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  1. #1

    Default Losing the Middle East

    The Presidential race in Egypt is now down to two candidates, who will confront each other in a runoff election on June 16th and 17th to determine who will replace the deposed ruler Hosni Mubarak. One of those candidates, Ahmed Shafik, was the last Prime Minister under Mubarak. The other, Mohammed Morsi, represents the Muslim Brotherhood. Given that Morsi took the most votes in the first round of voting, that the Brotherhood already effectively controls Egypt's Parliament and that the Brotherhood has a massive organizational machine to support him, Morsi must be considered the clear favorite to claim the Presidency.

    To understand the implications of that for the United States and the world, we would do well to remember a little history. The Brotherhood is an overtly religious, that is to say Islamic, party. In the West, a party which calls for prayer to be allowed in schools or for a Nativity scene to be permitted in front of the court house may be branded as being threatening and reactionary. That is not what we mean when we say that the Brotherhood is "religious".

    The Brotherhood was founded in 1928 by an Egyptian schoolteacher and admirer of Adolf Hitler, Hasan al-Banna. The group was created in accordance with Banna's belief that Islam should be granted "hegemony" in all matters of life. The Brotherhood was dedicated to the destruction of all non-Islamic governments wherever they existed and to making Islamic sharia law the basis for all jurisprudence everywhere on the planet. It gave birth in a very literal sense to Hamas and Al Qaeda.

    In 1948 a member of the Brotherhood assassinated Egyptian Prime Minister Mahmud Fahmi Nuqrashi. In 1954, a member of the Brotherhood tried to assassinate Egyptian President Abdel Nasser. In 1981, members of Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiyya, a militant terrorist group spawned by the Brotherhood, murdered Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. Khalid Shaykh Mohammed, the planner of the 9/11 attacks was a member of the Brotherhood. So was Ayman al-Zawahiri, the current head of Al Qaeda.

    The Brotherhood remains committed to this day to the imposition of sharia law, the creation of an Islamic caliphate and violent jihad. During the first round of campaigning for the Presidency in Egypt, the Brotherhood's candidate, Morsi, repeatedly and explicitly promised to implement sharia law in Egypt if elected. His rallies included pledges to work for the release of the release of the group's "spiritual leader," Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, the Islamic cleric imprisoned in the United States for plotting the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Morsi has also called for a reexamination of the 1979 peace treaty with Israel.

    All of Morsi's events were liberally punctuated by references to the Koran and his prophet Muhammed and frequently included calls for mass prayer. Morsi's campaign rallies also featured numerous appearances by Safwat el-Hegazi, a radical cleric who has called repeatedly for the destruction of the state of Israel and the recreation of an Islamic caliphate with Jerusalem as its capital.

    Speaking on his own television program in 2009, al-Hegazi had to this to say about the caliphate and Jerusalem. "Jerusalem belongs to us. Al-Aqsa belongs to us. Jerusalem belongs to us, and the whole world belongs to us. Every land upon which Islam has set foot will return to us. The caliphate will return to us, on the platform of prophecy. The greatness and glory of Islam will return."

    Egypt is in many ways the crown jewel of the Islamic world. It has by far the largest population, over at 83 million at last count. It also has an ancient political and cultural history and tremendous influence over the course of events throughout the Middle East. Egyptian music, television programs and films are hugely popular throughout the Arab world, and what happens in
    What happens then may well be catastrophic.
    Egypt has immense symbolic significance in the region.

    Egypt is also the linchpin in American national security policy in the Middle East. Prior to the signing of the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, there were four wars fought over the existence of Israel as an independent nation. Since then there have been none.

    Egypt, once a virtual client state of the Soviet Union, and virulently hostile to American interests, has become one of our most dependable allies. Military to military cooperation is extensive as are similar efforts in the realm of security and intelligence. Last year alone, the United States gave Egypt $1.3 billion in military aid.

    China was not always a Communist state. It became one when the People's Liberation Army and Mao Tse-Tung drove the Nationalist Chinese, lead by Chiang Kai Shek off the mainland to the island of Taiwan. The United States made no significant effort to prevent that occurrence, and the emergence of a powerful Communist state in East Asia became a significant campaign issue for years to come. The debate over who "lost China" resonated for years in American politics and had a major impact on our willingness to come to the defense of South Korea and attempt to halt the further spread of Communism.

