Gathering Storms: The Iranian Drive for Nuclear Weapons

Sand-in-HourglassBy Andrew Harrod:

“Iran is now at the last lap of the nuclear marathon,” Ambassador Yoram Ettinger, former Israeli Minister for Congressional Affairs, stated during a January 14, 2014, conference call.  Sponsored by the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) after a January 8 EMET/Center for Security Policy (CSP) panel on Iran (video here), the two policy discussions highlighted growing dangers from an uncontained Iranian nuclear weapons program.

Nuclear weapons were part of an Iranian “long term strategic vision” dating from the 1980s, Lebanese-American Middle East scholar Walid Phares explained at the Russell Senate Office Building.  Along with these “fissiles,” Iran was developing missiles as weapons delivery vehicles, an arsenal currently capable of striking Israel and in the future targets like Moscow.  Iran’s Islamic Republic “perceived itself as a superpower” challenging infidels such as the Israeli “Little Satan” and the American “Greater Satan” with an international revolution analogous to Soviet Communism. The subsequent presentation by Andrew Bostom on canonical Islamic anti-Semitism recurring throughout history emphasized the troubling ideological nature of the Islamic Republic.

There is in Iran currently, however, “nothing to compare” with Mikhail Gorbachev’s reforms, Phares determined.  Despite contrary hopes, Iran betrays the “opposite of reform.”  Phares dismissed impressions of Islamic Republic moderation as manifesting how this regime is “not predictable on the tactical level” while maintaining a consistent strategic vision.  The Islamic Republic is willing to go “very far” in the name of pragmatism and “sell you anything.”  Iran, for example, is currently claiming to be “part of the war on terror” alongside the United States in opposing Al Qaeda in Iraq, a “narrative” of “common enemies” designed to impress “Ivy League experts.”  Yet “there is no difference” between the infamous Islamic Republic founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and the current Islamic Republic Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Phares’ fellow panelist, the former Central Intelligence Agency officer and CSP fellow Clare Lopez, similarly rejected prospects of the Islamic Republic reforming.  Contrary to “people with stars in their eyes,” current Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is not any moderate but rather a “long term insider of the regime.” Among other things, Rouhani helped plot the 1994 Buenos Aires Jewish cultural center bombing.  Ettinger likewise described Rouhani as a “con artist” and “master of taqiyya” who had been “misleading the world community for ten years” as Iran’s nuclear negotiator.  Lopez also dismissed any debates in the Iranian parliament or majlis over the November 24, 2013, Iranian nuclear agreement between “hardliner” and “moderate” elements as merely “theater” for foreigners.

Deceit, rather than reform, is far more likely coming from the Islamic Republic, in accord with the canonical saying of Islam’s prophet Muhammad (hadith) cited by Lopez that “war is deceit” (Bukhari 4.52.269).  Former Rouhani adviser Mohammad Sadeq Al-Hosseini’s televised description of the nuclear deal as emulating the treacherous 628 Hudaybiyya truce made by Muhammad emphasized such calculations for Lopez.  Given past Iranian concealment of nuclear facilities at Lavizan-Shian and Parchin to avoid international inspections noted by her, the Islamic Republic had a proven track record of duplicity.

Phares additionally analyzed how the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi’s failure to acquire nuclear weapons led the Islamic Republic to develop regime defenses before obtaining nuclear weapons.  Thus Iran is seeking to consolidate a “geographic space” from Afghanistan to Lebanon, including a NATO-like alliance formed with “Papa Assad,” Syrian ruler Bashar Assad’s father and predecessor Hafiz. While this alliance allows for Iranian penetration of Lebanon through Hezbollah, Iran has also made its influence felt in Africa and Latin America.

