Reposted courtesy of World Net Daily on 2.22.2011 By Alternative News Forum
FBI: Muslim Brotherhood deeply rooted inside U.S.
Terror-support group controls most Islamic groups, mosques in America
Posted: February 21, 2011
8:22 pm Eastern
By Paul Sperry
© 2011 WorldNetDaily
WASHINGTON – Staff investigators with the House and Senate intelligence committees say they areprobingthe domesticsecurity threatposed by the radical Muslim Brotherhood and, specifically, whether Brotherhood operatives have penetrated the U.S. government.
The true nature, ambitions and global reach of the Cairo-based Muslim Brotherhood suddenly have become the focus of debate in Washington, following unrest in Egypt and other parts of the Middle East.
As the Muslim Brotherhood threatens to effectively replace Egypt’s secular, pro-Western regime, the tentacles of its worldwide jihadist movement have reached deep into the Muslim communityin America. Shockingly, federal court documents reveal that virtually every major Muslim organizationin Americais a front group for the Brotherhood. They also show that its U.S. network has raised millions of dollars for Hamas, al-Qaida and other terrorist groups.
“The most prominent Islamic organizations in the United States are all controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood,” said FBI veteran John Guandolo, who worked several Brotherhood-related terror cases out of the bureau’s Washington field office as a special agent after 9/11.
While the FBI has cut off ties to some of the well-established organizations, many others continue to participate in outreach programs with the Homeland Security and Justice departments, the former special agent says. Some of their leaders are even advising the government on how to respond to events in Egypt and elsewhere.
Al Gore, top Muslim Brotherhood leader Abdurahman Alamoudi and Bill Clinton
American Muslim activists deny the Muslim Brotherhood operates inside America. Even Muslims who have attached themselves to the Republican Party have pooh-poohed the internal threat.
“There’s no Muslim Brotherhood in the United States,” former Bush administration official Suhail A. Khan insisted earlier this month at the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference meeting in Washington.
However, the U.S. Justice Department has identified no fewer than 61 Muslim Brotherhood figures and entities operating within the U.S. They include:
- The Islamic Society of North America, or ISNA, the umbrella organization for most of the Muslim groups in the U.S. and Canada;
- The North American Islamic Trust, or NAIT, which holds title to most of the major mosquesin America, including one in the Washington suburbs attended by both the Fort Hood terrorist and some of the 9/11 hijackers; and,
- The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, the largest Muslim-rights group in the country.
All are heavily funded by wealthy patrons in Saudi Arabia and other Mideast nations, according to sensitive embassy cables, tax records, bank wire transfers and other documents cited in the book,“Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America,”an expose of the Muslim Brotherhood and its American front groups.
Their names were entered intoevidenceas “co-conspirators” during a federal trial which ended in 2008 with the convictions of several Muslim Brotherhood leaders on terrorism charges. The “list of unindicted co-conspirators” implicated these otherwise mainstream Muslim groups in a criminal scheme to funnel millions of dollars to Palestinian terrorists under the guise of charity.
The 11-page document, submitted by federal prosecutors as “Attachment A” in court filings,has not been widely distributed or reported by the national media. Surprisingly few members of Congress are familiar withthe list, Hill sources say.
The largest Muslim charityin America– the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, or HLF – was at the center of the Muslim Brotherhood’s terror-fundraising network. The government shut down HLF after 9/11 and recently convicted the organization on charges of laundering more than $12 million in donations for Hamas suicide bombers and their families. HLF wasformerlyknown as the Occupied Land Fund, or OLF, where it operated under ISNA and shared checking accounts with the group.
“ISNA and NAIT, in fact, shared more with HLF than just a parent organization [the Muslim Brotherhood]. They were intimately connected with the HLF and its assigned task of providing financial support to Hamas,” federal prosecutors said in a 2008 memo to a U.S. District Court in Dallas, HLF’s national headquarters.
“Shortly after Hamas was founded in 1987, as an outgrowth of the Muslim Brotherhood, the International Muslim Brotherhood ordered the Muslim Brotherhood chapters throughout the world to create Palestine Committees, whose job it was to support Hamas with ‘media, money and men,'” the memo continued. “The U.S.-Muslim Brotherhood created the U.S. Palestine Committee, which documents reflect was initially comprised of three organizations: the OLF (HLF), the IAP [Islamic Association for Palestine], and the UASR [United Association for Studies and Research]. CAIR was later added to these organizations.”
