Week in Review
During the Arab Spring President Obama told Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak that he had to go. A man who was the anchor of peace in the Middle East. Since then the Middle East has grown less safe. And closer to Iran. Which hates Israel, the United States and Western Civilization.
The most organized political opposition in Egypt at the time of the Arab Spring was the Muslim Brotherhood. An organization that Mubarak had outlawed in Egypt. As they tended to agree more with Iran than they did with the Mubarak regime. When they stepped in to fill the political vacuum left by Mubarak President Obama and his fellow Democrats were quick to recognize the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Even gave them military aid. Despite their being a terrorist organization (see Saudi Arabia lists Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah as terror groups posted 3/7/2014 on UPI).
Saudi Arabia added the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah and two Syrian-based groups to its list of terrorist organizations Friday, officials said…
Abdel Latif al-Sheikh, head of the Saudi religious police, described the Brotherhood, Hezbollah, ISIS and al-Nusra Front as groups “ruled from outside to serve political purposes.”
“They are groups that fight moderate Muslims and are causing troubles around the world. This is what we consider against Islamic principles and has given a negative impression about Muslims in the West,” Sheikh said.
Here’s something you don’t hear often. Or ever. A Muslim nation speaking out against Islamist extremism. But Saudi Arabia prefers peace. Which is why they liked Hosni Mubarak. And were very unhappy seeing him go. Especially with the Muslim Brotherhood replacing the Mubarak regime. Mubarak kept the peace. The Saudis liked that. Even though they don’t much care for Israel. But they would take a peaceful world with Israel in it any day over a world without Israel if it meant having no peace.
Israel is not the source of all the unrest in the Middle East. There is a huge divide in Islam that has killed more than any war or occupation involving Israel has killed. Sunni versus Shia. Saudi Arabia is Sunni. Egypt, too. While Iran is Shia. Saudi Arabia prefers peace. Iran prefers revolution. Which is why Hosni Mubarak was good for Egypt. Saudi Arabia. Israel. The Middle East. And world peace. The Saudis understood this. Which is why they call the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. While the Obama administration does not. Which is why they gave military aid to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Tags: Arab Spring, Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, Iran, Israel, Middle East, Mubarak, Muslim, Muslim Brotherhood, Peace, President Obama, Saudi Arabia, Saudis, Shia, Sunni, terrorist organization
Week in Review
President Obama warned the Syrian regime that if they use chemical weapons that they will have crossed a red line. And if they did the president warned the Assad government that he would be indecisive and dither. Well, someone used chemical weapons. And the president true to form was indecisive and dithered. Until the Russians stepped in. And told the world that they would take care of everything so the Syrian regime does not use chemical weapons against the rebel forces again. Something that was guaranteed to please all parties concerned (see Mortar fired at Russian embassy in Damascus by Associated Press posted 9/22/213 on The Guardian).
A mortar round landed in the Russian embassy compound in Damascus on Sunday, Syria’s state news agency said. There was no immediate report of casualties.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based activist group, reported that the embassy had been the target of several previous failed rocket attacks by rebels. Russia is a leading backer of Bashar al-Assad, Syria’s president.
Guess the rebels don’t like the Russians as much as President Obama. And probably won’t be pressing a ‘reset button’ any time soon.
It is rather ironic. The country responsible for the brutal attacks by the Assad regime on the rebel forces—Russia—is the country President Obama has entrusted the safety of the rebels to. In fact, there is a good chance Assad got his chemical weapons from the Russians to begin with. At least those not gifted to him by Saddam Hussein on the eve of the Iraq War.
Way to go, President Obama. That’s showing Assad and his sponsor. Russia. Telling them that if they don’t stop their brutal attacks on the opposition then he’ll have no choice but to help Assad and Russia win the Syrian civil war. Your pull numbers may be falling here. But Vladimir Putin must love you. He doesn’t respect you but a former KGB officer couldn’t think of a better president to be in office during Russia’s ascendancy to past Soviet domination.
Who would have ever imagined that when Hillary Clinton pressed that reset button with the Russians it would take things back to like they were during the Cold War?
Tags: Assad, Assad regime, chemical weapons, President Obama, rebels, reset button, Russia, Russian embassy, Syria, Syrian regime
Week in Review
The Syrian civil war began in March of 2011. And is still ongoing. Some two and a half years later. And over 100,000 killed. While displacing close to 3 million refugees. It is a devastating conflict. But President Obama made no attempt to help the opposition topple the Assad government. Despite it being a close ally of Iran. No, President Obama did nothing to intervene just as he chose to sit out Iran’s Green Revolution. Another regime that can be pretty cruel to its people. Yet President Obama told Hosni Mubarak that he had to leave Egypt. And he used U.S. airpower to help topple Colonel Gaddafi from power in Libya. Both men were U.S. allies at the time when President Obama helped unseat them from power. Yet two countries that can’t be considered friends of the United States in any way (Iran and Syria) he does nothing. Odd.
