Report: Obama to call for Egypt debt forgiveness today

Report: Obama to call for Egypt debt forgiveness today

Thomas Lifson

According to Josh Gerstein of Politico,
President Obama’s much-hyped speech today at the State Department regarding the
Middle East will include praise for the Arab Spring and a call for debt
forgiveness to provide  “cash flow relief” to the new Egyptian government. This
would be the very same new government that is moving away from its peace treaty
with Israel and cozying up to Iran, providing Suez Canal transit to Iranian
warships, so they can cruise off Israel’s Mediterranean coast.

Since the US government is heavily indebted to China, such a move would
amount to borrowing money from China and others to decrease Egypt’s foreign
debt, as a reward for moving against peace with Israel.
Instead of honestly recognizing that Islamism is the root of protest and
threat to the West in Egypt, Obama is apparently recycling the old economic
arguments. Gerstein writes:
“We see this as a critical window of time for the United States to take
concrete action,” a senior administration official told reporters Wednesday
during a conference call previewing Obama’s speech.
“The political movements of nonviolent protest that we’ve seen are rooted
in part in a lack of opportunity in the region. You have very large populations
of young people, many of whom – too many of whom – cannot find a job,” said the
official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “We think it’s important to note
that some of the protests in the region are deeply rooted in a lack of
individual opportunity and economic growth as well as a suppression of political
At least the language is hedged here: “some of”, “may be” and the like. But
no effort at all is made to connect a religion which idealizes a 7th century
social order as the perfect  state of Allah’s plan for mankind with economic
stagnation and lack of opportunity. Nor the possibility that a religion which
posits jihad against the infidel as the highest duty might hobble its economic
prospects and social structure.Osama
Bin Laden
shares President Obama’s enthusiasm for the Arab Spring. Erin
Bonsteel captures the situiation well:

Will Egyptians Lose Their Revolution?

Will Egyptians Lose Their Revolution?
Posted By Lisa Daftari On February 3, 2011 @ 12:06 am In Daily Mailer, FrontPage | 6 Comments
Despite efforts to prove otherwise, the current political movement in Egypt is following a parallel political course seen in 1978-79 Iran.  From the optimism of the protesters to the hovering fundamentalist influences, the Egyptian people must demand that their movement and cries for freedom are heeded and not hijacked.  The Iranian people learned that the hard way.
Thirty years ago, the Iranian people poured into the streets demanding that their Shah be ousted. They did not have a viable alternative, and the absence of an organized opposition made for a facile takeover by an Islamic government.
Similar to Mubarak’s government, the United States had a friendly relationship with the Shah of Iran and his regime.  The people were liberal. Some women marched in tank tops and short skirts and others in headscarves.  Men and women protested together.  Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, Bahais and Muslims stood by one another in demanding that a new democratic government replace the Shah.
Their demands were idealistic with no realistic manner in which to implement them.  Similar to the Egyptians, they were fed up, and the consensus was, there was no going back.  The Iranians could only go forward to see who would fill the political vacancy they had so quickly evacuated.
Iran had several competing opposition groups, but none were sufficiently organized or widely supported to compete with what was to come.  Their preoccupation with the dismissal of the Shah got in the way of their own political gains. The Constitutionalist Liberals, the National Front, Marxist groups such as the Tudeh Party of Iran and the Fedaian, and the most powerful guerrilla group, the People’s Mojahedeen, known today as the MEK (a leftist Islamist group) had been around for decades.  While they were influential in ousting the Shah, they lacked the leadership and political sophistication to actually replace him.
As the Shah departed Iran, the people rejoiced the possibility of freedom and democracy, but instead, Iran’s democratic movement and all other political parties were pushed aside by an organizational genius who was as scheming as he was shrewd: the Ayatollah Khomeini, who had a masterful plan for the Iranian people and the future of the country.
Khomeini quickly formed the Interim Government of Iran in 1979, also known as the Provisional Revolutionary Government, and by February, appointed Mehdi Bazargan as the interim Prime Minister. Bazargan was an obvious choice; a modern, well dressed, highly-educated engineer with good diplomacy skills.
Two days after Americans were taken hostage at the American Embassy, Bazargan and all members of his cabinet resigned Nov. 6, 1979, and Khomeini, seemingly happy about the resignation, handed power to the Revolutionary Council.
Two weeks ago, Mohsen Rezaii, Iran’s former Revolutionary Guard Commander called Bazargan’s appointment “the biggest trick pulled by the Imam Khomeini to hoodwink the Americans back in 1979.”
Given the similarities in movements, we hope that 30 years from now, a commander from the Muslim Brotherhood won’t claim the appointment of Mohamed ElBaradei, the informal Egyptian opposition leader, was a trick used to likewise dupe the Americans now.

The similarities between Bazargan and ElBaradei, coupled with comparisons that can be drawn between the Islamic Republic and the Muslim Brotherhood, are alarming, particularly since they can cost the Egyptians their movement and the future of their country.



