Introduction: A complex program, inextricably linked with preceding and succeeding broadcasts, this show mandates a use and understanding of, the archived material on this website. The title expresses the working hypothesis that the uprisings sweeping the Middle East are the product of a complex covert operation undertaken during the second Bush administration and continued under Obama.
It is not clear whether Obama fully understands what is going on. He may very well be a victim of what John Loftus expressed in FTR #706, in which he analyzed the Obama administration as the last victim of World War II–deliberately undermined by the GOP/multinational corporate faction of the CIA and State Department.
Citing Obama’s presence in a Chicago political environment that heavily overlapped the milieu targeted by the Operation Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002, the program highlights Karl Rove’s presence in that concatenation. [Rove has had a significant presence in Sweden for the last decade or so, acting as an adviser to the Prime Minister of Sweden.]
Referencing several programs recorded in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 election and before Obama assumed office, the program recapitulates the hypothesis advanced in the “Badjacketing Obama” series. With Karl Rove’s penchant for setting up potentially troublesome individuals or situations in such a way as to be discredited by the press and politically destroyed, one must look very carefully at the possibility that such a thing is underway with the “Piggy-Back Coup.” Is Obama being set up to take the fall for having “lost the Middle East” as Lee Harvey Oswald was set up to take the fall for the assassination of JFK?
[For the convenience of the listener, links to the “badjacketing” series are provided above.]
The term “Piggy-Back Coup” refers to the direct influence of the successful Tunisian uprising on the Egyptian revolt, as well as to the supposition that the genuinely democratic nature of the initial events will, ultimately, pave the way for the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic fascist organization allied with the Axis in World War II.
Deeply connected to Karl Rove, GOP kingpin Grover Norquist and the Bush family milieu, the Brotherhood is viewed with favor by the transnational corporate community because of its corporate philosophy. The program advances the theory that a Brotherhood ascension to power is what is being sought by the elements manipulating “Lee Harvey Obama” and the Piggy-Back Coup.
In addition to implementing “corporatism” in the Muslim and Third Worlds, the Brotherhood’s ascent and triumph will, if realized, result in the annihilation of Israel, the ruin of United States and the establishment of dominion by the Underground Reich.
One should not fail to note that the turmoil in the Middle East stemming from the uprisings is boosting the price of oil, which will go through the roof if the scenario proposed above comes to pass.
The references to the Bay of Pigs and the October Surprise in the title connote information presented in The Guns of November, Part I and AFA #38. (Both shows are linked at the top of this page, as well.) The reality of both the Bay of Pigs and the October Surprise differ fundamentally from the conventional view of both events.
In The Guns of November, Part I, we examined Col. L. Fletcher Prouty’s relating of the deliberate sabotaging of the Bay of Pigs invasion by CIA elements involved in the operation. (The motivation for so doing is a matter of speculation–perhaps they were trying to force Kennedy to openly invade Cuba.) Through WikiLeaks disclosures (aided by Rove and/or the Bush faction of State?) it is on the public record that the U.S. was aiding the Egyptian uprising and that the assistance began when Bush was in office. As a result, the cover of the operation was blown.
The October Surprise refers to what has been reported to be a deal between the Khomeini forces in Iran and the Reagan/Bush campaign to withhold the hostages taken from the U.S. embassy until after Jimmy Carter’s political humiliation and resulting defeat were assured. Fara Mansoor’s analysis has disclosed that, in fact, the ascension of the Khomeini forces in Iran was the outgrowth of a covert operation undertaken in the mid-70’s, much of it during the tenure of George H.W. Bush at the C.I.A.
Having learned that the Shah had cancer in the early ’70’s, the Bush CIA undertook to place the mullahs in power in Iran, in order to assure that the Soviet southern flank would be covered by dogmatic anti-Communists. It is worth noting that, initially, the forces that overthrew the Shah comprised an amalgam of different, populist elements. Eventually, the Khomeini forces consolidated their power and eclipsed their political rivals. Will something similar happen in Egypt? (Note that the Khomeini forces were an outgrowth of the Devotees of Islam, a Shiite offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood!)
Program Highlights Include: attacks on Tunisian and Egyptian government websites by the Anonymous hacker milieu; the State Department’s revised and “pragmatically optimistic” reassessment of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood; the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s call for the development of nuclear weapons; sympathy for the Islamists at American University in Cairo (attended by April 6 movement member Wael Ghonim of Google); Google’s relationship with the intelligence community; ideological affiliation between elements at American University in Cairo and Muslim Brotherhood economic guru Ibn Khaldun; links between the “Khaldunite” elements at American University and the Muslim Brotherhood; contacts with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood at the U.S. Embassy in Egypt in 2005; participation in the overthrow of Mubarak by the Muslim Brotherhood; the role in the Middle East uprisings of the rise in food and commodity prices; the probable role of the U.S. Institute of Peace in the Piggy-Back Coup; the role in the Piggy-Back Coup of the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Al-Jazeera network.
1. It develops that Karl Rove is holding forth in Sweden, acting as an adviser to the Swedish Prime Minister. Media speculation has centered on the possibility that Rove may be aiding in Assange’s prosecution. Is Rove actually presiding over WikiLeaks’ operations in Sweden? Is the WikiLeaks’ leaking of State Department cables part of a Rove-directed covert operation?
