What’s holding the Arab world back? Why, by nearly every measure, are Muslim nations so far behind the West economically, culturally and scientifically? Bret Stephens, Global View columnist for the Wall Street Journal, explains.
What’s holding the Arab world back? Why, by nearly every measure, are Muslim nations so far behind the West economically, culturally and scientifically? Bret Stephens, Global View columnist for the Wall Street Journal, explains.
by Ryan Mauro:
U.S. support for the Muslim Brotherhood and the nuclear deal with Iran is propelling the Arab world into the arms of Russia. The Egyptian government, formerly a U.S. ally, will buy $2 billion in arms from Russia, signaling a strategic realignment in the Middle East that leaves Putin in control.
Egypt’s open embrace of Russia started immediately after the Obama Administration suspended some military aid to the Egyptian government in response to the overthrow of President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. While American aid continued unabated after the Islamists took over, it was cut after they were overthrown.
Support for America and President Obama in particular collapsed in Egypt in response. Only a single percent of Egyptians have confidence in the U.S. and three percent have confidence in Obama. The U.S. support for the Brotherhood has made it a casualty of the regional backlash against the Muslim Brotherhood.
Saudi Arabia is embarking on a similar course. Saudi officials now openly talk to reporters about how their country will be more independent in reaction to U.S. policy. Reports about the acquisition of Pakistani nuclear weapons are met with non-denials. The Saudis offered Russia a strategic alliance and major oil partnership if Putin abandons the Assad regime.
“We’ve seen several red lines put forward by the president [Obama], which went along and became pinkish as time grew, and eventually ended up completely white,” said Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former director of Saudi intelligence.
The Royal Family of Bahrain, a foe of Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood, feels the same way. Crown Prince al-Khalifa recently said, “America seems to suffer from schizophrenia when it deals with the Arab world.”
He compared the U.S. unfavorably to Russia; a shocking assessment considering Bahrain’s hostility to Putin.
“The Russians have proved that they are reliable friends,” he explained.
This trend didn’t start after the Arab Spring brought the Muslim Brotherhood to the forefront. It started shortly after President Obama took the oath of office. By June 2010, Egyptian and Jordanian officials were privately fretting about American diplomacy, specifically how the administration was reaching out to Syria.
“Only if you’re tough with America and adopt an anti-U.S. stance will the U.S. have a more flexible attitude and pay you,” an Egyptian official anonymously stated.
Read more at Front Page
Using unusually hostile language, al-Khalifa said “America seems to suffer from schizophrenia when it deals with the Arab world.”
BY RYAN MAURO:
Using unusually hostile language, al-Khalifa said American policy is “transient and reactive,” and “America seems to suffer from schizophrenia when it deals with the Arab world.” He specifically pointed to the nuclear deal with Iran and the U.S. support for the overthrow of Egyptian President Mubarak.
The Crown Prince detests Russian assistance to the Syrian regime, but said it proves that that Russia is more dependable.
“The Russians have proved that they are reliable friends,” he remarked.
The Bahraini Foreign Minister likewise expressed his view that the U.S. is not valuing Bahrain’s opinion.
“You do not need to reassure us. You need to listen to us, because we know Iran well,” he said.
Bahrain is governed by a pro-Western monarchy and is the base of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet. It is an important strategic ally and an enemy of both Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2011, Saudi forces helped the Sunni Bahraini leadership crush an uprising by its Shiite-majority population.
Egypt has already turned to Russia after the U.S. cut off some its military aid following the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Egyptians and Russians are on the cusp of signing a massive $2 billion arms deal that includes Mig-29 fighter jets, anti-tank missiles and air defense systems. Some reports suggest the number could be as high as $4 billion.
Read more at Clarion Project
As I noted in my previous post, I’m reporting from the 2013 World Summit on Counter Terrorism in Herliya, Israel. The first day’s session was entirely in Hebrew with translation via earphones (rendering my recorder irrelevant), so I’m going to rely on translations from the Israeli media to cover the highlights.
The keynote speaker was Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who said that Israel would stay out of the Syria crisis unless“red lines were transgressed,” meaning retaliatory attacks directed at Israel in the event of a U.S. attack. Included in those “red lines” would also be transferring chemical weapons to Hezbollah.
