Posts tagged Muslim Brotherhood
Obama’s foreign policy implosion
In a stinging rebuke to US president Barack Obama’s support of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt has just passed a law and made it a crime to be a member of said group in any way, shape or form. Looks like its back to the drawing board for Obama’s master plan of creating a Muslim Brotherhood-based country.
Are you listening, America?
CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian court on Monday ordered the Muslim Brotherhood to be banned and its assets confiscated in a dramatic escalation of a crackdown by the military-backed government against supporters of the ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.
The ruling opens the door for a wider crackdown on the vast network of the Brotherhood, which includes social organizations that have been key for building the group’s grassroots support and helping its election victories. The verdict banned the group itself – including the official association it registered under earlier this year – as well as “any institution branching out of it or … receiving financial support from it,” according to the court ruling, made public on Egypt’s state official news agency MENA.
The judge at the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters also ordered the “confiscation of all the group’s money, assets, and buildings” and said that an independent committee should be formed by the Cabinet to manage the money until final court orders are issued. The verdict can be appealed.
The Brotherhood was outlawed for most of its 85 years in existence. But after the 2011 ouster of autocrat Hosni Mubarak, it was allowed to work openly, formed a political party and rose to power in a string of post-Mubarak elections. In March, it registered as a recognized non-governmental organization.
“This is totalitarian decision,” leading group member Ibrahim Moneir said in an interview with Qatari-based Al-Jazeera Mubashir Misr TV. “You are losers and it (the Brotherhood) will remain with God’s help, not by the orders by the judiciary of el-Sissi,” he added, referring to military chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who led the overthrow of Morsi on July 3.
The court did not immediately make public the grounds for its ruling. The verdict came in a suit raised by lawyers from the leftist party Tagammu party, accusing the Brotherhood of being a “terrorist” and “exploiting religion in political slogans.” Several other courts are looking into similar suits. source – AP
Al Jazeera’s blog posted a story Monday featuring tweets from the Director of Research at the Brookings Center in Doha, Qatar, who reported that an Egyptian newspaper’s front page story claimed President Barack Obama is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
“Newspaper also claims that son of MB leader threatened Obama with release of ‘papers’ revealing his MB membership,” writes Shadi Hamid of Brookings.
One could hardly come up with a more explosive allegation about a U.S. president than secret membership in an Islamist group. And if that weren’t enough, the newspaper also claims that President Obama’s half-brother Malik is allegedly an Al Qaeda activist.
Jonathan Spyer, senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs Center and an Arabic speaker, said that the newspaper — Al-Wafd — specifically accuses Obama of being a member of the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The article goes on to say that Obama originally embraced the thought of the Brotherhood while living in Indonesia, per Spyer, and further alleges that the son of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader Khairat al-Shater had threatened to expose a document revealing the secret membership.
But Syper says such allegations are the result of an angry Egyptian populace expressing frustration. According to him, the publication of this kind of conspiracy is rooted in the ongoing dissatisfaction on the Egyptian street with the Obama administration’s policy which some have viewed as pro-Muslim Brotherhood.
This was seen clearly during the summer demonstrations calling for then-President Mohammed Morsi to step down. Among the crowds, signs were held deriding President Obama and then U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson. They expressed frustration at what those Egyptians perceived to be Obama’s failure to articulate clear criticism of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood.
“The forces that overthrew Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood – namely the Egyptian army and the large civilian demonstrations that supported it — regard the current U.S. administration as a supporter of the deposed Morsi. They offer U.S. delays in arms deliveries and pressure to release Morsi as evidence of this,” Spyer tells TheBlaze.
“There is some degree of justification in their accusations. There is also a large degree of paranoid anti-American and anti-western sentiment in Egypt. As a result, the anger against the Administration has rapidly and predictably turned into conspiracy theories according to which Obama’s admittedly astonishingly naive and misguided attitude toward the Muslim Brotherhood can in fact be explained by the claim that he is a secret member of it,” Spyer explains.
Eric Trager, an Egypt scholar at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy says, “This sort of conspiracy theorizing is sadly common within the Egyptian media. It reflects Egyptians’ inability to take responsibility for the choices that they’ve made in the past few years – specifically, their choice to elect the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate in the June 2012 presidential election.”
“Many Egyptians blame the United States for allegedly supporting the Brotherhood, when in fact we simply worked with the government that they elected, and some in the Egyptian media have repeated ugly conspiracy theories about President Obama to depict American policy as subversive,” he says.
