That’s an amazing quote. Jake Tapper, who has done a pretty fair job of chasing the Benghazi debacle through the denials of the administration, reports on the Congressional hearings held yesterday about the terrorist attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya:
The former regional security officer in Libya, Eric Nordstrom, recalled talking to a regional director and asking for twelve security agents.
“His response to that was, ‘You are asking for the sun, moon and the stars.’ And my response to him – his name was Jim – ‘Jim, you know what makes most frustrating about this assignment? It is not the hardships, it is not the gunfire, it is not the threats. It is dealing and fighting against the people, programs and personnel who are supposed to be supporting me. And I added (sic) it by saying, ‘For me the Taliban is on the inside of the building.’”
Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Wood, the commander of a Security Support Team (SST) sent home in August – against his wishes and, he says, the wishes of the late Ambassador Chris Stevens – said “we were fighting a losing battle. We couldn’t even keep what we had.”
Nordstrom agreed, saying, “it was abundantly clear we were not going to get resources until the aftermath of an incident. And the question that we would ask is again, ‘How thin does the ice need to get until someone falls through?’”
Patrick Kennedy, a career foreign service officer, claims, on his honor, that the denial wasn’t driven by politics. And, when questioned, the State Department claimed funds or the lack thereof had nothing to do with it.
So what did? Why in the world wouldn’t the request of a regional security chief be filled? After all, isn’t that what you pay him for, to assess and recommend? And doesn’t it make sense, unless he’s crying “wolf” every 30 seconds (in which case he should be replaced), to listen to his assessment and err on the side of safety for your people? That is if politics and money weren’t a factor.
Tapper later confronts Presidential spokesman Jay Carney with a very pointed question:
TAPPER: President Obama shortly after the attacks told “60 Minutes” that regarding Romney’s response to the attack, specifically in Egypt, the president said that Romney has a tendency to shoot first and aim later. Given the fact that so much was made out of the video that apparently had absolutely nothing to do with the attack on Benghazi, that there wasn’t even a protest outside the Benghazi post, didn’t President Obama shoot first and aim later?
Carney, of course, goes into full dissemble and evade mode. Read the whole exchange, it’s interesting.
Big point? Tapper’s exactly right. What we know now, as opposed to what we were told prior too and during the “60 Minutes” broadcast, are totally different. We went from a spontaneous protest over the anti-Islam video that mophed into a murderous attack on our ambassador there to no protest at all, a planned terrorist attack and all of it having to nothing to do with any video.
We know as a matter of course that the terrorists like to do things on certain anniversaries (it was 9/11) and since this was the year their leader had been killed, it stood to reason something like this would likely happen.
We also learned the US was warned about it 24 hours prior to it happening. And, as the hearings have pointed out, additional security assets were denied numerous times and an unacceptable security situation was left in place with the ultimate outcome being an attack, the murder of US citizens to include the Ambassador, the compromise of sensitive information and then a massive attempt at coverup.
Obama has a second debate coming up. It’s the foreign affairs debate. If this isn’t the topic of the night, then it will be clear he’s being covered for by those moderating the debate. Fair warning. Don’t be surprised if that’s the case. What should also be a topic is Russia’s refusal yesterday to renew it’s nuclear arms treaty with the US (how’s that “reset” working out?) as well as it’s overt and material support of both Syria and Iran, China’s apparent comfort with bullying our ally Japan over some South China Sea islands, why our relationship with Israel is so strained, how well he thinks the Muslim Brotherhood takeover of Egypt is working out in terms of the best interests of the US (which is, by the way, why we supposedly conduct foreign policy), and the obvious failure of his Afghanistan “strategy” (announce a surge at the same time you announce the pull out).
If those are actually things which are brought up and he walks off the stage afterward thinking he won, Dems can pack it in.
My guess is we’ll be hearing questions and comments about Bain’s investments in China (they have to be careful there since it seems one of Obama’s campaign finance bundlers is in China), as if that has anything to do with foreign affairs.