The Syrian civil war has been going on for so long that al Qaeda joined in. Looking to fill that power vacuum should the Assad regime fall. As the civil war intensified and the opposition begged for foreign aid President Obama stood firm. Not wishing to get involved. Unless the Syrians crossed the red line. And used chemical weapons. Well, someone used chemical weapons. We’re not sure who did. It may well have been the opposition to get the U.S. to bomb a stubborn Assad government out of power. But people died from the use of chemical weapons. Perhaps as many as 1,500. Of which about 500 have been children. A tragedy too great to even contemplate. And one that made President Obama go to Congress to get permission to wage war on those responsible. With many on the left supporting his call for a military response. Which is highly unusual to say the least.
Now chemical weapons are horrible and frightening. But an additional 1,500 dead after 100,000 already lost their lives? Those chemical deaths are only about 1.5% of the total dead. When Saddam Hussein killed 3,200-5,000 Kurds and Iranians in a Chemical attack on the town of Halabja there wasn’t quite the same response from the left. In fact, when Saddam Hussein failed to document the destruction of his chemical stock piles per the treaty that ended the Gulf War they still showed little concern. Though they did vote to give George W. Bush permission to wage war against Iraq as the polls showed they were on the wrong side of the issue when they at first opposed the measure. Even calling for a second vote to get their vote on the record. But when no weapons of mass destruction were found they were both embarrassed and elated. Saying that Bush lied to get the country into war. Due to flawed intelligence reports. And a strong desire to go to war. To finish what his dad started in the Gulf War. They have attacked Bush mercilessly ever since. But now the shoe is on the other foot. And here they are wanting to go to war because of weapons of mass destruction. Many of which could be from Iraq. Delivered on trucks seen leaving Iraqi weapons dumps on the eve of war. Or flown to Syria (see Syria’s Chemical Weapons Came From Saddam’s Iraq posted 7/19/2013 on IBD).
But none of that matters now. What does is that someone in Syria crossed the red line. And because innocent men, women and children died from poison gas we have to do something. Even though we haven’t done a damn thing to help people suffering under worse tyrants for about half a century in North Korea (see Up to 20,000 North Korean prison camp inmates have ‘disappeared’ says human rights group by Julian Ryall posted 9/5/2013 on The Telegraph).
There are fears that up to 20,000 may have been allowed to die of disease or starvation in the run-up to the closure of the camp at the end of last year…
The report, North Korea’s Hidden Gulag: Interpreting Reports of Changes in the Prison Camps, reveals that two camps have been shut down in the last year but that 130,000 individuals are still being held in penal labour colonies across the country.
“Through this vast system of unlawful imprisonment, the North Korean regime isolates, banishes, punishes and executes those suspected of being disloyal to the regime,” the report states.
“They are deemed ‘wrong-thinkers’, ‘wrong-doers’, or those who have acquired ‘wrong-knowledge’ or have engaged in ‘wrong-associations’…”
Reports suggest that a severe food shortage meant that little was passed on to inmates and that numbers dwindled rapidly from 30,000 to 3,000…
“North Korea’s 2009 currency devaluation (whereby camp authorities were reportedly unable to purchase food in markets to supplement the crops grown in the camps), combined with bad harvests, resulted in the death of large numbers of prisoners after 2010,” the report states…
Inmates – who can be imprisoned for life, along with three generations of their families, for anything deemed to be critical of the regime – are forced to survive by eating frogs, rats and picking corn kernels out of animal waste.
Activists say that as many as 40 percent of inmates die of malnutrition, while others succumb to disease, sexual violence, torture, abuse by the guards or are worked to death. Men, women and children are required to work for up to 16 hours a day in dangerous conditions, often in mines or logging camps.
Things are bad in Syria. But North Korea has just about the poorest record on humans rights in the world. And this has been going on for decades. You almost have to go back to Nazi Germany to see oppression on this scale. But do we attack North Korea? More women and children have suffered and died in North Korea than they have in Syria. So why Syria and not North Korea?
North Korea does have nuclear weapons. And a border with China. Are these the things that eliminate principles? Killing women and children is wrong in Syria but it’s okay in North Korea? Is this all it takes to devalue the lives of women and children? If so God help the women and children of the Middle East when Iran gets their nuclear weapons.
A lot of liberals hate the military. And jocks. As these people bullied a lot of liberals back in high school. Which is why a lot of them go into government. To have power over other people that they never had before. But they’re still that kid in high school. They’ll push around Egypt and Libya when it seems everyone in the area is against them. Nations they feel they can bully without any repercussions. But an Iran or a North Korea? That’s like walking up to and punching the big bully in high school. Something they were too frightened to do in High School. And are still too frightened to do now.