But he also warned that inaction by the U.S. would also have consequences. This is particularly interesting, as the conference falls six years after Israel launched an attack on Syria’s nuclear weapons development facility.
As the Times of Israel noted, most of Ya’alon’s speech was directed at challenging Western misconceptions of the region and expressing skepticism at the efforts to bring democracy to the Arab world. Of particular note was the aspirations of the Palestinians to form a state:
One of the most incredible things in a period when the notion of the nation-state is collapsing before our eyes is that there are those who are trying to advance, in one way or another, the founding of yet another nation-state — even as it remains unclear how the people of Jenin are connected to the people of Hebron, and uncertain that there is a common denominator between those in Judea and Samaria and those in Gaza.
Former Mossad chief Shabtai Shavit noted the incompatibility between Western norms and the intentions of jihadists in the fight against terrorism:
Western culture espouses the values of tolerance and acceptance of the other, but radical Islam is not willing to accept the other and according to its perception the “infidels” must die. Since the West places an emphasis on morality, it tries to fight terrorism while its hands are tied. The tension between the need for security and morality is also expressed by means of preventing and combating terrorism. With technological developments I predict that eventually the technology will evolve into an effective tool in fighting terrorism, but until that development will come, terrorism will have already been at work in the non-conventional arena.
A remarkable statement by former Israeli National Security Council director Uzi Arad not only questioned the effectiveness of a U.S. strike against Syria, but also its legality under international law (a point also made during today’s session by Syracuse University professor William Banks):
Syria is not a signatory to international conventions against the use of chemical weapons. You cannot say that Assad violated an international convention Syria is not signed onto.
I find it hard to believe that intervention will bring about a substantially better situation. The best thing now would be for Obama to carefully bring the crisis to an end, without creating negative ramifications in the region and the world, whether before or after an attack.
One personal observation from my interactions the past two days with Israeli officials: not a one has had a positive thing to say about President Obama.
I hope to post more thoughts later.
For more information see the facebook page: ICT: International Institute for Counter-Terrorism
Egypt’s military leader vowed Sunday that the army will not tolerate further political violence after nationwide clashes that left hundreds dead, as security forces detained Muslim Brotherhood members in raids aimed at disrupting planned rallies.
Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi, who led the July 3 coup that toppled President Mohammed Morsi, again said the army has no intention of seizing power in the Arab world’s most populous country. El-Sissi removed Morsi after four days of mass rallies by millions of Egyptians who demanded the president step down.
“We will not stand by silently watching the destruction of the country and the people or the torching the nation and terrorizing the citizens,” he said in a speech aired on state television.
The general said that the military didn’t seek power but instead “have the honor to protect the people’s will _ which is much dearer (than) ruling Egypt.”
El-Sissi also said Islamists must be included in the country’s politics moving forward. A military timetable calls for the nation’s constitution to be amended and for presidential and parliamentary elections to be held in 2014.
“We have given many chances … to end the crisis peacefully and call for the followers of the former regime to participate in rebuilding the democratic track and integrate in the political process and the future map instead of confrontations and destroying the Egyptian state,” he told a gathering of top military commanders and police chiefs.
El-Sissi’s remarks come ahead of an anticipated harsher stance by the military-backed government toward the Brotherhood. The Cabinet held an emergency meeting Sunday to discuss potentially banning the group, a long-outlawed organization that swept to power in the country’s first democratic elections a year ago.
A possible ban _ which authorities say would be implemented over the group’s use of violence _ would be a repeat of the decades-long struggle between the state and the Brotherhood. It also would drain the group’s financial resources and allow for mass arrests of its members. That likely would diminish the chances of a negotiated solution to the crisis and push it again underground.
The Brotherhood, however, has shown no signs of backing down.
Under the banner of an anti-coup alliance, the group said it will hold a demonstration in front of the Supreme Constitutional Court in southern Cairo later Sunday. Authorities already stationed armored vehicles and troops at the building, which could turn into another focal point of street violence.
More than 800 people have been killed nationwide since Wednesday’s dismantling of two encampments of Morsi supporters in Cairo _ an act that sparked fierce clashes. Some 70 police officers were killed in clashes with protesters or retaliatory attacks during the same period, according to the Interior Ministry.
In an attempt to cripple the Brotherhood’s protest plans, authorities carried out raids early Sunday morning, detaining at least 300 mid-level officials and field operatives in several cities, according to security officials and group statements.