    Similarly, Iran was not always a radical Islamic regime with a covert nuclear weapons program and a close relationship to anti-American terrorist groups such as Hezbollah. It was once a close American ally and a key element of our national security policy in the Middle East and Southwest Asia. All of that ended with the overthrow of the Shah in 1979, and we have yet to hear the end of the debate over who bears responsibility for the "loss" of this key ally.

    Since the beginning of the "Arab Spring", the Obama Administration has chosen to view all of the revolutions and uprisings across the Arab world through the prism of American politics and the American experience. Rather than seeing the complexity of upheavals caused by a powerful brew of economic and social forces, it has chosen to imagine that the Middle East is simply awakening to the need to become more "like us", that is more liberal, more secular, more tolerant and more inclusive.

    Underlying this attitude has been the unstated assumption that left to their own devices, the people of these nations, most of which have no tradition of democratic institutions or the rule of secular law, will somehow "do the right thing". That is, they will experience some bumps along the way, but what will emerge will ultimately be to our liking and to the benefit of the citizens of that nation as a whole. We should not intervene in an attempt to moderate the unfolding events. We should trust simply that it will all end well.

    It is not necessarily so. The brutal truth is that those that take power need not be friendly to us nor that they govern in the most responsible and progressive manner. What will happen in Egypt is as yet unknown. It may yet be that Egyptians will pull back from electing a President from the Muslim Brotherhood. Right now, however, it appears most likely that they will elect a candidate from a party dedicated to the creation of a fundamentalist Islamic state and that this new President will enjoy the support of a Parliament dominated by his own party and its ideological allies.

    What happens then may well be catastrophic. Absent intervention by the Egyptian military, something this Administration has strongly opposed, we may see the Egypt we have known for decades dissolve before our eyes to be replaced by a hard line Islamic state once again threatening the state of Israel and the stability of the region as a whole. We may find ourselves, in short, in very much the same posture vis a vis Egypt as we are now with Iran.

    By this time next year, we may have a new question. "Who lost Egypt?"

    I know this author isn't as qualified as most of you, but...

    Charles S. Faddis, President of Orion Strategic Services, LLC is a former CIA operations officer with twenty years of experience in the conduct of intelligence operations in the Middle East, South Asia and Europe. He has worked against the most dangerous terrorist organizations on the planet and has extensive firsthand experience with their methodology and tactics. His last assignment prior to retirement in May of 2008 was as head of the CIA's terrorist Weapons of Mass Destruction unit. He took the first CIA team into Iraq in the Summer of 2002 in advance of the invasion of that country and has worked extensively in the field with law enforcement, local security forces and special operations teams. Since retirement, he has written extensively and provided training to a wide variety of government and private entities.

    Kingdom Warriors


  2. #2

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    At least Broke provides a link and a source.

  3. #3

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    You should avoid the technical/intellectual threads. You have proven your ignorance in all things regarding Arab Spring. You are not experienced or even well read on this topic. In fact, you didn't read through this one.
    Kingdom Warriors

  4. #4

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    Is it better to have a puppet government, and shadow terrorism, or for the terrorists to be front and center out in the open, and accountable for their actions. This is a weak economy, and islamic culture is primitive. If this ideology is to be defeated, it needs to be front and center, and defeatable, no? I realize it's a risk, and that having a terrorist government with access to far greater resources could be disastrous. But where is the end game with puppet governments and shadow brotherhood?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by diehard View Post
    You should avoid the technical/intellectual threads. You have proven your ignorance in all things regarding Arab Spring. You are not experienced or even well read on this topic. In fact, you didn't read through this one.
    Oh, but I'm willing to learn, O Great One.

    I refuse to read unattributed cut-and-paste jobs. You used to give Broke endless $hit about them. Now, it seems, you embrace them. What's so fu&%ing difficult about providing a source and a link? Maybe you missed that day in Persuasive Essays 101? Man up, DH. You're better than this.

  6. #6

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    Read the last 10 lines in italics, dumb ass.

    Kingdom Warriors

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Section2 View Post
    Is it better to have a puppet government, and shadow terrorism, or for the terrorists to be front and center out in the open, and accountable for their actions. This is a weak economy, and islamic culture is primitive. If this ideology is to be defeated, it needs to be front and center, and defeatable, no? I realize it's a risk, and that having a terrorist government with access to far greater resources could be disastrous. But where is the end game with puppet governments and shadow brotherhood?
    Kingdom Warriors

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by diehard View Post
    Read the last 10 lines in italics, dumb ass.
    That tells me who wrote it, but not why, in what context, what the purpose was, etc. Provide a link, if you want me to read any of it, BMC (Broke Minus Citations).