Hopefully I’m proven wrong and that dismal foreign affairs record (supposedly his “strength”) of this awful administration is actually brought out that night.
I’ll not be holding my breath though.
That’s when, if he wins, Obama promises to be “more flexible”:
The Obama administration is weighing the release of blind Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman — the spiritual adviser to the 1993 World Trade Center bombers — in a stunning goodwill gesture toward Egypt that has touched off a political firestorm, officials said yesterday.
The Egyptian government “asked for his release,” an administration source told The Post — and Rep. Peter King (R-LI) confirmed the request is being considered.
The White House, State Department and Justice Department each issued statements denying any deal is in the works, but, “There’s no way to believe anything they say,” said Andrew McCarthy, the former assistant US attorney who prosecuted Abdel-Rahman. “I believe there may already be a nod-and-wink agreement in place.” Abdel-Rahman, 74, was convicted in 1995 of plotting terror attacks throughout the city and is locked away in the medical wing of the Butner Federal Correctional Institution in North Carolina.
That would rock the house, wouldn’t it? Wonder what the Egyptians are promising … not to attack the Embassy anymore? Or to at least try to protect it?
This crew in the White House really needs to go home in a few months.
Oh, wait … Yemen too?
Yup, that “Arab Spring” thing is sure a positive for the US. Says the NY Times:
Turmoil in the Arab world linked to an American-made video denigrating the Prophet Muhammad spread on Thursday to Yemen, where hundreds of protesters attacked the American Embassy, two days after assailants killed the American ambassador in Libya and crowds tried to overrun the embassy compound in Cairo.
Is it about an “American-made video” really?
There are reports that those who stormed the embassy in Cairo were chanting: “Obama, Obama! There are still a billion Osama’s!”
They certainly weren’t chanting the crazy pastor’s name.
And it was done when? Oh yeah, on September 11th. And what was it they raised after they tore down the American flag and burned it?
Say, wasn’t it Al-Queda’s flag?
So, spontaneous, huh? In reaction to a film, eh?
Meanwhile in Libya, it appears that the “spontaneous” riot was a carefully planned assasination plot. And it worked.
But stick with that “in reaction to a film about Mohammed” nonsense, MSM.
The New York Times leads with that, but in passing, in the 24th paragraph of the story, it almost figures it out:
Also on Tuesday, a car bomb exploded in Yemen alongside a convoy of vehicles used by Yemen’s defense minister, killing seven bodyguards and five civilians in the heart of the capital, while the minister escaped unharmed, government and hospital officials said. The attack came one day after a top operative of Al Qaeda in Yemen was killed in what Yemeni officials called an American drone strike.
Those episodes and the violence on Thursday spoke to the continued volatility in poverty-stricken Yemen, where the United States is seeking to eradicate militant cells held responsible for a number of conspiracies, including an attempt by an operative of Al Qaeda to detonate a bomb hidden in his clothes on a flight bound for Detroit in December 2009.
Sorry folks … not buying the “this is about a film” nonsense. This is and was planned to happen on 9/11 in the same year Osama bin Laden was killed.
For goodness sake, consider the facts and think about it instead of sucking up the MSM pablum designed to protect the incumbent president (after all, why was the story about a dead US ambassador on an inside page and the NY Times condemnation of Mitt Romney on page 1?).
I guess some people have to have a whack over the head with a clue bat before they begin to realize that Egypt is headed down an Islamist path with a military twist:
Gaza’s Hamas premier was in Egypt Monday on his first trip outside the blockaded territory since the Islamists overran it in 2007, saying his meeting with his Islamic ideological mentors threatens Israel.
Ismail Haniyeh discussed Mideast politics with the leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which has emerged as the biggest winner in the first parliamentary elections in post-uprising Egypt, capturing nearly half of the seats so far.
Hamas is considered an offshoot of the Brotherhood.
Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie met Haniyeh at the group’s newly inaugurated headquarters in a Cairo suburb.
But, but … the Muslim Brotherhood is a “moderate” organization. Why? Uh, because they said so.