. . . For at least 10 years, Rove has been connected to Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik. More recently, Fredrik, who is known as “the Ronald Reagan of Europe,” has contracted Rove to help with his 2010 re-election campaign.
Rove was said to have fled to Sweden during the prosecution of former Alabama Democratic Gov. Don Siegelman, who believes his prosecution to have been politically motivated.
“Clearly, it appears that [Rove], who claims to be of Swedish descent, feels a kinship to Sweden . . . and he has taken advantage of it several times,” the source added.
Shuler’s source speculated that Rove could be trying to protect the Bush legacy from documents that WikiLeaks may have. “The very guy who has released the documents that damage the Bushes the most is also the guy that the Bush’s number one operative can control by being the Swedish prime minister’s brain and intelligence and economic advisor.” . . .
2a. The subtitle comes from the recent Tunisian coup, that was inspired by WikiLeaks’ release of a cable that was critical of the regime of Ben Ali.
The man now president, Mohamed Ghannouchi was profiled in January 2006 in a secret US cable in 2006, recently released by Wikileaks. “A technocrat and economist, Ghannouchi has served as prime minister since 1999. Is rumored to have told many he wishes to leave the government but has not had the opportunity. Length of his service as PM also suggests Ben Ali [president until resignation] does not view him as a threat and he is unlikely to be viewed as a qualified successor. However, average Tunisians generally view him with respect and he is well-liked in comparison to other GOT and RCD [ruling party] officials.” Then US ambassador William Hudson said: “Given the fact Ben Ali has a dictatorial hold, it is hard to believe he’ll voluntarily step down.” Even so, “the mere fact an increasing number of Tunisians are talking about the end of the Ben Ali era is remarkable.”
Publication of WikiLeaks sourced private US comments on the corruption and nepotism of a hated “sclerotic” regime is said to have helped create Tunisia’s protest, and generated talk by US commentators of a “Wikileaks revolution”.
2b. It turns out that the Anonymous milieu (described in FTR #732) launched attacks against Tunisian government sites.
Sites belonging to the Ministry of Industry and the Tunisian Stock Exchange were amongst seven targeted by the Anonymous group since Monday.
Other sites have been defaced for what the group calls “an outrageous level of censorship” in the country. . . .
3a. Initial reports on the coup described a possible role played by foreigners with blond hair and blue eyes, some carrying Swedish and some carrying German passports.
. . . Police said they had caught two men with Swedish passports after one of the shooting incidents, and state television quoted a security source as saying four people carrying German passports had been detained in the same incident.
However, the Swedish news agency TT said the men were part of a Swedish group visiting Tunisia to hunt wild boar who had been attacked by a mob. . . .
3b. Interestingly–and perhaps significantly–an earlier, [now] cached version of the story had a significant detail, which was scrubbed from later versions of the story. In this context, it is important to remember that there are ongoing operational links between Swedish and German neo-Nazis. In FTR #735, we examine the possibility that the coup will ultimately benefit the Muslim Brotherhood.
Police said they had caught two men with Swedish passports after one of the shooting incidents, and state television quoted a security source as saying four people carrying German passports had been detained in the same incident.
It showed what it said were the detained foreigners, with blond hair and fair complexions, being guarded by armed police, and said the arms they were carrying included automatic weapons. [Italics are mine–D.E.]
However, the Swedish news agency TT said the men were part of a Swedish group visiting Tunisia to hunt wild boar who had been attacked by a mob. . . .
4a. Conservative analyst Robert Spencer noted that the upsurge in democratic sentiment following the Tunisian uprising might lead to the empowerment of the Muslim Brotherhood.
When Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was toppled from power and fled to Saudi Arabia on Friday, The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin hailed this “Jasmine Revolution” as a “remarkable event: a popular, secular revolt in a Muslim country” that “poses an opportunity and a risk for the U.S.” Mona Eltahawy, also writing in the Post, explained that “a 29-day popular uprising against unemployment, police brutality and the regime’s corruption” brought down Ben Ali. But there are numerous indications that there were other sources of dissatisfaction in Tunisia with Ben Ali — including the relatively secular character of the government. Pro-Sharia Islamic supremacist forces are poised to take advantage.
The popular perception is that Ben Ali was brought down by the will of the people. The French government declared that Tunisians, by toppling Ben Ali, had “expressed their democratic will.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her support for “real democracy” in the North African nation, adding in a message to officials of the new Tunisian government: “I appeal to you to use this deep break in Tunisia’s history as a new departure.”
A factory worker in Carthage had similar high hopes: “This is like the French Revolution,” he said enthusiastically. “It’s the end of an era. I’m hoping there is real change. We can’t continue like this.” Political analyst Ahmed Lashin declared: “The Arabs have been repressed for too long. They are eager for change and are on the verge of explosion.”
But what kind of change? What kind of Reign of Terror might come in the wake of this new French Revolution? Rached Ghannouchi, the London-based leader of the banned Tunisian pro-Sharia party, the Tunisian Renaissance Party (Hizb al-Nahdah), was quick to dub the Tunisian uprising an “intifada” and to claim it as a victory for Islam. “The Tunisian intifada,” he exulted, “has succeeded in collapsing the dictatorship.”
