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Through the Egyptian Looking Glass: Al-Ihss in Muslim Brother Land

Muslim Brotherhood Coat of (ahem) Arms

COMMENT: Well, when Mubarak, Ali (Tunisia) were ousted amid emphatic utterances that a New Dawn was breaking in the Middle East and that democracy, enlightenment, etcetera, would be forthcoming like water  from a fountain, the view here was that we would see the ascension of the Islamofascist Muslim Brotherhood.

That is evidently turning out to be true with a remarkable wrinkle–as the Obama administration, the State Department and members of Congress cozy up to the Muslim Brotherhood, continuing a relationship begun during the Bush administration, the Brotherhood are cast as “moderates” in contrast with the resurgent Salafist Nour Party.

The “moderation” of the Brotherhood centers on their stated desire to honor the peace treaty with Israel and their commitment to free markets.

A number of thoughts come to mind in this context:

  • As seen below, the Brotherhood has already broken its promise not to field a candidate in the presidential election.
  • Within the last decade, the Egyptian Brotherhood was agitating against a law banning female genital mutilation–the surgical removal of women’s clitorises in order to keep them from “impure thoughts.” A large percentage of married Egyptian women have been subjected to that procedure.
  • Also within the last ten years, the Brotherhood was lobbying to have sanitary napkin dispensers removed from women’s bathrooms in public high schools, thus forcing young women to remain at home when they were menstruating. (In traditional Islam, women are considered unclean when menstruating and men are not supposed to have contact with them.)
  • We are to believe that the Brotherhood has undergone a Damascus-road conversion (no pun intended.) In these quarters, skepticism reigns. Rather, the suspicion here is that the Brotherhood is practicing taqqiya–lying to infidels in order to deceive them and gain strategic advantage.
  • Within the last ten years, the Brotherhood has been pushing for Egypt to acquire nuclear weapons, in order to counteract Israel’s arsenal. This was in order to place Egypt in a position to reach military parity with Israel. That does not sound like a political stance that bodes well for the future of the peace treaty with Israel.
  • The Egyptian Brotherhood has been openly supportive of, and has established liaison with, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch. Hamas’ charter and the salute used by its cadre are adopted from the Third Reich. Hamas has said they will never recognize Israel. The Egyptian Brotherhood’s liaison with Hamas also suggests that their supposed moderation is taqqiya in action.
  • On successive days in February of 2011, The New York Times featured columns in which Brotherhood members and advocates openly lied about the organization’s past, deliberately obscuring the group’s military alliance with the Third Reich during World War II. Again, this suggests that the “moderation” we are seeing is taqqiya.
  • One fascinating possibility suggests itself. Might those being polled and lending momentum to the Salafist presidential candidate actually be working clandestinely for the Brotherhood, maneuvering to position the Brotherhood as the “moderate” alternative to the Salafists? Some of the secularists who helped craft the Egyptian revolution have openly charged that the Brotherhood and Salafists are collaborating to Islamize Egypt. How many of the Salafists are actually Brotherhood operatives or sympathizers?
  • In this regard, we should note that the Salafists have said that the Brotherhood’s presidential candidate assured them that he will see to it that any laws passed by his regime will be in accordance with Sharia. Having broken their promise not to field a presidential candidate, the Brotherhood does indeed appear to be exercising taqqiya. Brotherhood presidential candidate Khairat el-Shater has promised a group of hard-line, reactionary imams that they will be deeply involved in the crafting of Egyptian law. This is almost identical to a highly controversial Muslim Brotherhood proposal put forth in 2007 and withdrawn amidst a storm of controversy.
  • With examples of Muslim Brotherhood duplicity with respect to moderation fresh in memory, the possibility that the Egyptian Brotherhood’s “moderate” stance may be just so much dissembling should be carefully considered. Recall that Grover Norquist and Karl Rove positioned Brotherhood operatives from the Nazi-linked al-Taqwa milieu as moderates in the GOP’s Islamic Institute milieu. CAIR–a Muslim Brotherhood front organization with open links to terrorists has emerged in the United States as the “moderate” advocate for the rights of American Muslims.
  • It is possible that, faced with an Israel that has nuclear weapons, Brotherhood leaders have adopted an element of moderation derived from staring down the barrel of a “nuclear gun,” but time and the elements will have to bear that out before it will be believed in these quarters.
  • When Italian fascists in the Alleanza Nazionale rose to power, they were sanitized by contrasting them with the violent forces grouped around Pino Rauti. Yet Pino Rauti and his cadre were actually part of former P-2 member Silvio Berlusconi’s coalition. Berlusconi, the Alleanza Nationale and Ordine Nuovo (Rauti’s group) have strong links to the Muslim Brotherhood/Bank al-Taqwa milieu. Are we seeing a similar arrangement with the contrast between the Salafists and the Muslim Brotherhood?

“In Egyptian Hard-Liner’s Surge, New Worries for the Muslim Brotherhood” by David Kirkpatrick; 4/1/2012.