I don’t know about you but I’ve always believed that actions speak louder than words.
The Brotherhood center has always embraced issues of liberation, foremost the Palestinian issue," Badie said, according to Egypt’s state Middle East News Agency.
The Brotherhood renounced violence in the 1970s, but it supports Hamas in its "resistance" against Israel.
That’s how the “Brotherhood” can continue to claim it is a “moderate” organization while still remaining a radical terrorist organization … simply do the terrorism by proxy. Hamas is their terror organization and it is fully funded and supported by the “moderate” Muslim Brotherhood. Oh, and by the way, don’t be surprised if you see a Hamas presence established in Egypt now. The “moderate” Brotherhood will need a means of plausible deniability when acts of terror are perpetrated on enemies of the Brotherhood in days to come. And of course Hamas will provide that means and, of course, the Brotherhood can then condemn its actions in public for the Western press even while giving it the next mission.
That way the can keep the façade of moderation alive among those gullible enough in the West to still believe that.
And we still try to deny the source of the terror. What am I talking about, you ask?
A Massachusetts man who was plotting to use explosives and radio controlled aircraft was arrested yesterday by the FBI for plotting to blow up the Capital and Pentagon.
It was a rather imaginative and fantastic plot by Rezwan Ferdaus who believed himself to be working with members of al Qaeda. Of course that’s key to the point in the first sentence as you’ll see. Anyway, the plot:
Ferdaus allegedly gave the undercover FBI agents a detailed set of attack plans “with step-by-step instructions as to how he planned to attack the Pentagon and Capitol,” according to the Department of Justice.
The plans focused on the use of three small remote-controlled drone-like aircraft loaded with C-4 plastic explosives, which he planned to fly into the Capitol and the Pentagon using GPS equipment, according to the DOJ.
Ferdaus’s plan allegedly evolved to include a “ground assault” as well, in which six people would coordinate an automatic weapons attack with the aerial assault and massacre whomever came into their path, according to the DOJ.
For the past five months, Ferdaus has allegedly been stockpiling the equipment he needed for his proposed attack, including a remote-controlled aircraft, 25 pounds of fake C-4 explosives, six automatic AK-47 assault rifles and three grenades, according to the DOJ. He allegedly kept all of it in a storage facility in Massachusetts, where he was arrested.
Ferdaus allegedly modified eight cellphones to act as detonation devices for improvised explosive devices, and gave them to the FBI agents to be used against American soldiers in Iraq.
“During a June 2011 meeting, he appeared gratified when he was told that his first phone detonation device had killed three U.S. soldiers and injured four or five others in Iraq,” according to the DOJ. “Ferdaus responded, ‘That was exactly what I wanted.’”
According to the DOJ, a focal point of Ferdaus’s plots revolved around “jihad” and his desire to carry out the will of Allah.
The U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, Carmen M. Ortiz, stressed that any underlying religious motives to Ferdaus’s actions should not reflect on the Muslim culture at-large.
“I want the public to understand that Mr. Ferdaus’s conduct, as alleged in the complaint, is not reflective of a particular culture, community or religion,” Ortiz said.
Really? So none of this was “reflective of a particular culture, community or religion?
Poppycock. It is indeed reflective of a particular culture, community and religion no matter how perverted other adherents of that religion claim otherwise. It certainly doesn’t mean that that all Muslims agree or that the community at large would act this way, but we need to quit pretending actions like this just magically happen without any influence from those three areas.
How else, then, do you get the “culture, community and religion” to face up to the fact that it has some responsibility in what is happening in this ongoing “jihad” (yeah, there’s a religion and culture free word)?
This should be interesting to watch unfold, given the propensity of Europe to pretend it hasn’t a problem regarding terrorism (i.e they’re much more inclined toward the "lawfare" model and thinking of all of this as criminal behavior requiring only police action rather than terrorism):
Hat tip to looker who sent the link and who is pretty sure this wasn’t the work of Norwegian separatists demanding a free Narvik or Viking revolutionaries.