Prosecutors concluded: “The mandate of these organizations, per the International Muslim Brotherhood, was to support Hamas.”
Fairfax County Nexus
The Muslim Brotherhood’s originsin Americago back more than four decades. In the 1960s, radical Muslim immigrants began organizingin Americaand developing a criminal underworld that largely escaped federal law enforcement scrutiny. They eventually incorporated nonprofit organizations with benign-sounding names, and told anybody who asked they were simply forming a social network or “cultural society” for Muslims.
Top Muslim Brotherhood leader Abdurahman Alamoudi and George Bush
But in the wake of 9/11, Washington allowed case agents to start connecting the dots, and they began to see a lot of overlap in the operations of the Muslim groups and their leaders – along with a lot of Saudi money and suspicious activity. This confirmed the hunches of veteran counterterrorism investigators, who believed the groups were connected in an international conspiracy against America and its key Mideast ally, Israel.
Although the groups appear independent of one another, many of them co-mingle funds and even share the same staff and office space.
For example, some 40 active Muslim charities and businesses have operated at one time or another out of the same office building in Herndon, Va. And several others have been headquartered out of the same non-descript office park in Alexandria, Va., in the shadow of the nation’s capital, as first reported in the book,“Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington.”
After 9/11, federal and local authorities identified more than 110 suspected shell companies, cut-outs and other fronts associated with the Muslim Brotherhood and its hub in Northern Virginia, known collectively as the “Safa Group.” Their ongoing investigation of the Herndon-based Safa Group, which allegedly funneled money to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups, generated a separate list of suspected Brotherhood entities.The 13-page document, submitted by federal investigators as “Attachment C” among court filings,includes known al-Qaida charitable fronts as well.
Both the Herndon and Alexandria nexuses are located within Fairfax County, Va., across the Potomac from the nation’s capital.
“There’s only three degrees of separation between international terrorism and what happens in Fairfax County,” observed a senior Fairfax County Police Department detective, as quoted in“Muslim Mafia.”“Our society here is totally infiltrated by the bad guys.”
Investigators also discovered the groups have interlocking boards of directors. One top Brotherhood leader, Abdurahman Alamoudi, sat on the boards of no fewer than 16 Islamic organizations, including CAIR. Many of the leaders live next door to each other on private, secluded streets.
“When we started to really look at this thing, we found it’s all the same people. It’s all the same guys,” noted an FBI official in Washington.
Investigators also confirmed that many of the groups were laundering terrorist-bound funds through a maze of business conduits. They even used religious charities and think tanks as cover to carry out their illicit activities.
Soon, case agents and the assistant U.S. attorneys they worked with realized they were dealing with a vast criminal conspiracy, and began to look for ways to roll up the entire network, including using the RICO statute commonly aimed at the mafia.
Their first big break came several years ago with the search of one of the Brotherhood leaders’ homes in Annandale, Va., following his arrest on suspicion he had cased the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and other bridges for possible terrorist attack. There, in a sub-basement of suspect Ismail Elbarasse’s basement, FBI agents uncovered a stash of secret manifestos, charters and other documents revealing the depth of the conspiracy.
After translating the Arabic-written papers into English, investigators realized they had seized the archives of the U.S. branch of the militant International Muslim Brotherhood.
The trove of papers exposes the jihadist inner workings of the U.S. Brotherhood, and outlines its broader conspiracy of infiltrating and destroying the American government “from within.”
One secret documentfound during the raid of Elbarasse’s home lays bare the Brotherhood’s ambitious plans for a U.S. takeover, replacing the U.S. Constitution with Shariah, or Islamic law.
Written in 1991 by another U.S. Brotherhood agent, Mohammed Akram Adlouni, the strategy paper describes the group’s long-term goal of “sabotaging” the U.S. system. It’s a blueprint for a stealth “grand jihad.” Under the heading, “The role of the Muslim Brother in North America,” it states:
The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within, and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by the hands of the believers, so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.
“It is a genuine conspiracy to overthrow the government,” the FBI official said, “and they have organizations to do it, and they have written doctrines outlining their plan.”