    You're a tough guy, DH. Man up.

    https://cybertext.wordpress.com/2011...and-citations/

    "Why reference? You need to tell your readers where your evidence comes from so they can check for themselves and see if that evidence is valid and reliable for the point you are making. You also need to reference to make it quite clear which are your own ideas and which are borrowed from others. Statements of fact that are NOT common knowledge will likely need a reference."

  9. #9

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    I don't know how the United States can "lose" the Middle East when it was never ours to begin with....

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by diehard View Post
    haha, well, I'm not going to watch a 30 second commercial to find out how dumb I am. Don't answer my previous post, answer this one. Assume we are able to keep all extreme muslim organizations from taking power in any nation state. What is the endgame?

  11. #11

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    I have NO personal need or desire for you to learn anything. You have no obligation to read my posts and learn a blessed thing either. I will be challenged to fewer dumb arguments. Go ahead, stay ignorant to important matters. It is less painful if you to not know how dumb your positions are. You are not a world changer. Not a player. Just an uninformed progressive.
    Last edited by diehard; 06-05-2012 at 11:09 AM.
    Kingdom Warriors

  12. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by diehard View Post
    I have NO personal need or desire or you to learn anything. You have no obligation to read my posts and learn a blessed thing either. I will be challenged to fewer dumb arguments. Stay ignorant to important matters. It is less painful if you to not know how dumb your positions are. You are not a world changer. Not a player. Just an uninformed progressive.
    What are you then, BMC? I mean, what is the point of posting here if you don't care if intelligent folks read what you have to say?

    Don't be an idiot, because normally you aren't. Just provide a link. That's all. Not really that difficult.

  13. #13

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    Another way to phrase it, you voted for Obama knowing that he would be a disaster, becuase you thought it would bring about the end game of progressivism faster, and we could rebuild. What is the difference between that line of thinking, and having the muslim brotherhood take power in a weak economy, to bring about the end game of the rise of islam faster. I realize that the difference is nuclear. But take a step back, the big picture. I can't see an endgame the way things have been going for the last 50 years.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by GopherJake View Post
    What are you then, BMC? I mean, what is the point of posting here if you don't care if intelligent folks read what you have to say?

    Don't be an idiot, because normally you aren't. Just provide a link. That's all. Not really that difficult.
    You have given me no reason to believe you are an intelligent person on international affairs, foreign policy, and national defense. I will stop there or now. I do think you are waaaay above average in intelligence and ambition. Your politics are still very immature.

    No more links since the progressives are figuring out that they are losing all of their arguments on merit and have turned to making the source a method to hijack common sense.
    Kingdom Warriors

  15. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by diehard View Post
    You have given me no reason to believe you are an intelligent person on international affairs, foreign policy, and national defense. I will stop there or now. I do think you are waaaay above average in intelligence and ambition. Your politics are still very immature.

    No more links since the progressives are figuring out that they are losing all of their arguments on merit and have turned to making the source a method to hijack common sense.
    Ok.

    The Presidential race in Egypt is now down to 3,478 candidates, who will decide the next election on June 16th and 17th by playing a game of raquetball to determine who will replace the deposed ruler Hosni Mubarak. One of those candidates, Ahmed Shafik, was the last Prime Minister under Mubarak. The other, Mohammed Ali, represents the Muslim Brotherhood. Given that Ali took the most votes in the first round of voting, that the Brotherhood already effectively controls Egypt's Parliament and that the Brotherhood has a massive organizational machine to support him, Ali must be considered the clear favorite to claim the Presidency, despite the surge of Frazier.

    To understand the implications of that for the United States and the world, we would do well to remember a little history. The Brotherhood is an not at all religious, that is to say Islamic, party. In the East, a party which calls for prayer to be allowed in schools or for a KKK scene to be permitted in front of the court house may be branded as being threatening and reactionary. That is not what we mean when we say that the Brotherhood is "religious".