In the meantime, here’s the prime suspect:
The AP also reports that a Norwegian prosecutor filed terror charges this week against an Iraqi-born cleric for threatening Norwegian politicians with death if he is deported from the country. The indictment centered on statements that Mullah Krekar — the founder of the Kurdish Islamist group Ansar al-Islam — made to various media, including the American network NBC.
There was also a shooting in a “youth camp” outside Oslo (I put youth camp in quotes because “youth” is often a euphemism used to designate young muslims. It is not at all clear if that’s the case with this shooting).
NRK state TV reports that one person has been arrested at a Labor party youth camp ouside Oslo where at least 5 people were injured when a man wearing a police uniformed opened fire.
Let’s see what this brings.
UPDATE: A CNN breaking news email (confirmed by Norway’s NRK) says a 32 year old Norwegian man is in custody for the two attacks today which police in Norway are saying are linked. As Dud points out in the comments, this may end up being a local crazy and not some terrorist group (although some group calling itself “Helpers of Global Jihad” claimed responsibility and then apparently retracted their statement).
Hamas calls Greek stop of US blockade runner “inhumane”– Israel on “Specially Designated Country” list for first time
In the world of overwrought spin and propaganda we find a premiere example of the genre from Hamas:
The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas on Friday denounced Greece after its coastguard intercepted a US vessel which tried to sail to Gaza to break Israel blockade of the coastal strip.
In a statement issued by its political leadership in Damascus, the militant group described the action as "inhumane" and said Greece had played into Israeli hands.
"This is inhumane action, is contrary to international regulations and norms," said the statement by Hamas, a copy of which was obtained by AFP.
"Barring this aid from reaching the Gaza Strip is done as a result of pressure imposed by the Zionist occupiers," referring to Israel.
Of course the US ship, the “Audacity of Hope” has no aid. It is sailing with nothing but letters of support. Secondly, even if it was, there’s a very well-established route to deliver aid to Gaza. The blockade runners simply want to further demonize the Israelis by attempting to provoke an incident like that which happened the last time this was tried.
The Israeli-imposed blockade of Gaza "is unjust… and a mark of disgrace on the forehead of humanity," [Hamas] said.
Translation: “The blockade prevents us from smuggling in more weapons than we have now. “
Of course with the overthrow of Mubarak, the Egyptian portion of the border is quite porous now so even that objection is largely invalid.
Nope – just another example of a long line of examples of Hamas calling the right of a nation to defend itself “inhumane”, mostly because it doesn’t recognize that nation’s right to exist. Given all the other ways to get aid to Gaza – real aid – it is clear this has nothing to do with any of that.
It is simply another in a long line of attempts to provoke that nation into acts of self-defense so it can condemn it further. It is the equivalent of firing rockets into Israel and then condemning Israel when it reacts.
And for some reason, much of the rest of the world takes its condemnations seriously.
Meanwhile, CNS news reports that for the first time, Israel has landed on the “Special Designated Country” list. What does that mean?
[T]he Obama administration is currently listing Israel among 36 “specially designated countries” it believes “have shown a tendency to promote, produce, or protect terrorist organizations or their members.”
Also on the list are countries like Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza.
This is the first time Israel has shown up as an SDC.
Of course, no one seems to know how that happened, but ICE is the agency tasked to carry out the enforcement of what SDC means:
Even though the administration includes Israel among “specially designated countries” that it believes "have shown a tendency to promote, produce, or protect terrorist organizations or their members,” ICE Spokeswoman Gillian Christensen told CNSNews.com that the U.S. also considers Israel, as well as some other countries on the “specially designated countries” list, as partners in the struggle against terrorism.
“The U.S. does not and never has considered Israel to have links to terrorism, but rather they are a partner in our efforts to combat global terrorism,” Christensen said in a written statement. “Countries may have been included on the list because of the backgrounds of arrestees, not because of the country’s government itself.”
“The United States maintains close intelligence-sharing relationships with many of these countries in order to address security issues within their own borders and in our mutual pursuit of safety and security around the globe,” said Christensen.
