Obama Hosting the Muslim Brotherhood Signals a Dangerous Shift in Foreign Affairs
As the Obama administration hosted delegates from the Muslim Brotherhood, the socialist-Islamist group that rose to political power following the “Arab Spring” revolts, rockets were virtually flying from the Egyptian-controlled Sinai peninsula into the territory of our ally Israel. As with its terrorist offspring al Qaeda, the timing of the Muslim Brotherhood’s White House visit and the relatively rare rocket attack on Israel from Egyptian territory, represents “signaling” — that the days of detente between Egypt and Israel are likely over.
The significance of the White House hosting the Muslim Brotherhood at this point in time is accentuated by a cluster of events. These are both international and national in nature. As this analyst has argued before, the president’s foreign policy is an extension of, and is reflective of, his domestic agenda. Since the president is an ideologue, albeit one very shrewdly and pragmatically refraining from overtly expressing his core beliefs, there is a high degree of continuation between his foreign policy and his domestic agenda.
By taking into account a number of direct and indirect signs, the president and the Muslim Brotherhood can be considered tacit allies. The evidence is multi-faceted and will be addressed further below. The broader context of the shift in U.S.-Middle Eastern relations under President Obama is that the Muslim Brotherhood can be considered Alinsky-style community organizers; they are radical pragmatists with Marxist-Leninist ideological ties who use religion to bolster their drive for totalitarian power. Democracy is but a means to the end of assuming control over society; while “liberation” may be promised to the people initially in order to usher the Muslim Brotherhood into power in countries under authoritarian regimes, this is but a temporary maneuver until sharia can be established. Evidence of this will be provided during the article. But first we will address a few basic points about the Muslim Brotherhood’s visit and the political timing.
White House spokesperson Jay Carney denied any broader significance of the Muslim Brotherhood visit, pointing out that two mid-level administration officials met with the delegates, the organization won representation in the Egyptian government through democratically held elections, and other politicians, namely Lyndsey Graham and John McCain, had met with members of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) while in Egypt. Ironically, the two GOP Senators had met with these representatives while U.S. hostages were being held in Egypt. The GOP Senators, who took heat at the time from conservatives for meeting with the MB, were seeking to expand U.S.-Egyptian business ties. They criticized the holding of the American hostages, who were members of Non-Governmental Organizations or NGOs. Meeting with representatives of even enemy nations or organizations does not necessary entail endorsement of policy.
But some things should be kept in mind about the Obama administration’s meeting with the Muslim Brotherhood. The administration has made no substantive criticism of the MB or of several other takfiri or jihadist groups around the world. A wall of silence seems to have been erected since Obama took office regarding socialist or communist regimes. On the other hand, “conservative”-authoritarian, nationalist, and liberal democratic (U.K., Israel) regimes have come under fire; not to mention conservative groups and tea party activists. The president has had nothing but warm words for the seemingly disastrous Arab Spring and the Occupy movement.
The “democratic” Arab Spring movement that is ushering socialist-Islamist groups to power throughout the Middle East is so well-regarded on the left that Obama’s former “Green Jobs” Czar and self-professed communist/truther Van Jones is launching a “99% percent spring” movement whose astro-turfing is set to begin next week. One wonders what the group looks to accomplish since Obama is the current dictator-in-training and we are scheduled to have free and fair elections in November (unless Obama’s Department of Justice gets its way).
The New Left and International Relations
A few things about the New Left and international relations. As mentioned before, the president’s foreign policy is an extension of his domestic policy. When Obama warmly greets ailing Venezuelan despot Hugo Chavez, that is a signal that America does not seek to go after his regime aggressively. When Obama hands an iPod filled with his speeches to the Queen of England, that means the narcissist-in-chief believes her royal majesty could learn a thing or two from his soaring, vacuous rhetoric. This isn’t always the case in international relations. But the New Left view is such that we live in a world where literally everything is political and represents hierarchical structures.
Following these assumptions, President Obama’s actions can be best interpreted through the prism of Critical Theory. Whom or what Obama attacks or criticizes, and whom or what he praises or endorses, are just as important as whom or what he should be commenting on or addressing — and isn’t. Note that the president himself is not the only channel for evaluating such signals; various regime mouthpieces, allies, and sycophants may do the messaging for the president. So when Obama waits ten days to say anything about the Iranians’ democratic uprising, that means something. When he refuses to confront the Iranians on its nuclear (weapons) program, that means something. When he overlooks the Russians’ assistance to Iran (and Syria), that means something. And so on. These are big ticket items, and not trifling matters, it should be noted.
The above being glossed on, we are well-prepared to begin dissecting Obama’s foreign policy signaling over the past few weeks in regards to the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt, and by relation, Syria.
Signaling a Seismic Foreign Policy Shift
The president is already indicating with his “flexible” comment to Dmitry Medvedev that he plans to jerk this country in a dangerous foreign policy, should we Americans be so gullible and misfortune to re-elect the man. The same applies with the president’s increasingly public embrace of hostile Muslim organizations. As a Heritage article that gives a bit of relevant background on the Muslim Brotherhood points out (James Phillips, the same author, also provides a nice briefing on the Muslim Brotherhood.):
A delegation of officials from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood met with White House officials Wednesday, according to a White House spokesman who stated that “we have broadened our engagement to include new and emerging political parties and actors.” […]
The Obama Administration has bent over backwards to demonstrate its good intentions toward the anti-Western Islamist organization, which is now positioned to hijack Egypt’s pro-democracy revolution.