“It is also a sign that fascistic tendencies are hardening in Egyptian politics, since fascists always need an external enemy to justify their support for, or execution of, repressive policies,” Trager adds.
“Newspapers have run more and more bizarre and farcical stories over the last few months, but this one indeed seems to be the oddest story to have yet been printed,” writes Middle East Monitor. “The American president could indeed be accused of many things, but being a secret member of the Muslim Brotherhood would be the least probable accusation one could level at him.”
It adds that the media have “planted rounds of false stories in the press to tarnish the image of, not only the Brotherhood, but also their supporters or even those who may not be supporters, but are simply calling for a return to democratic legitimacy. And it seems that the media will go to any lengths to smear those who do not fall in line with them.”
The Al-Wafd newspaper is in fact affiliated with the liberal party bearing the same name. Brookings’ Hamid quipped, “The sheer, unbridled creativity of Egyptian media knows no bounds. This sort of outside-the-box thinking bodes well for #Egypt’s transition.”
Despite dissatisfaction with American policy voiced in secularist corners, the Muslim Brotherhood could also complain about some of the Obama administration’s actions, including the White House’s refusal to label the ousting of President Morsi a coup. source – Blaze
NEW YORK – President Obama’s half-brother in Kenya could cause the White House more headaches over new evidence linking him to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and establishing that controversial IRS supervisor Lois Lerner signed his tax-exempt approval letter.
Malik Obama’s oversight of the Muslim Brotherhood’s international investments is one reason for the Obama administration’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to an Egyptian report citing the vice president of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt, Tehani al-Gebali
In a news report on Egyptian television of a Gebali speech, translated by researcher Walid Shoebat, a former Palestinian Liberation Organization operative, Gebali said she would like “to inform the American people that their president’s brother Obama is one of the architects of the major investments of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
“We will carry out the law, and the Americans will not stop us,” she said. “We need to open the files and begin court sessions.
“The Obama administration cannot stop us; they know that they supported terrorism,” she continued. “We will open the files so these nations are exposed, to show how they collaborated with [the terrorists]. It is for this reason that the American administration fights us.”
Shoebat said Gebali explained the news is important to Americans who are concerned about their president’s actions, calling it “is a gift to the American people,” implying there were more revelations to come.
In an interview on Egyptian television, Gebali said the cost to Egypt has been great, and she vowed her country will not allow any conspiracy against its people or the Egyptian state. She insisted that pushing Egypt to bankruptcy is unacceptable, because it would plunge her country into a dire state similar to Iraq and Libya.
Shoebat said that if the reports are correct, Turkey appears to play a central role in the alleged conspiracy. He emphasized that Egypt has asserted to the international community that it will not tolerate any attempt to push the country to bankruptcy.
Shoebat’s blog linked to three “very credible sources” that corroborate the report on Gebali’s comments.
Shoebat reported in May that Malik Obama is the executive secretary of the Islamic Da’wa Organization, or IDO, a group created by the government of Sudan, which is considered by the U.S. State Department to be a terrorist state.
In 2010, Malik Obama attended an IDO conference in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. One of the objectives of the IDO is to spread Wahhabist Islam across the African continent.
Sudan President Omar Al-Bashir supervised the conference. Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court on seven counts related to crimes against humanity.
Shoebat asserted the evidence places Malik Obama “in bed with terrorists, working in a terrorist state as an official of an organization created by terrorists.”
Malik’s tax-exempt problems
WND reported in May that funds contributed in the U.S. to a 501(c)3 foundation run by Malik Obama have been diverted to support Malik’s multiple wives in Kenya, an expert on Islamic extremism has charged.
Lois Lerner, the director of the IRS tax-exempt division currently under congressional investigation, signed the letter approving tax-exempt status for the Malik Obama’s Barack H. Obama Foundation.
Lerner, currently on paid executive leave from her IRS supervisory position, took the Fifth Amendment before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on May 22 rather than answer questions on inappropriate criteria used by her IRS department to delay or otherwise deny tax-exempt status for tea party and “patriot” groups.