The same documentalso lists 29 organizations working in the U.S. to further the Brotherhood’s goals. In addition to ISNA, NAIT and CAIR’s forerunner IAP, they include:
- The International Institute for Islamic Thought, or IIIT, the largest Islamic think tank in America;
- The Muslims Students Association, or MSA, which actively recruits on college campuses across the country;
- The Fiqh Council of North America, which renders religious rulings, or fatwahs, based on Islamic law for Muslim-Americans; and,
- The Islamic Circle of North America, or ICNA, which recently merged with the Muslim American Society, or MAS, another Brotherhood front organization based in the Washington suburbs.
(See image below for list of top Muslim Brotherhood fronts in America.)
For years, politicians and journalists have described these organizations as “mainstream” and “moderate.” Investigators now warn they are U.S. franchises of the radical Brotherhood, established with a markedly different purpose than what they publicly claim.
Their secret manifesto is “a clear threat statement of hostile intent,” says Pentagon consultant Maj. Stephen Coughlin, “with stated objectives that overlap with al-Qaida’s.”
The U.S. Brotherhood privately refers to its own organizations as “fronts.”
“The Brothers in Egypt don’t have fronts in the same broad way we have in America,” Zeid al-Noman, a Brotherhood leader confides in one document seized by authorities.
Though the movement has been banned in Egypt, it still has popular support and operates relatively openly in that Muslim nation — something the Brotherhood is loath to do here, especially after 9/11, investigators say.
The U.S. Brotherhood even set up a committee to study the legal aspects of establishing charities in America. The charities are critical because the Brothers have used them as a “side” or “facade,” as they put it in their writings, to launder illegal payments to terrorists.
U.S. prosecutors entered the secret documents as evidence in the Holy Land Foundation terror trial. The chilling courtroom exhibits were unopposed by the defense, further attesting to their authenticity.
Terrorists in suits
The government put away several Brotherhood leaders on conspiracy charges in the case. Shukri Abu Baker, Mohammad El Mezain, and CAIR founding director Ghassan Elashi were sentenced to, in effect, life terms for funneling millions of dollars to Palestinian terrorists. Three other Brothers caught up in the investigation have also been imprisoned.
Omar Ahmad, founding chairman of CAIR, was identified at trial as an unindicted co-conspirator in the terror-fundraising scheme. Ahmad, a key Brotherhood leader, has privately told Muslim audiences the Quran should replace the Constitution as “the highest authority in America.”
“The only difference between the guys in the suits and the guys with the AK-47s is timing and tactics,” an FBI official in Washington was quoted as saying in“Muslim Mafia.”
Indeed, the former head of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’sshuracouncil was one of al-Qaida’s top fundraisers in America, according to the U.S. Treasury Department. Abdurahman Alamoudi, who infiltrated both the Clinton and Bush administrations, is now serving 23 years in federal prison for plotting terrorism.
In 1996, Alamoudi told a Muslim audience in Illinois: “Either we do it now or we do it after a hundred years, but this country will become a Muslim country.”
Alamoudi also set up the Pentagon’s Muslim chaplains program, training and certifying most of the Islamic clerics and lay leaders serving in the U.S. military today.
Sami al-Arian, a former Tampa professor, is another Muslim Brotherhood leader convicted of terrorism. One of his alleged collaborators is senior ISNA official Louay Safi, whom prosecutors named an unindicted co-conspirator in the terror case.
Unwittingly, the Pentagon invited Safi to Fort Hood to counsel troops about Islam after a Muslim officer gunned down dozens of soldiers who were preparing to deploy to Afghanistan from the Army base. Safi and ISNA continue to certify Muslim chaplains for the military.
Ret. Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, former deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence in the Pentagon, says the Muslim Brotherhood is a terror-supporting Fifth Column.
“The Muslim Brotherhood is very much alive. It is very real,”Boykin said in a recent speech.“And we need to be very concerned about it.”
‘Jihad is Our Way’
The Muslim Brotherhood proudly raises the banner of jihad. Its crest features a Quran with crossed swords. Its credo: “Allah is our goal; the Prophet is our guide; the Quran is our constitution; Jihad is our way; and death for the glory of Allah is our greatest ambition.”
