I Am so sick of McCain and the rest of Washington. TPTB have just about backed us and Israel into a corner. We can’t be like Europe and sucumb to Islam, I mean how’s that working out. Hate to go all UN-PC on ya, but ….
Screw Any Muslim Who Believes in a Caliphate , and The Camel They Rode in on.!! 😡
This is my opinion and not the opinion of FOTM
——————————————– ~ Steve ~ ——————————————-
by sundance @ theconservativetreehouse Republican John McCain is just as dangerous to our nation as his new BFF President Obama; Perhaps more so….
n 2009 McCain went to Turkey in support of another BFF of Obama, Prime Minister Erdogan. We tried to warn….. it fell on deaf ears.
Turkey has descended into a hardline Islamist state, no longer the moderate secular nation it once was. In 2010 McCain joined the chorus of fools proclaiming that Egypt needed support to overthrow Hosni Mubarak, and claimed the Tahir Square protesters would give a new rise to freedom. We tried to warn…… it fell on deaf ears.
Egypt quickly and intentionally descended into a hardline Islamist state. Now ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood, and facilitating attacks against Israel as they continue to advance their extremist Sharia ideology. In 2011 McCain went to Benghazi in eastern Libya. There he joined with Obama/Hillary’s toolish BFF Ambassador Stephens (pictured below to his left). As Clinton, Obama and Stephens, together with Susan Rice and Samantha Power Rice structured, yet again, the Obama Doctrine [R2P] by arming the “rebels” who were in actuality al-Qaeda. We tried to warn….. it fell on deaf ears.
Eastern Libya became a hell hole of radical Islamist jihadi’s. Eventually they brutalized, raped, and murdered Ambassador Stephens while dragging his body through the streets. Three other Americans were also killed.
Eastern Libya is now an al-Qaeda launching base, and the media hides the reality to protect Dear Leader.
2012 was an election year, so other than lying and covering the death of Stephens behind all manner of irrational nonsense excuses to cover for their short-sighted failure; luckily the election cycle made the crew of U.S. usurpers wary of involvement in Syria.
But now here we are in 2013, today, yet another McCain trip to yet another Middle East nation to support another batch of “rebels”. This time the Free Syrian Army (aka al-Qaeda in Syria). We’re not going to even bother with warnings this time……
What will happen is what has happened before.
The “Resistance, or Rebels, or Freedom Fighters et al” will be called such by the mediauntil they are armed, and in charge. Once that happens their ideology will surface, they’ll be viewed as radical Islamists; And after they chop up a few folks, launch some terrorist actions against the U.S. and Israel, their name will evolve in the media to ”al-Qaeda”
The term “Arab Spring” refers to a revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests occurring in the Arab world, which began in Tunisia on December 18, 2010.
The most famous Arab Spring protests took place in Egypt, which began on January 25, 2011, and continued for 18 days, eventually bringing down the government of President Hosni Mubarak.
Obama expressed his approval of Arab Spring, saying this in his speech of May 19, 2011:
“Sometimes, in the course of history, the actions of ordinary citizens spark movements for change because they speak to a longing for freedom that has built up for years. […] For six months, we have witnessed an extraordinary change take place in the Middle East and North Africa. Square by square; town by town; country by country; the people have risen up to demand their basic human rights. Two leaders have stepped aside. More may follow. […] Those shouts of human dignity are being heard across the region. And through the moral force of non-violence, the people of the region have achieved more change in six months than terrorists have accomplished in decades.”
We are warned in Matthew 7:15-17 to “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits…[for] a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.”
Here are the fruits of the much-heralded Arab Spring:
On August 20, 2011, more than 2,000 angry Egyptians broke down barriers at Israel’s embassy in Cairo, burned Israeli flags, raised the Egyptian flag, and demanded that Israel’s ambassador be expelled.
Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu reports for Arutz Sheva, Aug. 21, 2011, that Egyptian police outside the embassy did not try to prevent the crowd from pulling down the Israeli flag from the embassy.
Egypt’s new provisional military regime had condemned Israel for the deaths of Egyptian soldiers during the IDF’s search and destroy operation of the terrorists who staged the sophisticated multi-pronged attack north of Eilat on Thursday. Israel said the terrorists crossed into Egyptian-controlled Sinai from Gaza and continued on to attack Israelis.
Egypt summoned the Israeli ambassador and said it is not enough for Israel to apologize. The regime’s cabinet said, “Egypt lays on Israel the political and legal responsibility for this incident, which constitutes a breach of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.”
Several eyewitnesses to Thursday’s attack said it appeared to them that Egyptian soldiers fired on Israelis, but this has not been confirmed by military officials. However, one of the terrorist attacks began under the noses of Egyptian soldiers in an observation post adjacent to the Israeli border.
Egypt claimed that the IDF killed three Egyptian police officers while chasing the terrorists inside Egyptian territory. The IDF said that its soldiers fired “toward the sources of fire” and did not aim at Egyptian soldiers.
In an e-mail to me, this blog’s regular commentator Anon wrote this most apt observation: “Now they have the freedom to get back to their favorite pastime: Hating Jews.”
Another e-correspondent of mine wrote: “If an embassy is not to be protected, we ought to leave Egypt – and take our ten figure foreign aid per annum with us.”
Be careful what you wish for. Things can always get worse.
The worst fear of some of us is coming true. The formerly banned radical Islamic group, Muslim Brotherhood, has risen to the forefront of post-uprising Egypt and is forging a partnership with the military. The Society of the Muslim Brothers is not just an Egyptian group, but a pan or transnational Islamic movement. It is the largest political opposition organization in many Arab states, as well as the world’s oldest and largest Islamic political group. Described as the “world’s most influential Islamist movement,” the Brotherhood’s slogan is the theocratic “Islam is the solution”
So much for those starry-eyed expectations of post-Mubarak Egypt becoming a democratic and secular republic.