Shoebat has detailed his allegations in a 22-page investigative report titled “New IRS Scandal: Islamic Extremism and Sex Slaves: Report Reveals Obama’s Relatives Run Charities of Deceit,” published on his website
After a thorough examination of available evidence, Shoebat explained to WND his allegations against the Obama family tax-exempt foundations:
When Malik Obama and Sarah Obama raised money in the United States as the respective heads of foundations claiming to be charities, not only did the Internal Revenue Service illegally grant one of them tax-deductible status retroactively, but these foundations have supported – to varying degrees – illegal operations that acquire funding for personal gain, philandering, polygamy and the promotion of Wahhabism, the brand of Islam practiced by Al-Qaeda.
For the past two years, since long before the current IRS scandals became public, WND has been reporting irregularities in two IRS-approved 501(c)3 organizations operated in the U.S. by Obama’s half-brother and step-grandmother in Kenya.
WND reported in September 2011 the Barack H. Obama Foundation apparently received IRS approval one month after an application was submitted in May 2011. The IRS determination letter June 11, 2011, granted a highly irregular retroactive tax-exempt approval only after the group came under fire for operating as a 501(c)3 foundation since 2008 without ever having applied to the IRS.
In October 2012, WND reported a separate foundation, the Mama Sarah Obama Foundation, created on behalf of Obama’s step-grandmother in Kenya, has transferred funds, 90 percent of which are raised from U.S. individuals and corporations, to send Kenyan students to the top three most radical Wahhabist madrassas in Saudi Arabia.
Since its founding in 2008, the Barack H. Obama Foundation, operating out of a commercial mail drop in Arlington, Va., has solicited tax-deductible contributions on the Internet, listing addresses and telephone numbers both in the U.S. and Kenya, without disclosing the group lacked an IRS determination letter.
In September 2011, the IRS confirmed to WND that the Barack H. Obama Foundation had received a determination letter in June 2011, awarding the group tax-exempt 501(c)3 status retro-actively to 2008. Click here to read the rest of the story on WND…
When all else fails, blame the Jew
ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel on Tuesday of having a hand in the Egyptian military’s overthrow of president Mohamed Mursi, making comments likely to further undermine efforts to restore Ankara’s strained ties with Israel.
Erdogan, who has become one of the fiercest critics of the Islamist leader’s removal last month, also said he feared “autocratic regimes” would take root if the West failed to respect election results.
Almost 900 people have died in the past week since the military-backed Egyptian government cracked down on supporters of Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood, who want the country’s first freely-elected president reinstated.
“What do they say in Egypt? Democracy is not the ballot box. What is behind it? Israel. We have in our hands documentation,” Erdogan told provincial leaders of his AK Party.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry declined to respond to Erdogan’s allegation. “This is a statement well worth not commenting on,” said ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor.
Mursi was the most prominent Islamist to gain power through the ballot box after the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings and ruled for a year until his removal on July 3. Erdogan’s AK party, which has won the last three Turkish general elections, traces its roots to a banned Islamist movement.
Erdogan did not say what documentation he had, but referred to comments he said an Israeli cabinet minister had made before Egyptian parliamentary elections held after a popular uprising pushed President Hosni Mubarak from power.
“Before the 2011 elections, during a session in France, the justice minister and an intellectual from France – he’s Jewish too – they used exactly this comment: ‘Even if the Muslim Brotherhood wins the election, they will not win because democracy is not the ballot box’,” Erdogan said.
“That is exactly what happened,” he said in the comments aired live by state broadcaster TRT, without naming either the minister or the French intellectual.
Turkey’s relations with Israel have soured in recent years and hit a low in May 2010 when Israeli commandos killed nine Turkish activists while storming the Mavi Marmara, a ship in a convoy seeking to break an Israeli naval blockade of Gaza.
Earlier this year, Erdogan called Zionism “a crime against humanity”, prompting objections from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. President Barack Obama subsequently orchestrated an Israeli apology for the Mavi Marmara raid.
At least two senior AK Party officials have suggested there was Jewish involvement in anti-government protests that rocked Turkey in late May and June.
Erdogan repeatedly blamed unnamed foreign circles for those protests, in what he deemed an anti-democratic effort to undo Turkey’s last three elections, in which the AK Party increased its share of the vote each time.
“The West needs to learn the definition of democracy, Erdogan said. “If it cannot … these clashes will carry the world towards a different place. What is that? It will take it towards autocratic regimes. That is our concern.” source – Yahoo News
Yasmine Ahmed’s two brothers had been trapped in the siege for over 12 hours. Packed into a sweltering back room barricaded with chairs and wooden tables, they had been cooped up alongside hundreds of panicking Islamists and the decomposing corpses from another weekend of violence
In the main prayer hall of the Al-Fath mosque, its grubby carpet littered with discarded shreds of cotton wool and surgical pads, an army commander huddled in a circle with his troops who, it was claimed, had only entered the building to clear it of supporters of toppled President, Mohamed Morsi as well as to protect innocent worshippers from angry mobs gathering outside.