In Egypt’s second-largest city Alexandria, the Brotherhood said on its official website that security forces stormed houses of 34 officials and former lawmakers, but only arrested seven people. Among those targeted was Medhat el-Haddad, the brother of top Morsi’s aide Essam el-Haddad.
In Assiut, 320 kilometers (200 miles) south of Cairo, 163 of the group’s officials and operatives were rounded up in different towns in the province, security officials said. They said those arrested face charges of instigating violence and orchestrating attacks on police stations and churches.
In the city of Suez, nine people were arrested after being caught on film attacking army vehicles, burning churches and assaulting Christian-owned stores, officials said.
In ancient southern city of Luxor, more than 20 Brotherhood senior officials were detained, officials said.
Read more at Breitbart
By Alon Ben-Meir:
The question raised by the ouster of Egypt’s President Morsi is whether Islam is compatible with democracy or any form of government that empowers the people and limits the power of leaders to hold merely representative offices with limited terms of public service.
Islam is the most recent of the Abrahamic religions to emerge on the world stage. Monotheism in general, and specifically as it developed in the Dark and Middle Ages, in principle reflects extremely authoritarian regimes.
Theologically, it posits a cosmic or heavenly hierarchy with absolute authority in God, angels in go-between positions, and a fallen humanity in need of salvation at the base of the pyramidal power structure.
It is no surprise then that in the centuries wherein the Catholic Church was at its zenith of influence in the West, political power was held by kings, popes, emperors, and powerful nepotistic and despotic elite with huge economic chasms between the people and their rulers.
Obviously, these structures were not compatible with democracy.
Christianity and Judaism, being monotheistic, are no less inheritors of this stratified and centralized power paradigm, but unlike Islam these religions were effectively secularized and toned down during the century of the European Enlightenment.
Thinkers like Descartes, Locke, Spinoza, Kant, Voltaire, Rousseau, Hume, and Hegel paved the way for Marx, Schopenhauer, Buber, and Sartre to challenge conventional approaches to religious ideologies and political formations.
Traditional monotheism, with its highly categorized view of man and God, may not in itself be wholly compatible with democracy, but modern Western monotheism gradually molded itself to new ways of thinking during the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, and was certainly forced to do so amid rapid scientific and technological advances.
The Islamic world enjoyed its own renaissance during the Islamic Golden Age (mid-8th to mid-13th century) with advances in the sciences, mathematics, and literature, yet the period declined and has never been restored to its former glory.
Where are Islam’s corresponding great modern philosophers and scientists who can pave the way for a similar transformation of both radical and even secular Islam in the Arab world?
In the Arab world today, the majority of its intellectuals are clerics, imams, and thinkers emerging from the core of Islamic values. Radical Islam simply does not routinely nurture free thinkers willing to brave the fires of what might otherwise become an Islamic Inquisition.
Is it even possible to transition from hierarchical religious authoritarianism to a modernized and even secularized form of Islamic democracy — one that accepts the separation of church and state?
While the possibility and harsh eventuality remains, this is a tall order since Islam, perhaps more than other monotheistic religions, invites itself into every aspect of social life. More specifically, Islam is inherently and by definition inconsistent with the separation of church and state.
It is instructive that the seeming separation between the two occurred under ruthless secular dictators such Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Hafez Assad’s family in Syria, and Qaddafi’s Libya. In all these instances, the authoritarianism seen in the rule of the Islamist Morsi was still there.
The Middle East is not the only place where religious ideology might compel people to vote against their own social, economic, and political interests. But history teaches that if there is any prospect in wedding Islam to democratic ideals, efforts to do so must concurrently work on religious, economic, and political levels.
Religiously, the concept of the separation of church and state has practically no hold in Islamic thinking. The idea is entirely foreign to most Islamic orthodoxy, and even if a political party were secular in name, they dare not forsake the basic tenets of Islam.
Read more at American Thinker
by IPT News:
Under Tunisia’s “moderate” Islamist government, you can attack and vandalize the American embassy and still walk free. But if a woman bares her breasts in a form of protest, a four-month prison sentence is considered too lax.
A Tunisian judge sentenced three European feminists Wednesday to four months in prison for a topless protest outside the courthouse. Their supporters expected to be fined or deported, London’s Independent reports. European Union officials blasted the sentence as excessive.
