Gleanings, 22.02.11

Benny Morris: Losing the Middle East (MUST READ)

Prediction is always risky or plain silly, but my guess is that when the dust settles, which it will, in a month or two or three’s time, one will see that Western—and Israeli—interests in the Middle East will have been substantially undermined and anti-Western—and anti-Israeli—interests substantially bolstered. Similarly, one will see that the regimes which are, by nature and tradition very brutal, such as Iran’s, Syria’s and possibly Libya’s, will weather the storm whereas those which are softer, more inclined to measures of liberalisation, partly because of attentiveness to messages from Washington, will either have fallen or will have given ground, and a large measure of power, to anti-Western, often Islamist, elements within each country.

George Friedman: Revolution and the Muslim World

If I were to guess at this point, I would guess that we are facing 1848. The Muslim world will not experience massive regime change as in 1989, but neither will the effects be as ephemeral as 1968. Like 1848, this revolution will fail to transform the Muslim world or even just the Arab world. But it will plant seeds that will germinate in the coming decades. I think those seeds will be democratic, but not necessarily liberal. In other words, the democracies that eventually arise will produce regimes that will take their bearings from their own culture, which means Islam.

Daniel Korski and Ben Judah: The West’s Middle East pillars of sand

The three pillars upon which Western influence in the Middle East was built – a strong military presence, commercial ties, and a string of dollar-dependent states – are crumbling. As a result, the region that emerges in the weeks and months ahead may become much harder for the West to influence.

Caroline Glick: Obama’s devastatingly mixed signals

BUT BEYOND the basic falseness of Rice’s statement, her condemnation of her own vote to veto the resolution, and Clinton’s similar statements, serve to send a series of messages to the states in the region that are devastating to America’s regional posture.

Elder of Zion: Muslim Brotherhood wants to build a satellite channel
The problem is that no Egyptian pro-freedom group could possibly hope to match the expected media onslaught from the Islamists. Even worse – no Western powers are even thinking in this direction.

Brian Fairchild: Egypt and Tunisia: Triumphs for the American Muslim Brotherhood

Out of all the people in the world, secular or religious, that could have been invited to lead prayers at the epicenter of the Egyptian revolution, the man selected and embraced was the banned jihad-mongering leader of the illegal Salafi-Jihadi Muslim Brotherhood.

If that isn’t bad enough, it just so happens that Yusuf al-Qaradawi — banned from entering the United States in 1999 because of his support for suicide bombings — is the esteemed chairman-in-absentia of the Muslim American Society’s Islamic American University.

IPT: Administration Deliberately Vague on Brotherhood
Statements by senior policy officials to the media and before congressional committees since Mubarak’s Feb. 11 resignation show that the Obama administration does not consider the Brotherhood to be an extremist organization, despite its written commitment to creating an Islamic state and its leadership’s history of threats and hate speech … Brotherhood officials, meanwhile, are more openly expressing their intentions for Egypt’s future. Kamal Helbawy, a leader of the group’s older guard, told Iranian media that the Egyptian revolution was an Islamic one. He also indicated the 32-year-old peace treaty with Israel was not something the Brotherhood accepts. “People of Egypt cannot accept an agreement which is based on injustice and has ignored the rights of Palestinians.”

Uri Goldflam: Thomas Friedman Sets Up Israel to Take the Blame for Egpytian Attitudes – New Post by Uri Goldflam
Once again, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has crossed all boundaries. In “Postcard From Cairo, Part 2″ (Feb. 13), Friedman blasts the Israeli government for being “out-of-touch, in-bred, unimaginative and cliché-driven.”  Beyond the name-calling, Friedman’s piece is strewn with half truths and selected facts, disconnected from context and reality.

4 Responses to Gleanings, 22.02.11

  1. JD says:

    Thomas Friedman trying his best to take up the Tony Judt seat of pseudo-intellectual Israel obsession. He does not do the self-important Marxist i>frisson/i> very well however.

    As for Benny Morris he may have detached himself from the Western Progressive Borg Collective but he still has the pretensions of pretending to understand Arabs. He failed from the beginning since his initial writings could not imagine why Arabs might not want to live under Jews.

    • oao@csi.com says:

      What is important to understand about Thomas Friedman is that he regurgitates the position of that part of the US elite that counts (those who own the country). So when you start seeing the likes of him, Walt and Mearsheimer and others blaming Israel and letting the pals and the arabs get away with murder, when you see Alibama trying to realign with the Islamists, that’s a reflection of what the owners have concluded. I think they know that the US is mortally wounded (by themselves) and they delude themselves that by kissing islamist ass they will spare the US from jihadism. By the time they realize they’ll get the exact opposite it’ll be too late.

      As to Morris, I dk. OTOH we should appreciate his realization, even late, that he was wrong; most people continue to fool themselves. In any case he is mostly correct in his article.

  2. JD says:

    BTW Egypt will turn into a Military-Industrial state like Pakistan where the military has stakes in the economy like as developing in Iran with the IRG and economic sectors.

    But hey Benny has a track record understanding Arabs…not.

    • oao@csi.com says:

      That’s one possibility, with the added problem that it borders with Israel.

      There is also the longer term possibility that the MB will infiltrate most society and end up being elected to govern. Read Barry Rubin latest article where he points out that the MB has begun to replace the current clerics with their own, so that they can begin the indoctrination.

      I do not see the army taking the necessary steps to forestall this. In fact, I have very serious doubts that the lower echelons of the army not, if not islamist, susceptible to islamism. The gap between the top command and the low officers and soldiers is huge and if they are not infiltrated now by MB, they will quickly be. Recall that Sadat was army yet he was killed by low level islamist officers.

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