H/t Fellowship co-founder Steve. ~Eowyn
Sword and Koran: The emblem of the Muslim Brotherhood
An excerpt from Michael Slackman’s report in the New York Times, “Islamist Group Is Rising Force in a New Egypt,” March 24, 2011:
CAIRO — In post-revolutionary Egypt, where hope and confusion collide in the daily struggle to build a new nation, religion has emerged as a powerful political force, following an uprising that was based on secular ideals. The Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group once banned by the state, is at the forefront, transformed into a tacit partner with the military government that many fear will thwart fundamental changes. It is also clear that the young, educated secular activists who initially propelled the nonideological revolution are no longer the driving political force — at least not at the moment.
As the best organized and most extensive opposition movement in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood was expected to have an edge in the contest for influence. But what surprises many is its link to a military that vilified it. “There is evidence the Brotherhood struck some kind of a deal with the military early on,” said Elijah Zarwan, a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group. “It makes sense if you are the military — you want stability and people off the street. The Brotherhood is one address where you can go to get 100,000 people off the street.”
There is a battle consuming Egypt about the direction of its revolution, and the military council that is now running the country is sending contradictory signals. On Wednesday, the council endorsed a plan to outlaw demonstrations and sit-ins. Then, a few hours later, the public prosecutor announced that the former interior minister and other security officials would be charged in the killings of hundreds during the protests.
Egyptians are searching for signs of clarity in such declarations, hoping to discern the direction of a state led by a secretive military council brought to power by a revolution based on demands for democracy, rule of law and an end to corruption. “We are all worried,” said Amr Koura, 55, a television producer, reflecting the opinions of the secular minority. “The young people have no control of the revolution anymore. It was evident in the last few weeks when you saw a lot of bearded people taking charge. The youth are gone.” The Muslim Brotherhood is also regarded warily by some religious Egyptians, who see it as an elitist, secret society. These suspicions have created potential opportunities for other parties. About six groups from the ultraconservative Salafist school of Islam have also emerged in the era after President Hosni Mubarak’s removal, as well as a party called Al Wassat, intended as a more liberal alternative to the Brotherhood….
But in these early stages, there is growing evidence of the Brotherhood’s rise and the overpowering force of Islam. When the new prime minister, Essam Sharaf, addressed the crowd in Tahrir Square this month, Mohamed el-Beltagi, a prominent Brotherhood member, stood by his side. A Brotherhood member was also appointed to the committee that drafted amendments to the Constitution.
But the most obvious and consequential example was the recent referendum on the amendments, in the nation’s first post-Mubarak balloting. The amendments essentially call for speeding up the election process so that parliamentary contests can be held before September, followed soon after by a presidential race. That expedited calendar is seen as giving an advantage to the Brotherhood and to the remnants of Mr. Mubarak’s National Democratic Party, which have established national networks. The next Parliament will oversee drafting a new constitution.
To read the rest of this article, you will have to be a paid NYT subscriber.
EgyptAir, the largest airline in Africa, is the flag carrier airline of Egypt.
The airline operates scheduled passenger and freight services to more than 75 destinations in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas, but it no longer services the country of Israel. More than that, EgyptAir has completely wiped Israel off the face of its route map.
Israel has quietly dropped off Egypt Air’s route map this week.
The airline’s explanation is that “flights to Tel Aviv are operated by Air Sinai, which is a separate company.” It explains that “our website exclusively show destinations to which our own EA flights travel to.”
I’ve been unable to find a phone number, website or postal address for Air Sinai. That’s because it doesn’t seem to exist. Wikipedia states it “ceased airline operations in its own right in 2002 and operates as a ‘paper airline’ for its parent company, Egypt Air.”
Like a fair few other people, I suspect, I’m wondering if this is a sign of things to come in the Egypt-Israel relationship, because of the growing influence of people who would like to see Israel erased from maps, not just route maps.
Egyptians who backed the movement against Hosni Mubarak, the country’s unlamented former ruler, are beginning to realise that the revolution they sacrificed so much for isn’t headed quite where they’d expected.
To read the rest of this article, CLICK HERE.
To verify the information for myself, I went onto EgyptAir’s website to see if I could book a flight to or from anywhere in Israel. The website asks which country I’m located in (presumably, my flight’s point-of origin) or which country is my destination. I discovered that Israel isn’t even listed among EygptAir’s list of countries. It’s not as if Israel is far away: the flight distance between Tel Aviv, Israel, and Cairo, Egypt, is only 251 miles — shorter than that between San Francisco, California, and Reno, Nevada.
For readers who are acquainted with occult symbolism, it should be of some interest that EgyptAir’s logo is Horus, the sky deity in ancient Egyptian mythology. ~Eowyn
First it was our government’s intelligence agencies being caught surprised by the events in Egypt.
At a House Intelligence Committee hearing last Thursday, Feb. 10, CIA Director Leon Panetta told lawmakers “I have the same information you do.” Panetta then said he expected Egypt President Hosni Mubarak to step down soon, perhaps the next day. But the kick is this: Panetta based his prediction not on secret intelligence but on media broadcasts, the same information that you, I, and what CBS anchorwoman Katie Couric calls “the great unwashed middle of the country” have!
Then, in the same House Intelligence Committee hearing, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper inspires even more confidence [sarcasm alert] when he admitted that the U. S. intelligence committee was surprised by the protesters in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen, but insists the same U.S. intelligence committee has been steadfast in monitoring events in the Middle East.
Now we are told that the Pentagon’s fancy-dancy computer models — which cost taxpayers $125 million for the last 3 years and are supposed to forecast political unrest — somehow failed to anticipate those same “events in the Middle East,” such as the huge demonstrations in Cairo which went on for almost 3 weeks and which succeeded in ousting a 30-year president dictator.