“To ensure … freedom of expression, the EU underlines the need to revise [Tunisian] laws inherited from the previous regimes, which can be used to restrict it,” spokesman Michael Mann said.
Two weeks earlier, a Tunisian court issued suspended sentences for 20 people accused of causing property damage at the U.S. Embassy and setting cars there on fire during violence last September.
The women – two from France and one German – are part of group called Femen. “Breast Feed Revolution,” the women wrote across their chests. They came to Tunisia late last month to protest the arrest of a colleague, Amina Tyler, a Tunisian who was arrested after posting a topless picture of herself on Facebook with the message “My body belongs to me and not the honor of others” written on her chest in Arabic.
That’s not the way Tunisian Islamists see it.
“In Islam we respect our mothers, our sisters, our wives. Islam respects women and their physical dignity. Public nudity is forbidden. We reject the actions of Femen,” prosecutor Slah Barkati told the court.
Attorneys for Islamist groups who wanted to be parties to the case wanted to define freedom for the women. “It is Islam that honours women and offers them freedom, not the act of undressing,” attorney Slah Khlifi said in a Middle East Online report. Another attorney said the topless protest constituted an attack on state security under Tunisian law and is punishable by up to a year in prison.
On the other hand, a veteran Tunisian feminist said Femen’s actions were counter-productive for her cause and asked that the group stay out of Tunisia in the future. Provocative actions like topless protests come off as signs of western debauchery. “We Tunisian feminists are trying to steer the discussion away from identity. Women’s rights are a social and political issue,” Maya Jribi said in an interview with Germany’sDer Spiegel.
Tunisia was the first country to see governmental change in the 2011 “Arab Spring.” But the rise of the Islamist Ennahda Party has not eased tension there, as radical Salafis gain stature and a secular opposition leader was gunned down in February. While news outlets continue to call Ennahda “moderate” – the Reuters report on the Femen protest did just that – the group’s leader envisions Islamists soon dominating the Arab world. Rachid Ghannouchi also predicted the Arab Spring would “threaten the extinction of Israel.”
by Raymond Stock
Foreign Policy Research Institute
“You know, when it comes to Egypt, I think, had it not been for the leadership we showed, you might have seen a different outcome there.” — President Barack Obama, “60 Minutes,” January 27, 2013
With President Mohamed Mursi’s proclamation of a “new republic” on December 26, after the passage of a Constitution that turns Egypt into an Islamist-ruled, pseudo-democratic state, the “January 25th Revolution” came to a predictably disastrous (if still unstable) terminus. As momentous for world history as the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran (should it hold), it represents the formal—if not the final—victory for the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in its 84-year struggle for power in the land of its birth. Indeed, 2012 will likely be remembered as the year that Islamists made the greatest gains in their quest for a new caliphate in the region. And without a drastic change of course by Washington, 2013 might surpass it by far in progress toward the same, seemingly inexorable end.
Egypt, the largest Arab state, the second largest recipient of U.S. military aid, and our second most important ally in the Middle East, is now in the hands of a hostile regime—an elected one at that—which we continue to treat as a friendly one. Even if the sudden outburst of uncontrolled violence along the Suez Canal since January 26—coupled with escalating political and economic tumult in Cairo and elsewhere—leads to a new military coup, it would likely be managed by the MB from behind the scenes. The irony and the implications are equally devastating. This new reality threatens not only traditional U.S. foreign policy goals of stability in the oil-rich Middle East and security for Israel, but also America’s declared support for democracy in the Arab world. Moreover, the fruits of Islamist “democracy,” should it survive, are catastrophic to the people of Egypt, the region and beyond.
How did all this happen? And what role did the U.S. play?
Excellent piece on the revolution in Egypt and the role Barack Obama has played in it. Read it all at Middle East Forum
Also see Ryan Mauro’s interview of Raymond Stock: Egypt Expert: Morsi Confidently Fooling West at RadicalIslam.org
Raymond Stock is a Shillman/Ginsburg Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and former Visiting Assistant Professor of Arabic and Middle East Studies at Drew University. He has a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Pennsylvania.Stock lived in Egypt for 20 years and was detained at Cairo Airport in December 2010 and deported back to the U.S. due to his 2009 Foreign Policy Magazine article criticizing then-Egyptian Culture Minister for his policies and anti-Semitism.
