempted to avoid taking a position on what were seen as internal debates among Muslims, except to effectively excommunicate the actively violent AQ/ISIL trend. A very incoherent and stifling approach, which is characteristic of agnostic Gen X Obamianism. This benefits the Saudi perspective, which provides the ideological ground for violent jihadi Salafism (walking followers to the edge of the cliff and saying, don’t jump, as many hardliners like to say), because it takes no position so long as those who promote variants of the ideology say “but don’t act on these teachings!” and draws the line strictly at the promotion or execution of violence. 

Analytically, I am sympathetic to the Saudi/UAE perspective on groups like the MB laid out in the piece. Operationalizing that view is problematic and we have seen this play out across the region, in Libya, Yemen, Iraq, Egypt, and elsewhere…