Established 80 years ago in Cairo, where the “mother group” is based, the Brotherhood remains a largely secretive society which gave birth to the entire terrorist juggernaut threatening the West and Israel today. In addition to Hamas, its offspring include Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Egyptian Islamic Jihad, which merged with al-Qaida.
“They all share the same roots – The Muslim Brotherhood,” said Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a Muslim reformer and director of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy.
Before joining al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden, his deputy Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri and 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed were all adherents of the transnational Muslim Brotherhood – orIkhwan al-Muslimi, as it is known in Arabic.
The former Supreme Guide of the International Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Akef, recently was asked: “Regarding resistance and jihad, do you consider Osama bin Laden a terrorist or an Islamicmujahid(freedom fighter)?”
Akef replied, “In all certainty, amujahid, and I have no doubt in his sincerity in resisting the occupation, close to Allah on high.”
Exiled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak outlawed the Brotherhood after it plotted to assassinate him, following its successful assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, who signed the country’s historic peace treaty with Israel.
The Brotherhood now claims to eschew violence. But it still clandestinely supports violent jihad, while reportedly maintaining a well-armed wing of thousands of trained fighters. It seeks to free dozens of its terrorist members from Egyptian prisons.
“Elements of the Muslim Brotherhood here and overseas have supported terrorism,” FBI Director Robert Mueller confirmed earlier this month during a House intelligence committee hearing.
According to covert FBI recordings cited in“Muslim Mafia,”Brotherhood leaders in America have described suicide bombings and other mass murders in the name of jihad as “beautiful.”
“The Muslim Brotherhood has figured that they can be successful promoting radical change from within the U.S. while supporting the armed struggle outside the U.S., primarily through fundraising and closely associated Palestinian terrorist organizations,” says former FBI special agent George Sadler, who after 9/11 investigated the Brotherhood from the bureau’s Washington field office.
While its secret writings call for conquering the U.S. through political infiltration, mass conversion and immigration, it does not rule out violent jihad when the time is right and all its “infrastructure” is in place and strong, Guandolo says. To that end, the Brotherhood has set up jihad training camps inside America where its foot soldiers conduct paramilitary exercises, including firearms and other weapons training.
After 9/11, a top CAIR official in Washington led a group of young Muslim men in Northern Virginia in jihadi weapons training here and in Pakistan.
Court records reveal the group chauffeured the 9/11 hijackers’ spiritual counselor, Anwar Awlaki, to their Falls Church, Va., meetings, before Awlaki fled to Yemen, where he now directs al-Qaida terrorist attacks against America.
Earlier this month, the leader of a North Carolina terrorist ring influenced by the Brotherhood pleaded guilty to charges of waging violent jihad.
The FBI recorded Daniel Patrick Boyd, a Muslim convert, saying he would “make jihad right here in America.” Boyd allegedly cased the U.S. Marine Corps headquarters in Quantico, Va., for terrorist attack. Agents found 24 guns and more than 27,000 rounds of ammunition during a raid of his home.
They also found a copy of “In the Shade of the Quran,” a book written by the late Muslim Brotherhood leader Sayyid Qutb of Egypt, bin Laden’s spiritual mentor.
Despite public claims to the contrary, the Brotherhood is still a dangerous organization, investigators and prosecutors agree. It has stated clearly in its recently declassified U.S. charter that it considers the United States to be its enemy.
Ultimately, “the Muslim Brotherhood is in America to destroy our Constitution and replace it with Shariah,” warns a group of former military and law enforcement officials writing in “Shariah: The Threat to America,” a book published by the Washington-based Center for Security Policy. The officials are using the book to help brief lawmakers and other government officials about the threat, warning them that they are prime targets of ongoing Brotherhood influence and espionage operations.
Inside the wire
Still, the Obama administration has actively courted the Brotherhood.
During the Cairo rioting, which was organized in part by the Brotherhood, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs urged Mubarak to open elections to “important non-secular actors” such as the Brotherhood.
In a stunning policy reversal, the administration in early 2009 lifted the ban preventing Egyptian Muslim activist Tariq Ramadan from entering the U.S. Ramadan, the grandson of Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, was barred in 2004 after allegedly raising money for terrorists.
Under the advisement of a Muslim White House aide tied to the Brotherhood, Obama invited the Muslim Brotherhood to his 2009 Cairo speech to Muslims worldwide, in spite of the group’s ban.