ICE declined to say who put Israel on the list or when Israel was put there. However, in her written statement, ICE spokeswoman Christensen said the “specially designated country” list had been created "at least" seven years ago–which would have been during the presidency of George W. Bush–and that ICE was not responsible for creating it.
Yes, friends, it’s Bush’s fault. Bottom line though, given how SDC is defined, it is hardly the appropriate list for Israel to be on.
Oh, and who didn’t make the list this time but was on the last one?
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Sometimes something is written which has you shaking your head in both wonder and disgust as you read it. Michael Hirsh manages that in his National Journal article entitled “Obama’s War” where he states:
Ever so gingerly, even as they praised President Obama’s success against Osama bin Laden, some former senior Bush administration officials have sought to take a little credit for the mission themselves. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, interviewed by MSNBC this week, even called the operation “a good story for continuity across two presidencies.”
That assessment couldn’t be further from the truth.
In fact, in a convoluted way, he’s right – the major kudos should go to the Bush administration.
Look, you expect a little cheerleading concerning the killing of Osama because of the desperate desire by the left to make Obama into something he’s simply not – the steely eyed Commander-in-Chief solely responsible for the result of the bin Laden raid.
But any impartial observer who knows a thing or two about how taking down someone like OBL occurs simply knows that’s not the case.
Given, Osama bin Laden was killed on Obama’s watch. He gave the order. Good for him, and thank you for making the decision. But let’s be real – it wasn’t much of a decision to make. This was America’s most wanted – heck, he was the West’s most wanted. How do you not make that decision?
But Hirsh, goes off into history revision-land in an attempt to give all the credit to Obama and none to Bush. He seems to understand that making the decision really isn’t that special so he attempts to rewrite recent history in such a way that he can, one assumes, credibly make the claim that this was all Obama. He, among a long line of journalists who may know politics, but have little knowledge of intelligence operations, makes a hash of his attempt. He attempts to convince us the only thing Obama didn’t inherit from Bush was anything to do with taking out bin Laden.
Hirsh pitches this:
From his first great public moment when, as a state senator, he called Iraq a “dumb war,” Obama indicated that he thought that George W. Bush had badly misconceived the challenge of 9/11. And very quickly upon taking office as president, Obama reoriented the war back to where, in the view of many experts, it always belonged. He discarded the idea of a “global war on terror” that conflated all terror threats from al-Qaida to Hamas to Hezbollah. Obama replaced it with a covert, laserlike focus on al-Qaida and its spawn.
This reorientation was part of Obama’s reset of America’s relations with the world. Bush, having gradually expanded his definition of the war to include all Islamic “extremists,” had condemned the United States to a kind of permanent war, one that Americans had to fight all but alone because no one else agreed on such a broadly defined enemy. (Hezbollah and Hamas, for example, arguably had legitimate political aims that al-Qaida did not, which is one reason they distanced themselves from bin Laden.) In Obama’s view, only by focusing narrowly on true transnational terrorism, and winning back all of the natural allies that the United States had lost over the previous decade, could he achieve America’s goal of uniting the world around the goal of extinguishing al-Qaida.
Very quickly after taking the presidency he “reoriented the war back to where … it always belonged?”
Nonsense. In Iraq – the”dumb” war – Obama followed the Bush plan to the letter, not changing a thing. Nothing. It still continues down the Bush timeline.
In Afghanistan, where Obama said we should be fighting, he actually surged conventional troops, and not to hunt al-Qaeda. Instead the focus of the surge were the Taliban. Again, the same focus the Bush administration had and one upon which Obama doubled down. So much for that laserlike focus on al-Qaeda.
And unfortunately for Hirsh’s narrative, the focus on al-Qaeda was already in place and functioning when Obama took office. We immediately learned, upon hearing of bin Laden’s death, that the beginning threads of intelligence came from interrogations in secret CIA prisons 4 years ago. Prisons which no longer exist under Obama, nor would have existed had he been president on 9/11. Where was Mr. Obama 4 years ago?