EXCERPT: Hazem Salah Abu Ismail is an old-school Islamist.

He wants to move toward abolishing Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel and cites Iran as a successful model of independence from Washington. He worries about the mixing of the genders in the workplace and women’s work outside the home. And he promises to bring extraordinary prosperity to Egypt, if it turns its back on trade with the West.

He has also surged to become a front-runner in the race to become Egypt’s next president, reconfiguring political battle lines here. His success may help explain why the United States offered signs of tacit approval over the weekend when the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest Islamic group, broke its pledge not to field its own candidate.

With a first round of voting set for late May and a runoff in mid-June, the first presidential race here since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak last year is shaping up as a battle among Islamists.

The Brotherhood, which leads Parliament, had pledged not to seek the presidency for fear of provoking a backlash from the Egyptian military and the West. But Mr. Abu Ismail’s surge raises the prospect that the winner might not be a more secular or liberal figure, but a strident Islamist who opposes the Brotherhood’s pragmatic focus on stable relations with the United States and Israel and free-market economics.

Mr. Abu Ismail poses a subtler threat, too, challenging the Brotherhood’s status as the main voice of Islamist politics in Egypt and threatening to undermine its campaign to set aside Western fears of political Islam. The Brotherhood is taking a considerable risk in running its own candidate against him, since its victory is by no means assured.

And so, in a remarkable inversion, American policy makers who once feared a Brotherhood takeover now appear to see the group as an indispensable ally against Egypt’s ultraconservatives, exemplified by Mr. Abu Ismail. . . .


21 comments for “Through the Egyptian Looking Glass: Al-Ihss in Muslim Brother Land”

  1. I have always felt that a big impetus towards US support for what became the “Arab Spring” was Natan Sharansky’s book The Case for Democracy, which came out in 2004. The book naively puts fourth the proposition that regional peace in the Middle East would be advanced by democratic regimes. A nice idea, if only…


    Bush came out in favor of his ideas. Sharansky was feted at the White House in February 2005.


    And awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by Bush in December 2006.


    Al Ihss in MB Land, pretty punny Dave.

    Posted by Vanfield | April 5, 2012, 1:14 pm
  2. @Vanfield: I have to agree. From what little I know about the man, he seems to have been genuinely interested in promoting actual democracy in the Middle East, though it does seem that Bush took advantage of him; 7 years after that book came out the powers that be hijacked the democratic uprising in Egypt and installed their MB cronies. Unfortunately, it seems, many of the Egyptian people have not yet seen through the so-called ‘moderate’ facade that the Brothers have established.

    (Not sure if I got the pun, btw. Could somebody explain it to me? Thanks. =))

    Posted by Steven L. | April 5, 2012, 4:38 pm
  3. @Vanfield and Steven L.:
    In the spirit of punning, there’s an awful one lying in wait for you all at the end of this one:

    So Reince Priebus, the head of the RNC, dismissed accusations that the GOP is waging a “War on Women” with an interesting analogy:

    Posted at 07:28 PM ET, 04/05/2012
    GOP’s war on caterpillars?
    By Alexandra Petri

    Recently, RNC chairman Reince Priebus should have said that the idea of a GOP war on women was ridiculous. What he actually did was to make an analogy to a war on caterpillars.

    “Well, for one thing,” he said, in response to a question about the popularity gap among female voters, “if the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars, and every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we’d have problems with caterpillars. The fact of the matter is it’s a fiction and this started a war against the Vatican that this president pursued. He still hasn’t answered Archbishop Dolan’s issues with Obama world and Obamacare, so I think that’s the first issue.”

    And just like that, it started.

    Two points come to mind with this interesting choice of analogy:
    1. Perhaps Mr. Priebus was trying make an honest analogy but he just got a little confused. What he probably meant to say was

    “if the Democrats scientists said we Bayer and Big Ag had a war on caterpillarshoney-bees, and every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans Bayer and Big Ag have a war on caterpillars honey-bees, then we’d have problems with caterpillars growing food to eat.”

    There we go, now that analogy doesn’t seem so off!

    2. Mr. Priebus was indeed correct that there’s been a war against the Vatican declared, but it wasn’t declared by the Democrats. It was those treacherous non-radically obedient priests.

    So, overall, I think I’d grade Mr. Priebus’s analogy attempt at solid “C”.

    Nah, that’s too harsh…make that a Bee-minus ;)

    (you were warned!)

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 5, 2012, 7:22 pm
  4. And in the spirit of adding insult to injury, I just wanted to point out that I found this to be Hill-arious.

    I also found this article to hold a bit of hilarity, but mostly because there’s something somewhat comical about the image of Muslim Brotherhood diplomats in DC quoting “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” in an attempt to convince the audience of their moderate intent. This other article about the signals the MB is sending about its plans is less hilarious and more just depressing:

    Egypt clerics: Brotherhood candidate promised Shariah law is final goal

    Campaign dealmaking is a sign of how the Brotherhood, which is Egypt’s strongest political movement and presents itself to the public as a moderate force, could be pushed into a more hard-line agenda by competition from the ultraconservatives known as Salafis.