Distressing to Phares, President Barack Obama’s administration actually looks to Shiite Iranian influence along with that of the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood (MB) to stabilize the Middle East.  A key “benchmark” for Phares was Obama’s recognition of continuing Islamic Republic rule by not supporting the 2009 Green Revolution that came “very close” to “shaking off” the Iranian regime. The 2013 nuclear deal now implies “recognition of influence in the region” for Iran in places like Syria, an “undeclared Yalta agreement” in return merely for Iran’s promise to abandon nuclear weapons.  “Why on Earth did we partner with the Ikhwan” or (MB) in Egypt, an astonished Phares asked, while noting Lebanon’s 2005 Cedar Revolution and the Green Revolution as examples of pro-democratic movements with which the United States could ally.

“We betrayed them in 2009” and “unfortunately failed to support them in any way,” was also how the Iran expert Michael Ledeen described American policy towards the Green Revolution during the conference call with Ettinger.  Yet the Islamic Republic is a “hollow regime…quite clearly terrified” of opposition movements in Ledeen’s judgment, contrary to assessments of the regime as stable.  Islamic Republic repression of public gatherings and intellectuals reminds Ledeen “a lot of the last days of the Soviet Union.”  Indeed, current Iranian opposition movements are “much bigger” than past Soviet dissident groups and Iranian security services are not as effective as their former Soviet counterparts like the KGB. The “Iranian people do not like this regime,” Ledeen concludes, something Rouhani’s ultimately empty “great reputation as a reformer” has not changed.

“Bring it down…support the Iranian people,” is thus Ledeen’s policy recommendation for regime change in Iran.  In fact, this “third option” between eventual acceptance of Iranian nuclear weapons and any military counter-proliferation strike is the only viable long term Iran strategy.  Yet the “folly” of the American government not contacting Iranian opposition figures amazed Ledeen, who himself regularly communicates with them.  “If I can contact them, believe me the American government can contact them,” Ledeen says.

Read more at Front Page

EMET/CSP panel addresses the question “What are Iran’s True Intentions”

download (55)Center For Security Policy, Published on Jan 16, 2014

As the Obama Administration continues to move forward negotiating with Iran, there has been little attention paid to the underlying motivations of the Islamic Republic of Iran. What is the Iranian end game? What are the ideological motivators of the Islamic regime in its conflict with the United States of America and Israel? Are the genocidal threats issued by Iranian leaders to”wipe Israel off the map” and achieve a “world without America” only posturing? Or are these goals the Iranian regime is committed to achieving?

EMET and the Center for Security Policy have put together a great panel of experts to address these questions and answer, what are Iran’s true intentions?

 Introduction

Walid Phares

Dr. Walid Phares serves as an Advisor to the Anti-Terrorism Caucus in the US House of Representatives and is a Co-Secretary General of the Transatlantic Legislative Group on Counter Terrorism, a Euro-American Caucus, since 2009. Dr Phares briefs and testify to the US Congress, the European Parliament and the United Nations Security Council on matters related to international security and Middle East conflict. He has served on the Advisory Board of the Task Force on Future Terrorism of the Department of Homeland Security and the Advisory Task force on Nuclear Terrorism. Dr Phares teaches Global Strategies at the National Defense University. He has published several books in English, Arabic and French including the latest three post-9/11 volumes: Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies against the West; The War of Ideas: Jihadism against Democracy and The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad.

Clare Lopez

Clare M. Lopez is a strategic policy and intelligence expert with a focus on national defense, Islam, Iran, and counterterrorism issues. Currently a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy, The Clarion Project, the London Center for Policy Research, and the Canadian Meighen Institute and vice president of the Intelligence Summit, she formerly was a career operations officer with the Central Intelligence Agency, a professor at the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies, Executive Director of the Iran Policy Committee from 2005-2006. Ms. Lopez is a regular contributor to print and broadcast media on subjects related to Iran and the Middle East and the co-author of two published books on Iran. She is the author of an acclaimed paper for the Center, The Rise of the Iran Lobby and co-author/editor of the Center’s Team B II study, “Shariah: The Threat to America”.

