A recent Gulf News report sheds some light on how and why the United States helped bring the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies to power, followed by all the subsequent chaos and atrocities in the Mideast region.
Large portions of the report follow with my commentary interspersed for added context:
Dubai: For the past decade, two successive US administrations have maintained close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria and Libya, to name just the most prominent cases.
The Obama administration conducted an assessment of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2010 and 2011, beginning even before the events known as the â??Arab Springâ? erupted in Tunisia and in Egypt. The President personally issued Presidential Study Directive 11 (PSD-11) in 2010, ordering an assessment of the Muslim Brotherhood and other â??political Islamistâ? movements, including the ruling AKP in Turkey, ultimately concluding that the United States should shift from its longstanding policy of supporting â??stabilityâ? in the Middle East and North Africa (that is, support for â??stable regimesâ? even if they were authoritarian), to a policy of backing â??moderateâ? Islamic political movements (italics added for emphasis throughout).
And we have certainly witnessed this shift. Â Chaos and the Islamic ascendancy in the Middle East and North Africa never flourished as under the Obama administrationâ??and precisely because the administration shifted from supporting stability under secular-minded autocrats.
The most significant example of this is how the Obama administration threw Hosni Mubarakâ??a U.S. ally for three decadesâ??under the bus in order to support the Islamists, most specifically the Muslim Brotherhood. Â And we saw how that endedâ??with another revolution, hailed as the largest revolution in human history, with the average Egyptian accusing Obama of being a terrorist supporter.
To this day, PSD-11 remains classified, in part because it reveals an embarrassingly naĂŻve and uninformed view of trends in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region.
â??Embarrassingly naĂŻve and uninformed viewâ? is synonymous with the â??orthodox and mainstream view pushed forth by Mideast studies professors and academics,â? especially those with political influence, such as the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies of Georgetown University, in Washington D.C. Â Such programs, which Iâ??m only too well acquainted with, begin with falseâ??that is, â??embarrassingly naĂŻve and uninformedâ?â??premises, namely: that the source of all the regionâ??s woes are (formerly) U.S.-propped autocrats (reality is that dictators donâ??t create such societies but rather are the natural outcome of Islamic societies and are the ones most prone to keeping law and orderâ??compare Iraq under Saddam and Iraq now, as a â??democracy,â? with â??ISISâ? proclaiming a caliphate). Â Mideast academics have also long spearheaded the idea that there are â??moderateâ? Islamists and â??radicalâ? Islamists, and that the U.S. should work with the former (in reality they are all radicalâ??to be an Islamist is to be radicalâ??the only difference is that the â??moderateâ? Islamists donâ??t wear their radicalism on their sleeves, even as they work toward the same goals that the more open â??radicalsâ? work for, namely, a Sharia-enforcing caliphate).
The revelations were made by Al Hewar centre in Washington, DC, which obtained the documents in question.
This too is significant. As Daniel Greenfield writes: â??Al-Hewar, which actually got hold of the documents, is linked to the International Institute of Islamic Thoughtâ?Š which is a Muslim Brotherhood front group. Â Figures in the Muslim Brotherhood had threatened to leak understandings with Obama Inc. This is the next best thing. It warns Obama that if he tries to forget about them, they can prove that the relationship was official policy.â?
To be sure, after the ousting of the Brotherhood in Egypt, several Brotherhood members made, sometimes not so veiled, threats to the Obama administration if it turned its back on them, including top ranking Brotherhood member, Khairat al-Shatterâ??s son.
Through an ongoing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, thousands of pages of documentation of the US State Departmentâ??s dealings with the Muslim Brotherhood are in the process of being declassified and released to the public.
If and when these thousands of pages are released, they should be combed through, as no doubt answers to many of the Obama administrationâ??s hitherto inexplicable policies in the Middle East will be foundâ??to wit:
US State Department documents obtained under the FOIA confirm that the Obama administration maintained frequent contact and ties with the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood. At one point, in April 2012, US officials arranged for the public relations director of the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammad Gaair, to come to Washington to speak at a conference on â??Islamists in Powerâ? hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Indeed, despite the administrationâ??s later insistence that it did not favor the Islamists over other parties, anecdotes implying otherwise were constantly on display. Â In Egypt alone, U.S. ambassador Anne Patterson, due to her close ties not just to President Morsi, but the Muslim Brotherhood in general, became such a hated figure in the months before last yearâ??s anti-Brotherhood revolution.
A State Department Cable classified â??Confidentialâ? report says the following: â??Benghazi Meeting With Libyan Muslim Brotherhood: On April 2  Mission Benghazi met with a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood steering committee, who will speak at the April 5 Carnegie Endowment â??Islamist in Powerâ?? conference in Washington, D.C. He described the Muslim Brotherhoodâ??s decision to form a political party as both an opportunity and an obligation in post-revolution Libya after years of operating underground.
These documents on the Obama administrationâ??s connections with the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya are especially disturbing in the context of earlier revelations made in Arabic media, including that the Brotherhoodâ??s Libyan wing was very much involved in the 9/11 Benghazi U.S. consulate attack.
Another State Department paper marked â??Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU)â? contained talking points for Deputy Secretary of State William Burnsâ?? scheduled July 14, 2012 meeting with Mohammad Sawan, the Muslim Brotherhood leader who was also head of the Brotherhoodâ??s Justice and Construction Party. The document is heavily redacted, but nevertheless provides clear indication of Washingtonâ??s sympathies for the emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood as a major political force in the post-Gaddafi Libya.The talking points recommended that Secretary Burns tell Sawan thatthe US government entities â??share your partyâ??s concerns in ensuring that a comprehensive transitional justice process is undertaken to address past violations so that they do not spark new discontent.â?
â??To address past violations so that they do not spark new discontentâ? is another way of stating another popular position among Mideast professors, namely that whenever Islamists engage in violence or terrorism, that is proof positive that they have a legitimate grievance, hence the US must â??appeaseâ? lest it â??spark new discontentâ? (perhaps the true backdrop of Benghazi).
The Burns paper described the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood: â??Prior to last yearâ??s revolution, the Muslim Brotherhood was banned for over three decades and its members were fiercely pursued by the Gaddafi regime.
In light of all the chaos the Islamists have been responsible for in Libya, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, et alâ??is it now obvious why Arab autocrats like Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein, Hosni Mubarak, and currently Bashar Assad have always â??bannedâ? and â??fiercely pursuedâ? the Brotherhood and its affiliates?
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