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FTR #735 Bay of Pigs Meets the October Surprise: Lee Harvey Obama and the Piggy Back Coup in the Middle East

Lis­ten:
MP3 Side 1 [1] | Side 2 [2]

FTR #655 [3]
FTR #656 [4]
FTR #663 [5]
Guns of Novem­ber, Part I [6]
AFA #38 [7] (Fara Man­soor inter­view is in sec­tion 3.2, com­posed of sev­er­al audio seg­ments.)

[8]

Rove: Clothes make the man

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 [9], 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 [10] to the Prime Min­is­ter of Swe­den.]

[11]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 [6] and AFA #38 [7]. (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 [12] 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 [13] were an out­growth of the Devo­tees of Islam, a Shi­ite off­shoot of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood!)

Pro­gram High­lights Include: attacks on Tunisian [14] and Egypt­ian [15] gov­ern­ment web­sites by the Anony­mous hack­er milieu; the State Depart­men­t’s revised [16] and “prag­mat­i­cal­ly opti­mistic” reassess­ment of the Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood; the Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood’s call for the devel­op­ment of nuclear weapons [17]; sym­pa­thy for the Islamists at Amer­i­can Uni­ver­si­ty in Cairo [18] (attend­ed by April 6 move­ment mem­ber Wael Ghon­im of Google); Google’s rela­tion­ship [19] with the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty; ide­o­log­i­cal affil­i­a­tion between ele­ments at Amer­i­can Uni­ver­si­ty in Cairo and Mus­lim Broth­er­hood eco­nom­ic guru Ibn Khal­dun [20]; 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 [21] of Mubarak by the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood [22]; the role in the Mid­dle East upris­ings of the rise in food and com­mod­i­ty prices [23]; the prob­a­ble role of the U.S. Insti­tute of Peace [24] in the Pig­gy-Back Coup; the role in the Pig­gy-Back Coup of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood-dom­i­nat­ed Al-Jazeera [25]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.” . . .

“Rove’s Hand Seen in Julian Assange’s Pros­e­cu­tion, Sources Allege” by David Edwards; The Raw Sto­ry; 12/20/2010. [10]

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”.

“Tunisia: The Wik­iLeaks Con­nec­tion” by Ian Black; The Guardian; 1/15/2011. [26]

2b. It turns out that the Anony­mous milieu (described in FTR #732 [27]) 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. . . .

“Anony­mous Activists Tar­get Tunisian Gov­ern­ment Sites”; BBC News; 1/4/2011. [14]

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. . . .

“Tunisia Forces Fight Pres­i­den­tial Guards” by Tarek Ama­ra and Chris­t­ian Lowe; yahoo.com; 1/16/2011. [28]

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 [29]. 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. . . .

“Tunisia Forces Fight Pres­i­den­tial Guards” by Tarek Ama­ra and Chris­t­ian Lowe; yahoo.com; 1/16/2011. [30]

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.

“A Jihad in Tunisia” by Robert Spencer; Human Events; 1/18/2011. [31]

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. . . .

“Tunisia Islamist Leader to Return from Exile” [Reuters]; msnbc.com; 1/16/2011. [32]

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.” . . .

“More Offi­cials Quit in Tunisia Amid Protests” by David D. Kirk­patrick and Kareem Fahim; The New York Times; 1/19/2011. [33]

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. . . .

“Tunisian Islamists Show Strength at Chief’s Return” By Lin Nouei­hed and Tom Per­ry [Reuters]; Yahoo News; 1/30/2011. [34]

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. . . .

“US Secret­ly Backed Egypt­ian Protest Lead­ers” by Nathan Diebenow; The Raw Sto­ry; 1/28/2011. [35]

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.  . . .

“Egypt Protests: Amer­i­ca’s Secret Back­ing for Rebel Lead­ers Behind Upris­ing” By Tim Ross, Matthew Moore and Steven Swin­ford; Dai­ly Tele­graph; 1/28/2011. [36]

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. . . .

“US covert­ly Aid­ed Egypt­ian Protest Lead­ers for Regime Change, Secret Decem­ber 2008 Wik­iLeaks Cable Reveals” by Daya Gam­age; The Asian Tri­bune; 1/30/2011. [12]

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. . . .

“Anony­mous Asks for DDOS Attacks on Key Egypt­ian Sites” by Jesse Emspak; Inter­na­tion­al Busi­ness Times; 1/26/2011. [15]

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. . . .

“Egypt­ian Reform Leader Calls on Mubarak to Resign” by Hamza Hen­dawi and Mag­gie Michael [AP]; Seat­tle Times; 1/30/2011. [21]

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.” . . .

“Egyp­t’s Mus­lim Broth­er­hood: Dis­solve Par­lia­ment” [AP]; The Jerusalem Post; 1/19/2011. [37]

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. . . .

“ElBa­radei, Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Offer Polit­i­cal Path Out of Egypt­ian Con­fronta­tion” by Robert Naiman; Truthout; 1/30/2011. [22]

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. . . .

“U.S. Reex­am­in­ing Its Rela­tion­ship with Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Oppo­si­tion Group” by Craig Whit­lock; The Wash­ing­ton Post; 2/3/2011. [16]

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. . . .

“Exclu­sive: Google, CIA Invest in ‘Future’ of Web Mon­i­tor­ing” by Noah Schacht­man; Wired.com; 7/28/2010. [19]

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.

“Islam in Office” by Stephen Glain; Newsweek; 7/3–10/2006. [38]

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? . . .

“A Pol­i­tics of Inclusion:An Inter­view with Saad Eddin Ibrahim”; Dis­sent Mag­a­zine; Spring/2007. [18]

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 [39] (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 [40] 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.

“The Islamist (MB) Takeover of Al Jazeera?” by Dou­glas Far­rah; www.douglasfarah.com; 1/16/2009. [25]

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. . . .

“Al-Jazeera and the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood”; [41]Mil­i­tant Islam Mon­i­tor [41]; 6/26/2009. [41]

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 [42]

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’ [43] 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 [44] (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. . . .

[24]The Unit­ed States Insti­tute of Peace Pro­motes Rad­i­cal Islam with Mus­lim World Ini­tia­tive and Tax Pay­er Fund­ing”; [24]Mil­i­tant Islam Mon­i­tor [24]; 6/5/2006. [24]

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.”. . .

“The Lit­tle-Known Sto­ry of How a Finan­cial Crash that Began on Wall Street is Set­ting the Mid­dle East on Fire” by Dan­ny Schechter; [23]Alter­Net [23]; 1/31/2011. [23]

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.” [1] 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.” [2] (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.” [3] . . .

“Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Press­es Gov­ern­ment for Nuclear Weapons”; WMD Insights; November/2006. [17]