- Apr 12, 2008
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February 26, 2012
Why is Obama in bed with the Muslim Brotherhood?
By Ted Belman
Dr. Essam Abdallah, an Egyptian liberal intellectual, in an article published last October in the leading liberal pan-Arab journal Elaph, refers to certain reports coming out of Washington:
These reports reveal the depth of the below-the-surface coordination between the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Hamas, Hezbollah, the Iranian regime and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, Libya and Jordan. This bloc of regimes and organizations is now becoming the greatest Islamist radical lobby ever to penetrate and infiltrate the White House, Congress, the State Department and the main decision making centers of the US government. All of this is happening at a time when the US government is going through its most strategically dangerous period in modern times because of its need to confront the Iranian Mullahs regime, which is expanding in the Middle East, as well as penetrating the United States, via powerful and influential allies.
Abdallah alleged that "the popular revolts in the Arab world -- and the Obama Administration's position towards them -- were determined by political battles between various pressure groups in Washington."
He followed up with another article this month in which he asks:
[W]hy isn't the West in general and the United States Administration in particular clearly and forcefully supporting our civil societies and particularly the secular democrats of the region? Why were the bureaucracies in Washington and in Brussels partnering with Islamists in the region and not with their natural allies the democracy promoting political forces?
Steve Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism said of this article: "This is one of the most important articles I have read in years." He then made allegations of his own:
It was just revealed two days ago that FBI Director Mueller secretly met on February 8 at FBI headquarters with a coalition of groups including various Islamist and militant Arabic groups who in the past have defended Hamas and Hizballah and have also issued blatantly anti-Semitic statements. At this meeting, the FBI revealed that it had removed more than 1000 presentations and curricula on Islam from FBI offices around the country that was deemed "offensive." The FBI did not reveal what criteria was used to determine why material was considered "offensive" but knowledgeable law enforcement sources have told the IPT that it was these radical groups who made that determination. Moreover, numerous FBI agents have confirmed that from now on, FBI headquarters has banned all FBI offices from inviting any counter-terrorist specialists who are considered "anti-Islam" by Muslim Brotherhood front groups.
This comes as no surprise to me. In August of 2011, after making the case, I wrote, "To my mind, the alliance between the Obama administration and the Muslim Brotherhood is the cornerstone of Obama's New Middle East policy."
The most damning bit of evidence was reported by Herb London in his article, "U.S. Betrays Syria's Opposition":
In an effort to understand and placate Syrian opposition groups, Secretary Clinton invited them to a meeting in Washington. Most of those invited, however, have links to the Muslim Brotherhood. Missing from the invitations are Kurdish leaders, Sunni liberals, Assyrians and Christian spokesmen. According to various reports the State Department made a deal with Turkey and Muslim Brotherhood representatives either to share power with Assad to stabilize the government, or replace him if this effort fails. One organization, the Syrian Democracy Council (SDC), an opposition group composed of diverse ethnic and religious organizations, including Alawis, Aramaic Christians, Druze and Assyrians was conspicuously -- and no coincidentally -- omitted from the invitation list.
Caroline Glick wrote in August of last year:
What these observers fail to recognize is that Erdogan's interests in a post-Assad Syria have little in common with US interests. Erdogan will seek to ensure the continued disenfranchisement of Syria's Kurdish minority. And he will work towards the Islamification of Syria through the Muslim Brotherhood.
This week Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held a private meeting with these brave democrats. Why didn't she hold a public meeting? Why hasn't Obama welcomed them to the White House?"
Today there is a coalition of Syrian opposition figures that include all ethnic groups in Syria. Their representatives have been banging the doors of the corridors of power in Washington and beyond. Yet the same Western leaders who were so eager to recognize the Libyan opposition despite the presence of al Qaeda terrorists in the opposition tent have refused to publicly embrace Syrian regime opponents that seek a democratic, federal Syria that will live at peace with Israel and embrace liberal policies.
By refusing to embrace liberal, multi-ethnic regime opponents, the administration is all but ensuring the success of the Turkish bid to install the Muslim Brotherhood in power if Assad is overthrown.
The Syrian Democratic Coalition (SDC), above mentioned, is self-described thus:
The Syrian Democratic Coalition (SDC) is an emerging coalition of diverse Syrian organizations coming together to help bring an end to the Assad regime and promote the transformation of Syria into a secular democracy based in liberty. The coalition is founded upon a belief in the separation of religion from state and is dedicated to establishing a new constitution and transparent federal republic in Syria, based in reason that equally protects minority rights, promotes gender equality, and embraces the rights and liberties of every individual as enumerated in the United Nations Declaration for Human Rights. This growing coalition crosses all ethnic, religious and tribal lines to represent all Syrians. It currently includes members of Save Syria Now!, the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria, the Union of Syrian Arab Tribes and the Syrian Christian Democratic Movement.