    The Brotherhood was founded in 1228 B.C. by an Egyptian schoolteacher and admirer of Adolf Hitler, Eva Braun. The group was created in accordance with Braun's belief that Islam should be granted "hegemony" in all matters of life. The Brotherhood was dedicated to the destruction of all non-Islamic governments wherever they existed and to making Islamic sharia law the basis for all jurisprudence everywhere on the planet. It gave birth in a very literal sense to Hamas and Al Qaeda.

    In 1948 a member of the Brotherhood assassinated Egyptian Prime Minister Mahmud Fahmi Nuqrashi. In 1954, a member of the Brotherhood tried to assassinate Egyptian President Abdel Nasser. In 1981, members of Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiyya, a militant terrorist group spawned by the Brotherhood, murdered Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. Khalid Shaykh Mohammed, the planner of the 9/11 attacks was a member of the Brotherhood. So was Ayman al-Zawahiri, the current head of Al Qaeda. But this is all just exaggerated for effect and may or may not be true. Oh, it's probably true, but we won't be citing a source here.

    The Brotherhood remains committed to this day to the imposition of sharia law, the creation of an Islamic caliphate and violent jihad. During the first round of campaigning for the Presidency in Egypt, the Brotherhood's candidate, Ali, repeatedly and explicitly promised to implement sharia law in Egypt if elected. His rallies included pledges to work for the release of the release of the group's "spiritual leader," Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman (Sheik What?!?!?), the Islamic cleric imprisoned in the United States for plotting the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Ali has also called for a reexamination of the 1979 peace treaty with Israel.

    All of Ali's events were liberally punctuated by references to the Koran and his prophet Muhammed and frequently included calls for mass prayer. Ali's campaign rallies also featured numerous appearances by Safwat el-Hegazi, a radical cleric who has called repeatedly for the destruction of the state of Israel and the recreation of an Islamic caliphate with Jerusalem as its capital.

    Speaking on his own television program in 2009, Jenny McCarthy had to this to say about the caliphate and Jerusalem. "Jerusalem belongs to us. Al-Aqsa belongs to us. Jerusalem belongs to us, and the whole world belongs to us. Every land upon which Islam has set foot will return to us. The caliphate will return to us, on the platform of prophecy. The greatness and glory of Islam will return."

    Egypt is in many ways the crown jewel of the Islamic world. It has by far the largest population, over at 83 million at last count. It also has an ancient political and cultural history and tremendous influence over the course of events throughout the Middle East. Egyptian music, television programs and films are hugely popular throughout the Arab world, and what happens in
    What happens then may well be catastrophic.
    Egypt has immense symbolic significance in the region.

    Egypt is also the linchpin in American national security policy in the Middle East. Prior to the signing of the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, there were four wars fought over the existence of Israel as an independent nation. Since then there have been none.

    Egypt, once a virtual client state of the Soviet Union, and virulently hostile to American interests, has become one of our most dependable allies. Military to military cooperation is extensive as are similar efforts in the realm of security and intelligence. Last year alone, the United States gave Egypt $1.3 billion in military aid.

    China was not always a Communist state. It became one when the People's Liberation Army and Mao Tse-Tung drove the Nationalist Chinese, lead by Chiang Kai Shek off the mainland to the island of Taiwan. The United States made no significant effort to prevent that occurrence, and the emergence of a powerful Communist state in East Asia became a significant campaign issue for years to come. The debate over who "lost China" resonated for years in American politics and had a major impact on our willingness to come to the defense of South Korea and attempt to halt the further spread of Communism.

    Similarly, Iran was not always a radical Islamic regime with a covert nuclear weapons program and a close relationship to anti-American terrorist groups such as Hezbollah. It was once a close American ally and a key element of our national security policy in the Middle East and Southwest Asia. All of that ended with the overthrow of the Shah in 1979, and we have yet to hear the end of the debate over who bears responsibility for the "loss" of this key ally.

    Since the beginning of the "Arab Spring", the Obama Administration has chosen to view all of the revolutions and uprisings across the Arab world through the prism of American politics and the American experience. Rather than seeing the complexity of upheavals caused by a powerful brew of economic and social forces, it has chosen to imagine that the Middle East is simply awakening to the need to become more "like us", that is more liberal, more secular, more tolerant and more inclusive.

    Underlying this attitude has been the unstated assumption that left to their own devices, the people of these nations, most of which have no tradition of democratic institutions or the rule of secular law, will somehow "do the right thing". That is, they will experience some bumps along the way, but what will emerge will ultimately be to our liking and to the benefit of the citizens of that nation as a whole. We should not intervene in an attempt to moderate the unfolding events. We should trust simply that it will all end well.