Andrew Bostom

Dr. Andrew Bostom is the author of the highly acclaimed works The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims, The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism: from Sacred Text to Solemn History, Sharia Versus Freedom: The Legacy of Islamic Totalitarianism and the recent monograph The Mufti’s Islamic Jew-Hatred: What the Nazis Learned from the “Muslim Pope.” Dr. Bostom’s forthocoming monograph is entitled, Iran’s Final Solution for Israel: The Legacy of Shi’ite Islamic Jew-Hatred in Iran. Dr. Bostom has published numerous articles and commentaries on Islam in the New York Post, Washington Times, The New York Daily News, Pajamas Media, National Review Online, The American Thinker, FrontPage Magazine.com, and other print and online publications. More on Andrew Bostom’s work can be found at his:http://www.andrewbostom.org/blog/

Mark Langfan

Mark Langfan is a noted security analyst who in 1991 created a 3 dimensional topographic raised-relief map system of Israel. Viewing the 3D Israel map one can easily and quickly be informed of many of the underlying resource and security issues involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict such as West Bank water resources and Israeli ‘defensible’ borders. Over the past 20 years, Mark has briefed many Congressional and Senate offices, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Israel Desk, and the New York Times Editorial Board. Mark wrote and published seminal articles concerning the Israeli/Middle East region including the 1992 “Demilitarization Risks” warning of future Palestinian Katyusha rocket barrages from vacated Israeli territory, the 1995 “US Troops on Golan Quicksand” warning of the unique topographic dangers of deploying US Troops to the Golan Heights, and the 2006 “Iran: The 4th Reichastan” exposing the Iranian arming of Iraqi Insurgents against US forces, and of Iran’s other regional and strategic goals. Mark has published numerous articles in newspapers and security journal. For more information visit www.marklangfan.com.

This presentation by Mark Langfan with Erick Stakelbeck shows the maps better:

Video: Walid Phares on jihadi propaganda war against the West

In an interview with Fox News, Dr Walid Phares author of ‘The Coming Revolution: Struggle for Freedom in the Middle East,’ and of the newly released French book ‘Du Printemps Arabe a l’Automne Islamiste,’ said “Saudi Arabia, but also Jordan, Kuwait, the UAE and other Gulf, as well as Egypt, are frustrated with the Obama Administration on the issues of Syria, Iran and declining partnership with the US.”

Phares said “the Arab moderates were mobilized by Washington to pressure Syria’s, before the Administration suddenly pull out from the confrontation with the help of a Russian diplomatic maneuver. Also Washington engaged in a unilateral rapprochement with Iran’s regime without a consultation with its Arab and Middle East allies.”

Phares said “it would be as if the US, in the middle of the Cold War, would run to Moscow for dialogue, before it positions itself in between the USSR and Great Britain. Would that make sense? If you have allies in the region, you consult them and as one bloc you deal with Syria and Iran.

The Arab frustration is not about security matters, it is about the ailing partnership between the Obama Administration and America’s allies in the region.”

 

Walid Phares: The mother of information on the Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the US will come from Egypt

6-e13598740988101

Walid Phares on the Malzberg show: “US apologist media, in its ivory tower, is disconnected from Egypt’s reality unlike Arab and European media and the blogosphere”

In his interview on Steve Malzberg’s radio show, Dr Walid Phares said: “Most US media, particularly the apologist press is disconnected from Egypt’s realities and doesn’t seem to understand that there was a deep popular revolution against the Muslim Brotherhood and that an overwhelming majority of Egyptians rejects the Ikhwan and their Jihadi allies. Unlike Arab, Russian and European media and the American radio shows and blogosphere, the apologist media is not representing the facts. They can share the facts and then opine, but they are so fooled by their advisors that they got themselves separated from Egypt reality. Let them stay in their ivory towers until they are out of funds.” Phares provided a comprehensive analysis of the Egyptian campaign against the Brotherhood and the Jihadists in Egypt.”