Sherkoh Abbas is secretary general of the Syria Democracy Council and president of the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria. I first met him when he invited me to be a director of the American Kurdish Friendship League some five years ago.
Recently, he confided in me that in all his dealings with the State Department over the last two years, no interest was shown in his coalition, and instead, he was continually pressed to support the Syrian National Council (SNC), made up of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists and Arabists. He believes that the U.S. is working with Salafi groups, and the Turkish government, to create an opposition in Syria that is strictly Islamist. Such an opposition would serve Turkish economic interests in Syria and keep the Kurdish issue dormant in Turkey as well as in Syria.
For the last six months at least, Obama has been cultivating a relationship with PM Erdoğan of Turkey. The budding relationship prompted Barry Rubin to ask, "Why Is an Anti-American Islamist, Obama's Favorite ME Leader?"
According to Sherkoh Abbas, one faction of the SDC had family connections in various Gulf States at the highest level and went to them for financial support. They were turned down, as Obama had instructed them to give money only to the SNC.
Nevertheless, the SDC is gaining traction amongst the Kurds, Druze, Sunnis, Christians, and even the Alawites. This is so because these various minorities are beginning to think of a post-Assad Syria, and they all want a region of their own. They have expressed their willingness to be secular, democratic, and a friend of Israel and will be asked to commit to this in writing. They don't want Islamism or Arabism. They prefer peace, freedom, and prosperity. So why isn't Obama embracing them?
The Obama administration is totally in sync with the Muslim Brotherhood. At the renowned Herzlia Conference this year, I met Salman Shalkh, one of the speakers from Qatar. We had a long conversation in which he kept pushing for the Saudi Plan to be embraced by Israel. This is the plan that Obama is committed to -- i.e., '67 borders with mutually agreed-upon swaps.
Shalkh argued that Israel should talk to Hamas, and I countered, "What's the point? We have nothing to offer to them." Shalkh was also an apologist for the Muslim Brotherhood. These arguments should be expected from someone from Qatar. Unfortunately, the same arguments are being made by the White House. It is instructive to note that Shalkh is director of the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar, the Arab offshoot of the Brookings Institute that has so much influence with the State Department. He told me that he was one of the people who drafted the Roadmap on behalf of the State Department. I told him that it didn't surprise me and suggested that he probably drafted the Saudi Peace Plan for them as well.
What is going on now in American foreign policy is not so much a product of the Islamist lobby fueled by both the Muslim Brotherhood and the gulf states as it is a product of a strategic alliance that has existed between the U.S. and the gulf states led by Saudi Arabia since before Israel declared her independence. Unfortunately, President Obama, with his overt outreach to Islam, Muslims, and the Muslim Brotherhood, has taken it to another level.
It would appear that the ideas expressed by Mearsheimer and Walt in their book, The Israel Lobby, are being embraced by both the State Department and the White House. These include the idea that the Israel lobby is too strong for America's good and that Israel is a liability to America.
But the truth is otherwise, as John R. MacArthur pointed out in 2007, in "The Vast Power of the Saudi Lobby":
Somehow, though, I can't shake the idea that the Israel lobby, no matter how powerful, isn't all it is cracked up to be, particularly where it concerns the Bush administrations past and present. Indeed, when I think of pernicious foreign lobbies with disproportionate sway over American politics, I can't see past Saudi Arabia and its royal house, led by King Abdullah.
This article is a classic and should be read in full.
Obama has decidedly moved from an alliance with Israel to an alliance with the Islamists.
MK Aryeh Eldad, in a speech given in the fall in the U.S., when Israel was intending to act against Iran militarily, said word came down from the White House that "if you act alone, you will remain alone." Because Israel is so dependent on the U.S. for resupply of weapons and munitions in a prolonged war, this threat changed the calculus immediately. It is true that when Mahmoud Abbas was threatening to go to the U.N. for recognition, the Obama administration lobbied around the world for negative votes. But at the same time, Obama threatened Netanyahu that Obama would withhold his veto if Israel took punitive action against the PA by annexing some of the territories or by withholding funds. Finally, he used the same threat to get Israel to instruct AIPAC to lobby Congress not to punish the PA by withholding U.S. funds.
Over the last six months, Israel has been warned by a succession of senior military and administration officials not to attack Iran, at this time, all in the name of giving sanctions a chance. But who believes that sanctions will stop Iran? And who believes that that the U.S. will in the end attack Iran to stop them?
So while Obama is supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, he is keeping Israel under his thumb.
Isi Leibler takes exception to all this and reminds everyone:
[T]his organization [The Muslim Brotherhood] represents one of the most fanatical and dangerous of the radical Islamist groups in the region, with a dark record of violence and terrorism imbedded in its DNA. It is rabidly anti-Western, anti-Christian, antisemitic, committed to imposing sharia law and a global Caliphate - and willing to employ any means to further its objectives.
Many would argue that Obama is also "anti-Western, anti-Christian[, and] antisemitic." Judging by his policies, they would be right.