Mukasey on Islamism, Middle East

> Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2012 01:01:48 -0500 (EST)
> From: “Rachel Ehrenfeld, K.D.M. Jensen” > To: rich.kaplan@cox.net
> Subject: Mukasey on Islamism, Middle East
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> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ >
> EWI Digest Posting No. 317, November 9, 2012
>
> FEATURE
>
> Michael B. Mukasey:
>
> Trotsky and the Totalitarian Dialectic Revisited: Whether You Are >
> Interested In Islamism or Not, Islamism Is Interested In You >
> MIDDLE EAST:
>
> The Valerie Jarrett-Iran Rumor,
>
> Get Ready for the Next War: Mali,
>
> Muslim Brothers Turning Into Leninists?
>
> Target Khartoum, Algerian Soccer Violence,
>
> Obama’s Middle East, Past and Future
>
> Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey
>
> PLEASE NOTE: YOU CAN WATCH THE VIDEO OF EWI’S JULY 9 CAPITOL HILL BRIEFING ON ECONOMIC > THREATS AND WARFARE AT
>
> http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL80F8C53F783A1741&feature=plcp >
> To: Friends
>
> From: Ken Jensen, Rachel Ehrenfeld
>
>
> *
>
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> FEATURE: Michael B. Mukasey: Trotsky and the Totalitarian Dialectic Revisited: Whether > You Are Interested In Islamism or Not, Islamism Is Interested In You > Excerpts from a talk to The Henry Jackson Society
> ‘Trotsky and the Totalitarian Dialectic Revisited: Whether You Are Interested In
> Islamism or Not, Islamism Is Interested In You’ by Michael B. Mukasey, ACD/EWI > Board Member, 30th October 2012, Committee Room G, House of Lords, London
> Leon Trotsky is reputed to have said at the beginning of the last century, referring
> to the Communist dialectic, that you may not be interested in the dialectic, but
> the dialectic is interested in you. It occurred to me that the same might be said
> of the current totalitarianism with which we are grappling, namely Islamism, or
> Islamic supremacism. So I thought I would speak with you for a few moments about
> that ‘ism’ and about how countries like ours [inaudible] themselves and their values.
> I have to tell you that it’s by no means universally thought in my country that,
> and perhaps likely here as well, that there’s any need to understand Islamism and
> take a defensive posture with respect to it. The reasons for this seem to be rooted
> in the fact that Islamism claims to be, and in fact is, rooted in a religion. In
> part because of the limited role that religion plays in our own countries, we tend
> to think of it as only one aspect of a person’s life and a private aspect at that.
> However for the vast majority of the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims, it’s not just
> a private matter. A substantial number adhere to a view of religion that agrees
> on the need to impose Shari’a or Islamic law on the world, beginning with that
> part of the world that at any time was Muslim which is referred to as the dar al-Islam > –
> the domain of Islam. This includes not only what we would conventionally think of
> as Muslim countries, but also Spain, referred to by an Islamist as Andalusia, and
> once a part of the Islamic caliphate; as well as any part of the Muslim world that
> comes under the control of Muslims, with the result that, for example, some suburbs
> of Paris, in which Muslims are the majority, are in fact a no-go zone for the police > and for fire-fighters unless they’ve gotten the consent of local authorities.
> The other part of the world to which there’s also an obligation to spread Shari’a
> is called significantly, I think, the Dar al-Harb, or the domain of war. The war
> referred to is a religious war to impose Shari’a, which is a comprehensive legal
> framework that has spiritual aspects to be sure; but is supposed to regulate all > behaviour – economic, social, legal, military,
> political, and personal. Because it is all-encompassing and lays claim to being
> divinely inspired, it regards the notion that people can determine for themselves > the rule that, govern any aspect of their lives, either on their
> own or through elected representatives, as anathema, which is to say that Shari’a > is totalitarian and profoundly anti-democratic.
> As the United States government established in court during a trial before me, as
> it happens, when I served as a US district judge in New York, in which the defendants
> included Omar Abdel-Rahman, known as the ‘blind sheikh’ – as the government established
> at that trial, Islamic scripture, including the Qur’an, which is regarded as containing
> the revealed and unchangeable word of Allah, contains commands of violence against
> non-believers. There are some scholars who try to restrict the reading of such
> commands by limiting them to the historic context. Islamist scholars, however,
> construe them literally as a wide mandate for violent action against people they
> perceive as their enemies. Such a scholar was the ‘blind sheikh’ – convicted along
> with about a dozen others – of seditious conspiracy to wage a war of urban terrorism
> against the United States and a bombing conspiracy that included the bombing of
> the World Trade Center in February 1993, or as it’s now known, the first World Trade
> Center bombing. A plot to bomb New York City landmarks, that plot was thwarted
> when the joint terrorism task force in New York infiltrated it and, among other
> things, recorded the conversations of the defendants. The proof also included some
> of the speeches of the ‘blind sheikh’, urging a violent interpretation of the obligation
> to wage jihad, as well as testimony of more explicit directions that he gave his > followers.
> The defendants argued that the prosecution, and certainly the use of religious sermons
> and other pronouncements, infringed their rights to religious liberty and free expression.
> But the second circuit court of appeals affirmed the convictions and indeed offered
> lavish praise to the way the case was handled by the prosecutors as consistent with
> the highest traditions of the Justice Department and the defence lawyers as equal > to the most exacting requirements of their calling. In fact, there was enough
> praise left over so that it included kind words for the trial judge as well. That
> case was prosecuted under a Civil War era law that barred seditious conspiracy and
> it was very difficult to apply; however based on the lessons learned in that case,
> the Clinton administration and Congress collaborated to enact a sweeping overhaul
> of the US counterterrorism law, known as the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death
> Penalty Act. That act was expressly designed to permit aggressive investigations > that could interrupt terrorists
> and their supporters before plots could pose a danger to the public.
> The court rulings in the Abdel-Rahman case and the subsequent revisions of the anti-terrorism
> laws, indeed the creation of anti-terrorism laws, was based on a single, simple
> conclusion: one that the 9/11 Commission would reiterate after the terrorist attack
> that killed nearly 3,000 Americans in 2001: namely, that there is a radical, ideological
> movement in the Islamic world that, in the words of the report, draws on a long > tradition of extreme intolerance within one string of Islam.
> It’s possible, I suppose, to debate how broadly this influence runs. I think it’s
> fair to say that in any event, it is far from a fringe and that it is highly influential
> in the Middle East and increasingly influential in the West. But what is not debatable
> is whether this ideology exists, and whether those who adhere to it consider themselves
> to be at war with the United States and the West in general, and whether that ideology
> motivates the continuing threat to the United States and its interests around the
> globe. It does. Any realistic terrorism strategy, which is to say, any strategy
> that is intended to prevent attacks, rather than simply respond to them; and in
> general to avoid losing ground to terrorists and their allies, rather than dealing
> with attacks after they’ve occurred and people have died and properties have been > destroyed, has to accept the existence of that reality.
> We have to accept that the threat is ideologically based and support a programme
> that identifies the enemy ideology accurately, in order to understand and anticipate
> its operations so as to defeat them. The ideology can’t be wished away by pretending
> that it doesn’t exist and the Constitution of the United States cannot be read as
> a set of rules that prevent the government from performing its first and most essential
> duty, namely the duty to protect the American people. Yet, unfortunately that the
> pretence that the threat does not exist has become the government’s principle approach.
> So, for example, take the case of Major Nidal Hassan’s massacre of 13 of his fellow
> soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas in 2010 which he preceded by shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’.
> The army’s after action report on that incident does not mention the word ‘Islam’
> and refers to the incident as ‘workplace violence.’ The Army Chief of Staff said
> on television after that massacre that the greatest tragedy would be if it had a
> negative effect on the Army’s diversity programme. Or consider John Brennan, a
> principal national security and counterterrorism advisor to President Obama who
> told an audience at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies – now this
> is a deep thinker, talking to other deep thinkers – he said that violent extremists,
> as he referred to them, attacking the United States are products of ‘political,
> economic and social forces’ and should not be described in religious terms because
> to do so would create the mistaken impression that we are at war with Islam and > thereby give credence to al Qaeda propaganda.
> Products of political, economic and social forces. Let’s review the bidding. Osama
> bin Laden was a millionaire many times over. His successor, and also coincidentally
> the folks who planned and carried out the 2007 attack on the Glasgow Airport, are
> physicians. The perpetrators of the 9/11 attack are well educated. A man named
> Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, he was the youngster who tried to blow himself up on
> an airplane over in Detroit over Christmas of 2009, is the son of the former Economics
> Minister of Nigeria. Products of political, economic and social forces? Understand
> that this to be [inaudible] with the current administration; this being that sort > of
> euphemism. It was present in the administration in which I served as well. President
> Bush told the nation shortly after 9/11 and continued to repeat that Islam is a
> religion of peace. His principal National Security Advisor and later Secretary of
> State went him one better, she said it was a religion of peace and love. And of
> course, we heard that the terrorists had hijacked that religion. Now in order
> to savour the significance of that formulation, consider how the United States would
> have reacted if President Roosevelt had gone before Congress on December 8th 1941 > and said that the peaceful Shinto religion had been hijacked by extremists.
> National security officials and members of the administration seem to have convinced
> themselves that Americans are the cause, rather than the victims of terrorism.
> So the president goes before the United Nations and suggests that violence against
> US diplomatic stations is the appropriate and understandable reaction by Muslims
> to a video, rather than being precipitated by supremacist ideology – [Baroness
> Scotland sneezes] bless you – and he goes to great lengths, as does his Secretary
> of State, to tell the world that the US government objects to the video and had > nothing to do with producing it.
