Thursday, March 15, 2012

Washington is playing with Brotherhood fire

From Europe News:

Washington is playing with Brotherhood fire

Jerusalem Post 10 January 2012

Several days ago The New York Times revealed a historic shift in US foreign policy, saying "the Obama administration has begun to reverse decades of mistrust and hostility as it seeks to forge closer ties” with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, once viewed as irreconcilably opposed to US interests.

The move was attributed to the new political reality, the results of three rounds of elections in Egypt which project the Muslim Brotherhood as the winners of the majority in the new parliament. It was also made possible by the Brotherhood’s "moderate messages,” including the promise to build a "modern democracy that will respect individual freedoms, free markets and international commitments, including Egypt’s treaty with Israel.”

But what’s really new about this? For decades the US has had deep strategic, military and economic relations with Saudi Arabia, a theocratic regime which has a much more obscurantist Islamist policy than the one proposed by the Brotherhood in its official program (not the one presented to the Egyptian and foreign public in its platform before the elections).

The US also provided military support, albeit indirectly, to the mujihadeen fighting the Soviet invaders in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

What’s really new here is the obliviousness and naive, wishful thinking evinced by the American policy makers and intellectuals proposing this "rapprochement” with the Islamist movements in the Arab world, which hijacked the uprisings of the young Arab modernist forces in Tunisia and Egypt and will probably do the same in Libya and Syria.

The mujihadeen of Afghanistan fell under the influence of Abdullah Azzam, the ideologue of the jihadist global movement and the mentor of Osama bin Laden. Azzam’s concept of "al-Qa’ida al-Sulbah,” or "the solid base” of the jihadi vanguard was the source of the al-Qaida organization’s name.

Abdullah Azzam visited the United States in the late 1980s, before the end of the war in Afghanistan and the withdrawal of the Soviet forces, and preached jihad against America.

When the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in 1995-96, Saudi Arabia gave it financial support and diplomatic recognition, despite the Taliban’s permission for bin Laden to train anti-American and anti-Saudi young jihadists on Afghani soil.

Surprisingly, al-Qaida never attacked Saudi interests before the American occupation of Iraq in spring 2003.

It is also surprising that 15 of the 19 hijackers who attacked the US on September 11, 2001 were Saudis.

The 9/11 Commission identified eight more al-Qaida operatives who had been personally chosen by bin Laden to participate in the hijackings, but who for a variety of reasons dropped out of the plot. (...)

Posted January 10th, 2012 by pk

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