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

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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