Pro-Sharia MPs in Kuwait applauded “the courage of the Tunisian people,” and Abdelmalek Deroukdal, a leader of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, hailed the revolution as a jihad and expressed solidarity with the Tunisians. In Gaza, the jihadist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad were both thrilled at events in Tunisia. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri hailed the victory for democracy, and Gaza Foreign Minister Fathi Hammad emphasized that “we are with the Tunisians in choosing their leaders, no matter what sacrifices it takes.”
Islamic Jihad praised the Tunisian people for liberating themselves “through blood, sacrifices and the expression of free will,” adding ominously that the toppling of Ben Ali was “a message to Arab and Islamic countries to pay attention to the aspirations of their people that are rejecting hegemony and tyranny before it is too late.”
Islamic Jihad held a rally in Gaza City, featuring hundreds of jihadists waving Tunisian flags festooned with the words “Revenge against tyranny.” Islamic Jihad spokesman Dawud Shehab sounded a drearily familiar note in accusing the Ben Ali regime of maintaining “suspicious ties” with Israel.
Meanwhile, a PLO faction warned Tunisians about “waves of political Islam” that could follow Ben Ali’s toppling, and urged them to “cut the road to political Islam and its misleading slogans to avoid a repeat of the Gaza Strip experience in Tunisia” — referring to the seizure of power in Gaza by the Islamic supremacists of Hamas.
The great unacknowledged truth about Tunisia and the rest of the Islamic world is that Islamic jihadists and pro-Sharia forces, far from being the “tiny minority of extremists” of media myth, actually enjoy broad popular support. Any genuine democratic uprising is likely to install them in power. That’s why jihadists are hailing events in Tunisia, and why all lovers of freedom should view those events with extreme reserve — for a Sharia government in Tunisia is unlikely to be any kind of friend to the United States, and if the “Jasmine Revolution” does indeed spread and other Arab and Muslim dictators are toppled, an already hostile anti-American environment could become much, much worse.
The events in Tunisia also show yet again the crying need for realistic analysis in Washington of the jihad threat, rather than the fantasy-based analysis that prevails there now. But that is even less likely than the flowering of a pluralistic, secular democracy in Tunisia.
4b. The Tunisian Islamist leader has returned from exile in the wake of the WikiLeaks/Jasmine Revolution.
The leader of a banned Tunisian Islamist movement said on Saturday he would return in the next few days from exile in London after Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, who ran the country for 23 years, was forced out.
Tunisian authorities outlawed the Ennahda, or Renaissance, movement in the early 1990s after accusing it of a violent plot to overthrow secular rule. But the movement said it is non-violent and the victim of government repression.
“I am going to go back very soon,” Rached Ghannouchi told Reuters in an telephone interview. “I haven’t decided when yet, but possibly in the days to come.” . . .
. . . Tunisia has had a strong secular tradition since its independence from France in 1956 and Islamist politicians have a much lower profile than in nearby countries such as Algeria or Egypt.
There is some backing for moderate Islamist groups in Tunisia, but it is not clear how much because supporters hid their sympathies to avoid arrest. . . .
4c. Despite reassuring statements concerning Tunisia’s secular tradition, many observers feel that the Islamists will assume power there, eventually.
There was also a looming wild card: the revival of the banned Islamist party. The government said that for now it would continue to block the return of the party’s exiled founder, while he repeated that his party espouses a moderate pluralism.
Many Tunisians said they were waiting — some hopefully, some anxiously — to see what kind of rebirth the once-flourishing but long-outlawed Islamist political party might have. In a radio interview, Prime Minister Ghannouchi said that the exiled leader, Rached Ghannouchi — no relation — would be banned from the country until the government passed an amnesty law lifting a conviction he was given in absentia under the Ben Ali government.
The exiled leader, meanwhile, made clear that his party envisioned a society far more liberal and open than Iran or Saudi Arabia. In an interview with The Financial Times, Rached Ghannouchi said his party had signed a shared statement of principles with the other Tunisian opposition groups that included freedom of expression, freedom of association and women’s rights.
It remained unclear how much support he commands in the country. Some argued that Tunisian society today was too resolutely secular for the Islamists to find much support, after two decades of efforts by Mr. Ben Ali’s vast secret police to eliminate the party and cripple it.
“They have people who are 50 years old or 60 years old, but they don’t have anybody under 40 because of the repression,” said Ahmed Bouazzi, an executive committee member of the largest opposition group, the Progressive Democratic Party.
Others, however, argued that the religious convictions of Tunisians would assure the Islamic parties a strong base of support, especially away from the more cosmopolitan coasts. “Look, they will be easily the most popular party,” said one analyst who opposes the Islamists, speaking on the condition of anonymity to avoid angering family and friends. “No one can say anything against anything that is Islamic.” . . .
4d. Upon his return, Rached Gannouchi, the Tunisian Islamist leader, was greeted by enthusiastic throngs, demonstrating the party’s popularity.
The reception for Sheikh Rachid Ghannouchi, leader of the Ennahda party, at Tunis airport was the biggest showing by the Islamists in two decades, during which thousands of them were jailed or exiled by president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.
Ghannouchi was exiled in 1989 by Ben Ali, who was toppled on January 14 by popular protests that have sent tremors through an Arab world where similarly autocratic leaders have long sought to suppress Islamist groups.
Protesters in Egypt demanding an end to President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule have been inspired by the example of Tunisia. Egypt’s main opposition group is also Islamist, but played no part in organizing the protests there.