    By Maggie Michael, Associated Press / April 5, 2012


    The Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate for Egypt’s presidency is lobbying hard for support of ultraconservative Muslim clerics, promising them a say over legislation in the future to ensure it is in line with Islamic law, as he tries to rally the divided Islamist vote behind him.

    The campaign dealmaking is a sign of how the Brotherhood, which is Egypt’s strongest political movement and presents itself to the public as a moderate force, could be pushed into a more hard-line agenda by competition from the ultraconservatives known as Salafis.

    Giving Muslim clerics a direct say over legislation would be unprecedented in Egypt. Specifics of the Brotherhood promise, which Salafi clerics said Wednesday the candidate Khairat el-Shater gave them in a backroom meeting, were not known. But any clerical role would certainly raise a backlash from liberal and moderate Egyptians who already fear Islamists will sharply restrict civil rights as they gain political power after the fall last year of President Hosni Mubarak.

    Who’s who in Egypt’s election

    It would also damage the image that the Brotherhood itself promoted for the past year, insisting it does not seek a theocracy in Egypt or to quickly implement Shariah.

    El-Shater, a strongman in the Brotherhood, is pushing heavily to prevent a split in the Islamist vote in the May 23-24 vote to elect the first president since Mubarak’s ouster. A single Islamist candidate could enjoy a widespread popular base, since the Brotherhood and Salafis together won more than 70 percent of parliament in elections late last year.

    The Brotherhood alone holds nearly half of parliament and, alongside Salafis, dominates a new commission formed to write a new constitution. It is hoping for the presidency to seal its power.

    But there are multiple candidates running on their Islamic agenda, dividing the vote and raising a possible window of victory for a non-Islamist figure.

    El-Shater faces tough competition from a lawyer-turned-TV preacher, Hazem Abu Ismail, who is the favorite of Salafis. Abu Ismail has become ubiquitous in the campaign, plastering what seems like every other lightpost and wall in Cairo with campaign posters showing his cheerfully smiling face and long, conservative beard. After el-Shater announced his candidacy over the weekend, Abu Ismail rejected pressure to quit the race and many prominent Salafis announced they were sticking with him.

    El-Shater met for four hours Tuesday night with a panel of Salafi scholars and clerics, called the Jurisprudence Commission for Rights and Reform, trying to win their support.

    The discussion focused on “the shape of the state and the implementation of Shariah,” the commission said on its Facebook page Wednesday.

    “El-Shater stressed that Shariah is his top and final goal and that he would work on forming a group of religious scholars to help parliament achieve this goal,” the statement read. The commission is an umbrella group of Islamist factions, mostly Salafis, set up after last year’s anti-Mubarak uprising.

    A Brotherhood spokesman could not immediately confirm the offer and attempts to reach the head of the commission went unsuccessful.

    The promise resembled an item in a 2007 political platform by the Brotherhood, when it was still a banned opposition movement. It called for parliament to consult with a body of clerics on legislation to ensure it aligns with Shariah. The proposal was met with a storm of condemnation at the time, and the Brotherhood backed off of it.

    Mohammed Habib, who was the Brotherhood’s deputy leader at that time, says the platform item was for a body of clerics simply to advise lawmakers, but that some in the group wanted it to have a more powerful role to vet legislation.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 5, 2012, 9:32 pm
  5. Show of hands everyone, who is sick of all the soft ball questions that media ask MB representatives?

    Posted by Vanfield | April 6, 2012, 2:36 pm
  6. @Pterrafractyl: LOL, that was a good pun right there. =)
    On a more serious note, it looks like the MB’s true colors are already showing to the public.

    @Vanfield: Count me in!

    Posted by Steven L. | April 6, 2012, 5:50 pm
  7. @Vanfield: Hands? I have two too few, for four fist to fight fascist thought ought to be my score against media whores. Or, an encore of two might do. So two hands from me and two more for thee and your decree for journalistic integrity!

    Sorry everyone, after all the punning I felt a little poetry was needed to cleanse the palette. I hope it won’t happen again although I can’t make any promises. You can never rule out at least one haiku out there in any thread…lurking…waiting…

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 6, 2012, 9:22 pm
  8. Word nine in the poem
    Is mispelled and should be “fists”
    No!!!! You’ve been haikued!

    Once again, my apologies…

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 6, 2012, 10:14 pm
  9. […] the absence of significant civilian society structures. In all fairness, we have to recognize that his analysis was correct. You can access these shows […]

    Posted by Interview with Diana West on Secure Freedom Radio: Bogus « democratic » revolutions, civilization jihad and the subversion of western societies | Lys-d'Or | April 8, 2012, 12:14 pm
  10. http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2012/04/09/Egyptian-candidate-reports-death-threats/UPI-95611333970197/

    Egyptian candidate reports ‘death threats’

    Published: April 9, 2012 at 7:16 AM

    CAIRO, April 9 (UPI) — Gen. Omar Suleiman said he received death threats from the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups after becoming a candidate for president of Egypt.

