Obama’s Big Brotherhood Bet
by Daniel Greenfield
In the spring of 2009, Obama went down to Cairo. He skipped the gaming tables at the Omar Khayyam Casino at the Cairo Marriott and instead went over to the Islamist baccarat tables at Cairo University and bet big on the Muslim Brotherhood.
Obama had insisted on Muslim Brotherhood attendance at a speech that was part apology and part abandonment. The apology was for American power and the abandonment was of American allies.
The text of the speech was largely inconsequential in the same way that most of the words that scroll across the teleprompters of politicians are. In politics, the speech is often the medium while the timing, the audience and the location are the message. And the message was that the Brotherhood’s hour had come.
Obama was following through on an idea that had long been an article of faith on the left. The idea was that the United States had invested in a defunct status quo and that our biggest problems were our allies. The only way out was to toss them all overboard.
Generations of diplomats had griped from their walled compounds in Riyadh, Kuwait City or Doha that many of our problems in the region would go away if Israel somehow went away. But this was bigger. It involved dumping every single allied government in the region to start fresh with new governments elected through popular democracy and enjoying popular support. It would be a new beginning. And a new beginning was also the title of the Cairo speech.
The idea wasn’t new, but it was right up there with proposals to unilaterally abandon our nuclear arsenal or dedicate ten percent of the budget to foreign aid; ideas that a lot of diplomats liked, but that they knew no one would ever be crazy enough to pull the trigger on.
And then Obama tried to pull the trigger on two out of three. What he wanted was for the Brotherhood to win so that it could make the War on Terror irrelevant.
As much as the advocates of smart and soft power insisted that Islamic terrorism had nothing to do with Islam, they knew better. They knew that Al Qaeda wanted to create Islamic states that would form into a Caliphate. Central to its thinking was that it would have to fight to create these states. But what if the Caliphate could be created without a war?
To make it happen, all America had to do was surrender the Middle East.
The attacks of September 11 had created a serious crisis for liberal policymakers. Unlike the bombing of the World Trade Center on Clinton’s watch, these attacks could not be ignored or swept under the rug. But neither could liberals accept a clash of civilizations that would destroy their multicultural society or an extended series of international police actions that would militarize the country.
The logic that led from September 11 to the Cairo speech to Benghazi was impeccable. It combined the clean sweep theory with grand scale appeasement.
“Islamic terrorists are carrying out attacks because they want their countries to be ruled by Islam. Why not help them to do it?”
The United States withdrew support from its allies. It apologized, surrendered and waited for the takeovers to begin. When the dictators wouldn’t step aside voluntarily, the bombers were sent in.
The grand bargain with the Muslim Brotherhood was supposed to end the War on Terror by trading the Muslim Brotherhood’s brand of political Islamism for Al Qaeda’s campaign of terror. It was as if FDR had struck a deal with the Bolsheviks to get rid of the Trotskyites (and indeed such a bargain did operate briefly during WW2).
Obama’s grand bargain came to a squalid end on September 11. In Benghazi, the Muslim Brotherhood militia that was supposed to protect the mission instead sold it out and abandoned it.
The Brotherhood would accept American support, but it wouldn’t stop terrorist attacks against America. Its front groups in America would not cooperate with the FBI, its governments and militias in the Middle East would not protect American diplomatic facilities.
On September 11, the American embassy in Cairo was besieged by protesters with the support of the Muslim Brotherhood. In Tunis, the new Islamist government turned its back on the embassy, forcing Hillary Clinton to plead with President Marzouki to send out his own presidential guard to defend it.
In Benghazi and Cairo, Al Qaeda attacked while the Brotherhood played dumb. In Syria, Brotherhood and Al Qaeda militias worked together, while Brotherhood spokesmen insisted that they were the only secular alternative. In the United States, Al Qaeda terrorists carried out their “lone wolf” attacks while the Brotherhood front groups which ran most of the Islamic organizations in America claimed not to know what was going on.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s victories did not make Al Qaeda go away. Instead the two found common ground while playing a game of Good Terrorist and Bad Terrorist. Or as the mainstream media calls it, Moderates and Extremists.
Obama had stacked all of our allies in the Middle East that didn’t have enough oil to matter and bet them at the Brotherhood’s casino on a single spin of the wheel. And the Brotherhood took it all.
But Obama is still at the casino stacking up more chips. The next round of the game moves to Syria. Instead of the Brotherhood using its new power to protect the United States, the United States is expected to get involved in another Iraq in order to help the Brotherhood take over Syria to complete the Islamist triumphs of the Arab Spring.
The United States has become a tool of Muslim Brotherhood expansionism. Obama helped the Brotherhood overthrow governments by political means, but now the Brotherhood is demanding military intervention to help a Brotherhood/Al Qaeda coalition take over Syria. And if Obama goes along with it, he will have turned the United States military into the mercenaries of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The root cause of terrorism is not American foreign policy, but Muslim foreign policy. Appeasement turns American foreign policy into an arm of Islamic expansionism.
Americans have died because of Obama’s dirty deal with the Muslim Brotherhood. The question now is whether Obama will send American soldiers and pilots to die for the Brotherhood.
About Daniel Greenfield
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.