Take the 10 part course: The Muslim Brotherhood in America

Louie Gohmert delivers major speech criticizing US policy of partnership with the Muslim Brotherhood

1005437_10201441479741920_1894926056_n

Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01) spoke on the House floor about the uprising and protests in Egypt over the Morsi administration. He talked about America’s national security abroad. He also weighed in on the United States image in the Middle East.

 

Walid Phares made this comment on his facebook page:

Congressman during speech in the Capitol: “CNN friend of the Muslim Brotherhood not of the Egyptian people”

A unique scene today was when member of the US House of Representatives Louie Gohmert from Texas blasted CNN for “reporting in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood and not about the millions of moderate Egyptians, seculars and Copts, who demonstrated in a real revolution on June 30.” According to several observers in Washington “Gohmert delivered the most powerful speech in the defense of reformers, democracy seekers, seculars, Christian Copts and Muslim moderates in Egypt in the history of the US Congress, to date.” One observer said “Gohmert has launched a moral revolution in US Foreign Policy.”

 

 

“Zimmerica…”

!cid_part2_02060003_08020209@earthlinkFacebook post by Walid Phares:

Egypt… Ikhwan invasion
Libya… Ansar in Benghazi
Tunisia..Nahda regime
Mali .. France battles Ansar el Dine
Gaza … Hamas gets weapons
Lebanon..Hezbollah prepares for Israel
Syria… 100,000 killed
Turkey AKP occupy Taqseem
Iran … Nuclear Bomb on its way
Nigeria..Churches burning
Britain .. Soldiers killed in neighborhood

United States…Zimmerman…

 

Walid Phares: Obama Doesn’t Get Global Fight Against Jihadists

global-jihad-1-y8pyo0By Melanie Batley and Kathleen Walter:

President Barack Obama fails to understand that the fight against jihadists is a global war based on a shared international ideology, according to a leading terrorism expert.
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV, Dr. Walid Phares, a Congressional advisor and the co-secretary general of the Transatlantic Legislative Group on Counterterrorism, said the president’s counterterrorism speech on Thursday “ignored the fact that the jihadists are connected worldwide.”

“The president said, for example, that there are a bunch of thugs in every country and they call themselves al-Qaida, meaning that they are not connected, and therefore our counterterrorism effort should be country-by-country and not [an] interconnected, international, global effort against the jihadists,” said Phares, the author of several books on terrorism including, “The Confrontation: Winning the War Against Future Jihad.”

He said even though jihadists are diverse and vary by country, they are international, have a global view, and exchange information.

“The mistake in the analysis of the administration is that they don’t see the global dimension while we are in a global war with the jihadists,” he said.

Read more at Newsmax with video of very informative interview

 

Walid Phares Facebook comment:

Next Talking Point: “Global Paranoia…”

A new notion advanced by the apologist camp in the United States in criticizing the so-called “War on Terror” is to describe global efforts against the Jihadi networks as “Global paranoia.” A sister concept to “Islamophobia,” “Global Paranoia” is the doctrine designed to de-legitimize the “campaign against al Qaeda worldwide” as a global effort, and end the notion of a “Global Jihadist Movement.” It will characterize the shift in doctrine of the Obama Administration in its second term, a shift announced during the Presidential speech at the National Defense University. We have projected the dismantlement of the US War against the global Jihadist movement since 2009. This the next Talking Point in the market of ideas, will be “no to global paranoia.”

It’s the Ideology, My Friends

20130523_Major_General_Michael_Nagata_largeby CAPT. GARY HARRINGTON, US NAVY (RET.)

Major General Michael Nagata is the Deputy Director for Special Operations/Counterterrorism on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. While that position represents many years of distinguished accomplishment in the military for which he should be congratulated, consider these 10 rather undistinguished words, for which he should be chastised, that he offered to the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 16, 2013:

“The United States is not at war with an idea….”