Way to go, CIA and Pentagon! Glad to know that, at a time when millions of Americans are unemployed and are on food stamps, taxpayers are pouring millions of dollars down rat holes. ~EowynPentagon’s Prediction Software Didn’t Spot Egypt Unrest
By Noah Shachtman – Wired – Feb 11, 2011 In the last three years, America’s military and intelligence agencies have spent more than $125 million on computer models that are supposed to forecast political unrest. It’s the latest episode in Washington’s four-decade dalliance with future-spotting programs. But if any of these algorithms saw the upheaval in Egypt coming, the spooks and the generals are keeping the predictions very quiet.
Instead, the head of the CIA is getting hauled in front of Congress, making calls about Egypt’s future based on what he read in the press, and getting proven wrong hours later. Meanwhile, an array of Pentagon-backed social scientists, software engineers and computer modelers are working to assemble forecasting tools that are able to reliably pick up on geopolitical trends worldwide. It remains a distant goal.
“All of our models are bad, some are less bad than others,” says Mark Abdollahian, a political scientist and executive at Sentia Group, which has built dozens of predictive models for government agencies. “We do better than human estimates, but not by much,” Abdollahian adds. “But think of this like Las Vegas. In blackjack, if you can do four percent better than the average, you’re making real money.”
Over the past three years, the Office of the Secretary of Defense has handed out $90 million to more than 50 research labs to assemble some basic tools, theories and processes than might one day produce a more predictable prediction system. None are expected to result in the digital equivalent of crystal balls any time soon.
In the near term, Pentagon insiders say, the most promising forecasting effort comes out of Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Laboratories in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. And even the results from this Darpa-funded Integrated Crisis Early Warning System (ICEWS) have been imperfect, at best. ICEWS modelers were able to forecast four of 16 rebellions, political upheavals and incidents of ethnic violence to the quarter in which they occurred. Nine of the 16 events were predicted within the year, according to a 2010 journal article [.pdf] from Sean O’Brien, ICEWS’ program manager at Darpa.
Darpa spent $38 million on the program, and is now working with Lockheed and the United States Pacific Command to make the model a more permanent component of the military’s planning process. There are no plans, at the moment, to use ICEWS for forecasting in the Middle East.
ICEWS is only the latest in a long, long series of prediction programs to come out of the Pentagon’s way-out research shop. Back in the early 1980s, products from a Darpa crisis-warning system program allegedly filled President Reagan’s daily intelligence briefing, with uncertain results. In the late ’80s, analyst Bruce Bueno de Mesquita began his modeling work. According to The New York Times Magazine, Bueno de Mesquita picked Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini’s successor five years ahead of time, and forecast Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s ouster — to the month.
One former CIA analyst claims that Bueno de Mesquita was “accurate 90 percent of the time.” It’s an assertion that no one — inside the government or out — has independently verified. Perhaps someone at the CIA really is relying on the model, and it really is that good. That hasn’t stopped the agency from swinging and missing for decades on Middle East intelligence estimates.
In 2002, the military’s National Defense University began tapping Abdollahian and his “Senturion predictive political simulation model” to forecast unfolding events in Iraq. According to Abdollahian, the model accurately predicted that Bush administration favorite Ahmed Chalabi would prove to be a lousy ally, and that both Sunni and Shi’ite insurgencies would grow to seriously challenge U.S. forces.
Both Abdollahian and Bueno de Mesquita take a similar approach to the prediction game. They interview lots and lots of experts about the key players in a given field. Then they program software agents to replicate the behavior of those players. Finally, they let the agents loose, to see what they’ll do next. The method is useful, but limited. For every new situation, the modelers have to interview new experts, and program new agents.
A second approach is to look at the big social, economic and demographic forces at work in a region — the average age, the degree of political freedom, the gross domestic product per capita — and predict accordingly. This “macro-structural” approach can be helpful in figuring out long-term trends, and forecasting general levels of instability; O’Brien relied on it heavily, when he worked for the Army. For spotting specific events, however, it’s not enough.
The third method is to read the news. Or rather, to have algorithms read it. There are plenty of programs now in place that can parse media reports, tease out who is doing what to whom, and then put it all into a database. Grab enough of this so-called “event data” about the past and present, the modelers say, and you can make calls about the future. Essentially, that’s the promise of Recorded Future, the web-scouring startup backed by the investment arms of Google and the CIA.
But, of course, news reports are notoriously spotty, especially from a conflict zone. It’s one of the reasons why physicist Sean Gourley’s much heralded, tidy-looking equation to explain the chaos of war failed to impress in military circles. Relying on media accounts, it was unable to forecast the outcome of the 2007 military surge in Iraq.
ICEWS is an attempt to combine all three approaches, and ground predictions in social science theory, not just best guesses. In a preliminary test, the program was fed event data about Pacific nations from 2004 and 2005. Then the software was asked to predict when and where insurrections, international crises and domestic unrest would occur. Correctly calling nine of 16 events within the year they happened was considered hot stuff in the modeling world.
But it doesn’t even meet the threshold that O’Brien, the Darpa program manager and long-time military social scientist, set for strong models. If “we cannot correctly predict over 90% of the cases with which our model is concerned,” he writes, “then we have little basis to assert our understanding of a phenomenon, never mind our ability to explain it.”
This is from one of my e-correspondents who wants be to be known as an anonymous “observer inside the Beltway.” He is not just an observer; he has worked long in the Beltway, most likely within the State Department.
In this missive, “Insider” describes a U.S. foreign policy apparatus that is distressingly out-of-touch and manipulated by our very enemies. Our government has relied and is still relying on the Muslim Brotherhood — no friend to the United States, Israel, and Western civilization — for intelligence! “Insider” also points out what we already know — the collusion between the Left and Radical Islam.
Since “Insider” wrote this as a stream-of-consciousness e-mail — with many “beltway” bureacratese acronyms — instead of as a polished publishable piece, I did some very minor editing to enhance his writing. ~Eowyn
Some of us (in media, thinktanks, academia, government) have been in a running dialogue about the recent events in Lebanon, Tunisia and Egypt and the role of the Muslim Brotherhood. A theme has been the range of possible spill-on effects across the region, the Arab and Muslim world, and our allies and enemies near and far.