> A recent report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations criticises
> a fusion centre of the Department of Homeland Securities – of Security, I’m sorry
> – for focusing on the list of reading suggestions circulated by a Muslim community
> group, when several books on the list were written by people cited in a terrorism
> database maintained by the intelligence agencies. The Subcommittee figuratively
> wags a finger at the fusion centre and says ‘we cannot report on books and other > writings simply
> because the authors are listed on the database since, as it says in the report,
> the writings themselves are protected by the First Amendment. Unless you can establish
> something in the writing indicates planning or advocates violence or other criminal
> activity.’ Wrong. The speeches of the ‘blink sheikh’, Omar Abdel-Rahman, were protected
> by the First Amendment in the sense that the government could not stop them; but
> the government did present them as evidence at his trial: indicating his state
> of mind and the state of mind of certain of his listeners. I permitted them to be
> introduced and the Court of Appeals made it clear that they were admissible; even
> less, with the gathering of such material for intelligence purposes be objectionable.
> Simply because someone has the constitutional right to make a statement, doesn’t
> mean that he also has the constitutional right to prevent the government from noticing
> it. If he did, it would be impossible to prosecute any would-be terrorist until > after an attack.
> We must certainly recognize that Muslims have been the principal victims of violent
> jihadists globally. Also, the desire to avoid tarring millions of law-abiding Muslims
> who do not wish to impose shari’a on others is noble, and intelligence should be
> gathered with sensitivity and discretion. In addition, many of those same law-abiding
> Muslims have provided important help to law enforcement, intelligence and military
> agencies in confronting terrorism and should be empowered, rather than made the
> focus of suspicion. But they, and we, and our government have to realise that whatever
> struggles there are between anti-Western Muslims and those who embrace the West
> are secondary to the government’s main national security obligations. Obviously,
> we would prefer to see truly pro-Western Muslims prevail, but the influence of
> their adversaries will not be diminished by pretending that they do not exist, or
> that their world view is not based on an interpretation of Islam that has strong > appeal in the Middle East and a growing number of enclaves in the West.
> But what of the vaunted Arab Spring? What, indeed. As events unfolded in Tahrir
> Square, we in the United States saw a great deal of coverage of how the driving
> forces of that revolution relied on Twitter and Facebook; but not so much coverage
> of the public rape of the CBS journalist in Tahrir Square accompanied by shouts
> of ‘Allahu Akbar’, and even less coverage of the emergence of the Sinai Peninsula
> as a refuge for Hamas-trained terrorists who travel regularly from Gaza and launch
> attacks that kill Israelis. There was, I think, virtually no coverage at all of
> the return to Egypt of Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, who had been exiled from the country
> by Hosni Mubarak and who delivered a triumphant sermon in Tahrir Square upon his
> return. Now, Qaradawi is praised in many quarters of the West as a liberal and
> a reformer who has, among other things, stood up for women’s rights, and so he
> has, even to the point of issuing a fatwa that authorises women to participate in
> suicide bombings. More recently, Mohammed Morsi, the newly elected president of
> Egypt, and a candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood, has retired the senior members
> of the military who were expected by some to act as a counterweight to the Brotherhood.
> Whether they could have done that or not is debatable, but President Morsi has mooted
> that debate by appointing as the new chief of staff, someone whose Muslim Brotherhood’s > credentials are well-established.
> Tahrir Square was the scene of a sort of inaugural speech by President Morsi, in
> which he said that one of his main goals is to secure the release of Omar Abdel-Rahman,
> the ‘blind sheikh’ who I put in jail for a term of life. And most recently, a week
> and a half ago, Morsi was seen on Egyptian television in prayer, led by a cleric,
> Sheikh Futouh Abd Al-Nabi Mansour at a mosque in Mersa Matruh answering ‘amen’ to
> a prayer for the dispersion and destruction of the Jews – sort of a Reverend Wright
> moment for him. The venue of Mersa Matruh, by the way, is interesting for a World
> War II buff like myself. It happens to have been the scene of the last Nazi victory
> for Rommel and his Africa Corps before they got chased back across the rim of Africa.
> But we’re told that we mustn’t panic. Just last week the op-ed page of the New
> York Times, that communal warm bath of bien pensant liberal thought in the United
> States, carried an article by Roger Cohen assuring us that we can work with the
> Muslim Brotherhood, who he portrays as centrist pragmatists. Well, pragmatists they
> may be; centrist is another matter. The Muslim Brotherhood motto, which has not
> changed since its founding until today, is as follows: ‘Allah is our objective,
> the prophet is our leader, the Qur’an is our law, jihad is our way, dying in the
> way of Allah is our highest hope’. The fact that the organisation still exists
> after decades of suppression by governments in Egypt from Nasser to Mubarak is testimony
> to its resilience and to the ability of its members to use tactical deception. There’s
> even a word for it: taqqiya – in order to tack in on direction, and then another > toward an ultimate goal.
> Perhaps the best illustration of that is Turkey. Their president Erdogan has now
> overcome the Kamalist and secular military to the point where he can announce,
> confidently, that he finds the term ‘moderate Islam’, in his words, ugly and offensive.
> He says there is no moderate or immoderate Islam, Islam is Islam and that’s it.
> Roger Cohen in the Times says that we should note that the Muslim Brotherhood is
> looking to Turkey as a model. He finds that comforting. I find it terrifying. > Turkey, under Erdogan, is not about
> democratisation; Turkey was a democracy before Erdogan came to power. What it’s
> about now, with women shunted out of the workplace, and journalists arrested, is
> about Islamisation, not democratisation. It was, after all, Erdogan who, in 1994, > when he was mayor of Istanbul, proclaimed himself a servant of shari’a.
> In Tunisia, Islamists are in control. Their leader, Rachid Ghannouchi, like Qaradawi,
> recently returned from exile to lead his party – barely five years ago, called for
> the public hanging of two Tunisian intellectuals, one a woman, who were too vigorous
> in his tastes in their supports of women’s rights. But even a member of the Wall
> Street Journal’s editorial staff, in a column in that paper several months ago,
> assured us that Ghannouchi is a new breed of Islamist, with a sense of irony and
> a sense of humour. Ghannouchi even assured the journal editor that he would not
> seek to ban alcohol because alcohol is consumed privately and he recalled, for the
> Wall Street Journal editor, that the United States itself had an unpleasant experience
> when it tried the experiment of banning alcohol many decades ago during prohibition.
> Quite an ironist and a humorist, and apparently the spiritual successor to that
> parade of Soviet premieres who you may remember back in the 1970s when we were told
> that each succeeding one was a liberal because he drank scotch and listened to jazz.
> But isn’t what is happening in Egypt and Tunisia and Turkey a manifestation of democracy,
> and aren’t we duty-bound as supporters of democracy to support it? The answer to
> the second part of that question, whether we should feel bound to support the outcome,
> as someone pointed out, depends on what you mean by democracy. If you mean by democracy,
> not only a process of majority rule, but also an underlying culture that includes
> protection of minority rights, then yes, we would be obligated to support it if > that were the
> process. But if you mean simply majority rule with no such underlying culture of
> tolerance, then what’s happening in Egypt and Tunisia and Turkey is not democracy, > and in my view, no, we have no obligation to support it.
> If, as President Erdogan put it, to Islamists, in his words, ‘democracy is just
> the train we board to reach our destination’, then the destination is obviously
> Islamist rule and I would think we should feel no obligation to support that. Now
> why is it important in the struggle that we’re in that we understand all this? In
> past conflicts it may not have always been self-evident that we had to understand
> what our enemies were about. Perhaps it wasn’t necessary when we fought the Axis
> powers in Germany and Japan to understand all the ins and outs of Nazism and Fascism
> and the military culture of the Shinto religion. We could simply blast those countries
> to smithereens, as we in fact did, because the evil had its home there. But it was
> much more necessary to understand the enemy when we fought Communism, as a man named
> Whittaker Chambers taught us, even when it was centered principally in the Soviet
> Union because although it may have been centered there, it was not simply that nation,
> but its militant ideology that we were struggling with. Chambers prefaces his excellent
> book, called ‘Witness’, with a preface that consists of a letter to his children
> in which he explains why he went through what he did in order to expose Communism
> for what it was, so that they would understand why is was that he had exposed himself
> and them to a life of torment. He points out that Communism, at its root, offered
> the same promise that was offered by the serpent in Eden: that you shall be as gods, > that Communism dreamt of a world without god, who would be superfluous.
> The great totalitarianisms of the last century, and of this one, have in common
> that they’ve all dreamt of a world without something that they can’t stand because
> they think it interferes with their ability to dominate the lives of human beings.
> Nazism dreamt of a world without Jews. Communism dreamt of a world without God.
> And Islamism also dreams of a world without something. It dreams of a world without
> infidels. A world in which infidels are either killed, or converted to Islam, or
> reduced to a second-class citizen status called dhimmitude, such that they themselves
> recognize their inferiority and present no obstacle. And so we must understand that
> ‘ism’ as well, or else be prepared to live with people who look forward to a world > without us.
> The read further discussions of this topic and learn more about the event at which
> Judge Mukasey spoke, see http://henryjacksonsociety.org/2012/10/30/a-keynote-lecture-by-michael-b-mukasey-81st-attorney-general-of-the-united-states/
> [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=xbd8pflab.0.jhr5rflab.wus7micab.3290&ts=S0837&p=http%3A%2F%2Fhenryjacksonsociety.org%2F2012%2F10%2F30%2Fa-keynote-lecture-by-michael-b-mukasey-81st-attorney-general-of-the-united-states%2F]
> EWI BLOG: Kenneth D.M. Jensen: Middle East http://EconWarfare.org [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=xbd8pflab.0.x4mmtmgab.wus7micab.3290&ts=S0837&p=http%3A%2F%2FEconWarfare.org]
> Thanks to World Affairs, James Dorsey, Gillian Lusk, Lee Smith, Priscilla Jensen, > and Africa Confidential for item contributions.