I am very sorry to say that an otherwise splendid warrior who would declare this represents a highly disturbing sign that the Jihadi Salafist strategy has achieved a significant goal: blinding our highest officials to the threat Jihadis pose to our freedoms.

If I were Commander-in-Chief for a day, I would assign the General to KP for that statement.  I’d then order a homework assignment – that he give me a book report, first, on the stellar “Future Jihad – Terrorist Strategies Against America” by Dr. Walid Phares.  I’d also ask for reports on the many excellent seminars presented to CENTCOM, SOCOM; and on the internal analyses and publications made available to US Special Forces and considered as strategic consensus over the past decade. Then, I would require him to explain why the ideas in Chapter 9 of “Future Jihad”, and other similar books by experts who testified to the US Congress over several years, do not leap from their pages with clarity on the origins of Boston foot-dragging, or the scrubbed Benghazi Talking Points, or the misdirection of the video patsy, the tentative Department of Defense response to Islamist violence against Americans at an ill-protected Libyan Potemkin Village or the outrage and horror of the machete attack in London this past Wednesday. The ideas on which we should declare war, or at least strategize our confrontation to the ideology of al Qaeda and its allies and supporters, are the six Jihadi strategic ideas.  They are economic, ideological, political, intelligence, subversive, and diplomatic.

Read more: Family Security Matters

 

There’s a Lot of ‘There’ There

20121029_LIBYA_obama_hillary_Clinton

 

Here’s the thing:  America must not allow Benghazi or Boston or the next Jihadi obscenity to be about “getting” Hillary Clinton or Obama or any other American. Such self-defeating rot is a goal right out of the Islamists’ playbook.  Benghazi showcases, more than anything else, the inefficacy of our present national security effort.

 

by CAPT. GARY HARRINGTON, US NAVY (RET.)

President Obama, at a May 13, 2013 press conference, explained there’s no “there” there in defending his administration regarding the events surrounding four American deaths in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.  Without a “there” there, that would signal to Congress that their criticism is groundless. But the evidence shows…not so fast, President Obama. Not only was there a “there” there, I propose the “there” was born of an unholy Immaculate Conception.

“You’d better not go into the woods” has been the administration’s refrain in the Benghazi narrative. This theme, from a popular child’s song, is apt since, “If you do, you’re sure of a big surprise because that’s where Teddy Bears have their picnics.”  The Benghazi Jihadi terrorists, not stuffed animals, have long planned “beneath the trees where nobody sees.”  In fact, their plans have influenced our government immensely, having caused this administration to fall for the Jihadi strategy. This is best seen in our recent purge of Islamist words – amazingly – from our own government’s military training materials. This prevailing correctness about language fosters deception, and this lies at the core of the Benghazi story.   “They hide and seek as long as they please…”

Toxic ideological picnics began with medieval Wahhabi and Salafi ideas that aren’t well studied, known or discussed in polite society or in press conferences, which makes them easy to obfuscate.  So to avoid a “big surprise” on the ideological origins of Benghazi, high government officials conceived a not-so-Immaculate Conception:  the You Tube video cover story.  The sperm was Salafi jihad.  The egg was a transnational progressive idea gone bad on the eve of a national election: the “normalization” of Benghazi.  A politically inconvenient truth about a Jihadi attack was deliberately blurred to protect a setback to a State Department pet project.

A forest and tree cliché is helpful to better conceive the Immaculate Conception. Benghazi is but one tree in the mature, mutating Jihadi forest.  We noticed the Bomb-the-U.S.-Homeland tree at the Boston marathon finish line, as we did earlier the other U.S. Homeland trees of Ft. Hood and Times Square.  In the heart of the forest lie the remains of older trees, some U.S Homeland and some international: the 9/11 tree, the original World Trade Towers tree, the USS Cole, the Marine Barracks and so on. The ghosts of Danny Pearl, Theo Van Gogh, Boston’s little Martin Richard, Ambassador Stevens, Colonel Higgins, Navy Diver Stethem, and so many others, wander “there.”  Aisha’s missing nose is buried “there.”  “There” is a transnational Jihadi forest that makes it hard for some political leaders to see – or even want to see – the trees that comprise it.