For a recap, here’s the scoop on the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin, or simply the ‘Ikhwan’ (brothers):
c. 1928, Egypt; supportive cooperators and combatants of Hitler (and Mussolini); fought in initial war against Israel; active in +- 89 countries; inspiration and/or parent of a working quorum of U.S. SDGTE’s (Specially Designated Global Terrorist Entities) to include AlQaeda, PIJ, Hamas, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the Sudanese ruling front, etc.; established U.S. support network (CAIR, ISNA, MAS, CSID, and others, many of which, and their leaders/cadres, are indicted/unindicted co-conspirators or convicted, deported or fugitives in U.S. federal terrorism cases. This whilst the groups remain trainers and partners with the FBI, State, DHS, national law enforcement, chaplains in the US military and prison system, human rights commission members in many jurisdictions including NYC, etc.); Homologue apparatus exists in many countries of operation, to include major institutes, banks, Islamic movements and parties, e.g., that of MB senior Anwar Ibrahim and his family in Malaysia.
Previous MB attempts to overthrow the Government of Egypt (GOE) include assassination attempts on Nasser and his PM (successful), Sadat (successful), and Mubarak. MB has access to billions of dollars of funds. Increasingly cooperative with shi’ite Iran/Hez’b’allah (Party of God), vice only Saudi/OIC and sunni dominated countries/groups.
MB’s End game goal: Establish the caliphate and achieve global governance under Islam.
MB’s Motto: the very democratic, moderate, pluralistic and inclusionary verses of:
Allah is our objective.
The Prophet is our leader.
Qur’an is our law.
Jihad is our way.
Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.
[For a reasonably fair and accurate, well footnoted summary, see the main MB Wikipedia entry, and notably MB original documents and US trial evidence in the footnotes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim_Brotherhood#cite_note-24. Pro-MB authors (Leiken, Graham Fuller, others), are in the mix and a dance card is useful, but the overall picture emerges.] See also, www.GlobalMBreport.com
Irrespective of the accuracy of The Telegraph‘s story that the U.S. cleverly has been planning/aware of this effort in Egypt for 3 years, working with “democracy activists” — who are rather clearly the Muslim Brotherhood (for which there is significant evidence) — it serves at least to highlight unsettling trends. Not least re our inability, in our present state, to consider, contain or even react in any effective way to these events and effects — of which there seems to be endless permutations.
It should be noted that the Obama Administration has been all over the map on the issue in recent days, to include contradictory statements by the Pres, VP, SecState, and spokesmen as to human rights, Tunisia, whether Mubarak is or isn’t a dictator, whether the GOE is stable, whether we will suspend US aid, whether we support Arab world “people’s” movements (no in Iran, yes in Tunisia, maybe in Egypt, etc.), whether the claims of such movements are legitimate or not, etc. Not to mention inconsistencies, silence, reversals on similar subjects in the case of Lebanon, Syria, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, etc. Crisis management is not their forté and the Middle East has not been the scene of Administration victories.
Re the “activists,” interlocutors and agents provocateur, aka, Muslim Brotherhood cadres: Virtually our whole approach to understanding of, and ‘outreach” to, the Arab and Muslim world, at home and abroad, has been contracted out — increasingly formally (funding, billets inside our decision and analytic loop, not just advisory, seats at tables, etc.) — to our enemies at home and abroad for years now, notably CIA, State, INR, and domestically — the Bureau, DHS, and the soft powers (NED, USIP). Same for the UK. The history of the UK and U.S. services, and others, over a long period stretching to the 1920-40’s, with the MB is another topic. Suffice it to say it is long and convoluted; but the point is that the engagement is of long standing, which might raise more questions than it answers. The main, or even exclusive interlocutor, in Egypt and generally in the Muslim basket, is directly and indirectly the MB in all its disguises. As Melanie Phillips put it in Londonistan — “we have long contracted our understanding of the extremists to the extremists”, with the predictable result. At the very definitional level, the enemy has come to designate the parameters of the engagement and debate, to a remarkable extent. It is all so handy and timely, and certainly saves us having to read their damnable history, books and reams of doctrine and to learn their secret language, locate the Hijaz on a map, etc. It even runs the Islamic World polling operation of Pew and other major opinion firms who in turn stoke our policy and informational data inputs and objectives, and our broadcasts to the Muslim/Arab world, our Democracy/Civil Society money in Iraq and the greater MidEast/NoAfrica region. How very useful these MB friends and “assets” are.
A consensus seems to emerge among us that, sadly, none of this is likely to get us what the (US Govt/architects) imagine. If the recent Obama awarding of $60B arms to Saudi was part of this fantastic calculus for replacing dictatorships, then this is even dumber. In any case, the MB have no intent of being our partner, or dealing in any normative context of quid pro quo beyond whatever is strictly in their interest — which self-evidently does not include moderating or restraining world Islamist trends and capabilities. The Islamists are in particular need of a serious propaganda and recruitment boost on both the political and armed side, and now they are getting it. Losing in Cairo, or a setback there of some sort, will only redouble the bracing effects, there and globally, of a new shot of adrenalin for their ummah-wide aspirations. I don’t expect them to lose, or to be held back for long, but rather to be strengthened overall.
The Mubarak regime is weakened already, the police and military have fissures and know their future lies beyond the 80-year-old weakened Mubarek. The concession on the resignation of the Cabinet came quickly. The armed forces are unlikely to crush the MB — managing revolutions is notoriously difficult. But in such fluid situations the advantage most always accrues to the party with the most fervent willingness to ruthlessly apply the level of violence needed to prevail, especially if they have advantage of initiative. It is not a game for moderates, nor is there any serious “moderate” opposition in evidence. Such moderates as exist, who may hope to influence the MB, will suffer the usual fate of being swept along, co-opted, used and discarded by the revolutionary elite once power is consolidated.
