Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood: Strange Bedfellows?
Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood: Strange Bedfellows?
The alliance between the Obama administration and the Muslim Brotherhood is the cornerstone of Obama’s New Middle East policy. His friendship with Erdogan is part of this policy.
From Ted Belman
Dr. Essam Abdallah, an Egyptian liberal intellectual, in an article published last October in the leading liberal pan Arab 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.”
“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 in which he asks,
“why 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. On August 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.”.
“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.”
“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.
“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.
“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?”
“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 as:
“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 5 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 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, and will thus serve Turkish economic interests in Syria, and keep the Kurdish issue as dormant in Turkey as well as in Syria.
For the last six months at least Obama has been cultivating a relationship with PM Erdogan of Turkey.
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 Herzliya 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 swaps. He argued that Israel should talk to Hamas and I countered, “What’s the point, we have nothing to offer to them”. He 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 he is Director of 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 US and the Gulf States lead by Saudi Arabia since before Israel declared her independence. President Obama with his overt embrace of 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 ideas include the idea that the Israel Lobby is too strong for America’s good and that Israel is a liability to America.
“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.”
Obama has decidedly moved from an alliance with Israel to an alliance with the Islamists.
MK Aryeh Eldad in a speech he gave in the fall in the US, 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 US 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 UN for recognition, the Obama administration lobbied around the world for negative votes. But at the same time, Obama threatened Netanyahu that he 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 US 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 US 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 reminds everyone that:
“this 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] anti-Semitic”. Judging by his policies, they would be right.