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Elements of Western Intel Using Jihadists: Genesis of ISIS?

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COMMENT: Our recent series of pro­grams fea­tur­ing Peter Lev­en­da dis­cussing The Hitler Lega­cy high­light­ed the gen­e­sis of “weaponized Islam” and the use of jihadists as proxy war­riors by Impe­r­i­al Ger­many in World War I, Nazi Ger­many in World War II and, final­ly, the U.S. and the West dur­ing the Cold War.

In FTR #773, we not­ed the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the Boston Marathon Bomb­ing. In that pro­gram, we opined that the evi­dence sug­gest­ed very strong­ly that ele­ments of U.S. and West­ern intel­li­gence were con­tin­u­ing to use jihadists as “proxy war­riors,” in this case against Rus­sia in the Cau­ca­sus.

In that pro­gram, we also sug­gest­ed that the Boston Marathon Bomb­ing itself, like 9/11, was “blow­back” from our con­tin­ued use of Islam­ic fas­cists as prox­ies.

We have also not­ed that, in effect, there is a proxy war com­po­nent to the bur­geon­ing Shia/Sunni con­flict in the Mid­dle East.

Rus­sia is sup­port­ive of the Shi­ite nation­al com­bat­ant forces–Iran and Syr­ia, pri­mar­i­ly. This appears to be an gam­bit intend­ed, in part, to shield Rus­si­a’s south­ern flank from fur­ther assault by Sun­ni proxy war­riors.

There have been indi­ca­tions of Sau­di pre-plan­ning their anti-Shi­ite cru­sade. Prince Ban­dar spoke omi­nous­ly of a day of ret­ri­bu­tion against Shi­ites.

In addi­tion, we have dis­cussed the “cor­po­ratist” eco­nom­ic view­point of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, an ide­ol­o­gy that frames that orga­ni­za­tion in the same con­text as Hitler, Mus­soli­ni and Impe­r­i­al Japan. Although those coun­tries were bit­ter oppo­nents of the U.S. and democ­ra­cy itself, their anti-com­mu­nist and fas­cist [“cor­po­ratist”] ide­ol­o­gy made them desir­able to the transna­tion­al cor­po­ra­tions that helped to spawn the fas­cist pow­ers in the first place.

(For the con­ve­nience of the read­er, we have includ­ed some of the rel­e­vant doc­u­men­ta­tion of the Broth­er­hood’s eco­nom­ic phi­los­o­phy below.

The Mus­lim Broth­er­hood is the par­ent orga­ni­za­tion of Al-Qae­da, Hamas, Pales­tin­ian Islam­ic Jihad and, very pos­si­bly ISIS. (It’s head is a “for­mer’ mem­ber of the Broth­er­hood.)

It should be under­stood that, for the transna­tion­als and the GOP and oth­er polit­i­cal ele­ments that sup­port them and are, in turn, sup­port­ed by them, the U.S. casu­al­ties from World War II, the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. war in Afghanistan and the Boston Marathon Bomb­ing are accept­able loss­es.” They are col­lat­er­al dam­age, accept­able under the cir­cum­stances.

Attacks like the Paris inci­dents of 2015 also serve as a de fac­to “strat­e­gy of ten­sion,” but­tress­ing the far-right and the forces of reac­tion and jus­ti­fy­ing intru­sions on civ­il lib­er­ties. Although we don’t think this is the pri­ma­ry moti­va­tion for the West­ern intel­li­gence col­lab­o­ra­tion with Sun­ni jihadists, the ben­e­fits of the “blow­back” are con­sid­er­able and wel­comed by fas­cists in this coun­try and oth­ers.

A recent post by Ger­man For­eign Pol­i­cy flesh­es out this line of inquiry. (Ger­man For­eign Pol­i­cy feeds along the low­er right hand side of the front page of this web­site.)

“The Jihad’s Use­ful­ness (II);” german-foreign-policy.com; 5/28/2015.