Hundreds of locals were crammed against the pointed steel gates of the mosque courtyard. Many were in no mood to forgive those trapped inside; in the minds of some Egyptians, the Morsi supporters have become little more than “terrorist” outlaws.
“Their fate is not in my hands now,” said Yasmine, 20, a college student. “The army and the police think the people trapped inside are terrorists. But they are not. What we have now is chaos. There is chaos between all the Egyptian people.
The fear and anxiety were palpable. Weeping relatives tramped around the prayer hall, while jumpy police officers toted their Kalashnikovs in one hand, wide-eyed and frantically chewing gum.
Adding to the sense of confusion, dozens of civilians had also managed to gain access to the building. All the while, hundreds of Morsi supporters – who had sought sanctuary in the mosque following the gunfights that erupted in nearby Ramses Square on Friday – shouted and yelled out from behind their barricades.
At around 12.40pm, the situation suddenly deteriorated. Heavy bursts of gunfire began crackling outside the mosque. “It’s the Muslim Brothers,” shouted a boy in his late teens. “They’re firing at us from above.”
Panic gripped the prayer hall. Dozens of black-clad men from the security services ran for shelter under the windows of the eastern wall. Others squatted behind thick pillars as the live rounds swooshed around outside the mosque.
One policeman ran to prod his gun through a smashed window in the western wall. His darting eyes searched for the source of the shooting. Seeing no target, he stepped away.
Suddenly a squad of armed police dashed to the corridor leading to the barricaded back room and lined themselves against the wall. Pointing their gun barrels skyward, they poised themselves to end the siege. Groups of civilians, relatives and other armed police ran to take cover next to the eastern wall.
Just then someone pointed to the windows on a second floor overlooking the prayer hall. “There are people upstairs,” he screamed. A moment later there was a flash and a small explosion in the centre of the room. Soldiers and civilians started screaming. A cloud of pale smoke dissipated around the hall.
Seconds later there was another loud boom, this time from the direction of the corridor leading towards the barricaded Islamists. Panic erupted as those inside the mosque began fleeing for the door. A senior police officer ordered people to leave, furiously waving an arm as he stomped through the prayer hall with a Kalashnikov in his right hand.
Outside, the scores of civilians who had gained access to the main courtyard cowered against the mosque walls as heavy bursts of live ammunition clattered around Ramses Square. Eyewitnesses reported seeing gunshots being fired from the mosque’s minaret.
Amid the fear and confusion, angry civilians mobbed foreign journalists who had been reporting on the siege. One Western reporter was briefly knocked unconscious after being clubbed over the head with a stick. Soldiers fired shots in the air to scare away the attackers.
At least two journalists were rescued from angry locals by troops stationed in Ramses Square. Other reporters were also arrested or detained in Cairo yesterday. The Muslim Brotherhood, which won the presidency last year after decades of repression, looks in danger of being expunged again from Egypt’s political life. Yesterday it was reported Egypt’s Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi has proposed disbanding the Muslim Brotherhood, raising the prospects of large-scale arrests if membership becomes outlawed.
It was also reported that Egyptian security forces yesterday arrested the brother of al-Qa’ida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri. Mohammed al-Zawahiri, leader of the ultraconservative Jihadi Salafist group, was detained at a checkpoint in Giza. Said to be an ally of ousted President Morsi, Mohammed al-Zawahiri is accused of commanding Islamic insurgents in the Sinai peninsula.
The interim government, backed by an apparently irrepressible military establishment, has initiated a bloody war on political Islam. Successive massacres over the past six weeks have been so astonishingly brutal that nobody knows exactly how many people have been killed.
Even taking the conservative estimates of health officials, the bloodletting points to a country that is ripping itself apart. At least 600 dead after Wednesday’s massacre of Morsi supporters; more than 170 on Friday; hundreds more since the popular coup greeted with such jubilation by some on 4 July.
Nobody has been safe. Among the dead during Friday’s violence was Ammar Badie, the son of the Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide. On Wednesday, the daughter of Mohamed el-Beltagi, a leading Brotherhood official, was killed during the massacre. Mostafa Yacoub, said he had known 17-year-old Asmaa el-Beltagi and that she had grown distant from the Brotherhood ideology espoused by her father.