> Judge Mukasey’s Henry Jackson Society Lecture
> We’re pleased today to republish ACD/EWI board member Michael Mukasey’s recent lecture
> to the Henry Jackson Society in Britain. As you probably know, Mukasey was U.S. > attorney general and the presiding judge in the case of the “Blind Sheikh.” > The Valerie Jarrett-Iran Rumor
> On November 5, the Times of Israel reported that Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett has
> been negotiating with the Iranians in recent months. You’ll recall that Obama administration
> leakers about the same time announced to the New York Times that Tehran had agreed
> to bilateral negotiations with the United States regarding its nuclear program.
> The same day, the White House denied that this was true in speaking to the Wall
> Street Journal. As with the Benghazi scandal, a potential Iran-related controversy > was set aside by both presidential candidates.
> The Weekly Standard’s Lee Smith, also writing on the day before the election, briefly
> analyzes all this news. He finds a U.S.-Iran meeting in Bahrain unlikely, given
> Bahrain’s adversarial relationship with Iran. The negotiation leak and the White > House denial, Smith treats as a right-hand, left-hand problem:
> “In other words, if some in the White House saw the leak as a part of the Obama
> reelection campaign, others seem to have been concerned that news the U.S. intended
> to conduct bilateral meetings with the Iranians might confuse America’s diplomatic
> partners, Russia in particular, says the Yediot report. Presumably the source of
> the Times leak, however accurate, is not one of the White House’s professional
> policymakers. Perhaps it was the same person who is now allegedly leading talks > with Tehran.”
> Valerie Jarrett negotiating with Iran? I ask you!
> Get Ready for the Next War: Mali
> Michael Totten, blogging for World Affairs, sets the scene for the near future in
> Mali: an international intervention to unseat Ansar al-Dine, which has set up an
> Islamist state in northern Mali. The UN has authorized ECOWAS (Economic Community
> of West African States) to undertake this. Regrettably, perhaps, ECOWAS will need
> lots of help. Hillary Clinton recently visited Algeria to talk that country into
> helping (Algeria has a very, very long border with northern Mali). Totten doesn’t
> say it, but it’s clear that any war will necessarily have EU and U.S. involvement.
> In the background of recent events is the phenomenon of Tuareg nationalism, which
> led to the invasion of Mali and brought the jihadists with it. There is a question
> as to exactly how the Tuareg will react to an international intervention, especially
> if a purpose of the intervention is to restore control of the north to Mali’s government. > Muslim Brothers Turning Into Leninists?
> British scholar Alan Johnson, writing in the Telegraph UK, shows how long it’s taking
> for some folks to catch on to what the Muslim Brotherhood is really all about. > He says,
> “Paul Berman, the New York intellectual, is perhaps the most penetrating and imaginative
> essayist writing about Islamist movements and ideas alive today. In 2010 he published
> The Flight of the Intellectuals, a stylish account of the Muslim Brotherhood: the
> Islamist political movement founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna (known in
> Arabic as al-Ikhwan al-Muslimeen). According to Berman, the party was shaped decisively
> in both its ideology and organisational methods by mid-century European totalitarianism
> and was a politically hardened, ideologically-driven and anti-Semitic movement.
> It was from this inconvenient truth that much of the western media and many public > intellectuals were in flight.
> “When I praised Berman’s insights to a group of normally super-astute democracy
> promotion analysts in DC, to my surprise most took the view that Berman’s thesis
> was “crazy” and that the Muslim Brotherhood were really like the Christian Democracy
> in Europe; they had confessional roots, for sure, but were pragmatic folk and could
> be a force for ‘moderation’. I responded that the Brotherhood was exactly like the > CDU – apart from its party structure, ideology, rhetoric, policy, and goals.”
> My point is that Johnson’s and Berman’s view of things was anathema in Washington
> as late as that and, more or less, still is. The title of the piece refers to the > following little story:
> “Back in 2001 the Iranian sisters Ladan and Roya Boroumand wrote a seminal article,
> ‘Terror, Islam and Democracy’. They warned that Islamist political movements, including
> the Muslim Brotherhood, confront the West with ‘Leninism in Islamist dress’. Once
> again we confront ‘a power that saw itself as God on earth, organised as an all-powerful
> state, denying the right to individual belief, and reserving the right to define
> truth about and for the individual’. It is time to see the Brotherhood plain. And
> to start playing hard ball on behalf of our true friends in that part of the world.” > Target Khartoum
> Africa Confidential has provided a useful update on the Yarmouk Industrial Complex
> in Khartoum that tells us more about Sudan’s support of terrorism, its relationship > with Iran, and it’s declared war with Israel (in fact, going on since 1967). > Algerian Soccer Violence
> James Dorsey has been busy again reading soccer events for political news:
> “An upsurge in soccer-related violence in Algeria serves as a warning that 18 months
> after the government quelled mass protests with increased wages and social spending
> frustration is mounting with the failure of the country’s gerontocracy in control
> since independence to share power with a younger generation, create jobs and address > housing problems.
> “In the latest incident, the Kuwait news agency reported that dozens of people,
> including a player, were injured this weekend when supporters of Jeunesse Sportive
> de la Saoura (JSS) stormed the pitch during a premier league match in their home
> stadium in Meridja in the eastern province of Bechar against Algiers-based Union
> Sportive de la Médina d’El Harrach (USM). The incident followed a massive brawl
> in September between players and between fans after a Libya-Algeria Africa Cup of > Nations qualifier.
> “Relations between the two countries have been strained since Algeria refused to
> support last year’s NATO-backed popular revolt that overthrew Libyan leader Moammar
> Qaddafi. Algeria has since granted refuge to Mr. Qaddafi’s wife Safiya and his daughter
> Aisha. One of his sons, Hannibal, is also believed to be in Algeria. Libya apologized
> last month after hundreds of Libyan fans surrounded the Algerian embassy in Tripoli > and rippled the Algerian emblem from the building and burnt an Algerian flag.
> “Stadiums have long been a nucleus of protest in soccer-crazy Algeria. A 2007 diplomatic
> cable sent by the US embassy in Algiers and disclosed by Wikileaks linked a soccer
> protest in the desert city of Boussaada to demonstrations in the western port city
> of Oran sparked by the publication of a highly contentious list of government housing
> recipients. The cable warned that ”this kind of disturbance has become commonplace,
> and appears likely to remain so unless the government offers diversions other than > soccer and improves the quality of life of its citizens.'” > Obama’s Middle East, Past and Future
> Although an obvious thing to do, I hadn’t seen a real comparison between Obama’s
> and Jimmy Carter’s Middle East policies until I was shown today’s piece by Jonathan > Neumann, which appeared in the British magazine Standpoint.
> CBS reports that Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has some advice for Obama’s second term:
> “the only foreign policy change Obama can bring is by ‘accepting the will of the > Arab people.’
> “‘We must rely on ourselves and on our resources and build our country,’ Issam Al-Aryan,
> a top Muslim Brotherhood official, said, according to The Times of Israel. ‘In the
> absence of direct American influence, Egypt can affect and lead the process of building
> a democratic and constitutional regime that will become a dream for African and > the southern hemisphere.’
> And Hamas also had some advice, calling on Obama not to be biased toward Israeli > interests during his second term:
> “‘We heard moderate speech from Obama following his first term victory, but his
> policy was inconsistent with the speeches he gave in Egypt and Turkey,’ Taher Nunu,
> a Hamas government spokesman, said, according to The Times of Israel. ‘He now has
> an opportunity to implement those promises to the nations of the region, far from > pressures by the Israel lobby and politicized money.'”
> CONTENTS
> MIDDLE EAST
> ITEM 1: AFRICA CONFIDENTIAL: Target Khartoum. Israel’s attack on a Khartoum arms
> factory highlights its tougher line in Africa and Sudan’s growing ties with Iran
> http://www.africa-confidential.com/article/id/4663/Target_Khartoum [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=xbd8pflab.0.khr5rflab.wus7micab.3290&ts=S0837&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.africa-confidential.com%2Farticle%2Fid%2F4663%2FTarget_Khartoum]
> ITEM 2: James Dorsey: Algerian soccer violence signals mounting discontent. Strong > arm or reform?