Ennahda is expected to contest future legislative but not presidential elections, dates for which have yet to be set.
The Islamists were Tunisia’s strongest opposition force at the time Ben Ali cracked down on them in 1989 but are thought not to have played a leading role in the popular revolt.
But at Tunis airport on Sunday, they were out in force. . . .
5a. A WikiLeaks leak indicated that elements of the State Department under George W. Bush were taking note of sentiment for removing Mubarak. This may have actually led to a slow-motion destabilization of Mubarak’s regime.
For the last three years, the US government secretly provided aid to the leaders behind this week’s social uprising in Egypt aimed to topple the government of President Hosni Mubarak, according to a leaked diplomatic cable.
One of the young Egyptian leaders who attended a summit for activists in New York with the help of the US embassy in Cairo was detained when he returned to Egypt, the memo released by Wikileaks said.
The Daily Telegraph reported Friday that it and the secrets outlet were both hiding the identity of this young Egyptian leader. He was arrested in connection with this week’s demonstrations.
The leaked document indicates that the US government was publicly supporting Mubarak’s government while privately backing opposition groups. . . .
5b. More detail on the U.S. backing of the protesters, from the Telegraph article cited in the above story:
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. . . .
5c. Note, again, that the dissident was conferring with U.S. Ambassador Margaret Scobey in December of 2008, while Bush was still in office.
The United States has been covertly preparing a regime change in Egypt for the last two years secretly assisting the leaders who were preparing a blueprint to bring representative government to Egypt now emerged as leaders or organizers of the mass uprising that the world is witnessing today.
The US State Department officials, US Congressmen and their immediate staff were engaged in having discussions with the Egyptian rebel leaders on US soil. The US embassy in Cairo was instrumental in organizing a summit in New York in 2008 to meet one of the young Egyptian activists. On his return to Cairo this activist was detained by the Egyptian intelligence unit.
All these and more are now revealed in a classified diplomatic cable sent from the American embassy in Cairo to Washington, dated 30 December 2008 disclosed by WikiLeaks which the Asian Tribune will place before its readers.
This young Egyptian activist was arrested and detained in this week’s uprising in Cairo, it has been revealed.
The name of this young Egyptian leader is withheld for obvious reasons. The WikiLeaks released Cairo US embassy cable is very clear that the United States government was overtly supporting the Mubarak regime, while covertly endeavoring to undermine it and replace it with a representative government.
Sensing some eruption in the future against the autocratic Mubarak regime and to safeguard U.S. interests in the region, the U.S. was forced, in the interest of its national security, to find an alternative, this diplomatic cable very clearly depicts the grand design of the super power.
A plan concocted by the Egyptian dissident groups to remove Hosni Mubarak from power before the scheduled September 2011 presidential election and replace his rule with a representative democratic government was relayed to Washington through the embassy in Cairo. . . .
5d. The Anonymous group undertook to attack Egyptian government sites.
The group Anonymous, known for staging web attacks on PayPal and MasterCard in support of Wikileaks, has called for volunteers to stage a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack against web sites run by the Egyptian government.
The group’s Facebook page, called “Operation Egypt” carries messages about the Egyptian protests, and also a picture of a recruiting poster with an IRC channel as well as a “care package” to download. The rest of the page has news and updates from Egyptian and foreign sources. . . .
5e. The Muslim Brotherhood has indeed been positioning itself to participate in the political process.
. . . ElBaradei, the former head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, has gained a following among young secular democracy activists with his grassroots organizing. But some demonstrators dismiss him as an expatriate long removed from Egypt’s problems.
“Many people feel he loves prizes and traveling abroad,” said Muhammad Munir, 27. “He’s not really one of the people.”
The outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, which wants to establish an Islamist state in Egypt, has made some statements that it was willing to let ElBaradei act as point man for the movement. But it also appeared to be moving for a more prominent role after lying low when the protests first erupted.
On Sunday evening, the presence of overtly pious Muslims in the square was conspicuous, suggesting a significant Brotherhood representation. Hundreds performed the sunset prayers. Veiled women prayed separately.
A senior Brotherhood leader, Essam el-Erian, told The Associated Press he was heading to Tahrir Square to meet with other opposition leaders. El-Erian told an Egyptian TV station that the Brotherhood is ready to contact the army for a dialogue, calling the military “the protector of the nation.“
Clinton suggested there were U.S. concerns over the possibility of the Brotherhood seizing direction of the movement. She warned against a takeover resembling the one in Iran, with a “small group that doesn’t represent the full diversity of Egyptian society” seizing control and imposing its ideological beliefs. . . .
. . . Egyptian security officials said armed men fired at guards in overnight battles that lasted hours at the four prisons — including one northwest of Cairo that held hundreds of militants. The prisoners escaped after starting fires and clashing with guards.
Those who fled included 34 members of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose lawyer, Abdel-Monaem Abdel-Maqsoud, told the AP they were among scores rounded up by authorities ahead of Friday’s large demonstrations. The escapees included at least seven senior members of the group.
State TV later reported that 2,000 escaped inmates were recaptured. . . .
5e. The Brotherhood called for the dissolution of the Egyptian parliament.
Egypt’s largest opposition movement demanded Wednesday that President Hosni Mubark dissolve the newly elected parliament and hold new elections, in a move that appeared to be an attempt to capitalize on the hopes for change sparked by Tunisia’s popular uprising.