During violent demonstrations at the end of 2011 he said Asmaa had shared the streets with liberal and secular protesters who were battling the central security forces.
“She was young and wanted to develop her own thoughts,” said Mr Yacoub. “She did a lot of community work. She wanted to be open to other sides of society.”
Those hopes were exterminated on Wednesday when police bullets shredded the Islamist encampment in eastern Cairo.CIslamists have responded to the recent violence by attacking churches, Christian homes and businesses. The attacks confirm what many liberals have long suspected – that followers of political Islam are agents of intolerance and not fit to enjoy power in Egypt.
Yesterday’s reports that the authorities are considering ways to consign the Brotherhood to political oblivion are a natural consequence of such sentiment.
Even in Cairo, the city that breathes with a bustling vivacity, it feels as if it has died a death of sorts. As a result of the new 7pm curfew, the city centre is enveloped in a deathly pall of quiet by nightfall.
The roads that would usually be bursting with street hawkers and honking drivers are empty. Volunteers staffing civilian “checkpoints” – usually little more than a steel road barrier dragged into the street – check car boots and rummage through the passengers’ rucksacks.
For its 17 million inhabitants, the city can rarely have felt so alien. For the political map-makers of Egypt’s tortured transition, the future can hardly have seemed less uncertain. source – Independent UK
Obama not happy his Muslim Brotherhood losing ground
(Reuters) – Protests by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi turned violent across Egypt on Friday, with witnesses reporting four dead in central Cairo and at least 12 killed in northern cities as the Muslim Brotherhood staged a “Day of Rage”.
The army deployed dozens of armored vehicles on major roads around the capital after Mursi’s Brotherhood movement called the demonstrations, and the Interior Ministry said police would use live ammunition against anyone threatening public buildings.
The violence followed Wednesday’s assault by security forces on two Brotherhood sit-ins in Cairo that left hundreds dead, as security forces tried to end weeks of turbulence following the army’s toppling of Mursi on July 3.
In Cairo gunshots echoed around the huge Ramses Square, focal point of Brotherhood protests in the capital, and police fired salvoes of tear gas. Four people were killed and many more wounded by gunshot and birdshot in the square, a witness said.
Nile TV showed footage of one gunman among Islamist protesters firing from a city center bridge. Injured men, one with a bloody wound in the middle of his chest, were rushed away on the back of a pick-up truck.
Emergency services also said eight protesters were killed in clashes in the Mediterranean town of Damietta, and four people died in the northeastern city of Ismailia. Violence was also reported in Egypt’s second city Alexandria and in the Nile Delta city of Tanta.
A police conscript was killed in a drive-by shooting in the north of the capital, state news agency MENA reported.
Deeply polarized after months of political turmoil, Egypt stands close to the abyss of chaos with Islamist supporters refusing to accept the toppling of Mursi, which followed mammoth rallies castigating his trouble-plagued, year-long rule.
They have demanded the resignation of army commander General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the reinstatement of Egypt’s first freely elected president, who is in detention and has not been seen in public since his downfall.
“Sooner or later I will die. Better to die for my rights than in my bed. Guns don’t scare us anymore,” said Sara Ahmed, 28, a business manager, joining a march of thousands of demonstrators heading downtown from northeast Cairo.
“It’s not about the Brotherhood, it’s about human rights,” said Ahmed, one of the few women not wearing a headscarf, a sign of piety for Muslim women.
When a military helicopter flew low over Ramses Square, protesters held up shoes chanting “We will bring Sisi to the ground” and “Leave, leave, you traitor.”
As the sound of teargas canisters being fired began, protesters – including young and old, men and women – donned surgical masks, gas masks and wrapped bandannas around their faces. Some rubbed Pepsi on their faces to counter the gas.
“Allahu akbar! (God is Greatest)” the crowd chanted.
Signaling his displeasure at the worst bloodshed in Egypt for generations, U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday normal cooperation with Cairo could not continue and announced the cancellation of military exercises with Egypt next month.
“We deplore violence against civilians. We support universal rights essential to human dignity, including the right to peaceful protest,” he said, but stopped short of cutting off the $1.55 billion a year of mostly military U.S. aid to Egypt.
The Brotherhood accuses the military of staging a coup when it ousted Mursi. Liberal and youth activists who backed the military saw the move as a positive response to public demands.