> http://mideastsoccer.blogspot.sg/2012/11/algerian-soccer-violence-signals.html [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=xbd8pflab.0.lhr5rflab.wus7micab.3290&ts=S0837&p=http%3A%2F%2Fmideastsoccer.blogspot.sg%2F2012%2F11%2Falgerian-soccer-violence-signals.html] > ITEM 3: Jonathan Neumann: Obama’s Middle East? It’s déjà vu all over again
> http://standpointmag.co.uk/features-november-12-obamas-middle-east-its-deja-vu-all-over-again-jonathan-neumann-president-carter-arab-spring-hostage-crisis
> [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=xbd8pflab.0.mhr5rflab.wus7micab.3290&ts=S0837&p=http%3A%2F%2Fstandpointmag.co.uk%2Ffeatures-november-12-obamas-middle-east-its-deja-vu-all-over-again-jonathan-neumann-president-carter-arab-spring-hostage-crisis]
> ITEM 4: TIMES OF ISRAEL: Obama’s personal emissary holding secret talks with Iran,
> Israeli paper claims Iranian-born special adviser Valerie Jarrett said to be negotiating > with representative of Tehran’s supreme leader Khamenei
> http://www.timesofisrael.com/obamas-personal-emissary-holding-secret-talks-with-iran-israeli-paper-claims/
> [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=xbd8pflab.0.nhr5rflab.wus7micab.3290&ts=S0837&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.timesofisrael.com%2Fobamas-personal-emissary-holding-secret-talks-with-iran-israeli-paper-claims%2F]
> ITEM 5: Alan Johnson: The Muslim Brotherhood are turning into Leninists in Islamist > dress. Egypt is in real trouble
> http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/alanjohnson/100187839/the-muslim-brotherhood-are-turning-into-leninists-in-islamist-dress-egypt-is-in-real-trouble/
> [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=xbd8pflab.0.ohr5rflab.wus7micab.3290&ts=S0837&p=http%3A%2F%2Fblogs.telegraph.co.uk%2Fnews%2Falanjohnson%2F100187839%2Fthe-muslim-brotherhood-are-turning-into-leninists-in-islamist-dress-egypt-is-in-real-trouble%2F] > ITEM 6: Lee Smith: Report: W.H. in Talks with Iran
> http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/report-wh-talks-iran_660396.html [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=xbd8pflab.0.phr5rflab.wus7micab.3290&ts=S0837&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.weeklystandard.com%2Fblogs%2Freport-wh-talks-iran_660396.html] > ITEM 7: Michael Totten: Get Ready for the Next War
> http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/blog/michael-j-totten/get-ready-next-war?utm_source=World+Affairs+Newsletter&utm_campaign=1e47164b1a-Blog_Totten_Chang_Deasy_11_7_2012&utm_medium=email
> [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=xbd8pflab.0.qhr5rflab.wus7micab.3290&ts=S0837&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.worldaffairsjournal.org%2Fblog%2Fmichael-j-totten%2Fget-ready-next-war%3Futm_source%3DWorld%2BAffairs%2BNewsletter%26utm_campaign%3D1e47164b1a-Blog_Totten_Chang_Deasy_11_7_2012%26utm_medium%3Demail]
> ITEM 8: CBS: Muslim Brotherhood: Obama Needs To ‘Accept The Will Of The Arab People’
> http://washington.cbslocal.com/2012/11/07/muslim-brotherhood-obama-needs-to-accept-the-will-of-the-arab-people/
> [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=xbd8pflab.0.rhr5rflab.wus7micab.3290&ts=S0837&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwashington.cbslocal.com%2F2012%2F11%2F07%2Fmuslim-brotherhood-obama-needs-to-accept-the-will-of-the-arab-people%2F] > FULL TEXTS
> ITEM 1a: AFRICA CONFIDENTIAL: Target Khartoum. Israel’s attack on a Khartoum arms
> factory highlights its tougher line in Africa and Sudan’s growing ties with Iran
> http://www.africa-confidential.com/article/id/4663/Target_Khartoum [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=xbd8pflab.0.khr5rflab.wus7micab.3290&ts=S0837&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.africa-confidential.com%2Farticle%2Fid%2F4663%2FTarget_Khartoum] > -Thanks to Gillian Lusk-
> Taken by surprise, Khartoum officials at first offered contradictory explanations
> for the devastating attack on the El Yarmouk arms factory in Khartoum at around
> midnight on 23-24 October. After emergency discussions, the regime blamed Israel
> and complained to the United Nations Security Council. Although Iran and Arab governments
> condemned the attack, there was little real Arab support and virtually none from > elsewhere.
> The trigger for the bombing of the El Yarmouk Industrial Complex was an attack on
> Israel from Gaza using Sudanese-made rockets, a senior Sudanese opposition source
> claimed. Opposition parties have supporters – and therefore sources – even in government
> organisations. As always, Israel declined to confirm or deny the attack but one
> serving official told Africa Confidential that the reason was developments in the
> Sinai Desert, where Al Qaida and other jihadists had built up bases as Egypt’s former > regime under President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak was losing control.
> ‘We need time to understand exactly what happened here, but the role of Sudan is
> clear: it is a dangerous terrorist state,’ the Israeli Defence Ministry’s Director
> of Policy and Political Military Affairs, Major General (Retired) Amos Gilad, told
> Israeli Army Radio. After a strike against a Sudanese arms convoy in January 2009,
> the then Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, said: ‘We operate in every area where
> terrorist infrastructures can be struck. We are operating in locations near and
> far, and attack in a way that strengthens and increases deterrence. There is no
> point in elaborating. Everyone can use their imagination. Whoever needs to know,
> knows.’ At the time, Khartoum’s National Congress Party regime had kept quiet about
> the attack until relatives of the victims leaked it (AC Vol 50 No 7). The silence
> was later seen as an admission that the NCP was moving weapons, thought to be Fajr-3
> rockets, via Sinai to the ruling Harakat al Muqawama al Islamiya (Hamas) in Gaza.
> The government has hosted both Hamas and Hezbollah since the guru of the NCP (then
> called the National Islamic Front, NIF), Hassan Abdullah el Turabi, and Mustafa
> Osman Ismail set up the People’s Arab Islamic Conference in Khartoum in 1991 (AC > Vol 41 No 13). The PAIC was later seen as the cradle of Al Qaida. > Doomsday meteors
> This time, say opposition and other sources, the rockets for Gaza were Shihab (meteor),
> probably Shihab-3. These have a 1,280-kilometre range. Some observers doubted that
> such rockets would be destined for Gaza or that Iran would allow such a powerful
> weapon to be made in Sudan. Others counter that Iran needs a reliable manufacturing
> centre in case of an Israeli attack. ‘The sky was filled with burning phosphorus, > making people believe Doomsday had come’, said one Sudanese.
> Britain’s Sunday Times listed Israel’s attack force as eight F-15I aeroplanes, four
> carrying two one-tonne bombs, escorted by four fighters; two CH53 helicopters, in
> case crew rescue were required; one Boeing 707 tanker, to refuel the jets and choppers
> over the Red Sea; and crucially, a Gulfstream G550 ultra-long-range electronic warfare > jet.
> This was to jam Sudan’s radar. Production may have been underground. Photographs
> released by the United States-based Satellite Sentinel Project show the main target
> as a 60-metre shed in the north-east of the vast Yarmouk Complex and some 40 6.5
> m. containers, monitored days earlier. ‘While SSP cannot confirm that the shipping
> containers seen on October 12 remained at the site on October 24, analysis of the
> imagery is consistent with the presence of highly volatile cargo in the epicenter > of the explosions’, it says.
> SSP was set up with assistance from Harvard University and finance from the ‘Not
> on Our Watch’ group founded by actors George Clooney, Don Cheadle, Matt Damon and
> Brad Pitt. It also noted ‘at least six’ 16 m. impact craters. Most of Yarmouk was
> not targeted but it was damaged by a massive fire that reignited the next day and
> again on 29 October. Khartoum said that two people were killed and many injured
> but did not mention deaths at the factory itself. Local reports claimed at least
> seven Iranian engineers died. The regime still has rocket storage facilities near
> Kenana, in White Nile State, we hear. There were reports in White Nile that a convoy
> of weapons had been bombed some three weeks ago, a Sudanese source told us. Reuters > news agency quoted ‘Western intelligence sources’ as confirming this.
> Yarmouk, some 14 kilometres from central Khartoum, is in El Shejera (‘tree’, originally
> Gordon’s Tree) and a series of strategic installations is scattered across the area
> from the White Nile to the Blue Nile, mixed in with mainly down-market housing.
> The National Security and Intelligence Service (NISS) quickly cordoned off the area,
> refusing access even to police, who alone have the laboratory and other facilities > needed to investigate the damage.
> NISS officials locally blamed the attack on the Sudan People’s Liberation Army,
> which only served to enhance the image of regime disarray, since the SPLA (North
> or South) has no airpower. Khartoum State Governor Abdel Rahman el Khidr then explained
> that the fire had spread because of ‘dry grass’, after which the Sudan Armed Forces
> Spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Sawarmi Khalid Saad, blamed a welder. The NCP Spokesman,
> Professor Badr el Din Ahmed Ibrahim, offered yet another version and it was hours
> before Culture and Information Minister Ahmed Bilal Osman blamed Israel. The NCP
> was probably awaiting confirmation of Israel’s role from ‘other security forces > in the neighbourhood,’ an oppositionist said.
> Sudanese reacted with derision: ‘The government spends its energy on crushing the
> people not defending the country,’ one commented. Most of Sudan’s weapons – manufactured
> or imported (mainly from China, Iran, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine) – have been used
> at home. Khartoum’s growing military cooperation with Iran suggests it wants to
> build a serious arms export industry. Intelligence agencies will watch its links
> with Islamist governments and groups in Libya, Tunisia and most of all, Egypt, > more closely.
> Sudan’s relations with Iran – military and other – were active from soon after the
> 1989 coup but grew strongly after the 2008 and 2009 defence agreements. Several
> regime stalwarts had already been trained in security skills, including torture,
> in Iran. In 2008, the then Iranian Defence Minister, Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, described
> Sudan as ‘the pivot of Iran-Africa relations’. Under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,
> Iran’s push into Africa has grown rapidly. Israel monitors the ties between Tehran
> and Khartoum: ‘We know that it is also involved in shipping arms and weapons to
> Libya through Darfur. From Darfur, weapons also go to Chad and Mali. Meanwhile,
> Iran continues to increase its interests in the region through business links and > support of domestic wars,’ an official said.
> Tehran’s task force
> After the Yarmouk bombing, the Khartoum government emphasised its support for Palestine
> and Muslim causes but barely mentioned Iran. Tehran had other ideas. ‘A task force
> of the 22nd Iranian army docked in Sudan this morning,’ the Iranian Students’ News
> Agency reported on 29 October. The task force comprised ‘a helicopter fleet and
> destroyer ships, which have been sent to Sudan with a message of peace and security
> to the neighbouring countries and also of confronting terrorism.’ This news may > not have reassured neighbouring Gulf governments.