    Suleiman, who was intelligence chief under former President Hosni Mubarak, submitted his candidacy for the presidency Sunday shortly before the filing deadline after collecting 72,000 signatures.

    “And indeed as soon as my nomination for the presidency was announced, I received on my personal mobile and through some people close to me death threats and messages saying we will take revenge — from members of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups,” Suleiman told the Egyptian daily al-Akhbar Monday.

    Suleiman said he decided to submit his presidential candidacy independently. He said the country’s ruling military council was involved in his decision.

    “The [ruling] Supreme Council has no relation, neither negatively or positively, with my decision to join the race for the presidency,” he told the newspaper.

    The Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth said two other presidential candidates are Amr Moussa. former Arab League secretary-general who served for 10 years as foreign minister under Mubarak, and Khayret al-Shater of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party.

    The Egyptian Web site Ahram Online said al-Shater’s candidacy was in doubt because served a jail sentence on charges of terrorism and money laundering. He was released from jail in March of 2011.

    Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2012/04/09/Egyptian-candidate-reports-death-threats/UPI-95611333970197/#ixzz1rbdAmHCU

    Posted by Vanfield | April 9, 2012, 7:53 pm
  11. While there is no doubt an immense amount of corruption, wasteful goverment spending, and poor management of the Egyptian economy, it seems ill advised to make stimulating businesses and privatizing walfare the cure-alls for Egypt’s woes. On the plus side, I guess we’ll get to see what trickle-down Islamism looks like in the midst of global economic turmoil. And doesn’t el Shater sort sound like a weird MB/Norquist/Romney/Cylon-hybrid candidate? It’s kind of scary…

    Posted on Mon, Apr. 09, 2012 05:13 PM
    Muslim Brotherhood candidate stays focused on Egypt’s economy
    McClatchy Newspapers

    CAIRO — The Muslim Brotherhood’s presidential candidate – a self-made multimillionaire tycoon – on Monday emphasized free-market capitalism and reducing corruption as pillars of his long-term platform toward Egypt’s “renaissance.”

    Khairat el Shater, 62, dwelled on private-led economic reform more than any other topic at his first news conference since he announced his candidacy, which was controversial because the Brotherhood earlier had vowed not to contest the presidential polls, which open next month.

    The powerful group’s endorsement makes Shater an instant front-runner in a race crowded with fellow Islamists as well as former-regime types, and he appeared keen to show that his business acumen makes him just the candidate to overhaul Egypt’s revolution-battered economy and lure back wary foreign investors.

    That, he argued, would in turn address wider social ills such as high crime rates and widespread unemployment, which only worsened under some 50 years of state stewardship of the economy.

    “It’s very important that, within the current gap we’re facing now, to depend on local, Arab and foreign investments in development programs,” Shater said. “Some people with ideological agendas might say, ‘Engineer Khairat supports privatization and private sector?’ I say there is no other alternative for Egyptians except to focus sharply on financing a great deal of development projects outside the state budget.”

    Shater made his fortune in ventures ranging from software startups to a chain of furniture stores, directing his companies even from his prison cell during a total of 12 years of detention in the past two decades. On Monday, he wore the relaxed air of an executive who would be comfortable in Silicon Valley, dressed in an open-collared shirt and blazer; his campaign staffers, by contrast, were clad in stuffy dark suits and red ties.

    Shater was the architect of the economic initiatives espoused by the Brotherhood’s spinoff political party, Freedom and Justice, which has called for anti-corruption measures, better regulations to break up monopolies, broad-based private investment and a wider umbrella of nongovernmental support to wean Egyptians from the decrepit welfare-state model.

    Egyptian economists have offered tentative approval for what they’ve called a sound and sophisticated economic platform, though worries remain about the mechanisms for implementing such ambitious proposals.

    The main concern is that a CEO-turned-president such as Shater would be prone to the same cronyism and sweetheart deals that were hallmarks of deposed President Hosni Mubarak’s regime, especially in recent years when his son Gamal essentially ran the country along with a tight circle of millionaire businessmen. The key members of that cabal are now languishing in prison on corruption and other charges.

    Wael Gamal, a Cairo-based author and analyst who focuses on the Egyptian economy, said it was common knowledge that the Brotherhood maintained relationships with Mubarak-era businessmen, inviting them to official events and even quoting them in the group’s publications. He said trusting too much in the Brotherhood’s chief financier ran the risk of a return to the same old crony capitalist model, only this time with Islamist cover.

    The problem with Khairat el Shater is that he belongs to the business sector, which is the very same sector that corrupted Egypt,” Gamal said. “Just because his companies were a success doesn’t mean that he can lead a country. There’s a great difference between the mechanisms of leading a company and of taking care of the macroeconomics.”

