It really isn’t hard to understand what is happening in the Middle East if you gather the facts:
1. Jordan’s King Abdullah — whom President Barack Obama just visited — is clearly telling us what’s going wrong: the Muslim Brotherhood is dangerous, and the United States is supporting it. Presumably, this is what Abdullah told Obama.
2. U.S. policy is now escalating support for a Muslim Brotherhood regime in Syria, and the Syrian rebels increasingly have open Brotherhood leadership.
3. Repression is gradually escalating in Egypt, with arrests of moderates, Islamists being sent to the military academy, and many other measures.
Regarding Jordan, Jeffrey Goldberg has written an extremely valuable profile of Abdullah. The Jordanian monarch is telling Western visitors that their countries are making a huge mistake by supporting the Islamists. He complains that the U.S. State Department is ignoring him, and further, that U.S. officials are telling him: “The only way you can have democracy is through the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Abdullah responds: the Brotherhood wants to impose anti-American reactionary governments, and his “major fight” is to stop them. No margin may be left for relative moderate and pro-American states between a Sunni Islamist alliance led by Egypt and including Turkey versus a Shia Islamist alliance led by Iran, says Abdullah. And he’s right. The only differences, Abdullah explains, between the Turkish and Egyptian regimes are their timetables for installing dictatorships.
Meanwhile, while President Barack Obama was love-bombing Israel during his visit, U.S. policy was helping to install a Muslim Brotherhood supporter as the putative next leader of Syria. Obama’s strategy — with appropriate adjustments to the national scene — is the same as his disastrous policy in Egypt.
The new leader of the Syrian opposition coalition is Ghassan Hitto, an obscure figure who has long been a resident of the United States. His actual election contained two hints:
– He only received 35 votes from 63 members of the Syrian National Coalition. That show of support matches the number of Muslim Brotherhood supporters there.
– Only 48 out of the 63 even cast a ballot at all, showing lack of enthusiasm and possible U.S. pressure on groups to abstain rather than oppose Hitto.
During the Cold War, American policy toward Third World countries frequently looked for a “third way” democratic alternative — leaders who were neither Communists nor right-wing authoritarians. Today, however, the Obama administration doesn’t do the equivalent at all, despite pretenses to the contrary. Rather, it seeks leadership from the most seemingly moderate people … who represent Islamist groups. Of course, this moderation is largely deceptive.
That was the pattern in Egypt; now it is the same failed strategy in Syria.
Hitto is a typical example of such a person.
Read it all and our previous posts on CAIR exec Ghassan Hitto here.
FYI: It was Jordan’s King Hussein who battled the PLO in 1970 killing an estimated 25,000 (many more than any infidel forces have…combined).