Except in Syria. Which is now more of a religious conflict along the great Sunni-Shia divide of Islam. With the extreme elements of both sides fighting it out in Syria. Perhaps this is why the president and the left are willing to intervene now. Because whoever wins now in Syria will likely be anti-American. Just like Libya turned out with four dead Americans in Benghazi. And just like Egypt fell to the Muslim Brotherhood after President Obama told Hosni Mubarak he had to go. Perhaps they’ll feel safer because they helped our enemies a little. And because of that our enemies will now like us. And they will stop giving us wedgies and noogies. Figuratively, of course.
Tags: Al Qaeda, Assad, Bush, chemical weapons, Egypt, George W. Bush, Gulf War, Hosni Mubarak, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, President Obama, red line, Saddam Hussein, Syria, Syrian civil war, weapons of mass destruction
Week in Review
Some may think the Middle East is a homogenous region. Where all Muslim people are the same and think alike. But it’s not. And they’re not. There are huge divides between people in the Middle East. There isn’t just tension between the United States and this region. There’s tension between the different Muslim people. Something President Obama apparently didn’t know with his ‘let’s make nice to Muslims so our former enemies don’t hate us’ foreign policy. The geopolitical power struggles that exist everywhere else in the world exist, too, in the Middle East. And you just can’t treat everyone the same (see Obama Caught Between Polarized Allies in Egypt Crisis by Terry Atlas posted 4-19-2013 on Bloomberg).
U.S. regional allies such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey are backing opposite sides in the violent power struggle in Egypt, complicating U.S. diplomacy as the most populous Arab nation is torn by conflict.
In pressing Egypt’s interim government — and the military leaders who hold the real power — for political reconciliation with Islamist protesters, President Barack Obama is finding that U.S. influence is being challenged by financial and political support from Middle East countries pursuing their own stakes in Egypt’s future…
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have pledged billions of dollars in aid to the new Egyptian government. Qatar was a financial backer of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi’s administration, and Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced last week’s government crackdown on pro-Mursi protesters as a “massacre.”
“What Qatar and Turkey say is almost a 180-degree opposite of what the Emirates and the Saudis are saying publicly,” Katulis said.
There was a balance of power in the Middle East. And because there was a balance of power there was peace in the Middle East. And there was one man instrumental in keeping that peace. Hosni Mubarak. American friend and ally. And friend of our other friends and allies in the region. Those who want to maintain the balance of power. And the peace. And our friends were not happy when President Obama told Hosni Mubarak he had to go. Especially Saudi Arabia. Who is trying to check the spread of radical Islamism spreading in the region. Something Mubarak did. Because he and his allies and friends didn’t want radical Islamism spreading through the region. And neither does the United States.
Yet President Obama threw the one man that was instrumental in suppressing Islamist revolution in the region, by suppressing the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, under the bus. And did nothing as the Muslim Brotherhood rose to power. Even recognizing the anti-American Muslim Brotherhood as the legitimate ruler of Egypt. Despite warnings from every quarter. As the Muslim Brotherhood inspired/spawned Hamas, Hezbollah and al Qaeda. All anti-Western terrorist organizations. All anti-Israeli terrorist organizations. And all anti-American terrorist organizations. These are the people that President Obama said the U.S. can work with. Despite their credo being: “God is our objective, the Koran is our Constitution, the Prophet is our leader, struggle [jihad] is our way, and death for the sake of God is the highest of our aspirations.” These are the people that President Obama wanted to make nice to so they would stop hating us. Because he was naive and inexperienced. And tended to believe a little too much of the myth-making the American media was spreading about him.
The balance of power and the peace it brought is now gone. And the U.S. has allies falling on both sides of the Egyptian power struggle. What a mess. And it’s not isolated to Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood is spreading its tentacles throughout the region. Making the Middle East a tinderbox. Where it’s probably going to get worse before it gets better. Sadly.
Tags: balance of power, Egypt, Egyptian power struggle, Emirates, Hosni Mubarak, Islamist, Middle East, Mubarak, Mursi, Muslim, Muslim Brotherhood, Peace, President Obama, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, terrorist organization, Turkey
Week in Review
Before the Arab Spring there was the Green Revolution in Iran in 2009. Where thousands used social media to gather in protests over what they claimed were voting irregularities that kept President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in power. President Obama did not support the Green Revolution. Despite Iran being a sponsor of terrorism, an enemy of the United States and the greatest threat to regional stability. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suppressed the uprisings. And jailed some of the opposition. Where some have made claims of torture and rape. But as closed a society Iran is these claims have been unsubstantiated. Though we have the word of the ruling regime that crushed the rebellion that there was no torture or rape.