A recent­ly declas­si­fied memo of the US Defense Intel­li­gence Agency (DIA) reveals that the West had sup­port­ed the cre­ation of the “Islam­ic State” (IS). Using jihadist forces has been a West­ern tra­di­tion for decades, as the Afghanistan war in the 1980s and an analy­sis of the West­ern pow­er strug­gle with Iran (espe­cial­ly since 2003) show. In the 1980s, west­ern coun­tries — in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Sau­di Ara­bia — had sup­port­ed jihadists asso­ci­at­ed with Osama bin Laden, to defeat Sovi­et mil­i­tary forces in Afghanistan. Since at least ten years, they have been sup­port­ing Arab jihadists in an effort to weak­en Iran’s main allies. These activ­i­ties, accom­pa­ny­ing the offi­cial “war on ter­ror,” are “a very high-risk ven­ture,” warn US intel­li­gence offi­cials. Sau­di Ara­bia, one of Ger­many’s main allies in the Arab world, is play­ing a cen­tral role in sup­port­ing jihadists.

Against the Sovi­et Union

West­ern pow­ers first used mod­ern jihadism on a major scale dur­ing the 1980s in Afghanistan. In their quest to defeat the pro-Sovi­et Afghan gov­ern­ment and the Sovi­et mil­i­tary sta­tioned in Afghanistan, the Unit­ed States, the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many and oth­er NATO mem­ber coun­tries banked, not only on the Afghan Mujahidin, but also Arab jihadists, includ­ing Osama bin Laden.[1] The then lit­tle known Osama bin Laden, and the oth­er jihadists were pro­mot­ed with Sau­di Ara­bi­a’s finan­cial and logis­ti­cal sup­port. The head of Sau­di for­eign intel­li­gence at the time and Bin Laden’s con­tact per­son, Prince Tur­ki al Faisal bin Abdu­laz­iz al Saud played a major role. Today, he pro­vides his polit­i­cal exper­tise to the “Advi­so­ry Coun­cil” of the Munich Secu­ri­ty Conference.[2] The Afghan Mujahidin and the grow­ing num­ber of Arab jihadists final­ly suc­ceed­ed in forc­ing the Sovi­et armed forces into with­draw­ing from Afghanistan. From the west­ern per­spec­tive, jihadism had there­fore proven its effec­tive­ness as an instru­ment in fight­ing sec­u­lar, social­ist forces.

Against Iran

The al Qae­da attacks on US embassies in Nairo­bi and Dar es Salaam (August 7, 1998), the US counter attack on al Qae­da bases in Afghanistan (August 20, 1998) and par­tic­u­lar­ly the 9/11 ter­ror attacks and the ensu­ing war on Afghanistan seemed to have led to an irrepara­ble rift between the West and the jihadists. How­ev­er, the “war on ter­ror” did not hin­der the West from again engag­ing in punc­tu­al coop­er­a­tion with Arab jihadists — this time, not a strug­gle against sec­u­lar social­ist forces, but an attempt at weak­en­ing Iran. With Iraq’s destruc­tion start­ing in 2003, the US-led war alliance had neu­tral­ized Iran’s tra­di­tion­al rival, inad­ver­tent­ly open­ing an oppor­tu­ni­ty for Iran becom­ing a Per­sian Gulf region­al hege­mon­ic pow­er. To pre­vent this, West­ern pow­ers began an arms buildup of the Gulf dic­ta­tor­ships — par­tic­u­lar­ly Sau­di Ara­bia — to cre­ate a counterforce.[3] These dic­ta­tor­ships, in turn, soon began sub­vert­ing Iran’s region­al allies — for exam­ple Syr­ia and the Lebanese Hezbol­lah.

