The Sunni Alliance vs the Obama Regime
Saudis standing up for US allies in Middle East
Well now, I wouldn’t call any of them “U.S. allies”. Allies they are most certainly not. Nations have interests and their interests are quite different from ours, but anyhow:
Their exasperation with American weakness is clear.Â The Saudis are starting to push back hard.Â (Full post below the fold)
InÂ FrontPageÂ today, I give a summary of Obama’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood.
When the State DepartmentÂ announcedÂ early in October that it was cutting hundreds of millions in military and other aid to Egypt, it was yet another manifestation of Barack Obama’s unstinting support for the Muslim Brotherhood, a support that has already thrown Egypt back into the Russian orbit. The aid cut was essentially giving the Egyptian people a choice between Muslim Brotherhood rule and economic collapse. Nothing else could have been expected from Obama, who has been a Brotherhood man from the beginning.
Obama’s support for the Brotherhood goes back to the beginning of his presidency.Â He even invited Ingrid Mattson, then-president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), to offer a prayer at the National Cathedral on his first Inauguration Day – despite the fact thatÂ ISNA has admitted its ties to the Brotherhood. The previous summer, federal prosecutors rejected a request from ISNA to remove its unindicted co-conspirator status. Obama didn’t ask Mattson to explain ISNA’s links to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. On the contrary: he sent his Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett to be the keynote speaker at ISNA’s national convention in 2009.
Even worse, in April 2009, Obama appointed Arif Alikhan, the deputy mayor of Los Angeles, as Assistant Secretary for Policy Development at the Department of Homeland Security. Just two weeks before he received this appointment, Alikhan (who once called the jihad terror group Hizballah a “liberation movement”) participated in a fundraiser for the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). Like ISNA, MPAC has links to the Muslim Brotherhood. In a book entitledÂ In Fraternity: A Message to Muslims in America,Â coauthor Hassan Hathout, a former MPAC president, is identified as “a close disciple of the late Hassan al-Banna of Egypt.” The MPAC-linked magazineÂ The MinaretÂ spoke of Hassan Hathout’s closeness to al-Banna in a 1997 article: “My father would tell me that Hassan Hathout was a companion of Hassan al-Banna….Hassan Hathout would speak of al-Banna with such love and adoration; he would speak of a relationship not guided by politics or law but by a basic sense of human decency.”
Al-Banna, of course, was the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, an admirer of Hitler and a leader of the movement to (in his words) “push the Jews into the sea.”
Terror researcher Steven Emerson’s Investigative Project has documented MPAC’s indefatigable and consistent opposition to virtually every domestic anti-terror initiative; its magazineÂ The MinaretÂ has dismissed key counterterror operations as part of “[t]he American crusade against Islam and Muslims.” For his part, while Alikhan was deputy mayor of Los Angeles, he blocked a Los Angeles Police Department project to assemble data about the ethnic makeup of mosques in the Los Angeles area. This was not an attempt to conduct surveillance of the mosques or monitor them in any way. LAPD Deputy Chief Michael P. Downing explained that it was actually an outreach program: “We want to know where the Pakistanis, Iranians and Chechens are so we can reach out to those communities.” But Alikhan and other Muslim leaders claimed that the project manifested racism and “Islamophobia,” and the LAPD ultimately discarded all plans to study the mosques.
And early in 2009, when the Muslim Brotherhood was still outlawed in Egypt,Obama met with its leaders. HeÂ made sure to invite Brotherhood leadersÂ to attend his notorious speech to the Islamic world in Cairo in June 4, 2009, making it impossible for then-President Hosni Mubarak to attend the speech, since he would not appear with the leaders of the outlawed group.
Then on January 31, 2011, when the Mubarak regime was on the verge of falling in the Arab Spring uprising, a former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, Frank Wisner, metsecretlyÂ in Cairo with Issam El-Erian, a senior Brotherhood leader. That meeting came a week after a Mubarak government official announced the regime’s suspicions that Brotherhood and other opposition leaders were coordinating the Egyptian uprising with the Obama State Department.
Early in February, Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, tried to allay concerns about a Muslim Brotherhood takeover in Egypt by claiming, preposterously, that the group was “largely secular.” Although the subsequent torrent of ridicule compelled the Obama camp to issue a correction, the subtext of Clapper’s statement was clear: the Obama Administration had no problem with Muslim Brotherhood rule in Egypt, and was not only going to do nothing to stop it, but was going actively to enable it.
Saudis standing up for US allies in Middle East
Saudi Arabia is testing its 70 year US dependence after it observed how Obama was willing to compromise with Syria and how he is warming to Iran; the US’s traditional M. East allies are rooting for the Saudis.
The Saudis are testing Obama, as they have seen how he tends to waver under pressure while trying to keep both sides happy.
And quietly, America’s traditional allies in the region – such as Egypt, Israel, Jordan and the Gulf states – are rooting for the Saudis.
The Saudis observed how Obama was willing to compromise and settle for a deal with Syria after he had called for President Bashar Assad’s removal from power two years ago. On Iran, Obama is warming to the country despite its involvement in terrorism, the fighting in Syria and its history of deception as it strives towards nuclear weapons.
The Saudis are starting to push back hard.
Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan told European diplomats that Riyadh is contemplating aÂ “major shift” away from the USÂ over Washington’s policies on a host of issues, including Syria.
That message reflected the views not just of Prince Bandar, a noted hawk on Middle East issues and outspoken former ambassador to Washington, but of King Abdullah and the rest of the Saudi leadership, diplomatic sources in the Gulf said.
While Saudi Arabia’s frustration with the US was real and has led it to explore alternatives to its 70-year dependence on their strategic alliance, nobody seriously thinks Saudi cooperation with Washington will cease, the sources said.
Michael Doran, a senior fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, who previously served as US deputy assistant secretary of defense and a senior director at the National Security Council, told The Jerusalem Post that the Saudis are upset that Obama is unwilling to take a stronger stance against the Iranian-Syrian alliance.
“The failure to support the Syrian rebels is a big part of the story, but the Saudis also see a general tilt in American policy in favor of Iran and away from the traditional allies of the United States,” said Doran.
Prof. Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA), told the Post that the Saudis are not the only ones bewildered by Obama’s conduct in the Middle East.
“Their exasperation with American weakness is clear.
Their fear of Washington striking a grand bargain with Tehran is evident.
Unfortunately, there is no real alternative to American involvement and the Saudis as well as others have no real other choice but to wait until Obama is gone,” said Inbar.
Amir Rapaport, a researcher at the BESA Center and editor-in-chief of Israel Defense magazine, told the Post that Israel believes the US is demonstrating that it cannot be counted on as an ally and that other countries in the region, such as Egypt, are looking elsewhere for support, such as with the Russians.
Brandon Friedman, a lecturer at Tel Aviv University and a researcher at its Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, told the Post that “there is not much the Saudis can do except demonstrate their extreme displeasure.” Friedman believes that in the medium- to-long term, the Saudis will probably try to get nuclear weapons and that it is more likely the Saudis will turn to China, rather than to Russia, for support.
Reuters contributed to this report.