When the Arab Spring kicked off in Tunisia in 2010 President Obama announced a change in policy. The U.S. would support change in the Arab world instead of stability. When the Arab Spring spread to Egypt in 2011 President Obama told Hosni Mubarak that he had to step down from power. Despite being a stalwart U.S. ally. An enemy to al Qaeda. And being the anchor of stability in the Middle East and North Africa. Now the Muslim Brotherhood is in power there. Who has close ties with Iran.
When the Arab Spring spread to Libya President Obama supported the opposition based in Benghazi. Despite Colonel Muammar Gaddafi renouncing terrorism. And being an ally of America in their War on Terror. Like Mubarak he oppressed radical Islamists including al Qaeda. Which explains why al Qaeda was part of the opposition trying to overthrow Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. They hated him. And his oppression of anti-western radical Islamists. President Obama supported the opposition. Gave them weapons. And helped enforce a no-fly zone. In 2012 Islamists attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Killing 4 Americans. Including the Libyan ambassador. Chris Stevens. Perhaps killed with weapons we brought into Libya.
When the Arab Spring spread to Syria President Obama did not support the opposition. Despite Syria being a sponsor of terrorism. And a close ally of Iran. As Syria broke down into civil war al Qaeda joined the opposition. Making any U.S. support now even more complicated. However Syria turns out it will be a foreign policy failure. In fact the foreign policy of President Obama has been to abandon U.S. allies that bring stability to the region. While not getting involved in uprisings in states hostile to the U.S. Bringing great instability to the Middle East and Northern Africa. And beyond (see Police: 7 foreigners kidnapped in north Nigeria by SHEHU SAULAWA and JON GAMBRELL, Associated Press, posted 2/17/2013 on Yahoo! News).
Gunmen attacked a camp for a construction company in rural northern Nigeria, killing a guard and kidnapping seven foreign workers from Britain, Greece, Italy Lebanon and the Philippines, authorities said Sunday, in the biggest kidnapping yet in a region under attack by Islamic extremists…
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the abductions, though Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north has been under attack by the radical Islamic sect known as Boko Haram in the last year and a half. The country’s weak central government has been unable to stop the group’s bloody guerrilla campaign of shootings and bombings. The sect is blamed for killing at least 792 people in 2012 alone, according to an AP count.
Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is sacrilege” in the Hausa language of Nigeria’s north, has demanded the release of all its captive members and called for strict Shariah law to be implemented across the entire country. The sect has killed both Christians and Muslims in their attacks, as well as soldiers and security forces…
Foreigners, long abducted by militant groups and criminal gangs for ransom in Nigeria’s oil-rich southern delta, have become increasingly targeted in Nigeria’s north as the violence has grown. However, abductions of foreigners in the north have seen hostages regularly killed…
Foreign embassies in Nigeria have issued travel warnings regarding northern Nigeria for months. Worries about abductions have increased in recent weeks with the French military intervention in Mali, as its troops and Malian soldiers try to root out Islamic fighters who took over that nation’s north in the months following a military coup. Last week, the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, put out a warning following the killings of polio workers in the northern city of Kano and the killing of the North Korean doctors.
President Obama campaigned in 2012 that al Qaeda was on the ropes. While blaming the death of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans on a spontaneous uprising because of a YouTube video. Which if it was it means the average Libyan on the street in Benghazi walks around carrying heavy weapons. Which is highly unlikely. Then again, the opposition the U.S. supported in Benghazi included al Qaeda. So maybe they did walk around the streets of Benghazi with heavy weapons. Just waiting for dates with symbolic meaning (9/11) to attack Americans.
President Obama got what he wanted. Change instead of stability. For there is little stability in the Middle East or North Africa. And now in West Africa. Where Islamists and al Qaeda affiliates are reaching into Algeria. Mali. And Nigeria. Radical Islamists are spreading their reach throughout the Middle East and Africa and in other parts of the world. Fueled by the decline of U.S. influence. And a rise in Iranian influence. The winner in the Arab Spring? It would appear that it is the radical Islamists that are benefitting most from the Arab Spring. While the people in these countries go from a somewhat western culture of liberty (especially for women) towards oppressive theocracies. Just as the Iranian people did during the Iranian Revolution in 1979. No doubt the Iranian women who protested the Shah of Iran rue the day they ever joined that protest movement. For they have none of the liberties they enjoyed under the Shah.
Guess this is what happens when you abandon your friends and help your enemies. Your friends suffer while your enemies grow stronger. And the world grows a more dangerous place.