Currently, “many Muslim advisers to the U.S. government are Muslim Brothers or sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood cause,” Guandolo said. And they are “advising the U.S. national leadership and our national security apparatus on how to respond to the events in Egypt and elsewhere.”
Republican Rep. Sue Myrick of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence accused the administration of “watering down the stated goals and ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood so they could create space to engage the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt,” as well as at home.
Democrats aren’t the only ones downplaying the threat.
Khan, an American Conservative Union board member, asserts that ISNA and CAIR are not fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood, and have not conspired to raise money inside the U.S. for terrorists.
He says they never should have been designated unindicted co-conspirators by the government.
“The federal government has looked into these accusations [and] found they’re completely baseless,” Khan claimed.
In fact, the FBI has cut off ties to CAIR’s national office and its 30 chapters across the country pending further investigation of its ties to Hamas.
“Until we can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and Hamas, the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner,” said assistant FBI Director Richard Powersin a 2009 letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee.“The FBI has suspended all formal outreach activities with CAIR.”
Mueller earlier this month reiterated the ban remains in effect: “We do not have a relationship with CAIR.”
U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis, moreover, has refused ISNA’s and CAIR’s requests to strike their names from court documents listing them as unindicted co-conspirators in the HLF trial, the largest terror-financing case in U.S. history.
His 20-page ruling, written in July 2009 and recently unsealed, cites “ample evidence” that ISNA, NAIT and CAIR participated in a “criminal conspiracy” to support Hamas terrorists. (An appellate court in Denver said in a recent opinion that the list, which was attached to the government’s pre-trial brief, should not have been published, since unindicted co-conspirator lists are not ordinarily made public. It did not, however, grant the groups’ request for a court pronouncement that they were not connected to terrorists.)
As it turns out, Khan’s late father, Mahboob Khan, helped found ISNA. Each year, ISNA bestows an annual Muslim “community service” award in his memory.
Mahboob Khan also established a mosque – MCA of Santa Clara, Calif. – which the U.S. Brotherhoodlists as one of “our organizations” in its secret manifesto seized by the FBI and recently declassified.
What’s more, Khan’s mother, Malika Khan, serves on the executive committee of CAIR’s San Francisco chapter. CAIR-SFBA recentlyposted a flyer on its website urging Muslims not to cooperate with the FBI in terrorism investigations.
Suhail Khan himself has served on ISNA and CAIR committees and panels and spoken at their conferences and other events.
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Copyright 2011-3011 By CK Hunter, All Rights Reserved.
“Revolution” by the Beatles, Lyrics:
You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know that you can count me out
Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right
all right, all right
You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We’d all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know
We’re doing what we can
But when you want money
for people with minds that hate
All I can tell is brother you have to wait
Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right
all right, all right
ah, ah, ah, ah, ah…
You say you’ll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it’s the institution
Well, you know
You better free you mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow
Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right
all right, all right
all right, all right, all right
all right, all right, all right
Copyright 2011-3011 By Chase Kyla Hunter, All Rights Reserved.
You know it’s bad when the new world order “White House” directed mass media agencies begin to tell the truth about the cluelessness, insulated narcissism and inept foreign policy of the Obama administration.
Imagine: everything that tea party blogs and truth researchers have been screaming on the internet for five years now about this man, this calculatedly aloof and inept President, who pretended he was America’s new political Messiah four years ago, is finally, four years too late, being discussed in “official” American media outlets. I could just shake the men and women at Newsweek, clanking their heads together.
Where was all this truthful reporting with “eyes wide open” when we needed it four years ago? I personally hope Newsweek goes out of business in karmic retribution for their absolute and purposed failing to vet and investigate this man four years ago when he came out of far left field, [where he lives], to run for national office, three years after admitting to reporters he did not have the experience to do so.
The mass media numbskulls who elected this man now have the sad and silly karmic duty of reporting on his collapsing presidency to the nation, as if we didn’t already know. We were all three to four years ahead of you, Newsweek. You are so fired.
NEWSWEEK’s new columnist on Obama’s Egypt debacle and the vacuum it exposes.
“The statesman can only wait and listen until he hears the footsteps of God resounding through events; then he must jump up and grasp the hem of His coat, that is all.” Thus Otto von Bismarck, the great Prussian statesman who united Germany and thereby reshaped Europe’s balance of power nearly a century and a half ago.