“High Risk Ven­ture”

This has led to Arab jihadists being called back into action. In 2007, the US jour­nal­ist Sey­mour Hersh exposed how the West, togeth­er with Sau­di Ara­bia, was mov­ing against Hezbol­lah in Lebanon.[4] While, on the one hand, for exam­ple the Ger­man Navy was par­tic­i­pat­ing in the UN mis­sion off the Lebanese coast to pre­vent arms sup­plies from reach­ing this Shi­ite mili­tia, Riyadh, on the oth­er hand, was build­ing up their most res­olute ene­mies, the Salafists and jihadists, whose hatred of Shi­ite Mus­lims is as strong as their hatred of sec­u­lar, social­ist forces. In ear­ly 2007, gov­ern­ment offi­cials from var­i­ous coun­tries had con­firmed to Hersh that the USA and Sau­di Ara­bia were pro­vid­ing Lebanese Salafist and jihadist orga­ni­za­tions with the means for fight­ing Hezbol­lah. A Lebanese gov­ern­ment offi­cial told Hersh, “we have a lib­er­al atti­tude, allow­ing those al Qae­da groups to main­tain a pres­ence here.” A for­mer agent from the Unit­ed States explic­it­ly admit­ted, “we’re financ­ing a lot of bad guys with some seri­ous poten­tial unin­tend­ed con­se­quences. It’s a very high-risk ven­ture.”

A Salafist Prin­ci­pal­i­ty

The fact that the West is fol­low­ing this same strat­e­gy in the war in Syr­ia has been con­firmed in a memo, dat­ing from August 2012, from the US Defense Intel­li­gence Agency (DIA) and made pub­lic last week. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[5]) Accord­ing to the memo, the cre­ation of a “Salafist prin­ci­pal­i­ty” in east­ern Syr­ia was seen as advan­ta­geous — to deprive the “Shi­ite expan­sion,” ema­nat­ing from Iran, its “strate­gic depth” in Syr­ia. The “Islam­ic State” (IS), in fact, has evolved from that “Salafist prin­ci­pal­i­ty.”

The Ban­dar Plan

The west­ern pow­ers along with their main region­al allies — Turkey and Sau­di Ara­bia — have active­ly built up the Salafist and jihadist mili­tias, in Syr­ia, with the ex-Sau­di Ambas­sador to the Unit­ed States (1983 — 2005), Prince Ban­dar bin Sul­tan bin Abdu­laz­iz al Saud play­ing a deci­sive role. In his func­tion as Gen­er­al Sec­re­tary of the Sau­di Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil (2005), Ban­dar bin Sul­tan sup­port­ed the Lebanese Salafists, and as head of the Sau­di intel­li­gence ser­vices, (2012), he was also involved in the Syr­i­an war. The “Ban­dar Plan,” named after him, called for form­ing and arm­ing insur­gent mili­tias in Syr­ia. In fact, this refers to the — pri­mar­i­ly Salafist — mil­i­tary units being financed by Sau­di Ara­bia. The plan also calls for the infil­tra­tion of Sau­di agents into al Qae­da allied groups and using oth­er means to influ­ence those jihadist mili­tias, where infil­tra­tion proved unfea­si­ble. With­in this frame­work Sau­di Ara­bia even pro­vid­ed aid to IS, albeit the financ­ing, in this case, was inof­fi­cial, fur­nished by pri­vate jihadist sup­port­ers, accord­ing to an Israeli analy­sis pub­lished in 2014.[6] Only after the IS began expand­ing in Iraq, in ear­ly 2014, and began cre­at­ing the sit­u­a­tion that the DIA had warned of in August 2012,[7] was Ban­dar bin Sul­tan relieved of his duties and flown to the USA “for med­ical treat­ment.” In the sum­mer of 2014, west­ern coun­tries found them­selves com­pelled to mil­i­tar­i­ly inter­vene against IS, which was gath­er­ing strength. This is the IS, the West had pater­nal­is­ti­cal­ly watched tak­ing its first steps in the strug­gle against the gov­ern­ment of Pres­i­dent Assad, their com­mon ene­my.