Tags: Al Qaeda, Algeria, anti-western, Arab Spring, Benghazi, Boko Haram, change, Chris Stevens, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, Egypt, enemy of the United States, Green Revolution, Hosni Mubarak, instability, Iran, Islamic extremists, Islamists, Libya, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mali, Middle East, Muammar Gaddafi, Mubarak, Muslim, Muslim Brotherhood, Nigeria, North Africa, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President Obama, radical Islamists, regional stability, Shariah law, sponsor of terrorism, stability, Syria, U.S. ally, war on terrorism
Week in Review
Hosni Mubarak kept the Muslim Brotherhood out of power when he ruled Egypt. Suppressing Iranian influence in Egypt. He even jailed Mohamed Morsi. A leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood. When the Arab Spring came along President Obama stated that long-time US ally Mubarak had to go. Even though the only organized opposition was the brotherhood. With their Iranian ties. And their ties to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. That terrorist group and branch of the Muslim Brotherhood that likes to fire missiles into Israel. Threatening regional stability.
So abandoning Mubarak was risky business. For the likely power to fill the resulting power void in Egypt would not be friendly to Israel, the US or regional stability. But the naysayers, and President Obama, brushed those concerns aside. For this wasn’t their fathers’ Muslim Brotherhood. This was a peace-loving brotherhood. Who wanted only democracy. Just like those Iranians who seized power in Iran after the 1979 Revolution. And installed a radical Islamic theocracy. But that wasn’t going to happen in Egypt. No, the Arab Spring was making the Middle East and North Africa safe for democracy. At least according to President Obama. Of course, those on the ground in Egypt would beg to differ (see Egypt’s President Morsi faces judicial revolt over decree by Tom Perry, Reuters, posted 11/24/2012 on The Vancouver Sun).
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi faced a rebellion from judges who accused him on Saturday of expanding his powers at their expense, deepening a crisis that has triggered violence in the street and exposed the country’s deep divisions.
The Judges’ Club, a body representing judges across Egypt, called for a strike during a meeting interrupted with chants demanding the “downfall of the regime” – the rallying cry in the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak last year.
Morsi’s political opponents and supporters, representing the divide between newly empowered Islamists and their critics, called for rival demonstrations on Tuesday over a decree that has triggered concern in the West.
Issued late on Thursday, it marks an effort by Morsi to consolidate his influence after he successfully sidelined Mubarak-era generals in August. The decree defends from judicial review decisions taken by Morsi until a new parliament is elected in a vote expected early next year.
It also shields the Islamist-dominated assembly writing Egypt’s new constitution from a raft of legal challenges that have threatened the body with dissolution, and offers the same protection to the Islamist-controlled upper house of parliament.
Guess it’s their fathers’ Muslim Brotherhood after all. Boy, what a mistake it was throwing Hosni Mubarak under the bus. We should have worked with other Arab states friendly with Egypt who oppose the Iranian threat in the region to find a better solution than giving Egypt to Iran. For people may have complained about the restrictions of their freedoms under Mubarak but they haven’t seen anything yet. Just ask the Iranians who lived through the 1979 Revolution now living under a radical Islamic theocracy.
Tags: 1979 Revolution, Arab Spring, democracy, Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, Iran, Islamic theocracy, Islamist, Israel, Mohamed Morsi, Morsi, Mubarak, Muslim Brotherhood, radical Islamic theocracy, theocracy
Week in Review
During the Democrat National Convention two of the main themes were that GM is alive. And Osama bin Laden is dead. Over and over they hammered home how President Obama killed Osama bin Laden. No doubt angering the Islamist world with excessive spiking of the Osama bin Laden football. The only thing the president didn’t do was some taunting end zone dance. And an ‘In your face, al Qaeda” from the president to the Islamist extremist world. The president wanted to sound tough to dispel rumors that he’s too soft on national security. So they made it clear to the people watching the Democrat National Convention, and to the world, that President Obama killed Osama bin Laden.
Shortly after this terrorists killed the American ambassador in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11. Was there a connection? Well, the Islamist extremists hated America to begin with. And rubbing the killing of Osama bin laden in their faces probably didn’t help soften their seething hatred of Americans. It may have played a part. But being that it was on 9/11 and they used heavy weapons suggests that the attack was in the planning for awhile. However the protests at embassies throughout the world following the Benghazi attack may have been inflamed by the spiking of the Osama bin Laden football. Or the publicity of a YouTube video to blame the violence in Benghazi on that people in the Islamic world did not even see until the Obama administration brought it to their attention.
Of course, this Islamist reaction completely baffles the Obama administration. For they have gone out of their way to be nice to these people that hate us. When there were protests against our staunch ally in Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, President Obama was quick to call for Mubarak to step down from power. At the beginning of the Arab Spring. Yes, he was a dictator. Like most are in that region. But he was a dictator that promoted regional stability. That suppressed Islamist extremism. Kept Iran in its place. Prevented the flow of arms to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Made the Suez Canal safe for all shipping. Kept the anti-Western Muslim Brotherhood out of power. And made it safe for Western tourists to travel to Egypt. But President Obama said Mubarak had to go. He did not help him. Did not try to broker a peace deal leaving him in power. Or one with Mubarak in exile to live out his life. So Mubarak stepped down. The Muslim Brotherhood stepped up. They threw open their border with the Gaza strip. And talked about abandoning their peace treaty with Israel. Causing great instability in the region.