Last week, for the second time in his presidency, Barack Obama heard those footsteps, jumped up to grasp a historic opportunity … and missed it completely.
In Bismarck’s case it was not so much God’s coattails he caught as the revolutionary wave of mid-19th-century German nationalism. And he did more than catch it; he managed to surf it in a direction of his own choosing. The wave Obama just missed—again—is the revolutionary wave of Middle Eastern democracy. It has surged through the region twice since he was elected: once in Iran in the summer of 2009, the second time right across North Africa, from Tunisia all the way down the Red Sea to Yemen. But the swell has been biggest in Egypt, the Middle East’s most populous country.
In each case, the president faced stark alternatives. He could try to catch the wave, Bismarck style, by lending his support to the youthful revolutionaries and trying to ride it in a direction advantageous to American interests. Or he could do nothing and let the forces of reaction prevail. In the case of Iran, he did nothing, and the thugs of the Islamic Republic ruthlessly crushed the demonstrations. This time around, in Egypt, it was worse. He did both—some days exhorting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to leave, other days drawing back and recommending an “orderly transition.”
The result has been a foreign-policy debacle. The president has alienated everybody: not only Mubarak’s cronies in the military, but also the youthful crowds in the streets of Cairo. Whoever ultimately wins, Obama loses. And the alienation doesn’t end there. America’s two closest friends in the region—Israel and Saudi Arabia—are both disgusted. The Saudis, who dread all manifestations of revolution, are appalled at Washington’s failure to resolutely prop up Mubarak. The Israelis, meanwhile, are dismayed by the administration’s apparent cluelessness.
Last week, while other commentators ran around Cairo’s Tahrir Square, hyperventilating about what they saw as an Arab 1989, I flew to Tel Aviv for the annual Herzliya security conference. The consensus among the assembled experts on the Middle East? A colossal failure of American foreign policy.
This failure was not the result of bad luck. It was the predictable consequence of the Obama administration’s lack of any kind of coherent grand strategy, a deficit about which more than a few veterans of U.S. foreign policy making have long worried. The president himself is not wholly to blame. Although cosmopolitan by both birth and upbringing, Obama was an unusually parochial politician prior to his election, judging by his scant public pronouncements on foreign-policy issues.
Yet no president can be expected to be omniscient. That is what advisers are for. The real responsibility for the current strategic vacuum lies not with Obama himself, but with the National Security Council, and in particular with the man who ran it until last October: retired Gen. James L. Jones. I suspected at the time of his appointment that General Jones was a poor choice. A big, bluff Marine, he once astonished me by recommending that Turkish troops might lend the United States support in Iraq. He seemed mildly surprised when I suggested the Iraqis might resent such a reminder of centuries of Ottoman Turkish rule.
The best national-security advisers have combined deep knowledge of international relations with an ability to play the Machiavellian Beltway game, which means competing for the president’s ear against the other would-be players in the policymaking process: not only the defense secretary but also the secretary of state and the head of the Central Intelligence Agency. No one has ever done this better than Henry Kissinger. But the crucial thing about Kissinger as national-security adviser was not the speed with which he learned the dark arts of interdepartmental turf warfare. It was the skill with which he, in partnership with Richard Nixon, forged a grand strategy for the United States at a time of alarming geopolitical instability.
The essence of that strategy was, first, to prioritize (for example, détente with the Soviets before human-rights issues within the U.S.S.R.) and then to exert pressure by deliberately linking key issues. In their hardest task—salvaging peace with honor in Indochina by preserving the independence of South Vietnam—Nixon and Kissinger ultimately could not succeed. But in the Middle East they were able to eject the Soviets from a position of influence and turn Egypt from a threat into a malleable ally. And their overtures to China exploited the divisions within the Communist bloc, helping to set Beijing on an epoch-making new course of economic openness.
The contrast between the foreign policy of the Nixon-Ford years and that of President Jimmy Carter is a stark reminder of how easily foreign policy can founder when there is a failure of strategic thinking. The Iranian Revolution of 1979, which took the Carter administration wholly by surprise, was a catastrophe far greater than the loss of South Vietnam.