Destruc­tive Poten­tial

Even this has not put an end to the West­’s use of jihadists. Most recent­ly, the US-led “anti-IS coali­tion” stood by watch­ing as IS drove Syr­i­an gov­ern­ment troops out of Palmyra, a strate­gi­cal­ly impor­tant city — a wel­come sup­port in the war on Pres­i­dent Assad’s gov­ern­ment. Accord­ing to reports, Sau­di Ara­bia and Turkey have “again been close­ly col­lab­o­rat­ing” since March. Of course, in the war on Syr­ia “they do not have their sights on the IS, but rather tar­get Assad” — Riyadh and Ankara’s more polite for­mu­la­tion of the stan­dard Salafist and jihadist demand.[8] West­ern strate­gists have even begun propos­ing using jihadists in the strug­gle against the jihadists of IS, which has become much too pow­er­ful. Accord­ing to a recent web­site arti­cle of the US “For­eign Affairs” jour­nal, the al Qae­da should not be allowed to be fur­ther weak­ened. Al Qae­da must be allowed to con­tin­ue to exist to keep its sup­port­ers from defect­ing to IS. There­fore the ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion should be kept “afloat and [Aiman az-] Zawahiri alive.”[9] Jihadists are only being fought, if they become too pow­er­ful — as in the case of IS — or if they begin to attack west­ern tar­gets. Oth­er­wise, their destruc­tive poten­tial is con­sid­ered a west­ern secret asset in its war on com­mon ene­mies.

[1] More infor­ma­tion on the Jihadists in Afghanistan and the West in: Steve Coll: Ghost Wars. The Secret His­to­ry of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Sovi­et Inva­sion to Sep­tem­ber 10, 2001. New York 2004.

[2] See Old Allies and Good Guys, Bad Guys.

[3] See Gulf Sta­bil­i­ty and Hege­mon­ic Con­flict at the Gulf (II).

[4] Sey­mour M. Hersh: The Redi­rec­tion. Is the Admin­is­tra­tion’s new pol­i­cy ben­e­fit­ting our ene­mies in the war on ter­ror­ism? www.newyorker.com 05.03.2007.

[5] See Vom Nutzen des Jihad (I) and A Salafist Prin­ci­pal­i­ty.

[6] Udi Dekel, Orit Perlov: The Sau­di Ara­bia and Kuwait “Out­posts Project”: Al-Qae­da and Its Affil­i­ates. The Insti­tute for Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Stud­ies, INSS Insight No. 517, 16.02.2014.

[7] See Vom Nutzen des Jihad (I) and A Salafist Prin­ci­pal­i­ty.

[8] Markus Bick­el: Fortschritte und Rückschritte in Syrien. Frank­furter All­ge­meine Zeitung 09.05.2015.

[9] Barak Mendel­sohn: Accept­ing Al Qae­da. www.foreignaffairs.com 09.03.2015.

Dol­lars for Ter­ror: The Unit­ed States and Islam; by Richard Labeviere; Copy­right 2000 [SC]; Algo­ra Pub­lish­ing; ISBN 1–892941-06–6; p. 127.

. . . . Tak­ing Italy’s choic­es under Mus­soli­ni for inspi­ra­tion, the eco­nom­ic pro­gram set three pri­or­i­ties . . . The social pol­i­cy fore­saw a new law on labor, found­ed on cor­po­ra­tions. This eco­nom­ic pro­gram would more direct­ly reveal its rela­tion­ship to total­i­tar­i­an ide­olo­gies a few years lat­er, with the works of Mohamed Ghaz­a­li . . . . Mohamed Ghaz­a­li rec­om­mend­ed ‘an eco­nom­ic reg­i­men sim­i­lar to that which exist­ed in Nazi Ger­many and fas­cist Italy.’ . . . The moral code is also an impor­tant com­po­nent in this pro­gram, which is intend­ed to cre­ate the ‘new Mus­lim man.’ . . . The notion of the equal­i­ty of the sex­es is inher­ent­ly negat­ed by the con­cept of the suprema­cy of male social respon­si­bil­i­ties. . .the ‘nat­ur­al’ place of the woman is in the home. . . .