When Libya erupted in civil war the Obama administration supported the rebels. Even though no one knew who the rebels were. Other than including members of al Qaeda. Libya was no longer an active enemy of the United States. And not even a major oil supplier to the United States. They had even begun to clamp down on Islamist extremists in their country following the US invasion of Iraq. Yet we supported the rebels with US air power. Because if we didn’t the war could spill over their borders. Leading to Libyans fleeing their country and causing a humanitarian crisis.
The Assad regime in Syria was not a friend of the US. Saddam Hussein may have hidden his chemical weapons in Syria when the US invaded Iraq. They are a supporter of terrorism. A client of Iran. They support Hezbollah in Lebanon. So they are no friend to the US or regional peace. Yet when they erupted in civil war the Obama administration did not help these rebels. And the things they said would happen in Libya if they didn’t get involved there are happening in Syria. And now because the US (as well as the international community) didn’t help the rebels someone else is (see Syria despatch: rebel fighters fear the growing influence of their ‘Bin Laden’ faction by Ruth Sherlock posted 10/13/2012 on The Telegraph).
Standing on a patch of muddy scrubland just inside Syria’s broken border fence with Turkey, the rebel commander watched glumly as the group of jihadists crossed into his country.
Scruffy, with long beards, some wearing khaki jackets and each clutching a black travel bag, the six men walked silently through the crowd of refugees who had assembled and were waiting to leave Syria. A driver in a pick-up truck quickly greeted the men and drove them away into the countryside.
“Libyans”, muttered the rebel Free Syria Army leader under his breath, shooting the men a dirty look. “We don’t want these extremist people here. Look at them; we didn’t have this style in Syria – who is this? Bin Laden?”
Even before President Bashar al-Assad has been defeated, a war within the civil war is brewing in Syria. It is a battle of ideas, a struggle for the overall direction of the insurgency that is pitting moderate-Muslims against Salafists, jihadists and other Islamist groups.
Syria’s most powerful Islamist brigades have united under a new “liberation front” to wage jihad against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and turn the country into an Islamic state.
President Obama’s foreign policy has not been much of a success. In fact, he has made the Middle East, North Africa, the United States and the world a less safe place. If he had purposely tried to help the Islamist extremist he probably could not have done a better job. The Arab Spring was less about replacing dictatorships with democracy than replacing one kind of dictatorships with another. A dictatorship of Islamist extremists. Salafists, jihadists and other Islamist groups.
None of this is spontaneous. And none of this had to do with a YouTube video. Not even the spiking of the Osama bin Laden football. But the spiking of the Osama bin Laden football is no doubt working as a recruiting tool to bring more jihadists into these extremist groups.
Tags: 9/11, Al Qaeda, Arab Spring, Assad, Bashar al-Assad, Benghazi, bin Laden, Civil War, Egypt, Iran, Islamist, Islamist extremism, Islamist extremists, Islamist world, jihadists, Libya, Mubarak, Muslim Brotherhood, Obama administration, Osama bin Laden, President Obama, refugees, regional stability, Salafists, spiking of the Osama bin Laden football, Syria, terrorism
Week in Review
At the recent Democrat National Convention the speakers said most emphatically that there is a war on women. That Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan hate women. Want to make women pay for their own birth control. And won’t let women have any more abortions. As well as deny them health care, an education, take away their right to vote and a host of other vile, nasty things. Sad, really. Can you imagine anyone oppressing women as much as Republican candidates for office? The sad truth is yes. For throughout the world there are women truly suffering discrimination (see Young Iraqis face religious fashion crackdown by LARA JAKES, Associated Press, posted 9/3/2012 on Yahoo! News).
A new culture rift is emerging in Iraq, as young women replace shapeless cover-ups with ankle-baring skirts and tight blouses, while men strut around in revealing slacks and spiky haircuts. The relatively skimpy styles have prompted Islamic clerics in at least two Iraqi cities to mobilize local security guards as a “fashion police” in the name of protecting religious values…
This is a conflict playing out across the Arab world, where conservative Islamic societies grapple with the effects of Western influence, especially the most obvious — the way their young choose to dress.
The violations of old Iraqi norms have grown especially egregious, religious officials say, since the Aug. 20 end of Ramadan, Islam’s holy month. In the last two weeks, posters and banners have been hanging along the streets of Kazimiyah, sternly reminding women to wear an abaya — a long, loose black cloak that covers the body from shoulders to feet.