We also know that during the Bush administration, our intelligence community was put through a major overhaul that has yielded much better, fresher and actionable intelligence – all of which Obama “inherited.” Drone strikes generated by fresh actionable intelligence didn’t start on Mr. Obama’s watch.
Finally, a robust Special Operations Force command was created by, oh my, the “dark knight” – Donald Rumsfeld.
At the time of the Sept. 11 attacks, special operations – Navy SEALs, Army Green Berets and Delta Force, and Air Force AC-130 gunships – were generally neglected. The previous Clinton administration had not called on them to go after bin Laden or his network.
All that changed under Mr. Bush and Mr. Rumsfeld: Green Berets led the initial invasion of Afghanistan. Joint Special Operations Command enlarged and expanded its manhunting skills worldwide. The Marine Corps created its first special forces command.
“We increased the size of special operations forces,” said former Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican and former chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. “We obviously increased their funding for new technical capabilities.”
One key move was to make Special Operations Command a “supported” command, not just one that did the bidding of other commands, but could plan and execute battles.
“Rumsfeld elevated special operations to where they had field command empowerment, which is something they never had before,” Mr. Hunter said. “We increased generally across the board the size and the capability of special operation commands. … We made them more robust than they were.”
Shocking, I know, but then the media cheerleaders have never been particularly concerned with facts and history when they have a narrative to peddle.
It was Bush and Rumsfeld who built the organization that eventually got bin Laden:
President George W. Bush’s war on terrorism translated into robust spending on what are affectionately called “snake eaters.”
Special Operations Command’s budget grew from $2.3 billion in 2001 to nearly $10 billion today. Manpower expanded from 45,500 to 61,500.
“It’s an order of magnitude better,” said Adm. Worthington. “The training these guys are getting, it’s 10 times what we were getting when I went through. They’re getting training right now that makes them the best in the world.”
And it’s first success in getting a high profile al-Qaeda member didn’t come last Sunday. It came in 2006, something I’m sure Mr. Hirsh would find an inconvenient fact:
In Iraq and Afghanistan, the Joint Special Operations Command has teamed with aviation units, CIA officers and agents of the eavesdropping National Security Agency to form potent manhunting groups.
This fusion first gained wide public notice in 2006, when the command, then led by Army Lt. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, hunted down Abu Musab Zarqawi, a particularly deadly al Qaeda terrorist in Iraq.
That is the “gun” Mr. Obama inherited from Mr. Bush. And it had been fired a number of times successfully well before Mr. Obama ever darkened the entrance to the Oval Office.
Oh, and Mr. Hirsh? Even the Obama White House isn’t buying your claptrap theory:
An Obama White House official told reporters that killing bin Laden was the result of years of work.
“This remarkable achievement could not have happened without persistent effort and careful planning over many years,” the official said. “Our national security professionals did a superb job.”
Yes, Mr. Hirsh, Obama got Osama – but he pulled the trigger of the gun built and loaded by the Bush administration, and whether you like it or not, there’s simply no question about that.
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Short version? Two words: Eric Holder. Or one word if you prefer: circus.
Here’s Sen. Jeff Sessions questioning Holder yesterday trying to get a little clarity on a particular subject, i.e. if there is a presumption that terrorists would be tried in civilian courts:
“My question to you fundamentally is every law enforcement officer involved out there, every military person involved out there needs to know what the policy is,” Sessions said. “So, is the policy that they [captured terrorists] would presumptively be tried in civilian court?”
Holder, citing the president himself, said there is a presumption of that captured terrorists would be tried in civilian courts.
“As I said, the archived speech that the president made was that there is a presumption,” Holder said. “It is not an irrebutable presumption that cases go to the civilian court with regard to the Miranda issue, but I think we have demonstrated hundreds of times, hundreds of times, that we can get actionable intelligence, while at the same time prosecuting people in jail for really extended periods of time.”