He is currently working on a biography of Egyptian Nobel laureate in literature, Naguib Mahfouz.
Raymond Stock: The Arab Spring & Egypt’s Nuclear Weapons Program:
By Jeff Ludwig:
The delivery of tanks and F-16s to Egypt, originally promised to the Mubarak regime, but now forwarded to Morsi and the Brotherhood, is the latest phase of U.S. engagement with a Middle East in turmoil. Though all kinds of nasty and brutal individuals are still in charge, and though the thrust of the Arab world remains anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian and anti-American, the official line of our prescient government is that all this is an extension of the “Arab Spring” and, despite setbacks, is tending towards greater democracy in the Arab world.
We are, under Obama, supposedly the good guys because we generally support “democracy.” What appears to be developments that are cancerous and threaten world peace, should be seen as just another Excedrin headache for our sincere, hardworking, compassionate, and all-knowing leaders. After all, our President has an intuitive sense of the Muslim mind. He can reconcile us with those who appear to be irreconcilable.
Stories are written as though the events in the Middle East, the turmoil and barbaric upheavals, were something new. When the dust settles, we shall presumably see a more benign and tractable community of interests in the Arab world. If anti-Americanism and anti-infidel expressions are reflected in Algeria, Libya, Syria, Mali, or Egypt, they are reflective of a new more harmonious relationship with us reflective of the influence of our balanced and giving President.
In fact, we see a deep-seated anti-American and anti-Western “rage” going back to Gamal Abdel Nasser with the closing of the Suez Canal and alignment with the Communist bloc. Following Nasser, the assassination of his successor, President Sadat of Egypt, was clearly a rejection of the American-brokered Camp David Accords that led to the Egyptian recognition of the State of Israel. There is a direct line from the deposing of Pres. Mubarak to that long-ago assassination. Therefore, Mubarak’s deposing was not pro-democratic, but anti-American at its heart.
Read more at Front Page
A Newton, Massachusetts parents group concerned about inaccurate and biased content in the Arab World Studies Notebook, a supplemental text used in high school history courses funded by Saudi Arabia, has succeeded in its effort to gain support of school officials to remove the flawed text from public school classrooms. The group also succeeded in having a website, www.flashpoints.info, removed from a list of resources that appears on a school library website.
One section had already been removed from the curriculum in November, 2011 due to its anti-Semitic content. The Notebook was previously removed from public schools in Alaska and Oklahoma.
The Notebook has been the subject of intense criticism by numerous educational and civic groups. The Association of American Educators described the book as “a vehicle for disseminating disinformation, including a multitude of false, distorted, or utterly absurd claims that are presented as historical facts …”
The American Jewish Committee says that the book contains “historical distortion as well as uncritical praise, whitewashing and practically proselytizing…”
The Notebook is published by the Middle East Policy Council (MEPC), and Arab World and Islamic Resources (AWAIR), whose director is also the editor of the book. Both organizations are funded by the government of Saudi Arabia. The MEPC came to public attention in 1998, when Charles Freeman, the then-head of the MPEC, was nominated to chair the National Intelligence Council. Concerns about payments to Freeman from Saudi Arabia and China played a major role in the decision to withdraw the nomination.
The Flashpoints website was removed on October 10th, 2012 from a list of resources provided by the Newton North High School library. The website, which purports to “provide the information needed to make informed judgments”, describes “Fundamental Judaism” as the reason “Israeli Defense Forces feel free to invade and re-occupy Palestinian territory at will, or that Zionist settlers feel justified in driving Palestinians from the land…they’ve also pulled off some high-profile terrorist attacks.” The school explained that at the time the website was added to the resource list, it had a different owner.
Kerry Hurwitz, president of Parents for Excellence in Newton Schools (PENS), said, “We’d like to thank Superintendent Fleishman, and the librarians and teachers who took these matters seriously. Newton prides itself on excellent schools, which should also use excellent material. Removing the Notebook and Flashpoints is a good first step in ensuring that students learn from accurate and non-biased sources.”
