There are numerous problems with this column (via Yglesias), but perhaps the most obvious problem with the provided examples of “Arab-Muslim regimes irrationally sacrificing their very existence, overriding their instinct of self-preservation, to fight the perceived enemy to the bitter end” is that the three cases Rubinstein names represent fairly unusual circumstances or are not even appropriate examples.  Of course, Hussein did allow the U.N. “to search for (the apparently non-existent) weapons of mass destruction wherever they wanted”(remember Hans Blix?), and the U.S. and our allies invaded anyway because Washington would not take yes for an answer.  The Taliban was not run by Arabs, which makes the reference to “Arab-Muslim regimes” odd enough, but the Taliban were fairly unrepresentative among Muslim regimes around the world.  That leaves the second intifada, which is obviously such a unique case that you cannot make sweeping generalisations about “Arab-Muslim regimes” based on what Arafat did in 2000.  In contrast, when threatened with being bombed “into the stone age,” Islamabad very happily cooperated, severed ties with the Taliban and (mostly) joined our side.  One could go on, but I think the point has been made.

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