A similar warning came from Diwaniyah, a Shiite city about 130 kilometers (80 miles) south of the capital, where some posters have painted a red X over pictures of women wearing pants. Other banners praise women who keep their hair fully covered beneath a headscarf.
Religious officials speculate young Iraqis got carried away in celebrating the end of Ramadan and now need to be reined in…
“Legs can be seen, there are low-cut shirts,” Jawad lamented. “And all, very, very tight. I think these Iraqis who are wearing these things have come back from Syria, Dubai and Egypt. They probably spent too much time in nightclubs. The families in Kazimiyah are conservative. These young people — nobody can control them. They should be given freedoms, but they should know their limits.”
Several young adults strolling the Kazimiyah gold market on Sunday accused the religious class of trying to pull Iraq back to the dark ages, a sentiment that human rights activist Hana Adwar echoed.
The women who put forth this Republican war on women are not fans of Christianity. What with their moralizing. And opposition to abortion. Especially the Catholics. Oh, they hate the Catholics. Which is why they put mandatory birth control (including the morning after abortion pill) into Obamacare. Forcing Catholics to go against their conscience to comply with the new health care law. Yet Catholics don’t have a problem with women wearing pants. Or showing a little ankle. Which is a lot more than can be said for other religions.
Israel is a progressive democracy in the Middle East. It is actually a tourist destination of the LGBT community. Yet it is the other religion in the area that gets more tolerance from the Left in America. Not the uber tolerant Israel. Because of those moralizing Judeo-Christian values. The bedrock of the American republic. As all the Founding Fathers believed deeply in religion. Even that possible atheist. Thomas Jefferson. But the Left hates Judeo-Christian values. Because who’s to say what’s right and wrong? And who is to deny a woman’s right to have casual sex? So they always attack Christianity in America. Saying Christians want to drag women back to the Dark Ages. Yet not a peep about that other religion. One that you could make a better argument about their wanting to drag women back to the Dark Ages. Or simply keeping them in the Dark Ages. Why? Because in that other religion there is an extreme element that shares the Left’s hatred of Christianity.
You could see this on full display at the Democrat National Convention. They had revised the Democrat platform to remove God. And to remove things about Israel. Like recognizing that Jerusalem is and always will be the capital. Which drew a lot of media attention. Sending Democrats scrambling to insist they are not godless people. So in a televised process they proposed an amendment to put God and Jerusalem back into the platform. A voice vote sounded 50-50 or slightly against putting these back in. After three attempts to get two-thirds of the delegates to vote ‘yea’ and failing the chair read from the teleprompter and said, “In the opinion of the chair, two-thirds have voted in the affirmative.” And the convention hall booed. Because the majority appeared to have voted to keep god and Jerusalem out of the platform.
But not a peep about that other religion. Just attacks and boos for God and Israel. And our Judeo-Christian values.
Tags: abortions, birth control, Catholics, Christianity, Christians, Dark Ages, Democrat National Convention, Democrat platform, God, Iraq, Israel, Jerusalem, Judeo-Christian, Judeo-Christian values, moralizing, war on women, young women
Week in Review
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is stirring up trouble in the Middle East. Again. He’s got his eyes on some strategically located islands that just might come in handy in some future plans (see Gulf states schedule special meeting over Iran-UAE island dispute by Alexandra Sandels and Ramin Mostaghim posted 4/13/2012 on the Los Angeles Times).
Foreign ministers of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states are scheduled to meet in the Saudi capital of Riyadh following a visit by Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to a disputed island earlier this week in a move that has sparked a diplomatic spat between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Iran…
Abu Musa is one of three islands that both Iran and the UAE claim. Iran took control of the islands of Abu Musa, Lesser Tunb and Greater Tunb — all located near important shipping lanes in the Strait of Hormuz — back in 1971, as the Gulf emirates gained full independence from Britain and British forces were withdrawn.
GCC chief Abdullatif al-Zayani has denounced Ahmadinejad’s visit to Abu Musa. In a statement, he called it a “clear violation of UAE sovereignty” and said it was “an irresponsible provocation and is not in line with the GCC policy of maintaining good neighborly relations with Iran,” according to media reports.
If you look at a map you can understand why Iran is causing all of this trouble. Lesser Tunb and Greater Tunb are in the shipping lanes proper. Abu Musa is on the far side of the shipping lanes from Iran. Ideal islands to have if you’re threatening to blockade the Strait of Hormuz. Which the Iranians are threatening to do if anyone tries to stop their nuclear program.
Iran is the bully of the Middle East. Always looking to start trouble. They were sponsoring attacks on U.S. service personnel in Iraq. They were inflaming the unrest on Bahrain. They’re close with the Muslim Brotherhood who is gathering political power in Egypt. They’re funding Hezbollah and Hamas in their attacks on Israel. And, of course, they want to remove Israel from the map. Which is just something their nuclear program can do. Even the other Arab states are sick and tired of having to deal with Iran. Who want to be the supreme power in the region. Just like the British were at one time. And who the Iranians condemned for it.