By Eric Trager:
There is one curious beneficiary of the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that cost four American lives: Egypt’s new Muslim Brotherhood government. The attack in Libya and subsequent controversy has almost entirely obscured the siege that same day of the American embassy in Cairo, and President Mohamed Morsi’s irresponsible handling of a very dangerous situation. It was only when President Obama phoned Morsi two days after the protests started and read him the riot act that Morsi denounced the attack and vowed to secure the embassy.
The Brotherhood’s first response to the attack—to praise it and schedule its own protests—was not surprising. The Obama administration’s pursuit of friendly engagement with the party has led it to believe that it can get away with just about anything. The Brotherhood’s emergence as Egypt’s new ruling party has substantially altered the U.S. policy debate over dealing with Islamists. Given Egypt’s cultural and strategic centrality within the Arab world, the question is no longer whether we should deal with Islamists, but how. The White House’s answers leave much to be desired.
Rather than put conditions on America’s generous package of economic and military aid, the administration has often appeared to believe that through deeper engagement, the United States can build richer, friendlier relations with the organization and convince it to soften its hostile, intolerant views.
For instance, in early September, the White House arranged for a U.S. business delegation to visit Egypt and meet with top Brotherhood businessmen. Unfortunately, just as the delegation made a point at a Cairo press conference to praise Egypt’s stable business climate, across town an angry mob was laying siege to the U.S. embassy, while the Brotherhood hardly played the role of stabilizer.
Nonetheless, the effort to engage the Brotherhood on its own terms instead of ours continues. A new RAND report, “The Muslim Brotherhood, Its Youth, and Implications for U.S. Engagement,” calls on Washington to engage Muslim Brotherhood youth figures, who may be the organization’s—and Egypt’s—future leaders.
“Engagement offers both sides an opportunity to dispel misunderstandings,” the report states. Engaging “up-and-coming youth within the organization who are not used to engaging the West” will make long-term U.S.-Brotherhood relations more sustainable.
The report recommends a variety of ways in which U.S. policymakers can use engagement to encourage the Brotherhood to act more cooperatively, such as coordinating American speakers for Brotherhood student events; inviting Brotherhood youth leaders to speak at American universities; and offering Brotherhood youth opportunities to study in the United States.
“Over time,” the RAND report asserts, “such people-to-people exchanges could have more impact on U.S.-Egyptian relations than official meetings between high-level politicians.” In other words, the more the Brotherhood gets to know us, the more they’ll learn to like us.
However, the argument for engaging Muslim Brotherhood youth ignores some important facts. For one, the Brotherhood is a deeply ideological outfit, with a historically anti-Western outlook. It seeks to establish an Islamic state in Egypt, has long opposed Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel, and holds deeply intolerant views towards religious minorities. Moreover, the very process through which one becomes a Muslim Brother is designed to exclude those who might be inclined towards ideological moderation.
After being recruited—typically at their mosques or universities—young candidates for the Brotherhood are subjected to a rigorous five-to-eight-year process of internal promotion. Throughout this period, rising Muslim Brothers are repeatedly tested on their completion of the Brotherhood’s educational curriculum, vetted for their commitment to the Brotherhood’s theocratic principles, and monitored for their willingness to take orders from the Brotherhood’s senior leadership. Those who don’t win their elders’ approval are banished from the organization. Indeed, as RAND’s report notes on multiple occasions, Brotherhood youth participation in the organization is “modeled on the principle of ‘listen and obey.’ ”
That is, Brotherhood youth are not, for the most part, open-minded people whose worldview can be reshaped through chummy exchanges with American policymakers. They are purpose-driven, deeply ideological individuals, willing to commit five to eight years of their young lives to serve as mere foot soldiers in service of the Muslim Brotherhood’s agenda.
Read more at The Weekly Standard
by John Nolte
Next week, Obama will denounce the film in a speech before the United Nations General Assembly:
National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor previews the president’s speech to the UN General Assembly next week:
“UNGA always provides an opportunity for the President to put the international situation in context, and to put forward a vision of US leadership. I would certainly expect the President to address the recent unrest in the Muslim world, and the broader context of the democratic transitions in the Arab World.”
“As he has in recent days, the President will make it clear that we reject the views in this video, while also underscoring that violence is never acceptable[.]
My God, between the media and the Obama White House, we are finally witnessing Orwell’s “1984” blossom to life.