Revolutions also can benefit from a focus on external enemies — safety valves for the unrest they inherit, create and cannot quickly enough manage or suppress. Eliminating the border blockade and any pretense of partnership with Israel/U.S. in a peace process, recognizing a Palestinian state, and moving a war against Israel, are just some of the logical options for early action by an Islamist regime. U.S. influence in Egypt, as in the rest of the region, is fast eroding and nearly impossible to advance in effective timeframes given the recent and near term realities and the overwhelming contingencies of the fortnight (Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, Syria, Lebanon, the Hariri tribunal, civil war within Lebanon, war with Israel, the Iranian program, to name some obvious ones).
Thus the table could soon shift, all over the globe, in the Islamists’ favor — with too few offsets for our side, even were we prescient and resourced enough to be able to exploit such.
Part of our failure to ever conduct a serious global net-assessment of the Islamists or otherwise examine them in the global context — indeed to view them as global at all — was/is often rationalized as “We need to deal with them in Egypt, don’t trouble us about the rest”. In the 1990’s, State Dept essentially said the same thing about elevating Hamas (officially the MB) viz Arafat and the ‘process’ — “We need a 2nd ‘party’ to have a Palestinian democratic entity, and one we can deal with that has legitimacy and isn’t so corrupt — Hamas is it!” (they speak English, went to school in the West, understand the media and can be trusted to run AID projects efficiently, are good organizers, earn us points in the Arab Street, etc. — same thing State said to justify support to the legacy parties of the CCCP in Russia in the same timeframe). I was at the table as a Democracy/Governance Advisor at State at that time as these things were said and programmed. Recent US Govt-sponsored efforts have whitewashed the MB by selective reporting, notably the IC-sponsored Robert Leiken paper in Foreign Affairs, which strove to portray the MB as a political party, democratic and moderate, while acknowledging its role as the predominant Islamist movement in the world. This report was anchored by numerous interviews, yet curiously done without reference to the three most important leadership cadre of the MB –then Supreme Guide, Atkef; the lead cleric, Qaradawi; or the chief fundraiser, Nada — whose positions repeatedly and consistently are opposite to those represented by Leiken and his sponsors (a charter founder of the Social Democrats USA, Leiken’s record with the Sandinistas was similar, and very late into the regime). So the belief that another Iran won’t happen and that the revolutionary forces are moderate and manageable, gets another run.
This “pragmatic” approach — along with factors such as Islam’s millenia of institutionalized D & D (in the religion’s books, shari’a, statecraft and culture); the IC’s Saudi black box (and the cash box of billions of dollars in Saudi funding since 1975 to ensure Islamist domination of all aspects of Islam, thus ensuring only the radicals are heard and effective while the chimerical ‘moderates’ are defunded, displaced, demoralized and discredited); the overall Arabist tilt and romance in the U.S. foreign service arms and the academy; and, the brilliant playing of the PC and fake “civil liberties-Muslim bigotry” elements domestically by the MB’s apparat orchestra — abetted by our witling and/or willing bureaucrats across government, media and academia, all have combined to blind us to the realities of the Islamist vision, resources, capabilities and networks and to their avowedly global project. In the process, our approach has also smothered and penalized any who ask the inappropriate or inconvenient questions (whether in the IC, Law enforcement, agencies, congress, media, publishing and the culture at-large). A controlled and shaded mirror guides our analysis under the cover of providing us the needed crescent of light. It will become increasingly hard to turn all this around, especially if Egypt does become MB soon, and as we go from crisis to crisis along a shifting, reactive, policy line (Saudi, Israel, Turkey, Yemen, Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq, etc.). Ponder whether we would then be better positioned for managing the dead “peace process’; affecting the leadership transitions in Saud, et al.; countering Iran’s nuclear program; holding the oil price in a reasonable range; containing Turkey’s Islamist government (and WMD development); or, prevailing in policy and security goals re Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, or among Central Asian Muslims, Nigeria’s Muslims, and all the relevant pipelines, governments, WMD’s, SLOCS, MB offspring and related Islamist terrorist groups, etc.
Or imagine whether, after a MB-takeover in Cairo, France would be better able to manage its hundreds of Muslim “no go” areas, or England, Spain, Germany and the Benelux advancing increasingly needed countermeasures. Consider effects on Right-wing, Nazi, anti-immigrant and already heightened anti-semetic/anti-Israel activity, and other sectarian reactions and concomitant stressors, in a Europe already fraught with domestic pressures re economy/jobs, fuel supply/pricing, sovereign/unsustainable debt, immigration/welfare, aging populations and negative birth rates. Imagine the effects in, say, the Balkans, Malaysia, Indonesia, the India-Pakistan subcontinent, and in energy patches of FSU (not to mention the Russian military and its Muslim cohort or the vast Muslim population proximate to the Moscow ring road). None of these situations will be ameliorated by a renewed Islamist energy, added state sponsorship for Islamist fronts and terror groups, or the cascading effects of wars, blockades, commodity shortages, Muslim led strikes (Marseilles, e.g.), an Iran and Russia reaping windfall oil profits and arms sales markets, and a visibly weakened U.S. authority/credibilityand an attenuated crises of confidence generally among friends and allies.
If it is the US/Western assumption that the MB in Egypt or elsewhere is “a kind of solution,” then we are in deeper trouble considerably sooner than expected.
It is possible that this might turn out to be the most grievous failure of strategy, intelligence and analysis in our time. It may also turn out to be among the most rapidly and deeply effective influence operations ever perpetrated against us. [The MB came here informally in the early 1960’s, and began formalizing institutions in the early 1980’s, and entering government and dominating dialogue in the 1990’s — all under foreign, illegal and criminal sponsorship and funding, and while actively criminally providing material support to global terrorism, including that aimed at the US and its allies. Truly an impressive feat from most any applicable metric.]
