Posted on FoxNews.com-By James Rosen-On October 28, 2011:
“From the first stirrings of change in the Middle East nine months ago, optimism at the prospect of 100 million young people rising up to seize their democratic freedoms has been tempered by fear in Western capitals that radical Islamists might also rise up and try to hijack the so-called Arab Spring.
And now, many analysts say, that fear has been realized.
In Tunisia, where the epic season of unrest began, last Sunday’s historic elections appear to have resulted in an Islamist group winning a governing majority.
In Libya, an ex-terrorist once jailed by the Central Intelligence Agency now runs the country’s foremost military organization, and new political leaders speak openly of enacting Sharia, the ultra-harsh code of Islamic law.
And in Egypt, where the world’s oldest civilization is bracing for elections next month, rioters have recently forced the evacuation of the Israeli embassy and waged vicious attacks on Coptic Christians.
Worrisome in their own right, these developments also raise difficult questions, in an already contentious political season, about the conduct of President Obama and his national security team: Has the White House done all it could to steer the Arab Spring in the right direction? Have events to date strengthened U.S. security – or left America weakened abroad, with Islamic fundamentalism ascendant?
At a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Thursday, Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., told Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the Mideast “really worries me,” and asked what the Obama administration “plans to do to make sure that we don’t have a radical government taking over those places.”
“Revolutions are unpredictable phenomena,” Clinton replied. “I think a lot of the leaders are saying the right things and some are saying things that do give pause to us….We’re going to do all that we can within our power to basically try to influence outcomes. But, you know, the historic wind sweeping the Middle East and North Africa were not of our making.”
Jamie Smith, a former CIA officer who has made three fact-finding trips to Libya this year, warns that the sense of unity that bound the country’s disparate rebel groups during their eight-month revolt has evaporated since MuammarQaddafi fell from power.
In the dictator’s place, Smith says, the oil-rich but woefully mismanaged North African state is relying on the Transitional National Council, made up of inexperienced ex-rebels, and the Tripoli Military Council, headed by Abdel Hakim Belhaj. The latter was once head of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), which the U.S. State Departmentclassifies as a foreign terrorist organization.
It is unlikely that Belhaj’s loyalties to the United States run strong: Smith notes that the CIA captured Belhaj in 2004, briefly held him in Thailand, and ultimately returned him to the custody of Qaddafi in Libya, where the former LIFG fighter languished in prison until his release last year.
“So now you’ve got a radical Islamist terrorist leader who is running the most powerful military group in Libya,” said Smith, a veteran of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. “In that area of the world, the people with the biggest guns make the rules. And this guy has got the guns. And he’s going to make the rules.”
Not all veteran analysts of the Mideast see the TNC’s embrace of Sharia as an imminent threat, nor the broader trend in the Arab Spring as hopelessly dark for American interests.
Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy draws encouragement from the fact that the region’s revolutions, by and large, have not been marked by strong expressions of anti-Western or anti-Israel sentiment. And he suggested that Washington can work reasonably well with governments whose legal codes do not mirror our own.
“The Saudi government has been perhaps the most vigorous applier of Sharia law throughout the Muslim world for decades, and yet Saudi Arabia and the United States have had a pretty close relationship on national security issues,” Clawson told Fox News. “And that’s very different than a secular revolutionary government like that in Syria, which certainly doesn’t apply Sharia law, but which has been happy to sponsor terrorist attacks against Americans.”
Some conservatives, however, are inclined to blame the Obama administration for mishandling the Mideast upheaval.
Frank Gaffney, a former Reagan-era Defense Department official who now leads the Washington-based Center for Security Policy, expands his definition of the Arab Spring to include the Iranian uprising of June 2009, which the regime in Tehran used lethal force to suppress.
Gaffney contrasts the Obama administration’s fairly cautious response to that event – framed, at the time, as part of the president’s attempt to “engage” Iran – with Obama’s swift call for the resignation of Hosni Mubarak during the Egyptian revolution this year.
“The president of the United States in both cases did the bidding of the Islamists, who wanted to preserve the regime in Iran and who wanted to remove the regime in Egypt,” Gaffney told Fox News. “And I think that quite apart from what his intentions were, in so doing, he made all the more predictable this very unhappy outcome that I think is playing out before our eyes.”
The next shoe to drop in the region will likely be the Nov. 28 elections in Egypt. U.S. officials are bracing for a strong showing by the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group that boasts a long history of organized opposition to the Mubarak regime, and whose foreign offshoots include Hamas.”
Note: The following articles and/or blog posts relate to this disturbing issue-You Decide:
I. Iran Hails Tunisian Election Result, Predicts Islamist Victories in Egypt, Libya!
Posted on CNSNews.com-By Patrick Goodenough-On October 27, 2011:
“(CNSNews.com) – Welcoming the apparent victory of an Islamist party in Tunisia, Iran’s leadership is predicting similar results when Egyptians and Libyans get to vote in their first elections after overthrowing dictators in what Tehran has branded the 2011 “Islamic awakening.”
As of Wednesday evening, the “moderate Islamist” Ennahda party had won 65 of the 159 seats announced in the 217-seat constituent assembly, which will be tasked with drafting a new constitution for Tunisia.