> Khartoum again declared itself at war with Israel; in fact, it has officially been
> at war since 1967. It also complained to the UN Security Council, where Ambassador
> Dafa’allah el Haj Ali Osman, a former envoy to Bangladesh and Pakistan, told the
> Council that Israel ‘was the main factor behind the conflict in Darfur’. Also on
> 29 October, though, Tariq al Humeid, Editor-in-Chief of Saudi Arabia’s Asharq al
> Awsat, which is close to the Royal Family, ridiculed Sudan’s pretensions to confront
> Israel or produce weapons when its people were hungry. He attributed Sudan’s problems > to ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ rule and failed to criticise Israel’s attack.
> ITEM 2a: James Dorsey: Algerian soccer violence signals mounting discontent. Strong
> arm or reform? http://mideastsoccer.blogspot.sg/2012/11/algerian-soccer-violence-signals.html
> [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=xbd8pflab.0.lhr5rflab.wus7micab.3290&ts=S0837&p=http%3A%2F%2Fmideastsoccer.blogspot.sg%2F2012%2F11%2Falgerian-soccer-violence-signals.html] > Sunday, November 4, 2012
> An upsurge in soccer-related violence in Algeria serves as a warning that 18 months
> after the government quelled mass protests with increased wages and social spending
> frustration is mounting with the failure of the country’s gerontocracy in control
> since independence to share power with a younger generation, create jobs and address > housing problems.
> In the latest incident, the Kuwait news agency reported that dozens of people, including
> a player, were injured this weekend when supporters of Jeunesse Sportive de la Saoura
> (JSS) stormed the pitch during a premier league match in their home stadium in Meridja
> in the eastern province of Bechar against Algiers-based Union Sportive de la Médina
> d’El Harrach (USM). The incident followed a massive brawl in September between players > and between fans after a Libya-Algeria Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
> Relations between the two countries have been strained since Algeria refused to
> support last year’s NATO-backed popular revolt that overthrew Libyan leader Moammar
> Qaddafi. Algeria has since granted refuge to Mr. Qaddafi’s wife Safiya and his daughter
> Aisha. One of his sons, Hannibal, is also believed to be in Algeria. Libya apologized
> last month after hundreds of Libyan fans surrounded the Algerian embassy in Tripoli > and rippled the Algerian emblem from the building and burnt an Algerian flag.
> Stadiums have long been a nucleus of protest in soccer-crazy Algeria. A 2007 diplomatic
> cable sent by the US embassy in Algiers and disclosed by Wikileaks linked a soccer
> protest in the desert city of Boussaada to demonstrations in the western port city
> of Oran sparked by the publication of a highly contentious list of government housing
> recipients. The cable warned that “this kind of disturbance has become commonplace,
> and appears likely to remain so unless the government offers diversions other than > soccer and improves the quality of life of its citizens.”
> Mass protests early last year initially suggested that Algeria would join the first
> wave of Arab nations whose leaders had been toppled. The government quelled the
> unrest by hiking salaries and social spending on the back of its oil and gas revenues > that have enabled it to build up foreign reserves in excess of $186 billion.
> The government also benefittd from the fact that many Algerians, who vividly recall
> the violence of the 1990s that left some 100,000 people dead, have become cautious > because of the chaos in post-Qaddafi Libya and the civil war in Syria.
> As a result, a tacit understanding has emerged between Algerian soccer fans and
> security forces that football supporters could express their grievances as long
> as did so within the confines of the stadiums. The recent incidents underline the
> fragility of the understanding and have aroused fears that protests could at any > time spill back into the streets of Algiers and other cities.
> Discontent over lack of water, housing, electricity, jobs and salaries pervades
> the country, sparking almost daily protests inside and outside the stadiums and
> clashes with security forces. A quarter of the Algerian population lives under the
> poverty line and unemployment is rampant. More than 70 percent of Algeria’s 37 million
> people are under 30 and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) puts youth unemployment
> at 21 percent. Protests earlier this year in Laghouat and other oil and gas cities,
> symbolic of simmering discontent, have gone viral in social media. Soccer matches
> were suspended during last year’s mass protests and again during legislative elections > in May of this year.
> “In a context of political closure, a lack of serious political debates and projects
> for society and of a weakened political society, football stadia become one of the
> few occasions for the youth to gather, to feel a sense of belonging (for 90 minutes
> at least), to express their frustrations over their socio-economic condition, to
> mock the symbol of the state’s authority and to transgress the boundary of (imposed)
> political order and institutionalized language, or the narrative of the state’s
> political and moral legitimacy,” cautioned Algerian soccer scholar Mahfoud Amara
> in a book, ‘Sport, Politics and Society in the Arab World,’ published earlier this > year.
> Just how close discontent is to the breaking point is likely to become clear in
> the coming months as the government, apparently convinced that it has gained the
> upper hand, prepares to cut back on social spending that helped restore order.
> The government’s draft budget for next year envisions an 11.2 percent cutback, according
> to documents seen by Reuters. The news agency said the budget was based on the assumption
> that oil prices would average $90 a barrel rather than the $100 that Algeria, according
> to the IMF, needs to balance its books. Oil accounts for 60 percent of government > revenues.
> Algeria’s fragility is reinforced by its political uncertainty. With 75-year old
> Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika ill and unlikely to run for a fourth term,
> it remains unclear who in the country’s dying leadership that consists of men in
> their seventies and eighties will take over after presidential elections scheduled
> for 2014. Two of the country’s past presidents, 96-year old Ahmed Ben Bella and
> 82-year old Chadli Benjedid, have already died this year. “Bouteflika is in love
> with his throne, he wants another term,” is a popular anti-government chant in
> stadiums despite the reports that the president will withdraw after his current > term.
> The sense that the government feels confident and may if necessary opt for strong
> arm tactics rather than reform was reinforced earlier this year when General Bachir
> Tartag was recalled from retirement to head the Directorate for Internal Security
> (DSI). Gen. Tartag, who is believed to be in his sixties, made a name for himself
> during the civil war against the Islamists in the 1990s as one of Algeria’s most > notorious hardliners and a brutal military commander.
> The appointment positions him as a potential successor to aging Algerian spy chief
> Gen. Gen. Mohamed ‘Tewfik’ Mediene, widely viewed as the number two within the Algerian
> regime. Algeria has moreover recently adopted a number of laws that emphasize security
> rather than reform and impose restrictions on the media, associations and political
> parties, which according to Amnesty International violate international conventions > signed by Algeria.
> James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International
> Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and the author of the blog, > The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer.
> ITEM 3a: Jonathan Neumann: Obama’s Middle East? It’s déjà vu all over again http://standpointmag.co.uk/features-november-12-obamas-middle-east-its-deja-vu-all-over-again-jonathan-neumann-president-carter-arab-spring-hostage-crisis
> [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=xbd8pflab.0.mhr5rflab.wus7micab.3290&ts=S0837&p=http%3A%2F%2Fstandpointmag.co.uk%2Ffeatures-november-12-obamas-middle-east-its-deja-vu-all-over-again-jonathan-neumann-president-carter-arab-spring-hostage-crisis] > -Thanks to Priscilla Jensen-
> November 2012
> Among critics of Barack Obama, comparisons with Jimmy Carter became ever more frequent
> as his presidency progressed. After all, both presided over stagnant economies,
> created large new federal departments, bailed out auto companies, sought to reform > healthcare, and put pressure on Israel.
> Both presidents also exhibited similar accomplishments and interests: one, a peanut
> farmer and one-term governor who emerged from obscurity to beat the incumbent (but
> unelected) Republican president, Gerald Ford; the other, a community organiser and
> one-term senator who also came from nowhere to overcome Hillary Clinton and the
> Democratic Party establishment in a bruising primary and go on to win the contest > to succeed President George W. Bush.
> Obama and Carter are both zealous advocates of nuclear arms reduction. The Carter
> administration was convinced that the Soviet Union had “similar dreams and aspirations”
> to the US. Carter and his Soviet counterpart Leonid Brezhnev pledged to limit nuclear
> forces under the Salt II agreement. The less optimistic Senate refused to ratify
> the agreement, however. A few months later, the peace-pursuing Soviet Union invaded > Afghanistan.
> Barack Obama, too, has long been concerned with nuclear stockpiles. In his senior
> year at Columbia University he wrote a paper on the issue. As president, he pledged
> to advance the cause of eradicating nuclear weapons, convened a conference in 2010
> to advance the matter, and consistently referred to this hope in his speeches. The
> dissonance between his determination to rid the world of existing nuclear weapons
> and his unwillingness to take stronger measures to prevent Iran from developing > new ones is quite remarkable.
> Both presidents have also received dubious Nobel Peace Prizes. Neither has impressive
> accomplishments to point to: the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel was signed
> in spite, not because, of Carter; and Obama had been in the White House for less
> than two weeks before he was nominated for the prize. Recognising this dearth of
> achievement, the Nobel committee could only present both awards on the basis of > effort.
> For all their efforts, however, both presidents have scored poorly in their policies
> toward the Middle East, and for the same reasons. So argues the American-Israeli
> journalist Ruthie Blum in her short and engrossing book, To Hell in a Handbasket
> (RVP Press), which compares the American embassy hostage crisis in Iran under Carter
> with the so-called Arab Spring under Obama. The book provides abundant material
> from which to draw parallels in the Middle East diplomacy of these two Democratic > presidents.