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

Judeo-Chris­t­ian scrip­ture offers lit­tle eco­nomic instruc­tion. The Book of Deuteron­omy, for exam­ple, is loaded with edicts on how the faith­ful should pray, eat, bequeath, keep the holy fes­ti­vals and treat slaves and spous­es, but it is silent on trade and com­merce. In Matthew, when Christ admon­ishes his fol­low­ers to ‘give to the emper­or the things that are the emperor’s,’ he is effec­tively con­ced­ing fis­cal and mon­e­tary author­ity to pagan Rome. Islam is dif­fer­ent. The prophet Muhammad—himself a trader—preached mer­chant hon­or, the only reg­u­la­tion that the bor­der­less Lev­an­tine mar­ket knew. . . .

. . . In Mus­lim litur­gy, the deals cut in the souk become a metaphor for the con­tract between God and the faith­ful. And the busi­ness mod­el Muham­mad pre­scribed, accord­ing to Mus­lim schol­ars and econ­o­mists, is very much in the lais­sez-faire tra­di­tion lat­er embraced by the West. Prices were to be set by God alone—anticipating by more than a mil­len­nium Adam Smith’s ref­er­ence to the ‘invis­i­ble hand’ of mar­ket-based pric­ing. Mer­chants were not to cut deals out­side the souk, an ear­ly attempt to thwart insid­er trad­ing. . . . 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. . . .

“Chech­nyan Pow­er” by Mark Ames; nsfwcorp.com; 6/5/2013.

. . . Fuller comes from that fac­tion of CIA Cold War­riors who believed (and still appar­ently believe) that fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam, even in its rad­i­cal jiha­di form, does not pose a threat to the West, for the sim­ple rea­son that fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam is con­ser­v­a­tive, against social jus­tice, against social­ism and redis­tri­b­u­tion of wealth, and in favor of hier­ar­chi­cal socio-eco­nom­ic struc­tures. Social­ism is the com­mon ene­my to both cap­i­tal­ist Amer­ica and to Wah­habi Islam, accord­ing to Fuller.

Accord­ing to jour­nal­ist Robert Drey­fuss’ book “Devil’s Game,” Fuller explained his attrac­tion to rad­i­cal Islam in neoliberal/libertarian terms:

“There is no main­stream Islam­ic organization...with rad­i­cal social views,” he wrote. “Clas­si­cal Islam­ic the­ory envis­ages the role of the state as lim­ited to facil­i­tat­ing the well-being of mar­kets and mer­chants rather than con­trol­ling them. Islamists have always pow­er­fully object­ed to social­ism and communism....Islam has nev­er had prob­lems with the idea that wealth is uneven­ly dis­trib­uted.” . . . .

“In Search of Friends Among the Foes: U.S. Hopes to Work with Diverse Group” by John Mintz and Dou­glas Farah; The Wash­ing­ton Post; 9/11/2004; p. A01.

. . . Some fed­er­al agents wor­ry that the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood has dan­ger­ous links to ter­ror­ism. But some U.S. diplo­mats and intel­li­gence offi­cials believe its influ­ence offers an oppor­tu­ni­ty for polit­i­cal engage­ment that could help iso­late vio­lent jihadists. ‘It is the pre­em­i­nent move­ment in the Mus­lim world,’ said Gra­ham E. Fuller, a for­mer CIA offi­cial spe­cial­iz­ing in the Mid­dle East. ‘It’s some­thing we can work with.’ Demo­niz­ing the Broth­er­hood ‘would be fool­hardy in the extreme’ he warned.” . . .