Ennahda said it would nominate its secretary-general, Hamadi Jbeli, as prime minister. An engineer and journalist, Jbeli was imprisoned for 15 years by the regime of ousted President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali for membership in a banned organization and “attempting to change the nature of the state.”
Ennahda leaders have pledged to plot a moderate course, and during the election campaign cited as a model the Islamist parties ruling Turkey and Malaysia rather than the Taliban or Saudi leaders.
Analysts also note that secular parties will also be present in the constituent assembly (the party taking second place in the results so far is the centrist Congress Party for the Republic, which has expressed cautious interest in forming a coalition with Ennahda.
Despite those indications, Iran is characterizing the election outcome as a victory for the Islamist tendency.
“As the wave of Islamic awaking started to rise in Tunisia, we also observed that the first election was held in this country, and the Ennahda party gained a relative victory in the election,” Ali Akbar Velayati, a former foreign minister who now serves as senior advisor to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Wednesday.
“The result of the election in Tunisia will positively affect regional developments,” Velayati added, predicting that “we will observe the victory of Islamists in future elections in Egypt and Libya.”
Also welcoming the Tunisian results, parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani said they reflected Tunisians’ enthusiasm for upholding Islamic principles.
He described Tunisia as the “flag-bearer of [the] Islamic awakening” and promised that Iran’s parliament would support the “awakening movements” in both Tunisia and Libya, ensuring that regional cooperation would be a foreign policy priority for Tehran.
From the outset, Khamenei and other Iranian leaders have argued that the protests some call the “Arab spring” are in fact part of an “Islamic awakening” inspired by Iran’s 1979 revolution, a movement that promises to undermine U.S. and Israeli interests in the region. (The uprising is Syria, a key ally, is generally not mentioned in this context.)
The anticipated rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has been viewed positively by Iran, which had chilly relations with President Hosni Mubarak and loathed his predecessor, Anwar Sadat, for signing a peace treaty with Israel.
Egypt-Iran ties were also strained over Cairo’s support for Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war. Egypt gave ousted Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi a state burial in 1980, and after Sadat was assassinated the following year, Iran infuriated Egypt by naming a street in Tehran for the leader of the assassination plot. Iran later became a key sponsor of Hamas, the Palestinian offshoot of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Mubarak’s rival.
According to published reports, in one of the classified State Department cables leaked last year, a U.S. diplomat in Cairo reported in 2009 that Mubarak had “a visceral hatred for the Islamic Republic, referring repeatedly to Iranians as ‘liars,’ and denouncing them for seeking to destabilize Egypt and the region.”
Tehran had somewhat better relations with Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in Libya, although the still-unresolved disappearance of an Iranian-born, Lebanese Shi’ite leader during an official visit to Libya in 1978 caused some tensions. Some believe Moussa Sadr was secretly jailed by Gaddafi and may still be alive.
Despite opposing the NATO operation that helped the anti-Gaddafi forces, Iran established contacts with the rebels (now the transitional government) in the early months of the uprising.
After rebel forces overran the government compound in Tripoli in August Iran congratulated “the Muslim people of Libya,” disclosed that it had been “discreetly” helping the rebels with humanitarian aid, and invited the head of the National Transitional Council (NTC) to visit Tehran “at an opportune time.”
In September, Iran voted in favor of Libya’s United Nations seat being given to the NTC, in the process breaking with customary allies like Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba.
Following Gaddafi’s death, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi this week sent a message to the NTC hailing Libya’s “total liberation” and expressing the hope Libyans would install “a regime based on religious democracy while preserving the independence and stability of the country with no influence or interference by foreign forces,” the Mehr news agency reported.
On Wednesday, Tehran’s foreign ministry said Salehi would visit Tripoli soon at the invitation of the NTC.”
II. Obama is a Useful Pawn of Radical Islam!-Posted on TeaParty.org-By Dr. Laurie Roth, PhD-On October 27, 2011:
III. Nation of Islam leader slams Gadhafi’s ‘assassination,’ says rejoicing will turn to sorrow!-Posted on The Washington Post-By The Associated Press-Updated On October 26, 2011:
IV. Gaffney: Rise of Sharia Law Will Bring War to the Middle East!-Posted on NewsMax.com-By Martin Gould and Kathleen Walter-On October 24, 2011:
V. Obama’s Secret Link to Hamas-Posted on Human Events-By Buzz Patterson-On September 8, 2010:
Note: My following blog posts contain numerous articles and/or blog posts and videos that relate to this disturbing issue-You Decide:
Godfather of The Islamic Revolution!
Is President Obama in on the Uprising in Egypt?
Is Israel the next Arab Facebook Campaign?
The President Must Stop Voting “Present” on Iran!
What we haven’t been told about the President’s background!http://weroinnm.wordpress.com/2010/05/03/what-we-haven’t-been-told-...
Note: If you have a problem viewing any of the listed blog posts please copy web site and paste it on your browser. Be aware that some of the articles and/or blog posts or videos listed within the contents of the above blog post(s) may have been removed by this administration because they may have considered them to be too controversial. Sure seems like any subject matter that may shed some negative light on this administration is being censored-What happened to free speech?-You Decide.
“Food For Thought”
God Bless the U.S.A.!