One objective of the series of Senate hearings and other investigative, analytic, law enforcement support and reporting efforts that colleagues and I led and supported in 2003, was to set the predicate for an independent B-team analysis of Islam and Arab related intelligence, since so clearly much had been wrong, ignored or sidetracked. This certainly would have quickly come to focus on the global MB and the strength and growth rates of its efforts. Two former Directors of Central Intelligence were willing to oversee such a blue-ribbon effort; no such comprehensive review or competitive analysis effort, to my knowledge, has occurred. Nor has there been any similarly aimed top level coordination against the global MB/Islamist target. Instead, considerable efforts have been devoted to loading the deck in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the requisite zig-zagging around the Sauds, while the majority of daily IC effort otherwise applied to things Muslim/Arab is devoted directly to warfighter support, something limned as “Al Qaeda and its affiliates,” Iran’s nuclear program and some marginal drug/terrorist/threat finance support and WMD possibilities — all results of Islamist growth and depth earlier misjudged.
Yet, almost assuredly, there now will be no time, even if demanded by Congress, for reviews, new assessments, independent forward thinking, all-points questioning, the sponsorship of rapid mastery of Islam or Arabic/regional certification programs, enhanced CI [counter intelligence] training and Islam awareness programs. All instead will be invested in managing the daily crisis traffic and threat streams, defending the mistakes and investments already made, and maintaining endless cycles of rationalization and delusion, and general political spin. The damage will evolve slowly and unevenly, continuing a long pattern. Disasters will be attributed to uncontrolled ‘unforseeable’ forces. We will adapt without retribution, reform or meaningful correctives — short of a 9/11 of some sort, and even then. Perhaps the defeat of Israel, who knows? It becomes a thing beyond Orwell — or Fred Ikle’s ‘semantic infiltration’ or V. Bukovsky’s remarking (speaking about arms control with the Soviets) on “the West’s need for delusion” — when we find ourselves rationalizing the Muslim Brotherhood as a force for democracy and moderation. And when, from our institutionalized post-religious, post-ideological, post-everything viewpoint, we imagine that we might usefully manage our rather global equities among the soon-to-be 1-in-4 persons who are Muslim (Pew’s latest projection for 2020) through the Muslim Brotherhood’s tender offices and missions. Such delusion makes our China policy seem considered, deeply informed and sober. Fools who tried to hustle the East. All enemies will now redouble their hustling of us –from China and Russia to DPRK and Iran, sensing, as jackals and rug merchants alike preternaturally do, the weakened tourist lost in the sands — the easy mark, the overextended, exhausted and fever-blinded grasping hand.
Of course, the situation may be in varying degrees more happily positive than suggested. Yes, Mubarak or the military may find an interim hold on power, sufficient for U.S. policy to sort itself out. Yes, the MB if in power will have to divert attention to managing Egypt, feeding its people, controlling its military, refining MB 3.0 and the “democratic mask”, balancing the local of Arab world and the larger Islamist project, etc. The MB and the Islamist project could be diminished for a time by this, more likely over a dangerous amount of very bloody time. Its capacity for adaptation is not fully understood. Yes, China’s masses may be stirred, the CCP may be weakened, its military empowered more rapidly or the whole friable mess overturned (one can’t bear to think how unprepared we are for that!). Or some unknowable internal chain of struggle may be set off within and among actors such as Iran or Saudi, or over time between the MB and the rest of Islam, that is somehow beneficial to some U.S. interest. An awakening in Western governments and culture might begin, or a Presidency here or there be shortened. We may develop our own massive stores of oil and gas, whilst the Saudis run out, altering our calculus about the region notably. There are many more possible outcomes. There is too much room for the accidents and miscalculations that can easily lead to wars. There is not much resiliency in the system, here or there.
One has to do what one can with any new hand, however dealt. But it is always harder to play catch-up as MacArthur neatly postulated in his famous remark about the history of failure in war being a result of ‘too late comprehending the deadly purpose of a potential enemy; too late in realizing the mortal danger; too late in preparedness; too late in uniting all possible forces for resistance, too late standing with one’s friends.’ A cliche for IR [international relations] students perhaps, but all too apt in the current circumstance, as we approach the end of what, in the larger context, might be adjudged a wasted decade regarding this enemy and our exertions afield, post-9/11. If Mubarak’s Egypt goes, many allies, potential allies and enemies alike will have cause to more deeply question the reliability and credibility of the U.S., beyond the personality of this Presidency, and to consider alternatives.
All for now. Back to the wires, Al Jazeera, and the rest. Comments welcomed. For various reasons, including the growing list size and members, (sensitive/institutional positions and equities), it is best that any responses come bcc’d and with an indicator as to whether they may be shared, attributed or not.
ps. As some of you have pointed out, meanwhile the tanks, troop carriers, gas canisters and related paraphernalia and electronics deployed against the crowds are in the main U.S. origin or license (M1A1 tanks are made their under license, for instance). Those in Iran are Chinese, and those in China are ours and Israel’s. Makes it all quite complex.
Domestic influence codicil:
Attempts to view global Islam and its main motive force in the tired, routine and largely irrelevant lenses of the Cold War abound. EuroIslam/a third way? MB as Social Democrats equivalent? Catholic and western formalist religious critiques recast as points of departure to analyze a wholly different religion which in its fundamentals rejects western rationality? Memes of Civil rights, decolonialization, poverty remediation, cross cultural exchange and interfaith dialogue?
These, and the other self-mirroring and studied tropes of the IR, aid and talkshop world have been generally reflections more of American obsessions and social science fashions than of the subject target of effort and its culture. They will continue to be both 1) ineffective for us and 2) useful for the Islamists. Useful for them because they are thus better funded, credentialed, and validated to be further introduced into our analytic, informational and decision loops whilst they gain intelligence on us and reinforce our misguided beliefs; and, because it buys them time and tactical room to exploit here and abroad, which for them are one line, Dar al Harb, the zone of war. Ineffective for us because our approach insulates the MB from normal Law Enforcement and IC/Counterintelligence attention, reduces them in our conception as any level of threat in favor of viewing them as a client and lever whose confidence and favor we may gain by empowering them further. The trade off is the cut off of most all critical thinking or review — not to mention limiting useful collection/tasking, purposeful and effective infiltration and turning, etc.