Of course Holder leaves himself some wiggle room, but it is clear he holds civilian courts to be superior to military tribunals. That, for some misbegotten reason, he believes justice can be best served in a civilian court regardless of any external concerns. And finally, people who’ve committed an act of war against the United States deserve all the rights reserved for citizens of the United States, even if the act occurred out of the US and they’re not citizens (obviously I withdraw the point if they are US citizens committing acts of terror in the US – the point is our Constitution guarantees their rights – not any rights of foreign nationals committing acts of terror/war).
It makes absolutely no sense to me. It demonstrates a bias that is both arrogant and dangerous. It also has little to do with “justice”. So, given that Holder is our AG and someone I have absolutely no confidence in legally or otherwise, I certainly am glad, frankly, that a couple of rounds found their way into the cranium of OBL. Imagine the three-ring-circus Holder and crew would have tried to put on had we captured him alive.
BTW, anyone know what “irrebutable” means?
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Perhaps it is becoming clearer to even those in deep denial that that the Muslim Brotherhood is "moderate" only if the term is redefined into meaninglessness. The death of Osama bin Laden provides another indication of the MB’s true character:
But in its first public statement on the killing of bin Laden, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood used the honorific term "sheikh" to refer to the al-Qaeda leader. It also accused Western governments of linking Islam and terrorism, and defended "resistance" against the U.S. presence in Iraq and Afghanistan as "legitimate."
The Muslim Brotherhood’s response to bin Laden’s death may finally end the mythology — espoused frequently in the U.S. — that the organization is moderate or, at the very least, could moderate once in power. This is, after all, precisely how Muslim Brothers describe their creed — "moderate," as opposed to al-Qaeda, which is radical. "Moderate Islam means not using violence, denouncing terrorism, and not working with jihadists," said Muslim Brotherhood youth activist Khaled Hamza, for whom the organization’s embrace of "moderate Islam" was the primary reason he joined.
Yet the Muslim Brotherhood’s promise that its "moderation" means rejecting violence includes a gaping exception: the organization endorses violence against military occupations, which its leaders have told me include Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Bosnia, and Palestine — in other words, nearly every major conflict on the Eurasian continent.
It should end the mythology, but it won’t. There are those on the left to invested in the belief that they are a moderate force that they won’t back down even in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary. This is your “moderate” Muslim Brotherhood’s reaction to the death of bin Laden:
"The whole world, and especially the Muslims, have lived with a fierce media campaign to brand Islam as terrorism and describe the Muslims as violent by blaming the September 11th incident on al-Qaeda." It then notes that "Sheikh Osama bin Laden" was assassinated alongside "a woman and one of his sons and with a number of his companions," going on to issue a rejection of violence and assassinations. It goes on to ominously declare that the Muslim Brotherhood supports "legitimate resistance against foreign occupation for any country, which is the legitimate right guaranteed by divine laws and international agreements," and demands that the U.S., the European Union, and NATO quickly "end the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, and recognize the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people." It closes by demanding that the U.S. "stop its intelligence operations against those who differ with it, and cease its interference in the internal affairs of any Arab or Muslim country."
As Eric Trager says, the statement issued by the MB is “vintage bin Laden”:
[I]t’s Muslim lands, not America, that are under attack; it’s Muslims, not American civilians, who are the ultimate victims; and, despite two American presidents’ genuine, effusive promises to the contrary, Islam is the target. It’s an important indicator that despite its increased responsibility in post-Mubarak Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood may well remain deeply hostile toward even the one of the most basic and defensible of American interests in the Middle East — that of securing Americans from terrorism.
In Egypt, at least, this is the result of the “Arab Spring”. As predicted, the best organized and most ruthless are winning out. And the result will not advance the peace process in the region. On the contrary, “moderate” has come to be defined by bin Laden, not by any recognizable dictionary. The Muslim Brotherhood has fooled a lot of so-called “scholars” into believing them to be a benign force for good and interested in democratic reform. Instead, they’ll most likely find out that they’re anything but benign and they are only interested in democracy if it advances their agenda. And that agenda is anything but moderate.
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