The Muslim Brotherhood also called for an end to Egypt’s 30-year-old emergency law that bans political rallies, and demanded sweeping constitutional amendments to allow free and fair presidential elections.
The Brotherhood’s list of grievances is not new, but the demands appeared to be aimed at seizing on the momentum triggered by the revolt in Tunisia that toppled the country’s authoritarian president and galvanized opposition movements throughout the Arab world.
“The events in Tunisia are a cornerstone for the rest of the people of the Arab and Islamic world,” the Brotherhood said in a statement posted on its website. “It is a message to all the despotic leaders and the corrupt regimes that they are not safe and they are living on the tip of a volcano of people’s anger and God’s wrath.” . . .
5f. Mohamed ElBaradei emerged as a consensus leader, with the support of the Brotherhood.
Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader Essam el-Eryan said today that Egyptian opposition groups have agreed to back former IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei to negotiate with the government, Al Jazeera reports:
Egypt’s opposition groups have agreed to support opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei to negotiate with the government, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood said on Sunday.
“Political groups support ElBaradei to negotiate with the regime,” Essam el-Eryan told Al Jazeera.
This move by Egyptian opposition groups potentially offers a peaceful path out of the crisis not only for the Egyptian government, but also for the United States government, which is finding itself the object of increasingly bitter criticism from Egyptians who back the protesters’ call for Mubarak to step down and see the policy of the United States of backing Mubarak as a key obstacle to the realization of their aspirations for free and fair elections. Failure to take advantage of this opportunity could lead to a bloody showdown in the streets — even worse than what we have seen already — for which the US would bear significant responsibility. . . .
5g. The Obama administration’s State Department is positioning the U.S. to cooperate with the Brotherhood. Note that this follows directly on the contacts/cooperation afforded Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood by the Egyptian embassy under Bush (after 2005). This is the same embassy that was working with the unnamed dissident (Wael Ghonim?) in December of 2008.
As it braces for the likelihood of a new ruler in Egypt, the U.S. government is rapidly reassessing its tenuous relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, an opposition movement whose fundamentalist ideology has long been a source of distrust in Washington.
Although the group has played a secondary role in the swelling protests that are threatening to topple President Hosni Mubarak, U.S. officials have acknowledged the political reality that the Muslim Brotherhood is poised to assume at least a share of power should Egypt hold free and fair elections in the coming months.
On Monday, in what analysts said was a clear reference to the Brotherhood, the White House said a new government in Egypt should “include a whole host of important non-secular actors.”
The move drew the skepticism of some U.S. officials who have argued that the White House should embrace opposition groups that are more likely to support a democratic government in Egypt, rather than one dedicated to the establishment of religious law.
It also marked a change from previous days, when Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other officials expressed concern that the uprising in Egypt could shift power to an Islamist government much like the one in Iran, where ayatollah-led factions elbowed aside other groups to seize control of the country in 1979.
Officially, the U.S. government has long shunned the Muslim Brotherhood because of doubts about its stated commitment to non-violence and democratic principles. For years, however, U.S. officials have engaged in back-channel talks with Egyptian members of the movement in recognition of its substantial popular support.
The unofficial contacts have taken place sporadically since the 1990s but became more frequent after members of the Brotherhood were elected to the Egyptian Parliament in 2005. Afterward, U.S. diplomats and lawmakers held several meetings with Brotherhood leaders, including at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. . . .
6. A key role in the Egyptian coup was played by Google Marketing executive Wael Ghonim. (In the broadcast, we speculated about Ghonim being the unnamed April 6 movement activist that met with the U.S. embassy in December 2008. Subsequent articles–rightly or wrongly–have placed his involvement with the movement later than that.) Facebook and Google have received credit for helping to propel the uprising.
In that context, it is worth noting that Google (like Facebook) has connections with the U.S. intelligence community.
The investment arms of the CIA and Google are both backing a company that monitors the web in real time — and says it uses that information to predict the future.
The company is called Recorded Future, and it scours tens of thousands of websites, blogs and Twitter accounts to find the relationships between people, organizations, actions and incidents — both present and still-to-come. In a white paper, the company says its temporal analytics engine “goes beyond search” by “looking at the ‘invisible links’ between documents that talk about the same, or related, entities and events.”
The idea is to figure out for each incident who was involved, where it happened and when it might go down. Recorded Future then plots that chatter, showing online “momentum” for any given event.
“The cool thing is, you can actually predict the curve, in many cases,” says company CEO Christopher Ahlberg, a former Swedish Army Ranger with a PhD in computer science.
Which naturally makes the 16-person Cambridge, Massachusetts, firm attractive to Google Ventures, the search giant’s investment division, and to In-Q-Tel, which handles similar duties for the CIA and the wider intelligence community.
It’s not the very first time Google has done business with America’s spy agencies. Long before it reportedly enlisted the help of the National Security Agency to secure its networks, Google sold equipment to the secret signals-intelligence group. In-Q-Tel backed the mapping firm Keyhole, which was bought by Google in 2004 — and then became the backbone for Google Earth. . . .
7. Ghonim has been widely publicized as a graduate of American University in Cairo. The broadcast relates part of an interview with Saad Eddin Ibrahim, a professor at American University who is very pro-Islamist and pro-Brotherhood. Interestingly and significantly, Ibrahim is the founder of the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies, named after a 14th century Islamic advocate of free markets. Khaldun is highly regarded by the Brotherhood and that attitude has led the corporate business community to support the Brotherhood.