Weeds flourish on untended ground and they distract from the clear picture of the forest. They include the variegated flora of parsed talking points (such as “sideshows”), jailed patsy blasphemers, denied State Department Forward Emergency Support Teams (FEST), fired and demoted officials (some innocent of any wrongdoing), FBI, ICE and State Foot Draggers, AP definitions reset, and other troublesome mutants. The lexicon of the forest does not take rocket science to fathom.  We must explore and study it precisely because “tired little teddy bears” in high office have refused to define Islamist strategies and their undergrowth of motivating medieval ideas for decades.  We need to do it for ourselves.

Once the forest clears, you begin to recognize the patterns of the trees in daily headlines, and “catch them unaware” on Oped pages.  Author Dr. Walid Phares has defined these patterns as six distinct Jihadi strategies: Economic, Ideological, Political, Intelligence, Subversive, and Diplomatic.

Read more: Family Security Matters 

Pack of ‘Lone Wolves’ in thwarted Canadian terror plot just grew by one

936967_10201010191639987_621509775_nShoebat Foundation:

Last month, Canadian authorities prevented Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jaser from committing an Islamic terror attack that involved derailing a VIA passenger train.There is no telling how high the death toll would have been had they been successful. Thankfully, they were not.

The left-wing media would have you believe that Islam is not what motivated these two ‘lone wolves’. That westerners don’t seem all that interested in finding out – largely because failed terror attacks rarely get people to look up from their smart phones – is part of the problem.

In addition to Esseghaier’s facebook page revealing an Al-Qaeda flowchart and a photo of Bin Laden, his favorites included the likes of Abu Mus’ab Zarkawi, the guy many believe personally beheaded Nicholas Berg in Iraq.

Now it’s being reported that a third ‘lone wolf’ may have been part of the Esseghaier / Jaser pack. Ahmed Abassi was arrested in New York and apparently had plans to perpetrate a separate attack, designed to kill 100,000 people.

Read more at Shoebat Foundation

 

Acting like a weapon of mass destruction, a Tunisian Jihadist is accused by US authorities of planning to poinson thousands of Americans. As usual, the debate about lone wolf or not, and who radicalized him and so on, surges. By now, precedents and global analysis shows that every Jihadist is indoctrinated by someone. There are no exceptions. Every Jihadist is either recruited or recruits itself to some group. That is not what worries me in my analysis, it is the type of attacks the latest Jihadists are selecting. Most of the targets are mass casulaties types and frequency of attemps is higher.

Since my book ‘Future Jihad’ of 2005, I have challenged the ‘Lone Wolf’ assertion raised by many in the mainstream academia, media and among ‘consultants’ to Government. There is no full Jihadi lone wolf when he makes phone calls to other Jihadists. I published dozens of pieces and was interviewed several times over the past few years trying to explain that in the making of a Jihadist, there must be other Jihadists. The Bush bureaucracy, not policy makers, dodged this reality and the Obama Administration and bureaucracy pushed back against it. But Ft Hood, Arkansas and Boston reconfirmed it, sadly and deeply. Walid Phares 

 

Videos: Experts interviewed on the Boston Marathon Terror Attack

images (51)

Marathon Attack Bombing – Investigators Cont. To Search For Motive:

 

Walid Phares: The Root Of Terror!! – How & When Suspects Became Radicalized 

 

Frank Gaffney: Terror On The Home front! – Threat Of I.E.D.’s More Common In The U.S:

 

Steve Emerson: Terrorist Bomber’s Inspiration Posted Lecture Of Radical Muslim Preacher

 

Erick Stakelbeck: Boston Bombing – Which Mosque Did Terrorist Attend?