    Shater, speaking eloquently and without notes Monday at the news conference, acknowledged that his party’s economic strategies would take years to bring to fruition. His sleek PowerPoint presentation included plans that stretched all the way to 2025.

    He spent several minutes enumerating the myriad problems that plague the Egyptian economy: Debts nearly double the entire budget, a budget deficit reportedly forecast at 9 percent of economic output and the old regime’s legacy of “organized theft,” which robbed the country of billions of dollars.

    Another problem, he said, is that the economy is too dependent on three main revenue streams: the Suez Canal, tourism and remittances from Egyptians abroad. Shater proposed diversifying to include industrial and agricultural projects; he mentioned in passing that a Brotherhood delegation had visited Norway recently to study the Scandinavians’ lucrative fishing industry.

    Shater’s pro-business stumping would have sounded familiar to Americans who are watching their own presidential race take shape, except for his frequent references to the overarching “Islamic project” that he vowed would put Egypt on the path to recovery.

    The agricultural programs that emerge in any upcoming Egyptian administration are going to be important to watch because if they are irrigation-intensive programs there could be some medium-term difficulties:

    US intel: water a cause for war in coming decades
    MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press
    Updated 07:11 a.m., Saturday, March 24, 2012

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Drought, floods and a lack of fresh water may cause significant global instability and conflict in the coming decades, as developing countries scramble to meet demand from exploding populations while dealing with the effects of climate change, U.S. intelligence agencies said in a report Thursday.

    An assessment reflecting the joint judgment of federal intelligence agencies says the risk of water issues causing wars in the next 10 years is minimal even as they create tensions within and between states and threaten to disrupt national and global food markets. But beyond 2022, it says the use of water as a weapon of war or a tool of terrorism will become more likely, particularly in South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.

    The report is based on a classified National Intelligence Estimate on water security, which was requested by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and completed last fall. It says floods, scarce and poor quality water, combined with poverty, social tension, poor leadership and weak governments will contribute to instability that could lead the failure of numerous states.

    The report predicts that upstream nations — more powerful than their downstream neighbors due to geography — will limit access to water for political reasons and that countries will regulate internal supplies to suppress separatist movements and dissident populations.

    At the same time, terrorists and rogue states may target or threaten to target water-related infrastructure like dams and reservoirs more frequently. Even if attacks do not occur or are only partially successful, the report said “the fear of massive floods or loss of water resources would alarm the public and cause governments to take costly measures to protect the water infrastructure.”

    The unclassified summary of the intelligence estimate does not identify the specific countries most at risk. But it notes that the study focused on several specific rivers and water basins. Those included the Nile in Egypt, Sudan and nations farther south, the Tigris and Euphrates in Iraq and the greater Middle East, the Mekong in China and Southeast Asia, the Jordan that separates Israel from the Palestinian territories, the Indus and the Brahmaputra in India and South Asia as well as the Amu Darya in Central Asia.

    At a U.N. news conference in New York marking World Water Day, Ania Grobicki, executive secretary of the Global Water Partnership, which includes government, private sector, academic and nongovernmental groups, said, “Water is a global issue and is increasingly seen as a global risk.”

    She pointed to the World Economic Forum’s 2011 Global Risk Report which for the first time included water as one of the top five global risks. The report said the rapidly rising global population and growing prosperity are putting “unsustainable pressure” on resources and demand for water, food and energy is expected to rise by 30 percent to 50 percent in the next two decades.

    “Shortages could cause social and political instability, geopolitical conflict and irreparable environmental damage,” the report warned.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 9, 2012, 11:32 pm
  12. @Pterrafractyl–

    No surprise here. Throughout the Taqqiya Sunrise/Turkish Taffy series, I stressed time and again that the “Muslim Brotherhood Spring” was an op–begun by the Bush/GOP faction of the intelligence community/CIA and continued by the Obama forces.

    In that series, I noted time and again that the goal was the establishment/promotion of “corporatism”/free-market economics in the Muslim World.

    As Gomer Pyle would have said “Surprise, Surprise.”

    Note the next to most recent post, linking Nazi-fellow traveler Ron Paul with Mitt. Watch Americans Elect, which is touting Ron Paul among others.

    Peter Ackerman–associate of Junk Bond King Michael Milken, U.S. Institute of Peace/Muslim World Initiative, Koch Brothers Cato Institute–was one of the lynch pins behind Arab Spring.

    He’s the founder of Americans Elect and his son Eliot runs it.

    Watch Ron Paul as a right-wing Ralph Nader, working to siphon enough votes away from Obama to give Romney the victory.



    Posted by Dave Emory | April 10, 2012, 12:34 am
  13. @Dave: With the pace of these MB flip-flops it’s gotten to the point where the name “Khairat ei Shater” ivokes an image in my mind of Lucy van Pelt pulling away the football and then beating a downed-Charlie Brown with an Etch-a-Sketch. You have to wonder just how far the MB is going to push “deficit reduction” and the privatization/elimination of social welfare programs in thier first round of power. Convincing an impoverished public to keep voting against their best interests won’t neccessarily be as easy for the MB as it’s been for the GOP (hopefully). I guess we’ll see!