Early the next day, Reuters reports that a Palestinian rocket attack was fired from the Sinai peninsula (Egyptian territory). Although none were killed this time, a rocket strike fired from the Sinai into Israel killed eight Israelis last August.
Now let us dig a little deeper. In the president’s “Passover Statement” (again, no official Easter statement so far this year), Obama attempted to link the Jewish exodus with the rise of “social transformation” and “liberation” in Egypt — the same country that has grown increasingly hostile to Israel under the parliament partly controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood (through the Freedom and Justice Party, which is the main party within the dominant Democratic Alliance for Egypt bloc).
We don’t have to get into dialectics here, but the president’s admixture of lies and truth is a forked-tongue way of trying to commandeer the Jewish holiday for the political purpose of propping up the Arab Spring and the Muslim Brotherhood (watch the video here). Some can argue that he is attempting to mend bridges. But the president’s history of slamming Israel reinforces the perception that Obama’s address to the Jewish world was at the very least, a backhanded compliment.
Interestingly, the Muslim Brotherhood, a radical-pragmatic Islamist group that spawned the terrorist umbrella organization al Qaeda and the Sunni fundamentalist group Hamas (in much the same way the Students for a Democratic Society begat Bill Ayers’ Weather Underground), just this March re-aligned with Hamas in opposition to the Bashir Assad regime in Syria. Since the Muslim Brotherhood announced this alliance of convenience, both the UN and the Obama administration has promised “non-lethal” aid to Assad’s opposition, viz. Hamas and indirectly, its new ally the Muslim Brotherhood.
So why is the timing of the president’s meeting with the Muslim Brotherhood additionally important. As one analyst put it:
How the Brotherhood receives Hamas in the long run remains to be seen, however. The revolution may well have brought the two closer and certain elements within the Brotherhood will likely back Hamas strongly. But the Brotherhood has other issues to consider, too. ‘The MB leadership will be more concerned at managing the relationship with the Egyptian military (whose contacts with Israel continue), and reassuring the US that the MB is a responsible interlocutor … [so] that funding … through the IMF and other agencies continue[s].
Therefore, we can assume that the meeting was part of a public relations campaign to make the Muslim Brotherhood look more legitimate and worthy of international aid. A key pointman in the Obama administration is Rashad Hussain, a delegate to the Organization for Islamic Cooperation with Muslim Brotherhood ties. The Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a 57 member bloc that has a permanent delegation at the UN, and has condemned the Syrian regime’s violent crackdown on protesters.
The Muslim Brotherhood, for its part, has also endorsed Turkish President Recciyep Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), which helped found a “Friends of Syria” coalition that opposes Bashir Assad and desires a socialist-Islamist regime like itself in Syria. The Muslim Brotherhood has called the AKP an “ideal party”; and though the latter ran on such social desirables as freedom of speech and the press prior to coming to power in Turkey, it has severely cracked down on such freedoms once gaining control. This is a page straight out of the socialist playbook. Freedom, democracy; they are are means to an end. And the end is power.
In such light, we are to interpret the activity of hardcore socialist groups’ role in the engineering of the Tahrir protest. “Democracy” and “liberation” are often catch-phrases for the breakdown of authoritarian rule in order to make them ripe for the plucking for socialist, Islamist, or otherwise totalitarian ones. Not once during the entire play-out of the Arab Spring or the Occupy movement or the forthcoming “99 percent spring” uprisings will one hear an utterance about individual rights. One will, however, hear a lot of clap-trap about “humanitarian” causes and “human rights.” These have been usurped by the left for the cause of advancing socialism.
Critiquing the President’s Non-critical Embrace of Muslim Organizations
Since the president has forged such cozy relations with the Muslim world, giving the religion of Islam unwarranted accolades, a few questions come to mind about Barack Obama’s disposition and his non-critical and even supportive relations with the Muslim Brotherhood.
- Since the Republican Party is alleged to be carrying out a “war on women,” because it doesn’t support taxpayer-funded abortions and subsidized birth control, then what about the Muslim world’s abysmal record on treating women?
- Since American conservatives are supposedly “racist” for opposing anything the obviously liberal Barack Obama supports, then what about the Muslims who enslaved “blacks” for centuries and do in some countries to this day? When will President Obama condemn Islamists in Mauritania and Sudan for enslaving blacks, instead of condemning “teabaggers” for supposedly being racist for opposing universal healthcare?
- What about the Muslim Brotherhood’s pre-eminent scholar Sayyid Qutb, who highly disapproved of the culture of the United States and who advocated armed jihad to resist American values? Is President Obama alright with that aspect of the Muslim Brotherhood’s heritage?
- Since Obama is a Christian, as he claims, when are we going to hear the sharp condemnation of the increasing maltreatment of Coptic Christians in Egypt, or Christians in Sudan, or in Indonesia, or anywhere else in the Muslim world for that matter?
It is not always what those on the New Left say, but rather, what they don’t say that matters. And in the case of Barack Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood, as in every other important matter, what the president doesn’t say speaks volumes.