The Muslim Brotherhood is officially A-OK for the Obama Administration

Professor Barry Rubin argues in his latest article that the Administration's approach to the new Middle East is becoming clearer, and that it represents the worst single strategic blunder in American foreign policy in the Middle East in decades. In essence, the Obama team has decided that it can live with and work with  Islamist regimes  in the Middle East, so long as Al Qaeda is not the group in power.

In other words the Muslim Brotherhood is just fine, if it succeeds in taking power in Egypt and other Arab countries currently in turmoil. Rubin quotes  the new policy as described in a Washington Post article and then offers his reaction:

"The administration is already taking steps to distinguish between various movements in the region that promote Islamic law in government. An internal assessment, ordered by the White House last month, identified large ideological differences between such movements as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and al-Qaeda that will guide the U.S. approach to the region."

Get it? Al-Qaeda is bad because it wants to attack U.S. embassies, the World Trade Center, and the Pentagon.

BUT the Muslim Brotherhood is good! Because it merely wants to seize state power, transform Egypt into an Islamist state, rule 90 million people, back Hamas in trying to destroy Israel, overthrow the Palestinian Authority, help Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood overthrow the monarchy, and sponsor terrorism against Americans in the Middle East.

I'm sure you can see the difference. This is the nonsense that the administration has been working toward for two years. It is the doctrine pushed by the president's advisor on terrorism, elements in the CIA, and White House ideologues. The State and Defense departments are probably horrified. 

Here's the next paragraph:

"`We shouldn't be afraid of Islam in the politics of these countries,'" said a senior administration official....`It's the behavior of political parties and governments that we will judge them on, not their relationship with Islam.'"

That first phrase is correct. We shouldn't be afraid of Islam in the politics of these countries. Islam has always been present in Egypt and Jordan, Saudi Arabia or post-Saddam Iraq, and even Iran before its revolution and Afghanistan not under the Taliban. But we should be very afraid of Islamism in the politics of these countries. "
     .    .    .   .

For weeks, the Administrations' favorite newspaper, the New York Times has been paving  the way for the new policy with a series of opinion pieces and news stories on the new "moderate" face of the Muslim Brotherhood,  their commitment to non-violence, their discipline and social service role.  

The new policy is in some ways consistent with the docile American attitude towards Iran- where engagement was tried and failed, weak sanctions were applied with enough loopholes to make them like swiss cheese slices, the anti-regime demonstrations were ignored and garnered no support, and military action was never contemplated.  The result- the Administration is now preparing for a nuclear Iran , and all that is left is finding a way to contain Iran's aggressive posture once it becomes a nuclear power. 

Professor Barry Rubin argues in his latest article that the Administration's approach to the new Middle East is becoming clearer, and that it represents the worst single strategic blunder in American foreign policy in the Middle East in decades. In essence, the Obama team has decided that it can live with and work with  Islamist regimes  in the Middle East, so long as Al Qaeda is not the group in power.

In other words the Muslim Brotherhood is just fine, if it succeeds in taking power in Egypt and other Arab countries currently in turmoil. Rubin quotes  the new policy as described in a Washington Post article and then offers his reaction:

"The administration is already taking steps to distinguish between various movements in the region that promote Islamic law in government. An internal assessment, ordered by the White House last month, identified large ideological differences between such movements as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and al-Qaeda that will guide the U.S. approach to the region."

Get it? Al-Qaeda is bad because it wants to attack U.S. embassies, the World Trade Center, and the Pentagon.

BUT the Muslim Brotherhood is good! Because it merely wants to seize state power, transform Egypt into an Islamist state, rule 90 million people, back Hamas in trying to destroy Israel, overthrow the Palestinian Authority, help Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood overthrow the monarchy, and sponsor terrorism against Americans in the Middle East.

I'm sure you can see the difference. This is the nonsense that the administration has been working toward for two years. It is the doctrine pushed by the president's advisor on terrorism, elements in the CIA, and White House ideologues. The State and Defense departments are probably horrified. 

Here's the next paragraph:

"`We shouldn't be afraid of Islam in the politics of these countries,'" said a senior administration official....`It's the behavior of political parties and governments that we will judge them on, not their relationship with Islam.'"

That first phrase is correct. We shouldn't be afraid of Islam in the politics of these countries. Islam has always been present in Egypt and Jordan, Saudi Arabia or post-Saddam Iraq, and even Iran before its revolution and Afghanistan not under the Taliban. But we should be very afraid of Islamism in the politics of these countries. "
     .    .    .   .

For weeks, the Administrations' favorite newspaper, the New York Times has been paving  the way for the new policy with a series of opinion pieces and news stories on the new "moderate" face of the Muslim Brotherhood,  their commitment to non-violence, their discipline and social service role.  

The new policy is in some ways consistent with the docile American attitude towards Iran- where engagement was tried and failed, weak sanctions were applied with enough loopholes to make them like swiss cheese slices, the anti-regime demonstrations were ignored and garnered no support, and military action was never contemplated.  The result- the Administration is now preparing for a nuclear Iran , and all that is left is finding a way to contain Iran's aggressive posture once it becomes a nuclear power. 

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