Remind you of anything? “This is what happens when you get caught by surprise,” an anonymous American official told The New York Times last week. “We’ve had endless strategy sessions for the past two years on Mideast peace, on containing Iran. And how many of them factored in the possibility that Egypt moves from stability to turmoil? None.”
I can think of no more damning indictment of the administration’s strategic thinking than this: it never once considered a scenario in which Mubarak faced a popular revolt. Yet the very essence of rigorous strategic thinking is to devise such a scenario and to think through the best responses to them, preferably two or three moves ahead of actual or potential adversaries. It is only by doing these things—ranking priorities and gaming scenarios—that a coherent foreign policy can be made. The Israelis have been hard at work doing this. All the president and his NSC team seem to have done is to draft touchy-feely speeches like the one he delivered in Cairo early in his presidency.
These were his words back in June 2009:
America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles—principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.
Those lines will come back to haunt Obama if, as cannot be ruled out, the ultimate beneficiary of his bungling in Egypt is the Muslim Brotherhood, which remains by far the best organized opposition force in the country—and wholly committed to the restoration of the caliphate and the strict application of Sharia. Would such an outcome advance “tolerance and the dignity of all human beings” in Egypt? Somehow, I don’t think so.
Grand strategy is all about the necessity of choice. Today, it means choosing between a daunting list of objectives: to resist the spread of radical Islam, to limit Iran’s ambition to become dominant in the Middle East, to contain the rise of China as an economic rival, to guard against a Russian “reconquista” of Eastern Europe—and so on. The defining characteristic of Obama’s foreign policy has been not just a failure to prioritize, but also a failure to recognize the need to do so. A succession of speeches saying, in essence, “I am not George W. Bush” is no substitute for a strategy.
Bismarck knew how to choose. He understood that riding the nationalist wave would enable Prussia to become the dominant force in Germany, but that thereafter the No. 1 objective must be to keep France and Russia from uniting against his new Reich. When asked for his opinion about colonizing Africa, Bismarck famously replied: “My map of Africa lies in Europe. Here lies Russia and here lies France, and we are in the middle. That is my map of Africa.”
Tragically, no one knows where Barack Obama’s map of the Middle East is. At best, it is in the heartland states of America, where the fate of his presidency will be decided next year, just as Jimmy Carter’s was back in 1980.
At worst, he has no map at all.
- Obama’s Egypt and Foreign Policy Failires – Newsweek (news.google.com)
- Obama’s Egypt and Foreign Policy Failires (newsweek.com)
- Niall Ferguson Blasts Obama’s Foreign Policy (thedailybeast.com)
- Mubarak in coma? (hotair.com)
- Newsweek Cheat Sheet: What’s in This Week’s Issue (thedailybeast.com)
- In U.S. Signals to Egypt, Obama Straddled a Rift (nytimes.com)
- In US Signals to Egypt, Obama Straddled a Rift – New York Times (news.google.com)
- Obama Team Looked Unsteady in Response to Egypt Protesters (businessweek.com)
- Obama’s strategy was to pressure Mubarak without intruding – Los Angeles Times (news.google.com)
- Obama Leadership Tested by Fast-Changing Egypt Crisis (businessweek.com)
- Foreign Policy: Why You Should Care About Egypt (npr.org)
Copyright 2011-3011 By Chase Kyla Hunter, All Rights Reserved.
Tags: Israeli Embassy closing, Cairo Israeli Embassy, Egypt Revolt 2011
Copyright 2.14.11 By CK Hunter, All Rights Reserved.
Repost courtesy of the Washington Post
Egypt’s generals impose martial law
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, February 13, 2011; 11:00 PM
CAIRO – Egypt’s generals imposed martial law on Sunday, dissolving parliament and suspending the constitution, moves that many of the protesters who helped topple President Hosni Mubarak said were necessary to excise a rotten form of government.
The sweeping actions appeared to have their desired effect of calming the national mood. Under a celebratory facade, Egypt has remained on edge since Mubarak was forced to abdicate Friday, as uncertainty grew over the revolution’s next stages.
In a written communique, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, led by Field Marshal Mohammed Tantawi, said the military rule was temporary and would last until elections are held, possibly as soon as six months from now. A new set of guiding laws will be drafted by an appointed committee and made subject to a referendum, the military chiefs said.