Iran it the greatest threat to stability and peace in the area. Which is growing ever more instable and less peaceful since the fall of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. We can’t let Iran be a nuclear power. For they won’t live in peace with any neighbor once they have it. And threaten nuclear retaliation for any attempts to limit her influence and power in the region. Or any action they take against Israel. There is no good way for this to end. Except, perhaps, the fall of the current Iranian regime. Which may be the only way to stop it. But after a decade of war who is going to start another?
There is a parallel to pre-World War II Europe here. Hitler got away with provocation after provocation because no one wanted a return to war. Not after World War I. So we negotiated and dithered. Even gave Hitler a sovereign nation. Czechoslovakia. Anything to appease him and avoid war. And we know how that ended. Once he had Czechoslovakia he attacked Poland. Launching World War II. Which was far worse than World War I. And any war Iran starts as a nuclear power will be far worse than the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined. Which means only one thing. We can’t let Iran become a nuclear power. But will we?
Tags: Abu Musa, Ahmadinejad, GCC, Greater Tunb, Gulf Cooperation Council, Iranians, islands, Lesser Tunb, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Middle East, nuclear, nuclear program, Strait of Hormuz, UAE
Week in Review
Egypt is changing. And not the way the college students and protesters had hoped when they rose up against Hosni Mubarak. Much like similar protesters were to be disappointed during the Iranian Revolution (see Seeking support amid Islamist split, Egypt’s Brotherhood promises Muslim clerics say in power by the Associated Press posted 4/4/2012 on The Washington Post).
The Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate for Egypt’s presidency is lobbying hard for support of ultraconservative Muslim clerics, promising them a say over legislation in the future to ensure it is in line with Islamic law, as he tries to rally the divided Islamist vote behind him…
Giving Muslim clerics a direct say over legislation would be unprecedented in Egypt. Specifics of the Brotherhood promise, which Salafi clerics said Wednesday the candidate Khairat el-Shater gave them in a backroom meeting, were not known. But any clerical role would certainly raise a backlash from liberal and moderate Egyptians who already fear Islamists will sharply restrict civil rights as they gain political power after the fall last year of President Hosni Mubarak.
Unprecedented in Egypt, perhaps. But very much expected as it is exactly what happened following the Iranian Revolution. And not just a little like it but a lot like it. The Shah of Iran was a little too friendly to the West. So young college students and ‘reformers’ overthrew the ruthless dictator that was keeping them freer than they had the good sense to know. By preventing the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. The clerics kept promising that they didn’t want Sharia law. Until they didn’t have to promise it anymore. After they had subjected all Iranians to Sharia law. Those college students went on to miss that ruthless dictator. The Shah of Iran. And the freedoms they once enjoyed under him.
Salafis are the most hard-line of Egypt’s fundamentalists, depicting themselves as the “guardians of Shariah” and touting a strict interpretation of Islamic law similar to Saudi Arabia’s. Many of them see the Brotherhood as too willing to compromise on implementing Shariah and despise its political pragmatism.
Like Saudi Arabia? Yeah, we wish. Saudi Arabia is a friend and ally of the U.S. whose interests in the regions are peace and stability. Yes, let’s hope that if Egypt goes Islamic that it is another Sunni Saudi Arabia and not another Shiite Iran. Who has but one goal. The destruction of Israel, the United States and all other Western interests that don’t condemn Israel or the United States. The Iranians support terrorist organizations that disrupt peace and stability. The Saudis don’t. Yes, Osama bin Laden’s funding came from the Wahhabi in Saudi Arabia. But the Saudis didn’t sponsor them. They feared them. For the Wahhabi hate the House of Saud as much as they hate the Americans. Which makes them very much unlike Iran. And far more preferable than Iran. For any government that is hated by extreme Islamists has to be better than an extreme Islamists.
Mohammed Habib, who was the Brotherhood’s deputy leader at that time, says the platform item was for a body of clerics simply to advise lawmakers, but that some in the group wanted it to have a more powerful role to vet legislation…
Tharwat el-Kherbawi, a former Brotherhood member who fell out with the group, said the council appeared similar to Iran’s system of clerical “guardians” over the elected government.
Goodbye Egypt. And hello Iran.
Tags: clerics, college students, Egypt, Egyptian, Egyptian government, Hosni Mubarak, Iran, Iranian Revolution, Iranians, Islamic law, Islamist, Israel, Mubarak, Muslim Brotherhood, Muslim clerics, protesters, Salafi clerics, Saudi Arabia, Shah of Iran, Sharia law, United States, Wahhabi
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