 

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser: American Muslim Radicalization and Boston Bombers

 

Brigitte Gabriel discusses the Boston Marathon terrorists:

Walid Phares: We Are At War With Jihadist Ideology

images (16)

Walid Phares:

A film that triggered the “Jihad against Walid Phares”

According to analysts looking at the roots of the CAIR-led and Iranian supported bashing campaign against me in March and in October of 2011, this appearance in the movie “America at Risk” along with other major statements exposing the Muslim Brotherhood and their fronts in the US, was one of the triggers to the attacks. Another trigger was the movie “Iranium.” More to come.

 

At the tenth anniversary of 9/11, Professor Walid Phares comments in the movie “America at Risk: The War with no name”, produced by Newt and Callista Gingrich, were posted in one compilation. As we thank the producers of this powerful film, the excerpts are offered to educate the public at this important benchmark of American history. Professor Phares reminds us that the 9/11 Commission asked why America wasn’t prepared by its academia for the nature of the threat. He explains that the precursors to the Jihadists rose in the 1920′s under the Muslim Brotherhood and the Wahhabis and later on under the Khomeinists. Phares argues that the Jihadists use all means at their disposal: diplomacy, military, and petrodollars when they decide to do so. The US is dealing with strategies developed by the Jihadists worldwide and in the homeland. He explains that the most important counter strategy for the US to develop is to identify the ideology of the Jihadists, without which the conflict cannot be won.

http://www.americaatrisk.com

http://www.walidphares.com

U.S. Aid to Syria’s Revolution not to the Jihadists

20130301_john_kerry_large_2013by DR. WALID PHARES:

The new Secretary of State John Kerry has proposed $60 million in aid to the Syrian Opposition Council in order to provide basic services in areas they control as well as medical and food supplies for their military. This announcement was met with skepticism by some backers of the Syrian opposition affiliated with the secular forces and also by a number of military and Middle East experts. Farid Ghadri, leader of the Syria Reform Party and a secular supporter of the Syrian opposition, has been arguing that “since the bulk of the opposition, the one recognized by the United States, is dominated by the Islamists the funds will be used by the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists to ensure a political influence in the zones controlled by the rebels.” Over the past few months, other opposition leaders, including former MP Ma’moun Homsi who attended the opposition conferences in Turkey and Egypt and worked with the Muslim Brotherhood, told us “if Washington earmarks financial help strictly to the Brotherhood, they will get a Brotherhood dominated Syria after Assad.” Homsi, himself a conservative Sunni blasted the Brotherhood on December 12, 2012 for being “authoritarians.” Sherkoh Abbas, chairman of the Kurdish National Assembly of Syria said “it seems that the US Administration did not learn from past experiences with the Taliban in Afghanistan.” He argued that by granting millions of dollars to mostly Islamist leaders of the opposition Washington will be responsible for the rise of Taliban like groups in Syria. The Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists are fighting the Assad dictatorship to replace it with a Jihadi totalitarian regime.” He added: secular and moderate Syrians, Kurds and Assyrian Christians won’t see much from that aid, it will fall into the hands of Salafists who are the foot soldiers of al Qaeda.”

In my book The Coming Revolution: Struggle for Freedom in the Middle East that predicted the upheavals in 2010, I argued that whenever a dictatorship might fall, particularly in Syria, there will be a race between Islamists and secular reformists over the future of the country. It would be toxic for the free world to willingly arm and fund the Islamists, including the Salafists, for they will work on using this support to impose an Islamist regime instead of a liberal democracy. The decision by the Obama Administration to fund the Brotherhood-dominated opposition in Syria with $60 million dollars will further the cause of the Islamists and empower them while doing nothing to promote freedom in that region of the world with the secular democratic forces in civil societies.

Read more: Family Security Matters 

Dr Walid Phares is an advisor to the US Congress on Counter Terrorism, and the author of ten books including Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies against America and The Coming Revolution: Struggle for Freedom in the Middle East. Dr Phares appears on national, international and Arab media. He teaches at several universities and briefs US Government agencies on Terrorism and the Middle East.