As our economy slows, incomes shrink, unemployment creeps up, and poverty explodes — the media assures us we’re in “recovery” and that our frustrations should be taken out on “Emmanuel Goldstein,” also known as “America’s Successful.”
As Obama’s appalling policy of disengaging in the Middle East comes to fruition in the form of the region exploding and al-Qaeda’s targeted assassination of an American ambassador — the media spends two weeks savaging Mitt Romney and directing our sorrow, rage, and helplessness on “Emmanuel Goldstein,” also known as “A Stupid Filmmaker.”
For weeks this administration, aided and abetted by The State Media, has shamelessly lied to us about what happened in Libya. Moreover, in order to cover up and distract for unforgivable security lapses, this hapless filmmaker has been targeted for all of the blame — certainly more blame than the Administration’s failure to secure a consulate on 9/11 (of all days), but even more blame than the actual murderers.
And now, even though we know the truth about what really happened in Libya, it won’t stop. It will never stop. Because Obama knows his media will never make him pay a political price for lying and scapegoating.
At all costs, the media quietly whispers amongst themselves, Obama must be reelected.
Read more at Breitbart
DUBAI (Reuters) – Dubai’s chief of police has warned of an “international plot” to overthrow thegovernments of Gulf Arab countries, saying the region needs to be prepared to counter any threat from Islamist dissidents as well as Syria and Iran.
The comments by, one of the most outspoken security officials in the United Arab Emirates, follow the detention in the UAE since April of at least 20 dissidents, according to relatives of the detainees and activists.
“There’s an international plot against Gulf states in particular and Arab countries in general…This is preplanned to take over our fortunes,” Khalfan told reporters at a gathering late on Wednesday marking the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
“The bigger our sovereign wealth funds and the more money we put in the banks of Western countries, the bigger the plot to take over our countries…The brothers and their governments in Damascus and North Africa have to know that the Gulf is a red line, not only for Iran but also for the Brothers as well.”
Most of the detainees since April are Islamists, targeted by an official clampdown amid concern they may be emboldened by the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in other Arab countries such as Egypt.
UAE Interior Ministry officials have not been available to comment on the arrests. Last week, UAE officials announced that authorities were investigating a foreign-linked group planning “crimes against the security of the state”.
“I had no idea that there is this large number of Muslim Brotherhood in the Gulf states. We have to be alert and on guard because the wider these groups become, the higher probability there is for trouble,” Khalfan said on Wednesday.
“We are aware that there are groups plotting to overthrow Gulf governments in the long term.”
(Reporting by Mirna Sleiman; Writing by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Pravin Char)
During a televised interview earlier this week, Dr. Safwat Hegazy, a popular preacher in Egypt, known for his desire to unify the Arab world into a “United Arab States“—with Jerusalem for a capital—dropped the Western language and made clear what it is the Muslim Brotherhood ultimately seeks: a caliphate and world domination, which even the Supreme Guide of the Brotherhood maintains is the group’s mission.
In the interview, which Coptic Solidarity has translated with subtitles (click here), Hegazy simply declares: “If you read the literature of the Muslim Brotherhood, you will find in the literature of the Brotherhood, that which they can never abandon: The Islamic Caliphate and mastership of the world. Yes, we will be masters of the world, one of these days” (emphasis his).
By Jonathan S. Tobin
…All three of the prominent victims of this stunt were outraged at the thought of even being in the same room with people they presumed to be Jews, let alone appearing on an Israeli program. Two grew violent, with one burly male even assaulting the young female interviewer. The prank speaks volumes not only about the level of hatred for Jews and Israelis in Egyptian popular culture but about what is considered acceptable behavior in the Muslim world.
Viewing the invective about Jews and Israel being spewed on the show by three apparently prominent members of the Egyptian arts community is damning by itself. It says a lot that the show’s producers thought one of the most outrageous things they could do to Egyptians was to trick them into sitting down with Jews. Nor is it surprising that the response generated hate speech about the character of the Jewish people and the authenticity of the Holocaust….
…Nevertheless, the show tells us all we need to know about the depth of Egyptian and Muslim anti-Semitism. Those who believe peace with the Arab world can be bought by territory or by Israeli concessions continue to ignore the current of hatred that runs through the political and arts culture of the Muslim world, even in a country supposedly at peace with the Jewish state.
More at Commentary