So, this wilful distortion perpetrated by the MB and by ourselves, precisely blocks effective “connecting of the dots”. It is its own virtual Wall, to unpleasantly recall the Reno/Holder device. This is the case whether for a deplaning panty bomber who thus cannot be interrogated effectively and timeously, an influence agent in place, an MB appointee or judge, a psychotic military officer or sociopathic federal agent gone ‘native’, or an insider threat target (or an MB investment) in a vital government or private sector critical infrastructure — virtually none of whom have been, or can at present expect to be, subject to the normal scrutiny, review, procedures or questioning for fear of an unfavorable federal case, a private tort, a slap down from an interested agency, or simply an overwhelming MB-orchestrated public reaction which results in any of the above. This new mau-mau has been fine-tuned with guidance from the old New Left, the ACLU, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the remnant Socialist Worker Parties, et al — and a clutch of their alumni, fresh from Gitmo representation and now in senior appointive slots at DOJ — all practiced at “widening the legal space for the revolution” as their godfather Wm. Kunstler put it. The MB’s experience in Egypt and elsewhere of having to play a behind the scenes, underground and two-faced role, often while banned or exiled — biding time and gathering strength — provides an organic understanding of such subversive approaches, which in turn has firm roots, nomenclature, and positive reinforcement in the religion, from the Koran and foundational authorities, and over time. Such is the MB’s alliance structure in America, its conception of engaging democracy, making alliances with secular elements, waging lawfare and propaganda, and more generally, how best to subvert the U.S. constitutional order.
The overnight news from Egypt is that, despite President Hosni Mubarak’s concession to the rioters revolutionaries that he would step down, the unrest and violence are worsening. It appears pro-Mubarak people have been unleashed against the revolt and they are targeting western media. CNN’s Anderson Cooper was punched in the head yesterday and ABC’s Christiane Amanpour was surrounded by an angry mob who screamed “We hate Americans!”
The Egyptian unrest itself was inspired by what happened a week earlier in Tunisia where huge mobs, enraged by their political leaders’ corrupt lavish lifestyle, succeeded in overthrowing the regime. Both Egypt and Tunisia share the same trigger factors of social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), rising food prices, and high unemployment, especially among the college educated. In political science literature, the latter is a classic feature of Third World revolutions. Wall Street Cheatsheet has identified 11 countries that have the same trigger factors as Egypt and may be the next dominoes to fall. H/t beloved Fellowship co-founder Steve. ~Eowyn
Unemployment: Among graduates, 25%, Total rate at 9.1%
Social media: Very much a serious part of youth culture
Conclusion: Morocco’s government has already undergone democratic reforms, so any political pressure would likely be responded to in a similar manner, with more reforms. Those very reforms have been suggested by a government commission, so Morocco seems pretty safe at the moment, prepared to adjust if things get out of hand.
Style of government: Constitutional monarchy, incorporating limited democracy
Inflation: Jordanian inflation up 6.1% year-over-year in December, 1.2% month-over-month
Unemployment: Around 14%
Social media: 38-39% of Jordanians have internet access
Conclusion: Jordan is already experiencing protests related to these factors. The government is responding by providing food and fuel subsidies. King Abdullah just sacked his government and appointed a new one with reforms priority number one. Whether the government moves fast enough to implement these reforms will be the deciding factor in the future size of protests and threat to the regime.
Style of government: Single party authoritarian, President Bashar al-Assad
Inflation: Government intends to take action to lower prices
Unemployment: 8.1% in 2009
Social media: Facebook still openly used by the public, searches for Egypt on computers, however, crash them.
Conclusion: The economic situation is not as dire in Syria as in other countries. The regime is, arguably, more ruthless than its Egyptian counterpart. The President believes his partnership with Iran and support for the Palestinian cause will keep him safe, and he’s already pushing for reforms. Syria’s state may be too powerful for the little protest movement developing to flourish.
4. SAUDI ARABIA:
Style of government: Absolute Monarchy
Inflation: Inflation at 5.4% in December, down from November
Unemployment: 10% in 2010
Social media: 3 million Saudi Arabians are on Facebook, with Twitter usage increasing quickly
Conclusion: Saudi Arabia has seen some small protests, but over the government response to flooding, not rising costs and unemployment. There are concerns on the streets that the country doesn’t have proper infrastructure and is recklessly spending its oil riches. The repressive regime is unlikely to fall under these smaller concerns, but its youth unemployment problem (42%) and religious minority (Shia) could eventually exert real pressure.
Style of government: Islamic Republic, with democratically elected representatives. Less than certain how “democratic” elections truly are. Ruled by Supreme Leader, who is a both religious and political leader.
Inflation: Inflation at 13.5% in early 2010, may be more than double that level
Unemployment: 14.6% as of August
Social media: Significant penetration of both Twitter and Facebook. Government showed willingness to crackdown on use during previous protest movement.
Conclusion: Iran crushed its most recent protest movement. If inflation continues to rise, the sentiment may become more popular, and Egypt’s revolution could inspire Iranians back to the streets.
Style of government: Authoritarian, led by Muammar al-Gaddafi
Inflation: CPI up 2.654% in 2009
Unemployment: Highest unemployment rate in North Africa
Social media: The Muslim Brotherhood has a Facebook page. Unknown levels of internet penetration.
Conclusion: Libya would seem a good bet. It’s stuck between revolutionary Tunisia and Egypt. Its leader is regarded as an international eccentric. He wants his son to take over, and the public’s not pleased. Financial squalor is probably worse than estimated. Whether or not social media could assist is unknown, but Libya is a likely future front in the spillover.
Style of government: Presidential democracy, elections not entirely free
Inflation: No data of note, though likely higher that the 5.4% projection
Social media: 2.2 million internet users, population 23.4 million
Conclusion: Yemen has the deepest unemployment problem in the region, and likely a serious inflation problem too. There’s a large terrorist group in the country, as it is a headquarters for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Protests are already significant. There is a sincere liklihood of change here, or, and this might be worse, further radicalisation of the population.