Note that no less an authority than the World Bank views Ibn Khaldun—revered by the Brotherhood—as “the first advocate of privatization”!
In the days of the caliphate, Islam developed the most sophisticated monetary system the world had yet known. Today, some economists cite Islamic banking as further evidence of an intrinsic Islamic pragmatism. Though still guided by a Qur’anic ban on riba, or interest, Islamic banking has adapted to the needs of a booming oil region for liquidity. In recent years, some 500 Islamic banks and investment firms holding $2 trillion in assets have emerged in the Gulf States, with more in Islamic communities of the West. British Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown wants to make London a global center for Islamic finance—and elicits no howl of protest from fundamentalists. How Islamists might run a central bank is more problematic: scholars say they would manipulate currency reserves, not interest rates. The Muslim Brotherhood hails 14th century philosopher Ibn Khaldun as its economic guide. Anticipating supply-side economics, Khaldun argued that cutting taxes raises production and tax revenues, and that state control should be limited to providing water, fire and free grazing land, the utilities of the ancient world. The World Bank has called Ibn Khaldun the first advocate of privatization. [Emphasis added.] His founding influence is a sign of moderation. If Islamists in power ever do clash with the West, it won’t be over commerce.
8. Excerpts from the interview with Saad Eddin Ibrahim indicate his support for Islamists. In fact, Gamal Al-Banna, the brother of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan Al-Banna is on the board of directors of the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies!
Saad Eddin Ibrahim: This is one of the projects we are working on in the Ibn
Khaldun Center. On our Board of Trustees is Gamal al-Banna – the only surviving
brother of Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brothers. He is in his mid
80s but lucid. . . .
Alan Johnson: You have argued for an alliance of sorts between democrats and
‘moderate’ Islamists. In August 2006 you wrote that ‘Mainstream Islamists with
broad support developed civic dispositions and services to provide are the most
likely actors in building a new Middle East.’ And in December 2006 you complained
about an ‘unjustified fear of modern Islamists’ and called for a policy of dialogue and
inclusion, saying ‘Hamas, Hezbollah, Muslim Brothers – these people you cannot
get rid of; you have to deal with them … the name of the game is inclusion.’ You deny
that these organisations are inimical to democracy, pointing out that Islamists have
never come to power via elections and then reneged on democracy. Warning that
‘the Islamist scare is propagated and marketed by autocratic regimes to intimidate
the middle class and the West, to ward off any serious democratic reforms,’ you
have urged a positive response to Hamas and Hezbollah’s participation in elections.
While you warn that ‘no sober analyst would consider this a final commitment by
Islamists to democracy,’ you believe ‘the process of transforming them into Muslim
democrats is clearly under way.’ Now, these views have raised some eyebrows. Can
you set out your thinking? . . .
9. Although WikiLeaks helped trigger the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, it was Al Jazeera that drove the Egyptian uprising. Sadly, the Muslim Brotherhood appears to be taking over the Al Jazeera network.
The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report (free subscription required) has an interesting look at the growing Islamist agenda of the al Jazeera TV station, and the roots of the shift in the Muslim Brotherhood.
It is an important observation since so much of the Arab world-as well as the Western media-look to the station to portray and interpret events, particularly the Hamas-Israeli conflict.
It is easy to forget (and shockingly seldom reported) that Hamas is an organic part of the global Muslim Brotherhood, according to article 2 of its own charter. So that the Ikhwan would seek to control the main medium for the outside world to interpret the conflict is not at all unusual.
The report looks at Wadah Khanfar (aka Waddah Khanfar), the station’s General Manager, as the driving force behind al Jazeera’s move toward embracing the Islamist agent, while marginalizing other voices in the station that once had a significant role.
In October 2006, one of Al Jazeera’s own correspondents stated that Mr. Khanfar had a Muslim Brotherhood background and asked him about it directly, receiving a non-denial and evasive reply:
Mr. Waddah, you have and Islamic background, specifically Muslim Brotherhood, don’t you think that this is conflicting with your position as a head of the biggest Arab media organization now? In fact, I do not classify myself as belonging to a certain political ideological movement, this is firstly an important issue which is very .. (interrupting) ..Or you were belonging .. I think that firstly I belong to this Nation including its collective legacy and mind, and that this something I value and am keen on it, but I tell you clearly and frankly, Aljazeera taught us always that our affiliation to Aljazeera– as an administration or press– is an affiliation to an institution with deep-rooted rules and with a clear identity based primarily on proficiency and respecting the opinion and the other opinion, and it isn’t absolutely based on differentiating between people on ideological, intellectual or party bases. Interestingly, it was the Nation Magazine article from 2007 that first reported on the growing Islamist agenda of the TV station.