> The American embassy in Tehran was attacked and its staff taken hostage in November
> 1979 in the midst of the Iranian revolution that brought Ayatollah Khomeini to power
> and transformed the country into the Islamic Republic that it remains to this day.
> The Shah had been toppled and was travelling the world seeking refuge and, more
> pressingly, medical treatment for his cancer. Carter was reluctant to permit the
> deposed monarch entry, but after months of pressure from advisers and others, the
> Shah’s request was granted. The protests around the embassy, as well as the attack
> on it, were ostensibly triggered by this consent for the Shah, who was wanted in > Iran for trial.
> With misplaced confidence in the Ayatollah, the Carter administration pursued futile
> diplomacy for months, deploying a rescue team only in the spring of 1980. After
> the mission was bungled, the crisis continued through that year’s election season > and undoubtedly contributed to Reagan’s victory.
> There are several instructive parallels between this episode and the Arab Spring,
> which has occurred during President Obama’s term in office and has seen several
> Middle Eastern autocrats, including US allies, challenged and even toppled by their > countrymen.
> The first parallel pertains to background attitudes. Both presidents projected weakness
> and sent the wrong messages. Their aspirations to rid the world (including America)
> of nuclear weapons, the pressure they both put on Israel, and their shared preference
> for humanitarianism over force, signalled a diminished confidence in the virtues > of American and allied strength.
> Carter’s attitude was noted by the counter-terrorism force charged with training
> to rescue the hostages in Iran, known as Delta Force. The unit had not expected
> to be deployed by an administration so repulsed by the notion of force. As one
> of its members pointed out, Carter had said at the outset of the crisis, “We will
> do nothing to jeopardise the lives of those hostages.” What he should have said
> was, “All options are on the table.” The choice of words reflected the administration’s
> attitude: several months into the crisis, as the use of force became unavoidable, > the pacifistic secretary of state, Cyrus Vance, felt obliged to resign.
> His deputy, Warren Christopher, responded with incredulity to a briefing by Delta
> Force’s commander, who explained that the unit planned to scale the embassy walls > and “take out the guards”.
> “Will you shoot them in the shoulder, or what?” Christopher asked. “No sir,” replied
> the commander, “we’re going to shoot them each twice, right between the eyes.” Christopher’s > response: “You mean you’re really going to shoot to kill? You really are?”
> This attitude was also evident in policy, particularly in regard to the CIA, the
> bogeyman of the Cold War and, as far as the administration was concerned, the cause
> of global anti-Americanism. Hoping to improve America’s image, Carter’s CIA director
> fired 800 operatives. Naturally, this adversely affected the agency’s ability to
> operate in Iran before and during the crisis. For instance, Delta Force would need
> ground transportation in Iran once the rescue operation was under way. But since
> the CIA had been gutted, the unit had to bring an agent in Germany out of retirement > to travel to Iran to buy trucks.
> Because the Carter administration repeatedly demonstrated an abhorrence for force
> and preference for diplomacy, dangerous precedents were set. When the American embassy
> in Iran was attacked in November 1979, it was not for the first time: it had already
> been targeted in February as the revolution got under way. Since Carter had relied
> on the interim administration which had replaced the Shah to restore safety to the
> embassy in February, the hostage-takers rightly assumed he would do the same thing
> again. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s current president, was among the hostage-takers
> in 1979 and had been involved in the plan from its inception. He initially advocated
> taking the “Marxist anti-God” Soviet embassy rather than the American embassy: he
> was outvoted not only because the hostage-takers viewed the US as the more satanic
> of the two superpowers, but also because they understood that the Soviets would
> treat any intrusion as an act of war and kill the attackers. The Americans, on the
> other hand, would presumably rely on the Iranian government – by this point sympathetic
> to the hostage-takers-to deal with the problem, as they had done before. The hostage-takers
> were vindicated in their assumptions. Khomeini observed: “There’s not a damned > thing Carter can do about it.”
> The Obama administration has also sent the wrong messages. Like Carter, Obama set
> out to be different to his predecessors. He set his sights on American military
> spending, which he planned to cut by half a trillion dollars over the next decade.
> Combined with another $500 billion of automatic cuts, the trillion-dollar reduction
> in defence spending deflates America’s global ambitions and, as with Carter’s CIA > cuts, also its capacity.
> Throughout the Arab Spring, just like Carter during the hostage crisis, Obama has
> reiterated his and America’s respect for Muslims’ beliefs instead of focusing on
> the strategic threats posed by the rise of Islamism. And just as Carter advocated
> a largely passive and reactive approach to the hostage crisis, so has the Obama
> administration toward the Middle East. One of Iran’s leading strategists recently
> noted the “current passive climate in the US”. This passivity also underlies Obama’s
> policy of “leading from behind” on the Arab Spring. For example, Obama finally took
> a position on the revolution in Tunisia on the day that the country’s president > was ousted.
> The second critical parallel between the Iranian hostage crisis and the Arab Spring
> is a failure to understand what the revolutions are about. Despite protestations
> from such figures as the renowned Orientalist Bernard Lewis, Carter wanted to trust
> Khomeini, and failed to understand what the hostages eventually did: that tough
> talk, not appeasement, was more helpful in resolving the crisis. Above all, the
> Carter administration stubbornly believed that it was the Shah’s presence in the
> US that was angering the Iranians, and hoped that his death in mid-1980 would bring > an end to the crisis. It didn’t. The hostages remained in captivity.
> Obama has demonstrated comparable ignorance and wishful thinking. His administration
> has failed to recognise that terms such as “democracy” and “oppression” mean very
> different things to the Arab protesters who utilise them. As the National Review’s
> Andrew McCarthy has pointed out, the demonstrations are against the secular regimes’
> repression not of the people, but of Islam. And yet, even as the Arab Spring began
> to look, as Blum puts it, more like the Iranian revolution than the American one,
> National Intelligence director James Clapper still considered the Muslim Brotherhood
> to be “largely secular” and, hoping to cooperate with the group, American diplomats,
> as well as Senator John Kerry, met Brotherhood officials. Carter himself travelled
> to revolutionary Egypt and welcomed the news that Obama would recognise the Brotherhood’s
> impending electoral victory, in contrast to President Bush’s refusal to recognise > Hamas when it won the 2006 Palestinian Authority election.
> During the recent demonstrations, ostensibly provoked by a video of a film on the
> Prophet Muhammad posted on the internet, the Obama administration went as far as
> to spend $70,000 on advertisements in Pakistan to repudiate the film. But just
> as the American embassy in Iran had been attacked on the 15th anniversary of the
> exile of Ayatollah Khomeini by the Shah, so the recent attack on the American embassy
> in Egypt and the terrorist attack on the consulate in Libya fell on the anniversary
> of 9/11. The video was merely the pretext, and apologies are as counter-productive > now as they were in the past.
> As country after country falls to Islamism, the third instructive parallel between
> the two presidents’ Middle East policy becomes evident: consequences. Before the
> American embassy was attacked in Iran, the Israeli embassy was sacked and its flag
> replaced with the PLO banner. The Israeli diplomats managed to escape, hiding out
> for a week before leaving the country. During that time, the Israeli military attaché
> was approached by his American counterpart and the ambassador, who offered him sanctuary
> in their embassy. Amazed by their naivety, he warned them that they were next –
> to no avail. The embassy of the Great Satan was targeted four days after that of > the Little Satan.
> The attack on the American embassy in Cairo was preceded by an attack on Israel’s
> embassy a year earlier. Since the fall of Mubarak, Egypt and Iran have renewed the
> diplomatic ties which had been cut by Iran when Anwar Sadat signed Egypt’s peace
> treaty with Israel. There is increased talk in Egypt about officially revising > the treaty.
> Back in 1980, a joke went around: “What’s flat as a pancake and glows in the dark?
> Iran, after Reagan becomes president.” The election, which Reagan won, fell on the
> first anniversary of the hostage-taking, with the diplomats still in captivity.
> They were released on the day of the new president’s inauguration. In the 2012 election,
> Iranian Islamism was still a primary issue, but now joined by Arab Islamism spreading > across the Middle East.
> ITEM 4a: TIMES OF ISRAEL: Obama’s personal emissary holding secret talks with Iran,
> Israeli paper claims Iranian-born special adviser Valerie Jarrett said to be negotiating
> with representative of Tehran’s supreme leader Khamenei http://www.timesofisrael.com/obamas-personal-emissary-holding-secret-talks-with-iran-israeli-paper-claims/
> [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=xbd8pflab.0.nhr5rflab.wus7micab.3290&ts=S0837&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.timesofisrael.com%2Fobamas-personal-emissary-holding-secret-talks-with-iran-israeli-paper-claims%2F] > November 5, 2012, 6:32 pm 3
> President Barack Obama dispatched a personal emissary to a series of secret meetings
> in recent months with Iranian officials led by a personal representative of Iran’s
> supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Israel’s biggest-selling daily newspaper > claimed on Monday.
> Quoting senior Israeli sources, the daily Yedioth Ahronoth named the Obama emissary
> as Valerie Jarrett, 55, a Chicago lawyer and good friend of Obama’s who serves as > a special adviser to the president.
> The paper described Jarrett – who was herself born in Shiraz, Iran, to American
> parents – as “a key figure in secret contacts the White House is conducting with > the Iranian regime.”
> The contacts, described by Yedioth as “secret negotiations,” have been going on
> for several months, the report said. They were initiated by Jarrett, and have been
> directed personally by her, the paper said, quoting its unnamed Israeli sources.
> “Jarrett served as the personal and direct emissary of the president to secret meetings
> with the Iranians, which are understood to have taken place in one of the Gulf principalities, > probably the Kingdom of Bahrain,” Yedioth quoted its sources as saying.