Style of government: Democratic republic
Inflation: Over 15%
Unemployment: 14% in 2010 (estimate)
Social media: Heavy use, government has banned use over the depiction of Mohamed before.
Conclusion: Pakistan has a serious economic crisis, a weakness of state shown in recent flooding, confused positions over the U.S. and Taliban, as well as large anti-government, pro-Muslim fundamentalist forces. The potential for change is there. The biggest power source remains the military, however, and another coup, similar to the one that brought Musharaf to power, could occur.
Style of government: Authoritarian capitalism
Inflation: High inflation, including rising food costs
Social media: Blogs, Facebook, and other social media venues are prevalent
Conclusion: In Asia, Vietnam looks a likely candidate for protests, particularly if the economy slows down and unemployment increases. The economic trigger for a downturn would need to be pulled, however, before any change would take place.
Style of government: Authoritarian republic
Inflation: 27.2% in 2010
Unemployment: 8.1% in the first 10 months of 2010
Social media: It exists, and Chavez has a Twitter account.
Conclusion: The economic numbers scream change, but there’s no way to know whether or not Chavez has outstayed his welcome. The country hasn’t had the same, long-term oppressive experience as a country like Egypt. And its leadership still appeals to the anti-American sentiment held by the populace.
Style of government: Authoritarian
Inflation: China has a serious inflation problem, with food prices at the forefront.
Unemployment: 4.2% [official figure; real unofficial unemployment is much higher. -Eowyn]
Social media: Significant penetration, but government aggressively censors
Conclusion: China has all the ingredients except the big one: unemployment. Now, there’s no guarantee rural China won’t see an uprising related to soaring prices and high unemployment there, but it’s unlikely to be passed on to the country’s cities. It would take a massive economic downturn, like one created by a liquidity crisis leading to a banking crisis leading to a recession, to trigger an unemployment surge that would threaten the regime.
Now comes news that the Obama administration has been secretly backing leading figures behind the Egyptian uprising. If so, Obama has blood on his hands. More and more, he’s looking to be the Dajjal of prophesy.
H/t my ol’ friend Sol. ~Eowyn
By Tim Ross, Matthew Moore and Steven Swinford – The (UK) Telegraph – 28 January 2011
The American Embassy in Cairo helped a young dissident attend a US-sponsored summit for activists in New York, while working to keep his identity secret from Egyptian state police.
On his return to Cairo in December 2008, the activist told US diplomats that an alliance of opposition groups had drawn up a plan to overthrow President Hosni Mubarak and install a democratic government in 2011.
He has already been arrested by Egyptian security in connection with the demonstrations and his identity is being protected by The Daily Telegraph.
The crisis in Egypt follows the toppling of Tunisian president Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali, who fled the country after widespread protests forced him from office.
The disclosures, contained in previously secret US diplomatic dispatches released by the WikiLeaks website, show American officials pressed the Egyptian government to release other dissidents who had been detained by the police.
Mr Mubarak, facing the biggest challenge to his authority in his 31 years in power, ordered the army on to the streets of Cairo yesterday as rioting erupted across Egypt.
Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters took to the streets in open defiance of a curfew. An explosion rocked the centre of Cairo as thousands defied orders to return to their homes. As the violence escalated, flames could be seen near the headquarters of the governing National Democratic Party. Police fired rubber bullets and used tear gas and water cannon in an attempt to disperse the crowds.
At least five people were killed in Cairo alone yesterday and 870 injured, several with bullet wounds. Mohamed ElBaradei, the pro-reform leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner, was placed under house arrest after returning to Egypt to join the dissidents. Riots also took place in Suez, Alexandria and other major cities across the country.
William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, urged the Egyptian government to heed the “legitimate demands of protesters”. Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, said she was “deeply concerned about the use of force”to quell the protests. In an interview for the American news channel CNN, to be broadcast tomorrow, David Cameron said: “I think what we need is reform in Egypt. I mean, we support reform and progress in the greater strengthening of the democracy and civil rights and the rule of law.” The US government has previously been a supporter of Mr Mubarak’s regime. But the leaked documents show the extent to which America was offering support to pro-democracy activists in Egypt while publicly praising Mr Mubarak as an important ally in the Middle East.
In a secret diplomatic dispatch, sent on December 30 2008, Margaret Scobey, the US Ambassador to Cairo, recorded that opposition groups had allegedly drawn up secret plans for “regime change” to take place before elections, scheduled for September this year. The memo, which Ambassador Scobey sent to the US Secretary of State in Washington DC, was marked “confidential” and headed: “April 6 activist on his US visit and regime change in Egypt.”
It said the activist claimed “several opposition forces” had “agreed to support an unwritten plan for a transition to a parliamentary democracy, involving a weakened presidency and an empowered prime minister and parliament, before the scheduled 2011 presidential elections”. The embassy’s source said the plan was “so sensitive it cannot be written down”. Ambassador Scobey questioned whether such an “unrealistic” plot could work, or ever even existed. However, the documents showed that the activist had been approached by US diplomats and received extensive support for his pro-democracy campaign from officials in Washington. The embassy helped the campaigner attend a “summit” for youth activists in New York, which was organised by the US State Department.
Cairo embassy officials warned Washington that the activist’s identity must be kept secret because he could face “retribution” when he returned to Egypt. He had already allegedly been tortured for three days by Egyptian state security after he was arrested for taking part in a protest some years earlier. The protests in Egypt are being driven by the April 6 youth movement, a group on Facebook that has attracted mainly young and educated members opposed to Mr Mubarak. The group has about 70,000 members and uses social networking sites to orchestrate protests and report on their activities. The documents released by WikiLeaks reveal US Embassy officials were in regular contact with the activist throughout 2008 and 2009, considering him one of their most reliable sources for information about human rights abuses.