Whether it’s reporting the Hamas perspective from the occupied territories without mention of the Palestinian Authority’s version of events, or the fawning depiction elsewhere of Islamist parties and militias as the grassroots reflection of Arab sentiment, Al Jazeera has moved away from its ideologically diverse origins to a more populist/Islamist approach. After the March 2003 US invasion of Iraq, Al Jazeera replaced its longtime secular bureau chief in Baghdad, Faisal Yasiri, with Wadah Khanfar, who had reported from Afghanistan after the American invasion in 2001 and then Kurdish-controlled territory as the war with Iraq was launched in 2003. Shortly thereafter, the secular head of Al Jazeera, Mohammed Jassem Ali, was ousted and replaced by Khanfar, whom nine current and former employees of the station interviewed for this article characterize as an Islamist. It was around this time that Jazeera’s Iraq bureau “became a platform for [Sunni] extremists,” says Shaker Hamid, a secular Jazeera correspondent in Baghdad from 1997 to 2000, who left to work at another Arab satellite station after getting what he says was a better offer. “I can’t say that Jazeera’s rhetoric is completely against Shiites,” Hamid says. “The Americans introduced this, but the media should not make it worse, and Jazeera did.”
I am all for freedom of expression and the rights of others to get their message out. But I am also in favor of full disclosure of ownership and interests. Al-Jazeera is losing its right to claim to represent different voices, because the Islamist agenda has made it increasingly difficult for any other voices to be heard.
9b. The program presents an update on the Brotherhood’s takeover of Al Jazeera:
Could Qatar and Al Jazeera’s satellite channel located there be secretly manipulated by the Muslim Brotherhood? This is a question frequently asked by Arab media trying to puzzle out the high profile adopted by the ruler of the tiny desert country and the nationalistic and radical Islamic content of the channel he owns. The Brotherhood exerted a profound influence on the conservative Beduin society of Qatar, which numbered less than 100,000 people in the 1950s. In a paper he wrote in 2007, Abdallah Alnefissi, a well-known Kuwaiti philosopher, explains that the then ruler of Qatar, Ali Ben Abdullah Al-Thani, was so impressed by their piety and morality that he gave them his trust and let them carry out a wide range of religious and cultural activities. The creed that the Brotherhood was teaching was that of its founder, Hassan al-Banna, and his master theologian, Sayed Qutb.
Their radical Islamic movement was created in 1928 in Egypt but saw itself as endowed with a mission to bring enlightenment to the whole world and reinstate the caliphate — a Muslim empire ruled by Shari’a, Islamic law. As a first step the movement targeted Islamic nations but intended to spread to the rest of the world. Indeed, branches were set up in most Arab countries in the early 1940s. . . .
The meteoric rise of the network and its increasing popularity have led many political and media commentators in the Arab world to wonder exactly who or what was behind what appears to be its main purpose: encouraging opposition and promoting incitement against Arab regimes, exposing the corruption of their leaders and their entourage, while holding to an extreme Arab nationalist attitude against the US and Israel and extolling the values of conservative — and sometimes extremist — Islam. It did not take long for one name to emerge: the Muslim Brotherhood. THIS HYPOTHESIS is supported by a number of facts. The director-general of the network, Wadah Khanfar, was a member of the organization in Jordan, where he was arrested. Today he is one of the closest advisers of the emir. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi is also a member of the inner circle of the emir and is known to work closely with Khanfar.
Both support Hamas. Arab researchers have succeeded in uncovering a number of other Brothers working for the network, but it is surmised that there are many more. The general consensus is that Qaradawi is the visible tip of the iceberg. In an article published in 2003 in the London-based Arabic daily Asharq al-Awsat, Maamun Fendi, a well-known Egyptian liberal thinker today living in the US, wrote that some 50 percent of the network’s personnel belong to the Muslim Brotherhood. He added that their influence in Qatar was rising both in the network and among government circles. According to him, the Brotherhood had intended to hold its world summit in Qatar in 2003 but had to scuttle its plan when it became known. . . .
10. It appears that the “Piggy-Back Coup” is an outgrowth of an initiative taken during Bush’s second term. The United States Institute of Peace undertook its “Muslim World Initiative” in the second half of the last decade, ostensibly promoting “moderate”, “peaceful”, “democratic” Muslim elements. In fact, they were promoting the Muslim Brotherhood.
The United States Institute of Peace aka the Ummah Shari’a Islamist Propagation Institute, is working together with radical Islamists promoting fundamentalism under the guise of their new ‘Muslim World Initiative’.The USIP’s new Saudi backed Islamist affiliates include CAIR, MPAC, ISNA and the CSID. Among the board members are CAIR’s Nihad Awad, Ahmed Younes of MPAC, and the CSID’s Radwan Masmoudi, as well as Imam Hassan Qazwini of the Islamic Center of America and Democratic Senator Larry Shaw a Muslim who is also a board member of CAIR. http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=1972&theType=NR
After infilitrating the USIP, Abdelsalem Mahgrouhi, the head of the Muslim World Initiative authored a USIP briefing coyly entitled: “What do Islamists really want? ‘An Insiders discussion with Islamist leaders’, in which he made the absurd claim that there were moderate Islamists:
An important distinction can be drawn between moderate and radical Islamists. Moderate refers to political parties and movements that use Islamist principles, Islamic law, and/or Islamic referents to participate peacefully in the political process. Radical, extremist, Wahhabists, Salafists, or Jihadists are terms for those who eschew nonviolence in the name of their Islamic beliefs....The most effective strategy to engage Islamists on normative democratic issues is to refer to Islam’s progressive and humanistic traditions, not to Western liberal democracy.
MIM: In the Islamofacist weltaanschauung of Maghroui and the USIP’s Muslim World Initiative:
Moderate Islamists support Hamas’ right to resist occupation and consider its government democratic and legitimate.
