More violence expected in Egypt; and the secular, democratic opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood suspects the army of intriguing with Islamist factions, to the extent, even, of selectively allowing Muslim Brotherhood revenge attacks on pro-democracy demonstrators.
President Obama says the United States isn't picking a side.
In fact, his opposition to the Egyptian army's crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and exposure of its role in smuggling arms from Libya to Sinai-based Islamists tied to Hamas in Gaza is reliably reported to be a major factor in the current chaotic situation.
Moreover, the U.S. picked a side when the first Obama administration aligned the U.S. with the Muslim Brotherhood. The administration engaged (collaborated with) Muslim Brotherhood leaders and emboldened the organization--fountainhead of Islamic clerical fascist movements and terrorist groups--to rise up against Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, a U.S. ally and friend for three decades. The MB ousted and arrested Mubarak and his sons with U.S. complicity, much as the Islamists of Iran took power with the complicity of the Carter administration.
Not picking a side? LOL. The Obama administration's entire Middle East/Arab world/Central Asia policy is based on siding with supposed "moderate" factions of rightwing political Islam--meaning, practically speaking, every Islamist except for Al Qaeda's core leadership. The pro-Islamist policy explains Obama's insistence on referring, "reaching out" … and … apologizing … to … "the Muslim world."
Covert U.S. support for Islamism and Islamic fundamentalism can be traced back … through Afghanistan and Iran … and Kosovo … to the Eisenhower administration's covert backing of the Muslim Brotherhood against the socialistic, pan-Arab regime of Egypt's charismatic president--and Third World icon--Gamal Abdel Nasser. The pro-Islamist policy was strong enough to survive the Islamist mega-terrorist attacks of 9/11. Hence, President Bush's refusal to seek a formal declaration of war against Afghanistan, Al Qaeda and radical Islam in favor of an idiotic, unending "War on Terror."
Obama's historic contribution has been to make the covert policy overt.
ENDNOTE: This year marks the 35th anniversary of the intensified, international campaign, led by the United States, Britain and France, to replace Iran's Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi with the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The Soviet Union assisted the effort that escalated dramatically throughout 1978 and culminated in the 1979 Islamic Revolution because the Shah had been a staunch U.S. ally who had built up Iran's military in order to be able to withstand a Soviet invasion long enough for the U.S. to be able to come to Iran's aid. Western media outlets dutifully piled on; overnight, the monarch who had modernized his nation, dramatically raised the standard of living of Iran's workers and peasants, brought full employment to his country, and liberated its women--while supporting U.S. interests and cooperating closely with Israel--was branded one of the world's worst despots, a ruler in urgent need of ouster. It is now known--zeh yaduah, as Israelis say in Hebrew-- that Khomeini, in addition to being a fanatically violent Islamist, was an agent of Soviet and East German intelligence. Jimmy Carter called Khomeini a "holy man." Carter's UN ambassador, Andrew Young, predicted the viciously anti-American and antisemitic ayatollah would eventually be hailed as "a saint." The full story of the Shah's overthrow--how it was orchestrated in Western capitals--cries out for telling.
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