Egyptian scholar: US pushing for Brotherhood victory

OBy David Reaboi:

Middle East analyst Walid Phares sends along the translation of an Arabic aricle in el Watan, in which Egyptian scholar Ahmad Abed Rabbo has some provocative comments:

An el Watan article reported that US ambassador to Egypt Ann Paterson is meeting all political parties in Egypt to convince them to accept the coming legislative elections rushed by the Muslim Brotherhood. Ahmad Abed Rabbo, an Egyptian scholar said the US wants the Brotherhood to win the coming elections. They want to consolidate the Ikhwan’s rule

ومن جانبه، اعتبر أستاذ العلوم السياسية الدكتور أحمد عبدربه، أن اللقاءات التي تجريها السفيرة الأمريكية نوعا من جمع المعلومات من ناحية ومن ناحية أخرى فهم كافة الأطراف السياسية. وأضاف أنه من صالح الولايات المتحدة إجراء الانتخابات البرلمانية وعدم المقاطعة لأنها تراهن على دعم نظام الإخوان لأخرة قطرة ونجاحه في العملية الديمقراطية.

An observer in Washington DC said “the Obama Administration is pressuring the seculars in Egypt to accept the early elections as devised by Morsi, so that the Brotherhood would win them. The Administration is now meddling in Egyptian politics on the side of the Islamists, using its political influence, its foriegn aid and the fact that there is no one in Washington opposing the Administration in its pro-Ikhwan stance, so far.”

The Obama administration’s view of the Middle East can certainly be considered pro-Muslim Brotherhood– and it hasn’t been the first time Egyptians themselves have noticed. Maybe the New York Times will, once again, blame Frank Gaffney for anti-Obama sentiment by Copts and moderate Muslims in Egypt.

Barry Rubin this week wrote the must-read piece on how their view of the region (and of potential ‘moderation’ of Islamist forces more generally) couldn’t be more disastrously wrong. He points out that, in order to arrive at the conclusion that Islamist groups will moderate once they’ve taken hold of the levers of power,  the administration– from the president to highly influential advisers like John Brennan– have had to ignore the most crucial facts about these groups:

Here is an important principle in studying the politics of this contemporary era: violence (including terrorism) is not the main measure of radicalism. Instead, the way to judge the extremism of a group is the organization’s ideology, goals, and seriousness in seeking total victory. Strategic and tactical flexibility should be taken into account, but do not mitigate the threat posed by the objective toward which any political force is striving.

Phares on Benghazi hearings: “Did Washington consider the Salafi militias allies or foes?”

By Walid Phares
Zawahiri and Benghazi

Commenting on the US Congressional hearings on Benghazi, particularly the hearing sessions with Secretary Hilary Clinton, Dr Walid Phares said the central question that would determine the answers to most important issues in this hearing was and will continue to be ‘how did the Administration perceive the Salafi militias operating in Benghazi, and in Libya in general.”
Phares, a congressional advisor and the author of ‘The Coming Revolution: Struggle for Freedom in the Middle East’ told ‘Mideast Newswire’ “If Washington considered the Salafist militias, and Ansar al Sharia was one of them, as partners in the fight against Gaddafi, then the readiness US missions had towards these militias would have been low. But if the Administration considered these militias, many of which had ties to al Qaeda, as a threat to the US, then the level of readiness was poor.” Phares, who advised Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney on the Middle East, said “tactical and local security considerations can be understood and analyzed only in the context of a larger threat situation.
There is a disconnect that has not been addressed still: The Administration worked with these Jihadi militias in one form or another. These forces were not on the map as a threat to US national security because of a political determination that they were on the right side of history, and they were perceived as in transition to integration. I think Congress and special investigation committees ought to focus on this central issue first. Once this stance is explained, then one can understand the rest of the questions.”

imagesCAGGDVGC