> Last month, The New York Times and NBC reported that Washington has held secret
> contacts with Iran, with the goal of entering more substantive negotiations over
> the Iranian nuclear program. According to the report in The New York Times, Iran
> was open to the possibility, but asked to wait until after the American elections > on November 6 so that it would know who it was negotiating with.
> Last week, another Israeli daily, Maariv, reported that Obama began a process ultimately
> designed to reestablish full US diplomatic relations with Iran, including a reopening
> of embassies, soon after he took office. The initiative was part of a wider shift
> in America’s diplomatic orientation, aimed at reaching understandings with Tehran
> over suspending its nuclear program, Maariv claimed, citing “two Western diplomats > very close to the administration.”
> That initiative led to at least two US-Iran meetings, the report said. Israel was
> made aware of the contacts, and opposed them. But Iran rebuffed the “diplomatic
> hand” offered by the White House, Maariv reported. The Islamist regime “opposed
> any sign of normalization with the US, and refused to grant a ‘prize’ to the Americans,” > according to an anonymous Israeli source quoted by the paper.
> According to Maariv, Deputy Secretary of State William Burns met with chief Iranian
> nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili for an hour in 2009, and one other meeting between > officials from both sides took place as well.
> ITEM 5a: Alan Johnson: The Muslim Brotherhood are turning into Leninists in Islamist
> dress. Egypt is in real trouble http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/alanjohnson/100187839/the-muslim-brotherhood-are-turning-into-leninists-in-islamist-dress-egypt-is-in-real-trouble/
> [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=xbd8pflab.0.ohr5rflab.wus7micab.3290&ts=S0837&p=http%3A%2F%2Fblogs.telegraph.co.uk%2Fnews%2Falanjohnson%2F100187839%2Fthe-muslim-brotherhood-are-turning-into-leninists-in-islamist-dress-egypt-is-in-real-trouble%2F]
> Alan Johnson is the Editor of Fathom: for a deeper understanding of Israel and the
> region and Senior Research Fellow at the Britain Israel Communications and Research
> Centre (BICOM). A professor of democratic theory and practice, he is an editorial
> board member of Dissent magazine, and a Senior Research Associate at The Foreign > Policy Centre.
> November 5th, 2012
> Paul Berman, the New York intellectual, is perhaps the most penetrating and imaginative
> essayist writing about Islamist movements and ideas alive today. In 2010 he published
> The Flight of the Intellectuals, a stylish account of the Muslim Brotherhood: the
> Islamist political movement founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna (known in
> Arabic as al-Ikhwan al-Muslimeen). According to Berman, the party was shaped decisively
> in both its ideology and organisational methods by mid-century European totalitarianism
> and was a politically hardened, ideologically-driven and anti-Semitic movement.
> It was from this inconvenient truth that much of the western media and many public > intellectuals were in flight.
> When I praised Berman’s insights to a group of normally super-astute democracy promotion
> analysts in DC, to my surprise most took the view that Berman’s thesis was “crazy”
> and that the Muslim Brotherhood were really like the Christian Democracy in Europe;
> they had confessional roots, for sure, but were pragmatic folk and could be a force
> for “moderation”. I responded that the Brotherhood was exactly like the CDU – apart > from its party structure, ideology, rhetoric, policy, and goals.
> Back in 2010 ours was an academic argument. Well, not any more. The Brotherhood
> will dominate the region’s politics over the next decade. It is already regnant
> in Egypt, the most populous Arab country and the intellectual fulcrum of both the
> Arab and Muslim worlds, after sweeping to power earlier this year by winning the
> parliamentary and presidential elections, marginalising the secular democrats and
> knocking the military off their perch. In Tunisia the Brotherhood sits in government
> in the form of Rachid Ghannouchi’s Ennahda. The Justice and Construction Party (JCP)
> in Libya only won 17 of the 80 seats available for parties in the elections for
> Libya’s 200-strong national congress in July, but hopes to do better next time (the
> Brotherhood is very patient). The Syrian branch will be a force in any post-Assad
> regime (in the early 1980s the Syrian branch conducted an armed rebellion) and in
> Jordan it grows in strength. Hamas, of course, is the Palestinian branch of the > Muslim Brotherhood.
> Unfortunately, recent events in Egypt suggest it is the “crazy” Berman who is the > better guide to what to expect next.
> The Brotherhood is set to make Islamic Sharia law the main source of the new Egyptian
> constitution. And this is no mere symbolic gesture as it was in the old constitution.
> Manal el-Tibi, a human rights activist, left the constituent assembly complaining
> ‘The Islamists dominate and they want not only an Islamic Egypt but a caliphate”.
> She might be right. Dr Mahmoud Ghozlan, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance
> Bureau and Member of the Constituent Assembly explained last month that because
> “the majority of the Egyptian people are eager to live in the shade of Islamic law”
> (a phrase surely drawn from Sayyid Qutb’s book In the Shade of the Koran) then “the
> Islamists in the Constituent Assembly (CA) … [have added] an article in the …new
> draft constitution, which reads ‘the principles of Islamic Sharia include general
> evidence and fundamentalist bases, rules and jurisprudence as well as sources accepted
> by doctrines of Sunni Islam and the majority of Muslim scholars’ will be the basis
> of legislation, including legislation about women’s status.” It was very telling
> that Yousseri Hamad, spokesman of the ultra-conservative Salafist Al-Nour party,
> which won 20 percent of the popular vote and thinks the Brotherhood too moderate > and western, has said the clause “satisfies us and we agree on it”.
> The party has chosen the arch-conservative Saad al-Katatni as its new leader. Our
> task, he said on accepting the post, is to “implement righteous rule based on Islamic
> Sharia laws”. Most alarming of all, Mohammed Badie, the Supreme Guide of the Muslim
> Brotherhood, (and that too is no symbolic title) recently called on the Arab world
> to replace negotiations with Israel with “holy Jihad”. In an astonishing anti-Semitic
> rant, he claimed: “The Jews have dominated the land, spread corruption on earth,
> spilled the blood of believers and in their actions profaned holy places, including
> their own. Zionists only understand the language of force and will not relent without
> duress. This will only happen through holy Jihad, high sacrifices and all forms > of resistance.”
> In fact, when cleric Futouh Abd Al-Nabi Mansour recently prayed for Allah to “deal
> with the Jews and all their supporters,” during a sermon, the kneeling President
> Morsi, the victorious Brotherhood candidate, was seen to mouth “Amen” in a video > posted by MEMRI.
> Little wonder then that senior Israeli defence official Amos Gilad revealed last
> week that the Israeli and Egyptian leaderships are not in contact. “There is no
> talk between our political echelon and that of Egypt, and I don’t think there will
> be. [They] won’t talk to us.” Gilad added that “out of a desire for democracy, a
> terrible dictatorship has arisen in Egypt”. So, is the Israeli-Egyptian Peace Treaty > in doubt? Not at this moment, but can it survive in this atmosphere?
> And yet, the future remains open. The Brotherhood are clearly struggling with some
> of the realities of power – for example, Morsi keeps sending friendly letters to
> Israeli President Shimon Peres, then his office denies that he sent them. Badie
> talks about jihad against Israel while the Egyptian army attacks jihadi groups
> in Sinai that are attacking Israel. The question is at what point (if ever) do these > contradictions become untenable, and how will they resolve them?
> This is the West’s chance. Egypt’s desperate need for aid and the support of western
> governments in the institutions of global economic governance gives real leverage.
> Egypt needs a staggering 700,000 new jobs each year just to keep the current unemployment
> rate stable. That requires a growth rate of 5-7 percent, not the current 1.8 percent.
> And, don’t forget, the young democrats of Tahrir Square now understand their relative
> weakness, but they have not gone away. The Islamists should know we democrats too
> have generational patience. But if the future is to belong to us, the West must
> use its leverage to hold open the public square. It is vital that politics itself
> is not closed down. The Egyptian democrats must be able to organise in a second
> election, and a third, after office has knocked the gloss off an inevitably compromised > Brotherhood.
> Back in 2001 the Iranian sisters Ladan and Roya Boroumand wrote a seminal article,
> “Terror, Islam and Democracy”. They warned that Islamist political movements, including
> the Muslim Brotherhood, confront the West with “Leninism in Islamist dress”. Once
> again we confront “a power that saw itself as God on earth, organised as an all-powerful
> state, denying the right to individual belief, and reserving the right to define
> truth about and for the individual”. It is time to see the Brotherhood plain. And
> to start playing hard ball on behalf of our true friends in that part of the world.
> ITEM 6a: Lee Smith: Report: W.H. in Talks with Iran http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/report-wh-talks-iran_660396.html
> [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=xbd8pflab.0.phr5rflab.wus7micab.3290&ts=S0837&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.weeklystandard.com%2Fblogs%2Freport-wh-talks-iran_660396.html] > 2:45 PM, NOV 5, 2012
> The Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot is reporting that the Obama administration
> has been conducting one-on-one talks with its Iranian counterparts. Negotiations,
> according to the report, have been held in Bahrain and have been led by Obama confidante > Valerie Jarrett.
> The story is curious on a number of levels. It seems unlikely that if such talks
> existed they would take place in Bahrain. The Sunni government of the tiny Persian
> Gulf kingdom has long accused the Islamic Republic of Iran of trying to incite the
> country’s Shia majority. The regime’s anxiety doubled with the onset of the Arab
> uprisings, which brought large, and often violent, protests, to the streets of
> Manama and the regime responded with brutal repressive measures. While urging Bahrain
> to open its political system, the Obama administration has stood by its Gulf ally, > which hosts the U.S. Fifth Fleet.