Moderate Islamists therefore see no contradiction between Hamas being in charge of the Palestinian Authority and attacking Israel.
http://www.usip.org/pubs/usipeace_briefings/2006/0522_islamists.html (see complete briefing below)
The inclusion of Saudi funded terrorist tied groups under the aegis of the USIP, and the premise that there are radical and moderate terrorists, indicates that The United States Institute of Peace has morphed into the Ummah Shar’ia Islamist Propagation Institute. The federal government is now funding the spread of radical Islam. The USIP’s Islamist leanings are nothing new, put the new addition of Saudi funded radical Islamist organisations with documented terrorist ties, demands that the public contact their elected officials and demand that they reassess and cut their government funding and political support to the USIP. . . .
11. A major factor in propelling the unrest in Egypt and elsewhere is the dramatic rise in the price of food and energy stemming from the Wall Street collapse of 2008. With equities proving less attractive, vast amounts of capital went into commodity speculation, dramatically escalating the cost of essentials.
This is an upstairs/downstairs story that takes us from the peak of a Western mountaintop for the wealthy to spreading mass despair in the valleys of the Third World poor.
It is about how the solutions for the world financial crisis that the Ceos and Big pols are massaging in a posh conference center in snowy Davos Switzerland have turned into a global economic catastrophe in the streets of Cairo, the current ground zero of a certain to spread wave of international unrest.
Yes, the tens of thousands in the streets demanding the ouster of the cruel Mubarek regime are there now pressing for their right to make a political choice but they are being driven by an economic disaster that has sent unemployment skyrocketing and food prices climbing.
People are out in the streets not just to meet but by their need to eat.
As Nouriel Roubini who was among the first to predict the financial crisis while others were pooh-poohing him as “Dr Doom” says don’t just look at the crowds in Cairo but what is motivating them now, after years of silence and repression.
He says that the dramatic rise in energy and food prices has become a major global threat and a leading factor that has gone largely unreported in the coverage of events in Egypt.
“What has happened in Tunisia, is happening right now in Egypt, but also riots in Morocco, Algeria and Pakistan, are related not only to high unemployment rates and to income and wealth inequality, but also to this very sharp rise in food and commodity prices,” Roubini said.
Prices in Egypt are up 17% because of a worldwide surge in commodity prices that has many factors but speculation on Wall Street and big banks is a key one.
As IPS reported, “Wall Street investment firms and banks, along with their kin in London and Europe, were responsible for the technology dot-com bubble, the stock market bubble, and the recent U.S. and UK housing bubbles.They extracted enormous profits and their bonuses before the inevitable collapse of each.”
Now they’ve turned to basic commodities. The result? At a time when there has been no significant change in the global food supply or in food demand, the average cost of buying food shot up 32 percent from June to December 2010, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Nothing but price speculation can explain wheat prices jumping 70 percent from June to December last year when global wheat stocks were stable, experts say.
Here’s a key fact buried in a CNN Money report—the kind intended for investors, not the public at large: “About 40% of Egypt’s citizens live off less than $2 a day, so any price increase hurts.”. . .
12. The broadcast concludes with a frightening look at the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s stated intention to acquire nuclear weapons.
In the summer of 2006, after pressing the Egyptian government for more than a year to restart the country’s nuclear power program, the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s foremost political opposition force, escalated its nuclear goals and openly called for Egypt to develop nuclear weapons as a counter to Israel’s nuclear capabilities. Against this background, the group reacted with little enthusiasm to the mid-september announcement by Jamal Mubarak, son of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, that Egypt would revive its peaceful nuclear power – without declaring that Egypt would build a nuclear deterrent. (See “Renewed Egyptian Ambitions for a Peaceful Nuclear Program” in this issue of WMD Insights.)
In 2005, revival of the Egyptian nuclear power program had been a rallying cry for the Muslim Brotherhood. In its 2005 parliamentary election platform, for example, it had declared that under its leadership, Egypt would develop “special national programs, such as the nuclear program, the space and aviation program, armaments program, and the bio-technology program.”  The party, which currently holds roughly one fifth of the seats in the Egyptian National Assembly (the lower house of the Egyptian parliament), used the nuclear issue to challenge the current Egyptian government, which had shown little interest in nuclear energy, unlike a number of states in the region, including Iran and Turkey.
By May 17, 2006, Brotherhood deputies were openly attacking the Mubarak government for not pursuing an active nuclear program. Ikhwanonline, the official website of the Muslim Brotherhood, stated that Brotherhood “deputies accuse the government of abandoning the nuclear program and [being content with not] building atomic power plants for peaceful purposes and electricity production at the same time many other countries such as India advanced in this field.”  (India has not only developed nuclear power for electricity production, but used its peaceful nuclear program as a stepping stone to develop nuclear weapons.)
Despite this initial focus on peaceful nuclear energy, at a July 4, 2006, joint meeting of the foreign affairs, Arab, defense, and national security committees of the Egyptian parliament, Dr. Hamdi Hassan, spokesperson of the Muslim Brotherhood parliamentary caucus, made clear that his organization was interested not merely in using nuclear power for meeting Egypt’s energy needs, but in creating an Egyptian nuclear deterrent: “We [Egyptians] are ready to starve in order to own a nuclear weapon that will represent a real deterrent and will be decisive in the Arab-Israeli conflict.”  . . .