The parliament disbanded by the military had been a rubber-stamp body dominated by ruling-party members who prevailed in rigged November elections. The constitution had also been skewed heavily in favor of Mubarak’s regime.
Opposition figures praised the moves as important first steps toward free elections but urged further measures to sweep away the old guard. Some expressed alarm at an aborted effort by the military early Sunday to clear Cairo‘s Tahrir Square of remaining protesters. They also criticized a decision by the military rulers to leave Mubarak’s cabinet in place.
“By no means can they concentrate on fixing the problems and investigating what happened under the former regime, because they are the ones responsible,” said Alaa al Aswany, an Egyptian novelist and democracy activist.
It remains far from clear how quickly elections might be held in Egypt. The well-organized Muslim Brotherhood, officially banned under Mubarak, has pressed for speedy elections. Some democracy activists have said that it might take much longer than six months to prepare the ground for a fair contest.
Some unrest continued in Cairo, as about 500 police officers, demanding higher wages, marched through Tahrir Square and blocked the entrance to the Interior Ministry. Workers at state banks held sit-ins, forcing Egypt’s central bank to declare Monday a bank holiday. The antiquities-rich Egyptian Museum reported that two statues of King Tutankhamen and 16 other artworks had been looted.
“Our concern now is security, to bring security back to the Egyptian citizen,” Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq said after presiding over a meeting of the caretaker cabinet. “That sense has been lost since the beginning of the events. It’s been coming back, but not as quickly as we hoped.”
Before the session, workers removed a huge portrait of Mubarak that had kept watch over the meeting room.
Unlike the police and other domestic security forces that Mubarak used to brutalize his political foes, the armed forces are seen by many Egyptians as their protectors and saviors. The military permitted the protests to unfold peacefully during the 18-day revolution. Many soldiers and officers made clear that their sympathies lay with the people.
For the near term, at least, the man running the country is Tantawi, 75, a close ally of Mubarak’s who served under him as defense minister and commander in chief of the armed forces. The military council’s communique said Tantawi would function as Egypt’s head of state in international relations.
Retired military officers and analysts described Tantawi as pragmatic and conservative, with no visible political aspirations. They said he has the support of other senior commanders, including Lt. Gen. Sami Enan, the armed forces’ chief of staff.
“Tantawi does not have ambitions to run for president. No one in the supreme council has that wish,” said Hosam Sowilam, a retired major general and former military college classmate of Tantawi’s. “We are military people. We don’t want to indulge in any political matters. We want to only participate in defending our territory and preserving the independence and stability of the country.”
Over the years, Tantawi has kept close ties with U.S. government and military officials. “He understands the importance of this relationship,” said Mohamed Kadry Said, a former major general who is an analyst at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo.
Tantawi is also seen as a reliable ally by Israel, which has feared greater instability with Mubarak’s departure. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has affirmed that Egypt will honor its international treaty obligations, including its peace accord with Israel.
But some military analysts said that despite protestations to the contrary, Tantawi and other generals might find that they enjoy ruling Egypt without any checks on their authority.
“In a few months, after they realize how powerful they are and if they believe they can control the country and restore stability, I am not sure they won’t fall in love with their huge influence,” said Giora Eiland, a retired Israeli major general who is an analyst at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. “Under certain circumstances, they can find excuses as to why an election cannot be held at the moment.”
Some demonstrators said they would continue to occupy Tahrir Square until the generals acceded to other demands, including the release of thousands of political prisoners and the repeal of Egypt’s state-of-emergency law, which Mubarak imposed almost 30 years ago as a tool to repress political opponents.
“How can there be freedom as long as the emergency law exists?” said Ram Ebead, 32, an unemployed chemist who has camped out in the plaza since protests erupted Jan. 25. “How can there be freedom without the release of political prisoners?”
Other organizers said they would leave Tahrir Square for now but would return every Friday to pressure the military to make good on its promises.
“The people will be frustrated if the military stays in power more than six months,” said Essam el-Erian, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. Analysts said the group stands to benefit from snap elections because it is Egypt’s best-organized political movement.
Erian urged the military to cancel the emergency law and to release the prisoners, many of them Brotherhood supporters. But he also praised the military for the measures it has taken.
“We’re on the right road,” Erian said. “Transitions from dictatorship to democracy are very difficult. It will take time.”
Special correspondent Samuel Sockol contributed to this report.