More about the cor­po­ratist eco­nom­ic phi­los­o­phy of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood fol­lows. Note that Khairat el-Shater was alleged by Egypt­ian intel­li­gence to have been run­ning Mohamed Mor­si. (We cov­ered this in FTR #787.) In turn, he was report­ed to be serv­ing as a liai­son between Mor­si and Mohamed Zawahiri, the broth­er of Al-Qae­da leader Ayman Zawahiri. Shater was also net­worked with: Anne Pat­ter­son, U.S. ambas­sador to Egypt, GOP Sen­a­tor John McCain and GOP Sen­a­tor Lid­say Gra­ham. In turn, Shater was alleged to have trans­ferred $50 mil­lion from the Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood to Al-Qae­da at the time that he was net­work­ing with the Amer­i­cans and Mor­si. Hey, what’s $50 mil­lion between friends?

“The GOP Broth­er­hood of Egypt” by Avi Ash­er-Schapiro; Salon.com; 1/25/2012.

While West­ern alarmists often depict Egypt’s Mus­lim Broth­er­hood as a shad­owy orga­ni­za­tion with ter­ror­ist ties, the Brotherhood’s ide­ol­o­gy actu­al­ly has more in com­mon with America’s Repub­li­can Par­ty than with al-Qai­da. Few Amer­i­cans know it but the Broth­er­hood is a free-mar­ket par­ty led by wealthy busi­ness­men whose eco­nom­ic agen­da embraces pri­va­ti­za­tion and for­eign invest­ment while spurn­ing labor unions and the redis­tri­b­u­tion of wealth. Like the Repub­li­cans in the U.S., the finan­cial inter­ests of the party’s lead­er­ship of busi­ness­men and pro­fes­sion­als diverge sharply from those of its poor, social­ly con­ser­v­a­tive fol­low­ers.

The Broth­er­hood, which did not ini­tial­ly sup­port the rev­o­lu­tion that began a year ago, reaped its ben­e­fits, cap­tur­ing near­ly half the seats in the new par­lia­ment, which was seat­ed this week, and vault­ing its top lead­ers into posi­tions of pow­er.

Arguably the most pow­er­ful man in the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood is Khairat Al-Shater, a mul­ti­mil­lion­aire tycoon whose finan­cial inter­ests extend into elec­tron­ics, man­u­fac­tur­ing and retail. A strong advo­cate of pri­va­ti­za­tion, Al-Shater is one of a cadre of Mus­lim Broth­er­hood busi­ness­men who helped finance the Brotherhood’s Free­dom and Jus­tice Party’s impres­sive elec­toral vic­to­ry this win­ter and is now craft­ing the FJP’s eco­nom­ic agen­da.

At Al-Shater’s lux­u­ry fur­ni­ture out­let Istak­bal, a new couch costs about 6,000 Egypt­ian pounds, about $1,000 in U.S. cur­ren­cy. In a coun­try where 40 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion lives on less than $2 a day, Istakbal’s clien­tele is large­ly lim­it­ed to Egypt’s upper class­es.

Although the Broth­ers do draw sig­nif­i­cant sup­port from Egypt’s poor and work­ing class, “the Broth­er­hood is a firm­ly upper-mid­dle-class orga­ni­za­tion in its lead­er­ship,” says Sha­di Hamid, a lead­ing Mus­lim Broth­er­hood expert at the Brook­ings Insti­tu­tion in Wash­ing­ton.

Not sur­pris­ing­ly, these well-to-do Egyp­tians are eager to safe­guard their eco­nom­ic posi­tion in the post-Mubarak Egypt. Despite ris­ing eco­nom­ic inequal­i­ty and pover­ty, the Broth­er­hood does not back rad­i­cal changes in Egypt’s econ­o­my.

The FJP’s eco­nom­ic plat­form is a tame doc­u­ment, rife with promis­es to root out cor­rup­tion and tweak Egypt’s tax and sub­si­dies sys­tems, with occa­sion­al allu­sions to an unspe­cif­ic com­mit­ment to “social jus­tice.” The plat­form prais­es the mech­a­nisms of the free mar­ket and promis­es that the par­ty will work for “bal­anced, sus­tain­able and com­pre­hen­sive eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment.” It is a pro­gram that any Euro­pean con­ser­v­a­tive par­ty could get behind. . . .



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