The Arab spring. This was supposed to be a time of revolutionary change; a movement into the future of the Middle East; something both grassroots and grandiose. But things that begin in one way often end in another. The Egyptian revolution that began in January of 2011 started off with good intentions. The people were organizing to overthrow what they saw as a corrupt government and a corrupt presidency that limited free speech, caused high unemployment, and rigged elections. Many of the protesters were even said to be secular in nature.
A year and a half passed until an election was held. On June 14th, 2012, Mohammed Morsi was declared the winner of the election, and the presidency. All of this seems good on the outset, right? A people rebelled against a corrupt government, radically changed a nation and democratically voted in a new president. Well, not so much.
Unfortunately, the newly elected president, Mohammed Morsi is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Though he officially “resigned” as a member of the Brotherhood upon his election, he still holds dear their radical belief system. The Muslim Brotherhood originally stated that they would NOT run a candidate for the presidency, but later reneged. In all, the Arab spring has turned into a nightmare of massive proportions.
In case you are wondering about the beliefs of the Muslim Brotherhood; this is their stated mantra: “Allah is our objective; the Quran is our law, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.”
And according to the NY Times: “The Muslim Brotherhood’s deep hostility to Israel — which reflects majority public opinion in Egypt — would pose difficulties for American policy. Its conservative views on the rights of women and intolerance of religious minorities are offensive by Western standards.”
And in case you think Morsi’s “resignation” from the Brotherhood (though he is still a member of their political party) means that he holds more moderate views than the radical organization to which he belonged, this is a direct quote, straight from the horse’s mouth:
“I grew up with the Muslim Brotherhood, I learned my principles in the Muslim Brotherhood. I learned how to love my country with the Muslim Brotherhood. I learned politics with the Brotherhood. I was a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
So, in addition to his obvious ties to an extremist organization, Mohammed Morsi has decisively aggregated power to himself by dismissing many military personnel and essentially putting himself in absolute control of the formation of a new constitution.
This is a quote from the NY Times: “The powers Mr. Morsi assumed on Sunday allow him to select a new panel to write Egypt’s constitution, if the current panel cannot finish their work. And he has broad powers to pass laws, though he has promised to turn over that responsibility when a new parliament is elected. Still, his moves were certain to revive concerns that he and the Brotherhood were becoming far too strong.”
If this aggregation of power doesn’t seem to be a problem, let’s take a look at some more quotes from Morsi:
1. “We are talking about values, beliefs, cultures, history, reality. I will not prevent a woman [or Christian] from being nominated as a candidate for the presidential campaign…This is not in the Constitution. This is not in the law. But if you want to ask me if I will vote for her or not, that is something else, that is different.”
2. “We must restore normal relations with Iran based on shared interests, and expand areas of political coordination and economic cooperation because this will create a balance of pressure in the region.”
3. According to FOX News, “Lip reading by the Anti Defamation League and the Middle East Media Research Institute confirmed Morsi’s approval of a prayer delivered by influential Imam Futouh Abd Al-Nabi Mansour last Friday, in which he stated, “Oh Allah … grant us victory over the infidels. Oh Allah, destroy the Jews and their supporters.” Israelis already nervous by the rise of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood say it is the latest example of a disturbing trend.”
This is a man who has said that neither a Christian nor a woman would be fit for the presidency. This is a man who claimed that he would appoint a female Vice President, then failed to do so. This is a man who claims to have resigned from the Muslim Brotherhood, but remains a part of their political party. This is a man who says he wants to open up relations with Iran. This is a dangerous “ally” to have.
Mohammed Morsi may seem on the outset like a rather nice, charming, menial individual, but his close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood cannot be ignored. Members of the Muslim brotherhood have committed violent acts upon violent acts, including crucifying opponents of the new political regime, according to WND.com.
According to El Balad, “…The supporters of Tawfik Okasha, another vocal critic of President Morsi…gathered around the presidential palace, only to be surrounded by Brotherhood supporters, who attacked them with sticks, knives, and Molotov cocktails, crucifying some of them on trees, leading to the deaths of two and the wounding of dozens.” There are even reports of the Brotherhood terrorizing and beating secular journalists as well, who are trying to expose the Brotherhood’s alleged agenda.
What does this mean? It means the Obama administration has failed miserably in regards to their foreign policy, specifically in the Middle East.
In June of 2009, Obama said this: “I’ve come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world — one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap and share common principles – principles of justice, and progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings.”
Islam, as it is practiced by the Brotherhood, is not tolerant, nor does it share common principles with the West. With this statement, Obama is either being deliberately disingenuous or naive. Either way, it does not amount to anything worthwhile.