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 10, 2012, 7:26 pm
  14. @Pterrafractyl: I do hold some hope still: there are those in Egypt who have awoken to the fact that the M.B. is actually quite a bit nastier than Mubarak’s regime at ITS worst(At least Egypt had a little freedom then…..now I wonder if the MB’ll piss it all away.),just like those people here in America who learned that the Tea Party was nothing but astroturf and that R.P. is really a snake-oil salesman masquerading as ‘Libertarian’.

    There is hope…..though times may be quite rough indeed, and Dave will hopefully be back on his radio show someday soon. =)

    Posted by Steven L. | April 11, 2012, 7:17 pm
  15. Uh oh…I think Egypt just got trolled:

    Report: Egyptians Scale US Embassy Walls, Remove American Flag
    Casey Michel 1:33 PM EDT, Tuesday September 11, 2012

    Egyptian protesters have scaled the US embassy in Cairo, Reuters reports. The protesters pulled down the American flag and attempted to replace it with a black flag bearing the message “There is no god but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger.”

    Approximately 2,000 protesters have gathered outside the embassy, while about 20 people stood atop the building’s walls, according to Reuters. The group is purportedly protesting “a film being produced in the United States that was insulting to the Prophet Mohammad,” but the motive remained cloudy:

    It was not immediately clear which film angered protesters.

    However, according to the website http://www.standupamericanow.org, the Christian Pastor Terry Jones, who angered Muslims by burning a copy of the Koran, was due to take part in an event on Tuesday called “International Judge Mohammad Day” in Florida in which it would symbolically put the Prophet on trial and play it out live over the Internet.

    Remember Egypt: don’t feed the trolls.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 11, 2012, 11:14 am
  16. Pathetic Lunatics #1: Hey, check out our awesome new movie intended to inflame that group of people over there.
    Pathetic Lunatics #2: What did they say? I find this very insulting to my group of people. Let’s go murder some tangentially people associated with Lunatics#1. What will show them all that we are very serious and pious people!
    Rest of world: *facepalm*

    This is why pathetic individuals with severe self-esteem issues and a craving for global attention shouldn’t have access to rocket propelled grenades. And probably video cameras. But definitely rocket propelled grenades.

    And on a tangentially related note, this is for everyone thinks Mittens is lying liar.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 12, 2012, 8:33 am
  17. I would suspect this is a disinformation campaign…“:

    Mystery Man Behind The Anti-Muslim Film Blamed For Attacks

    Eric Lach September 12, 2012, 5:15 PM

    Updated: September 12, 2012, 8:41 PM

    Who is Sam Bacile? So far, the answer depends on who you ask and what you read.

    Early reports after Tuesday’s violence against American diplomatic posts in Egypt and Libya identified Bacile as the producer and director of an absurd anti-Muslim film blamed for inspiring the anger of the mobs.

    But his biography remains sketchy at best. He has claimed to be a real estate developer, but nobody with his name has a real-estate license or appears in corporation records in California. He has been described as Israeli, but Israeli officials have not confirmed or denied that he is a citizen. He has also claimed to have raised millions for his film, but the results, a low-budget, offensive mess, seem to speak for themselves.

    What is known is that in the first two days of July, someone with the YouTube username “Sam Bacile” uploaded two similar previews for a supposed full-length feature film called “Innocence of Muslims.” The same user uploaded an overdubbed version, apparently in Arabic, on Sept. 4.

    Beyond the YouTube postings, essentially nothing about Bacile’s life can be publicly verified. Details reported by news outlets Tuesday and Wednesday morning were often in conflict with one another. And on Wednesday afternoon, The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg spoke with a “self-described militant Christian activist” named Steve Klein, who served as a consultant on the film, and who told Goldberg that the name Sam Bacile itself is a fake.

    “I don’t know that much about him,” Klein said. “I met him, I spoke to him for an hour. He’s not Israeli, no. I can tell you this for sure, the State of Israel is not involved, Terry Jones (the radical Christian Quran-burning pastor) is not involved. His name is a pseudonym. All these Middle Eastern folks I work with have pseudonyms. I doubt he’s Jewish. I would suspect this is a disinformation campaign.”

    Klein’s comments to Goldberg contradict reports from the Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal, which both claimed to have spoken with Bacile on Tuesday.

    In one report, the AP identified Bacile as an American citizen who spoke from a phone with a California number and with an “Egyptian accent.” The AP reported that Bacile declined to answer when asked if he was of Egyptian origin, and added that Bacile said “the full film has not been shown yet … and he said he has declined distribution offers for now.”

    A second AP report, however, described Bacile as a 56-year-old “California real estate developer who identifies himself as an Israeli Jew.” In that report, the AP said Bacile claimed the film was made in three months in the summer of 2011, with the help of 59 actors and 46 people behind the camera, at a cost of $5 million, and with financing by more than 100 Jewish donors. Klein told the AP for that story that Bacile was concerned for family members that live in Egypt, and the report stated that Bacile had gone into hiding and had spoken “from an undisclosed location.”