> News that the Bahraini regime is hosting talks between the United States and an
> international power that it has identified as its number one enemy actively seeking
> to overthrow the ruling order would play strangely throughout the country. Salafis
> and hardline Sunnis might accuse the government of appeasement, while Bahrain’s
> Shia might well wonder if the state’s public face regarding Iran was merely used
> to rationalize the continued oppression of the country’s largest community. With
> much of the world available to host private meetings between Washington and Tehran,
> it is hard to see why the Obama administration would put Bahrain in this awkward > position.
> Nonetheless, the story may well clarify other matters of interest.
> Last month the New York Times reported that Iran had agreed “in principle for the > first time to one-on-one negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.”
> In acknowledging the significance of the timing of the story-“just two weeks before
> Election Day and the weekend before the final debate, which is to focus on national
> security and foreign policy”-the Times sounded like a campaign organ. The agreement
> to hold talks, said the paper, had “the potential to help Mr. Obama make the case
> that he is nearing a diplomatic breakthrough in the decade-long effort by the world’s
> major powers to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.” Elect Romney, however, and it’s
> a different situation. “It is also far from clear that Mr. Obama’s opponent, Mitt
> Romney,” the paper opined, “would go through with the negotiation should he win > election.”
> Nonetheless, the White House immediately denied the Times report. “It’s not true
> that the United States and Iran have agreed to one-on-one talks or any meeting
> after the American elections,” said National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor.
> “We continue to work with the P5+1 [five permanent members of the U.N. security
> council plus Germany] on a diplomatic solution and have said from the outset that > we would be prepared to meet bilaterally.”
> In other words, if some in the White House saw the leak as a part of the Obama reelection
> campaign, others seem to have been concerned that news the U.S. intended to conduct
> bilateral meetings with the Iranians might confuse America’s diplomatic partners,
> Russia in particular, says the Yediot report. Presumably the source of the Times
> leak, however accurate, is not one of the White House’s professional policymakers.
> Perhaps it was the same person who is now allegedly leading talks with Tehran.
> ITEM 7a: Michael Totten: Get Ready for the Next War http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/blog/michael-j-totten/get-ready-next-war?utm_source=World+Affairs+Newsletter&utm_campaign=1e47164b1a-Blog_Totten_Chang_Deasy_11_7_2012&utm_medium=email
> [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=xbd8pflab.0.qhr5rflab.wus7micab.3290&ts=S0837&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.worldaffairsjournal.org%2Fblog%2Fmichael-j-totten%2Fget-ready-next-war%3Futm_source%3DWorld%2BAffairs%2BNewsletter%26utm_campaign%3D1e47164b1a-Blog_Totten_Chang_Deasy_11_7_2012%26utm_medium%3Demail] > 5 November 2012
> In March of 2001, the Taliban used anti-aircraft guns, anti-tank missiles, artillery
> cannons, and dynamite to obliterate enormous ancient Buddha statues carved into
> the cliffsides at Bamiyan. The statues were monuments to heresy, the Taliban said, > and therefore must be destroyed.
> I’ll never forget how a friend of mine in Oregon reacted. “We have to invade,” he > said.
> I thought he was nuts. Invade a country in the ass-end of nowhere over cultural > vandalism?
> “If they’ll destroy harmless statues,” he said, “they’ll destroy anything and anyone. > So they’re a threat to everything and everyone. Just wait. You’ll see.”
> He’s not a foreign policy professional nor a military historian. He’s just a concerned
> American citizen who had a very bad feeling about Afghanistan’s tyrannical overlords.
> Six months later, the worst attack against the United States in American history > came out of Afghanistan. The longest war in American history followed.
> Now Mali, a West African country that straddles the Sahara and the transitionary
> Sahel region, is shaping up to be the next Afghanistan. Earlier this year, shortly
> after a military coup toppled the feckless civilian government in Bamako, an Al
> Qaeda-affiliated organization called Ansar al-Dine seized power in Timbuktu and > lopped off the northern part of the country.
> The harshest form of Islamic law in the world is now being imposed at gunpoint.
> Ancient tombs and shrines are being bulldozed for the exact same reason the Buddha
> statues were destroyed in Afghanistan. And the place has turned into a rat’s nest > of the who’s-who of terrorist organizations operating in North Africa.
> This time around, we aren’t waiting for a devastating attack against an American
> city to do something about it, and not only because Al Qaeda is already a clearly
> identified enemy of the United States. Northern Mali may already be the return address
> for an attack against the United States. Some of the leaders of Al Qaeda in the
> Maghreb, which was presumably behind the terrorist attack in Benghazi that killed > U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, are believed to be based there.
> The United Nations Security Council authorized ECOWAS, the Economic Union of West
> African States-a regional bloc to which Mali belongs-to hatch a plan to retake the
> area. “We must take action to root out the Al-Qaeda, drug traffickers, kidnappers
> and other criminal elements who are turning northern Mali into a home for terrorists,”
> says Nigeria’s president Goodluck Jonathan. But African soldiers will need some
> serious help. “We know that ECOWAS can’t do it by itself, and they know it, too,”
> says Anouar Boukhars from the Carnegie Endowment. “There has to be logistical support > and air support.”
> The European Union is sending hundreds of military officers to train anti-Islamist
> militias while the United States is considering the use of Predator drones and Hellfire > missiles.
> Ansar al-Dine deserves everything coming its way. Mali was a political success story
> before the Islamists took hold of the north. The country had what appeared to be
> a stable democratic government despite being one of the poorest on earth. Now it’s > Afghanistan. Or Somalia. At least parts of it are.
> The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates Mali now has
> more than 200,000 internally displaced persons. Der Spiegel’s Mali correspondent
> Paul Hyacinthe Mben says the number may be above 400,000. He quotes a mechanic
> in the emptied city of Gao who says the economy has collapsed, that it’s down by > 85 percent.
> The Islamists are going on a Taliban-like rampage of destruction, destroying ancient
> Muslim religious tombs and shrines because they’re “idolatrous.” Bulgarian diplomat
> Irina Bokova minces no words. “This attack is led by a tiny armed minority, who
> violently imposes its interpretation of a faith on a distraught local community,
> spoiling centuries of tolerance and exchange,” she says. “The attack on Timbuktu’s
> cultural heritage is an attack against this history and the values it carries-values
> of tolerance, exchange and living together… It is an attack against the physical > evidence that peace and dialogue is possible.”
> Music-all music-is banned. The Guardian reports a chilling recent story. Thugs armed
> with AK-47s drove up to the home of a local musician. He wasn’t there when they
> arrived, so they left a message with his sister. “If you speak to him, tell him
> that if he ever shows his face in this town again, we’ll cut off all the fingers > he uses to play his guitar with.”
> The paper also quotes Manny Ansar, the director of Timbuktu’s now-vanquished music
> festival in the desert. “People think that the problem is new. But the menace of
> al-Qaida started to have an effect on us in 2007. That’s when al-Qaida people started
> to appear in the desert. They came to the nomad camps near Essakane [the beautiful
> dunes to the west of Timbuktu where the Festival in the Desert used to be held]
> and at first they were pleasant and said, ‘Don’t worry, we’re Muslims like you.’
> Then they began to say, ‘We have a common enemy, which is the west.’ That’s when > I understood that things were going to get difficult.”
> Medieval-era Islamic laws have been imposed. Thieves have their hands cut off. Islamist
> policemen are everywhere. The “government” even whipped a 15-year old girl for speaking > to men on the street.
> Most of Africa is like Las Vegas at least in one way. What happens there tends to
> stay there. Hardly any African wars affect anybody off-continent. But Mali isn’t
> the Congo or Sierra Leone. It matters for the same reason Afghanistan mattered > in early 2001 even though most of us couldn’t see it yet.
> We might get lucky and have just a small proxy war, with moderate Tuaregs doing
> most of the fighting against Ansar al-Dine. But no one can say for sure where this
> thing is heading. All we know now is that it’s almost certainly the next war the > U.S. will be involved in.
> ITEM 8a: CBS: Muslim Brotherhood: Obama Needs To ‘Accept The Will Of The Arab People’
> http://washington.cbslocal.com/2012/11/07/muslim-brotherhood-obama-needs-to-accept-the-will-of-the-arab-people/
> [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=xbd8pflab.0.rhr5rflab.wus7micab.3290&ts=S0837&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwashington.cbslocal.com%2F2012%2F11%2F07%2Fmuslim-brotherhood-obama-needs-to-accept-the-will-of-the-arab-people%2F] > November 7, 2012 12:19 PM
> WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) – Islamists in the Middle East are speaking out following > President Barack Obama’s re-election Tuesday night.
> The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood feels that the only foreign policy change Obama > can bring is by “accepting the will of the Arab people.”
> “We must rely on ourselves and on our resources and build our country,” Issam Al-Aryan,
> a top Muslim Brotherhood official, said, according to The Times of Israel. “In the
> absence of direct American influence, Egypt can affect and lead the process of building
> a democratic and constitutional regime that will become a dream for African and > the southern hemisphere.”
> Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood wants to make Shariah Law the main source of the country’s > new constitution.
> Terror group Hamas is calling for Obama not to be “biased” toward Israeli interests > during his second term.
> “We heard moderate speech from Obama following his first term victory, but his policy
> was inconsistent with the speeches he gave in Egypt and Turkey,” Taher Nunu, a Hamas
> government spokesman, said, according to The Times of Israel. “He now has an opportunity
> to implement those promises to the nations of the region, far from pressures by > the Israel lobby and politicized money.”
> Iran wants Obama to force Israel to get rid of its nuclear weapons.
> Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Iran of a possible military
> strike if the Tehran regime continues its efforts in building a nuclear weapon. >
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