And now, there is even more. According to Reuters, Obama sent a letter to Morsi, thanking him for securing the US mission in Cairo after the riots. However, Morsi reportedly didn’t send police to intervene in the embassy riots until four hours after they began and only really moved to action after a phone call from Obama. In the letter, Obama went on to say that he wanted to develop a “strategic partnership” with Egypt.
However, despite apparently wanting a “strategic partnership” with a member of the Muslim Brotherhood; a man who has already made outrageous statements, Obama recently and quietly cancelled a meeting with Morsi. Hmm, election season anyone? Seems similar to Obama’s comments about post-election flexibility, made to Medvedev.
When asked on Univision last month about whether he considered Egypt an ally, Obama responded by saying that he doesn’t see them as an ally or an enemy. This, in turn, caused Morsi to echo those sentiments. This seems to be getting more convoluted and warped as each day passes.
Finally, after this brouhaha (that they claimed for two weeks was ignited because of some online video made moths ago…sure), the party of the Muslim Brotherhood issued this statement: “The U.S. must enforce the laws firmly and punish those who produce and promote such abusive material, so as to prevent the recurrence of such criminal acts rejected by civilized peoples and all heavenly religions, especially since Arab peoples no longer react so passively as they did in the past, after the revolutions in which they fought for their freedom and dignity.”
So, lets break all of this down:
1. Morsi is a member of the Muslim Brotherhoods political party, and a “former” member of the brotherhood.
2. Morsi has said outrageous things, referenced earlier.
3. The Freedom and Justice Party (Muslim Brotherhood party), issued a statement demanding that the US restrict and criminally punish those who speak against Islam. In addition, the Brotherhood has made outrageous, anti-Israeli statements, continues to commit extreme acts of violence, up to and including crucifying their opponents.
4. Morsi is a member of this party that issued that statement. He has not, as of yet, condemned the things that the Brotherhood does on a regular basis in any formal way.
5. Obama still wants a “strategic partnership” with Morsi. Yet he quietly cancelled a meeting with Morsi. But then, Obama tells Univision that he does not consider Egypt an ally or enemy.
6. Obama makes time to visit Jay Z, Beyonce, and to make an appearance on the View, but makes no time for Bebe Netanyahu (our biggest Middle Eastern ally)? Robert Gibbs claimed that phone calls are sufficient, but to me that shows weakness in the ties between the US and Israel.
7. The United States still spends billions of dollars in foreign aid to Egypt.
What’s the conclusion to this story?
Obama is desperately trying to walk a line. He wants to have a “strategic relationship” with Mohammed Morsi, yet he doesn’t consider him an ally or an enemy? He claims that he supports Israel, but won’t meet with Bebe Netanyahu? Obama continues to support sanctions on Iran; a country whose president is widely regarded as dangerous and deranged. These sanctions continue to do absolutely nothing to halt Iran from its march toward nuclear weapons, but Obama insists on continuing down this path.
This is an excerpt from a 60 Minutes interview with Obama several weeks ago:
PRESIDENT OBAMA: “Well—look, I have conversations with Prime Minister Netanyahu all the time. And I understand and share Prime Minister Netanyahu’s insistence that Iran should not obtain a nuclear weapon, because it would threaten us, it would threaten Israel, and it would threaten the world and kick off a nuclear arms race.”
STEVE KROFT: “You’re saying, you don’t feel any pressure from Prime Minister Netanyahu in the middle of a campaign to try and get you to change your policy and draw a line in the sand? You don’t feel any pressure?”
PRESIDENT OBAMA: “When it comes to our national security decisions—any pressure that I feel is simply to do what’s right for the American people. And I am going to block out—any noise that’s out there. Now I feel an obligation, not pressure but obligation, to make sure that we’re in close consultation with the Israelis—on these issues. Because it affects them deeply. They’re one of our closest allies in the region. And we’ve got an Iranian regime that has said horrible things that directly threaten Israel’s existence.”
Barack Obama seems to want it all. He wants it to appear as though he is an ally of Israel (as shown in his 60 Minutes interview), yet he wants to develop a relationship with the Radical president of Egypt. He claims to share the concerns that Israel has about Iran, but does essentially nothing to draw a line in the sand (Essentially calling Israel’s concerns “noise”). He wants to have his cake and eat it too.
Not only is Obama’s foreign policy demonstrating to the world that America is weak, but it is frustrating and alienating our ally in Israel. In addition, the US continues to provide billions of dollars in foreign aid to Egypt. As recently as 2010, the amount was approximately $1.5 billion a year.
Obama needs to draw a line in the sand with Iran, he needs to listen to Israel, he needs to cut off all aid to Egypt, and he needs to take a tough stand against their radical Islamist regime. However, he will do none of these, which is one more reason (as if we need one more) to elect someone who will do what’s right for this country and our ally, Israel.