    The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, reported that Bacile was 52 years old, and described him as “Israeli-American.” The Journal said that Bacile was interviewed from his home phone.

    “Islam is a cancer,” Bacile told the Journal. “The movie is a political movie. It’s not a religious movie.”

    TPM’s attempts to reach Klein were not successful, but in a 2007 interview with a Yahoo! Contributor Network writer, he is described as a former Marine, Vietnam veteran and founder of a group called Courageous Christians United, where he is still listed as secretary. The group claims that it “exists to boldly and respectfully defend traditional Christianity against cults,” and it currently manages websites that refute Islam, Mormonism, and Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    Dr. Gary Cass, head of a group called the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, who has worked with Klein on several issues, told TPM that he was aware Klein was working on the “Innocence of Muslims” project. Klein invited Cass several months ago to go to a screening in the Los Angeles area, according to Cass, but Cass declined.

    Late update: Has the mystery been solved? The AP on Wednesday interviewed a man named Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who admitted to being the manager of the company that created the movie. Nakoula, 55, was tracked down to an address outside Los Angeles linked to the cell phone with which Bacile spoke with the AP on Tuesday.

    Nakoula denied being film’s director, and instead said that he knew Bacile. He described himself as a Coptic Christian, and offered a driver’s license to prove his identity, but, according to the AP, he “kept his thumb over his middle name, Basseley.”

    And, it turns out, federal court documents suggest that Nakoula has been associated with the numerous aliases, including: Thomas J. Tanas, PJ Tobacco, Ahmad Hamdy, Kritbag Difrat, Amal Nada, Erwin Salameh, Daniel K. Caresman, Robert Bacily, and Nicola Bacily.

    In 2009, Nakoula faced federal bank fraud charges in California. In 2010, he was ordered to pay more than $790,000 in restitution, and sentenced to 21 months in federal prison. He was also ordered not to use computers, cell phones, or the Internet for five years unless he got an ok from a probation officer.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 13, 2012, 7:59 am
  18. I think way too much emphasis is being put on that crappy Youtube video as provocation for this. This outrage du jour was just the thinnest of excuses.

    If this crappy little video provoked such a reaction, why didn’t “Islam: The Untold Story” the documentary of historian Tom Holland’s research which hits at the very core of Islam, about the lack of evidence for the existence of Mohammed, was aired last week on British TV with a tame response? (See http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/uk-islam-tv-documentary-complaints-392018)


    From a CNN article…
    the deadly attack was also linked to a video statement released by al-Zawahiri on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. In the video, al-Zawahiri confirmed the death of al-Libi — a prominent member of the al Qaeda-linked group — adding: “His blood is calling, urging and inciting you to fight and kill the crusaders.”
    The video released by the Brigades in June showed nighttime explosions around the consulate, interlaced with footage of Osama bin Laden and al-Zawahiri, along with images from the 9/11 attacks. At the time the Brigades claimed it had launched the attack in response to the first reports of al-Libi’s death in a drone strike in the tribal areas of Pakistan.

    From http://articles.cnn.com/2011-08-31/us/wikileaks.sources_1_diplomatic-cables-wikileaks-websites?_s=PM:US
    September 12th, 2012
    03:32 PM ET

    Slain ambassador warned in ’08 about extremists near Benghazi
    Before he became U.S. ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens warned in a 2008 diplomatic cable of jihadist sentiment growing not far from Benghazi.
    Stevens, who became ambassador to Libya this year, was killed this week in an attack that U.S. sources tell CNN was planned by a pro-al Qaeda group of extremists. While it is not definitively clear whether this group, or what group specifically, is behind the attack, it’s clear that Stevens expressed concern about a radical movement fomenting in the port city of Derna.
    The cable was leaked in the trove that WikiLeaks released in 2010 and 2011, and CNN reported on it last year.
    In his 2008 missive Stevens, who at the time was U.S. deputy chief of mission in the North African nation, wrote about that “one Libyan interlocutor likened young men in Derna to Bruce Willis’ character in the action picture “Die Hard”, who stubbornly refused to die quietly.”
    There is “frustration at the inability of eastern Libyans to effectively challenge” Moammar Gadhafi’s regime, Stevens wrote.
    That and “a concerted ideological campaign by returned Libyan fighters from earlier conflicts, have played important roles in Derna’s development as a wellspring of Libyan foreign fighters in Iraq.”


    Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:41am IST
    Libya rescue squad ran into fierce, accurate ambush
    * U.S. rescue mission to Benghazi hit by ‘professional’ ambush
    * Two diplomats killed at consulate, two at ‘safe’ house fight
    * Rescue raid for diplomats dogged by miscommunication
    By Hadeel Al Shalchi
    BENGHAZI, Libya, Sept 12 (Reuters) – A squad of U.S. troops despatched by helicopter across the Libyan desert to rescue besieged diplomats from Benghazi on Wednesday ran into a fierce overnight ambush that left a further two Americans dead, Libyan officials told Reuters…
    …But two Libyan officials, including the commander of a security force which escorted the U.S. rescuers, said a later assault on a supposedly safe refuge for the diplomats appeared professionally executed…
    …Captain Fathi al-Obeidi, whose special operations unit was ordered by Libya’s authorities to meet an eight-man force at Benghazi airport, said that after his men and the U.S. squad had found the American survivors who had evacuated the blazing consulate, the ostensibly secret location in an isolated villa came under an intense and highly accurate mortar barrage.
    “I really believe that this attack was planned,” he said, adding to suggestions by other Libyan officials that at least some of the hostility towards the Americans was the work of experienced combatants. “The accuracy with which the mortars hit us was too good for any regular revolutionaries.”…
    …”About six mortars fell directly on the path to the villa,” he said. “During this firing, one of the marines whom I had brought with me was wounded and fell to the ground…


    …Yet there are other possible domestic Libyan plots that may have contributed to the incident. On Wednesday night, the Libyan national assembly elected Mustafa Abu Shagur, a professor of electrical engineering and a politician with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, the first democratically chosen prime minister of Libya. It was a close contest and a dramatic reversal against Mahmoud Jibril, whose centrist coalition had come out first in the parliamentary election in July. Some analysts speculated that the attack may have been intended in part to influence the vote…


    …Which brings us to a final point: perhaps the single greatest beneficiary of the affair was the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

    What better illustration of Assad’s argument that he is fighting “terrorists” than this dramatic reverse in Libya, which many foreigners analysts had seen as a success story to be repeated in his country? While no evidence currently links the Syrian government to either the movie or the embassy attack, the motive is certainly in place. The argument for an international intervention against Assad just suffered a body blow….


    Numerous reports put Stevens in the Embassy’s safe room. He leaves as it is being filled with smoke. Stevens is overcome with smoke, he is taken to hospital by Libyans, where he is declared dead. – Presumably the safe room would be deep in the embassy.

    How did Libyans find Stevens? Was the embassy completely overrun? Is smoke inhalation really the cause of death?

    Who supplied the rockets used in the attack? Were they from NATO or the old regime, or somewhere else?

    How did the bad guys know were the safe house was? Someone from inside the Libyan Govt? Inside the embassy?

    Sorry but Sam Bacile just sounds too much like imbecile.

    Posted by Vanfield | September 13, 2012, 9:49 pm
  19. @Vanfield–

    Sharp eyes and good work! Not sure that Assad could be said to be the main beneficiary, but that is a small point.

    The Syrian situation is a political Scylla and Charybdis–an Alawite/Baath fascist on one side and the Muslim Brotherhood Islamofascists on the other. Both murderous.

    In my opinion, this is part of the Underground Reich gambit that I detailed in the admittedly long and complicated series on WikiLeaks and the “Muslim Brotherhood Spring,” as I called it.

    Recall that Grover Norquist and Karl Rove shepherded the Muslim Brotherhood/Al Taqwa milieu’s profound entree to the GOP. (When WikiLeaks helped this covert operation to begin, Karl Rove had a significant presence in Sweden, as adviser to the Swedish president.)

    Norquist has repeatedly said that the GOP intends to make the country ungovernable for a Democrat.

    The U.S. absolutely cannot afford another war at this point–not economically, diplomatically or militarily.

    A recent article in the New York Times noted that veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are showing premature signs of aging, and we are going to have to care for them for generations.

    On the other hand, if war breaks out and Israel gets smoked, which it will if we don’t intervene, that will boost the GOP into the electoral driver’s seat.

    The economic fallout will benefit the Underground Reich’s goal of eliminating the U.S.

    In my opinion, this is part of the “Muslim Brotherhood Spring” gambit.

    Read the description to FTR #’s 734, 735, 736, 737, as well as 721.

    While on the subject, FTR #’s 732, 745 highlight the fascist/Nazi character of the WikiLeaks milieu–something the Pirate Bay/Pirate Party folks seem to have missed.

    This is very complicated, but, at the risk of seeming somewhat conceited, this was brutally, painfully prescient. (During the time I was producing this series, I was going through a huge “life crisis” and suffering in a way that would be unimaginable to the audience.)


    Dave Emory

    Posted by Dave Emory | September 14, 2012, 4:18 pm
  20. @Dave Emory

    Thank you. I tell anyone who will listen that you are doing very heroic, and important work.

    I hope you do new FTR programs, and the first one should be an ‘I Told You So’.

    Posted by GrumpusRex | September 14, 2012, 6:17 pm
  21. I do think its a stretch to say Assad was the “main beneficiary”, but he comes out ahead, as it is now far less likely that there will be intervention in Syria.

    Posted by Vanfield | September 15, 2012, 7:54 pm

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