But some fear Egypt is turning back into the kind of police state that kept the disgraced Hosni Mubarak in power for 30 years before his removal in 2011, as security institutions recover their confidence and reassert control.
Friday prayers have proved a fertile time for protests during more than two years of unrest across the Arab world.
In calling for a “Day of Rage,” the Brotherhood used the same name as that given to the most violent day of the uprising against Mubarak. That day, January 28, 2011, marked the protesters’ victory over the police, who were forced to retreat.
Ironically, the epicenter of the anti-Mubarak protests, Tahrir Square, was deserted on Friday, sealed off by the army.
Underscoring the deep divisions in the most populous Arab state, local residents helped the army block access to Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, the site of the main Brotherhood sit-in that was swept away during Wednesday’s police assault.
“We are here to prevent those filthy bastards from coming back,” said Mohamed Ali, a 22-year-old business student. The Egyptian presidency issued a statement criticizing Obama, saying his comments were not based on “facts” and would strengthen violent groups that were committing “terrorist acts”.
Pro-army groups posted videos on the Internet of policemen they said had been tortured and killed by Islamist militants.
Washington’s influence over Cairo has been called into question since Mursi’s overthrow. Since then Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have pledged $12 billion in assistance, making them more prominent partners.
Obama’s refusal so far to cut off U.S. aid to Egypt suggests he does not wish to alienate the generals despite the scale of the bloodshed in the army’s suppression of Mursi supporters.
Egypt will need all the financial support it can get in the coming months as it grapples with growing economic woes, especially in the important tourism sector that accounts for more than 10 percent of gross domestic product.
The United States urged its citizens to leave Egypt on Thursday and two of Europe’s biggest tour operators, Germany’s TUI and Thomas Cook Germany, said they were cancelling all trips to the country until September 15.
On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council urged all parties in Egypt to exercise restraint, but did not assign blame. ”The view of council members is that it is important to end violence in Egypt,” Argentine U.N. Ambassador Maria Cristina Perceval said after the 15-member council met on the situation. source – Reuters
Put it this way: President Obama’s Egypt policy is about as effective as his Syria policy. And for the first time Wednesday, with the number of dead and injured mounting, one could almost envision Egypt’s descent into out-and-out civil war.
Obama was briefed, said nothing and went back to golf. Secretary of State John Kerry took a break from his fruitless obsession with the nonexistent “peace process” to condemn the violence, but took no questions and had no policy announcement. This, in a nutshell, is the White House’s approach to the Middle East — the absence of any policy and a lot of empty words.
Sam Tadros, a Egyptian expert at the Hudson Institute who is also affiliated with the Hoover Institution, is not optimistic. Late Wednesday he remarked to me on the military’s assault on its opponents: “In a sense this was inevitable. You don’t ask the people to give you a mandate and then sit by idly. The timing was only delayed because of Ramadan and the Eid celebrations.” Unlike the administration, he is looking ahead — and doesn’t like what he discerns. “The question no one seems to be asking is where the MB [Muslim Brotherhood] is supposed to go after they end the protests,” he said. “They certainly won’t be going home. Instead of one protest you will have smaller ones throughout the country.” The victims will include non-Muslims as is so often the case in the Arab world. He told me, “Christians will of course take most of the damage. Already there are reports of many churches attacked. This will continue.”
The question now is what can be done and what role the United States should play. Tadros is blunt: “As to outside powers, I am afraid it is too late now. This is a zero-sum game and one side has to win.”
If the Egyptian military is, as most contend, far more effective than Bashar al-Assad’s troops and makes quick work of former government officials and their supporters, the Muslim Brotherhood problem hardly goes away. Not without justification they will likely conclude democracy is a dead end and will resort to other means to assert their vision for Egypt. The military will have succeeded only in driving MB members to return to violence and terrorism instead of ballots and government ministries.
In a sense, then, Obama might as well play golf. He’s dropped the ball on Egypt and the entire region, leaving the United States with few options and the Egyptian people to a bloody future in the short run and a repressive authoritarian junta in the longer run. This is a policy failure of the highest order.
Isolationists on the right and left argue that the United States has no interest in places like Egypt. But without U.S. leadership, what follows in places such as Egypt and Syria is a humanitarian and geopolitical nightmare that doesn’t stay within one country’s borders. Syria, Iran and Hezbollah must be gleeful to see the United States so weakened and insignificant. source – Wash Post