    It is not necessarily so. The brutal truth is that those that take power need not be friendly to us nor that they govern in the most responsible and progressive manner. What will happen in Egypt is as yet unknown. It may yet be that Egyptians will pull back from electing a President from the Muslim Brotherhood. Right now, however, it appears most likely that they will elect a candidate from a party dedicated to the creation of a fundamentalist Islamic state and that this new President will enjoy the support of a Parliament dominated by his own party and its ideological allies.

    What happens then may well be catastrophic. Absent intervention by the Egyptian military, something this Administration has strongly opposed, we may see the Egypt we have known for decades dissolve before our eyes to be replaced by a hard line Islamic state once again threatening the state of Israel and the stability of the region as a whole. We may find ourselves, in short, in very much the same posture vis a vis Egypt as we are now with Iran.

    By this time next year, we may have a new question. "Who lost Egypt?"

    I know this author isn't as qualified as most of you, but...

    Charles S. Faddis, President of Orion Strategic Services, LLC is a former CIA operations officer with twenty years of experience in the conduct of intelligence operations in the Middle East, South Asia and Europe. He has worked against the most dangerous terrorist organizations on the planet and has extensive firsthand experience with their methodology and tactics. His last assignment prior to retirement in May of 2008 was as head of the CIA's terrorist Weapons of Mass Destruction unit. He took the first CIA team into Iraq in the Summer of 2002 in advance of the invasion of that country and has worked extensively in the field with law enforcement, local security forces and special operations teams. Since retirement, he has written extensively and provided training to a wide variety of government and private entities. He jacks off in his free time.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I don't know how the United States can "lose" the Middle East when it was never ours to begin with....
    Never said it was "ours" from the beginning. Personally really really don't want it. What we are losing are governments we can communicate with and work with to make the world safer. Can't make it a safe world, but a less dangerous world. That is an important point. Think we are spending big on military now? Well just wait until this threat spirals all the way out of control (about there now).

    With the MB in control, Egypt will have nuclear weapons in a very sort period of time. The old non-interventionist and isolationist ideologies have been invalidated by the changes in communications, transportation, economics, and weapons.
    Kingdom Warriors

  17. #17

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    Nicely done, jake. At least we now know what you have on your mind. Didn't need the mental visualisation on that one.
    Kingdom Warriors

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I don't know how the United States can "lose" the Middle East when it was never ours to begin with....
    If the Middle East were to collapse into all out war - do you think it would affect US citizens? Do you think it would affect the world economy? Should we not care? Should we have given a rip about the Nazis killing the Jews in WWII or invading other parts of Europe or Russia?

  19. #19
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    The majority of the first page of the oil prices thread was dedicated to arguing semanics; the majority of this thread has been arguing the proper role of citations. Classic.

    To the OT, Faddis does little to explore the actual two canditates, just links one to the history of the Muslim Brotherhood. In that respect, I didn't find it very informative. To the greater foreign policy debate, I agree in part with DH & BGA. These things don't happen in a vaccuum. The extent of our needed involvement is the great mystery, however. While some involvement is needed, there is a tipping point where our presence creates more problems than it solves.

  20. #20

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    Government control is not an effective strategy. It's not sustainable, it builds resentment. DH says that there is no blowback, this is the nature of islam. And he could very well be correct. But reasonable people can see that it could be blowback. So radical islamists have been given a small justification. Had we not been involved, and they tried to wage their acts of terrorism on us, we would have the 100% moral authority to take it on and destroy it. Especially if we had not installed puppet gov'ts, and a muslim brotherhood had taken power 50 years ago and were hostile and aggressive, we could absolutely annihilate them. When there are puppet governments, with the bad guys in the shadows, we can't tell who is good and who is bad. We can't annihilate them.
    Nukes is a game changer. however, it highlights what a bad strategy we've had all along. Egypt pre puppets didn't have the capacity to develop nukes. Only now that we've potentially delayed and maybe even inflamed the inevitable, is it so much more dangerous.

    In any event, if this is what a sovereign people want, how can we prevent it?

    I really am sympathetic to DH's point of view, and I realize he knows much more than I do, I just can't reconcile his views with my principles.
    It's analogous to someone saying we can't end the entitlement state because it will be bad in the short term.

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