Mohamed ElBaradei, 68, former International Atomic Energy Agency chief, has surfaced as the likely candidate to lead a transition government between Mubarak’s regime and what will ensue.   The danger clearly remains in handing the country over to a politically inexperienced man whose campaign is being endorsed by the Muslim Brotherhood.
If ElBaradei’s track record in Iran as IAEA chief is any indication, he can easily be influenced by fundamentalist entities.  While he condemned Iran for not cooperating with IAEA assessors, he advocated on Iran’s behalf, pushing for diplomatic engagement and claiming that Iran was farther away from becoming a nuclear power than the West and Israel claimed.
Mustafa Al-Naggar, Coordinator of ElBaradei’s National Coalition for Change said about his platform, “We want one of two good things: Freedom or martyrdom,” in an Arabic language television interview now on MEMRI TV. “Let them kill the Egyptian people in its entirety.”
The biggest threat facing Egypt, however, remains the Muslim Brotherhood — the largest, oldest and best-organized Islamic group in the world.  Though the argument has been made that the Muslim Brotherhood does not preach violence and has separated itself from Islamic radicalism, the group’s core beliefs will subject women and religious minorities, including Coptic Christians, to second-class status, threaten the 30-year peace between Egypt and Israel, and fuel terrorist groups including Hezbollah, Hamas and Al-Qaeda.
“If the Muslim Brotherhood takes power in Egypt, radical elements elsewhere in the region will be emboldened, further distancing themselves from the West in general and the US in particular,” according to Dr. Joseph A. Kechichian, a columnist with Gulf News in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and author of Power and Succession in Arab Monarchies. “US interests are not necessarily served by adding to the roster of radicalized Islamic states, where Shari `a Law is the rule of the land, and where anti-US rhetoric can translate into policies.”
The US’s support (or lack thereof) of inchoate political movements has had mixed results.  In the case of Iran, even though the movements of 1978-79 and 2009 had entirely different outcomes—one a full-blown revolution and the other, a lost opportunity—both were failures.  In 1978, President Carter intervened and was instrumental in the ousting of the Shah and paving the way for the creation of a radical theocracy.  In 2009, however, President Obama completely missed an opportune moment to throw support behind a resilient pro-democratic, secular movement that would have made significant changes in Iran and the region, even when the Iranian people asked for US support.
The lessons of the past, however, were set aside as President Obama isolated President Mubarak in the initial hours of protest last week, throwing unconditional support behind those who are fighting for his dismissal.
“Washington’s decision to admonish one of its closest allies in the Middle East will probably result in an Islamic Egypt, if the current regime is replaced,” Dr. Kechichian said.  “No matter how unpalatable Mubarak or his elites may be, the US has a huge stake in the survival of the regime, at least not to repeat the 1978-1979 Iranian experience.”
Whether Mubarak stays or is replaced, the warning comes to salvage the Egyptian movement in its aftermath.  No one is denying the Egyptians their right to freedoms or even questioning their intentions.  Yet, just because it is freedom that they seek does not mean that it is freedom that they will receive. The warnings, whether they come from the Iranians or those who do not wish to see history repeat itself, serve to ensure the best outcome for the Egyptians, for the Middle East and for the rest of the world.
Ultimately, should an Islamic regime take over Egypt, it would be yet another win for Iran’s hard-line regime.

It’s about time to expose a double face major spreader of global terror ideology and terrorists: Mubarak of Egypt

Palestinian security personnel prepare to seal a tunnel, used to smuggle arms, during an operation on the border between Egypt and the southern Gaza strip May 5, 2007. (GAZA)


Bypassing Internet censors

Columnist in Egyptian Government Newspaper: I Am Happy at the Death of American and British Soldiers in Iraq

Columnist in Egyptian Government Newspaper: I Am Happy at the Death of American and British Soldiers in Iraq

In his October 27, 2006 column in the Egyptian government evening paper Al-Masa’, Muhammad Foda wrote that he was happy to know that American and British soldiers were being killed in Iraq.

The following are excerpts from the article:

“I Am Very Happy When I Learn That an American or British Soldier Has Been Killed”

“By my nature, I cannot stand the sight of blood spilling out of a bird or an animal, not to mention of a human. My heart does not let me watch a chicken being slaughtered or a knife being waved over a lamb’s or calf’s neck on the Festival of Sacrifice. If I see a predator on television, like a lion or a tiger, chasing after a deer, I flip to another channel so as not to see the weak prey becoming a tasty meal in the claws and teeth of this beast.

“Nonetheless, I am very happy when I learn that an American or British soldier has been killed by the resistance forces in Iraq. It is true that this soldier and his family have no choice but for him to be in Iraq, so I express my condolences to the family for [the death of] a person like ourselves. However, I am happy at the downfall of the American statesmen, and especially President Bush, his vice president Cheney, and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, who dragged their people into this quagmire in order to murder the Iraqi people and slaughter its children and women.

“In October 2006 alone, the Americans lost 101 soldiers in Iraq… This number is relatively large in comparison with the number of dead in past months, and this proves that the Iraqi resistance is growing stronger day by day, week by week, and month by month. Thus it is developing its methods and is focusing on occupation soldiers at their posts, in their lodgings, in their training [facilities], and in their military bases.”

“We Hope That the Resistance Forces Will Focus More on ‘Hunting’ American and British Soldiers”

“We hope that the resistance forces will focus more on ‘hunting’ American and British soldiers, and in this way will harm Bush and his people, who seem to be determined to stay in Iraq at any cost – even if over 50 soldiers are killed every hour. What matters to them is the implementation of their policy, even [if this be] over the remains of their soldiers’ corpses.

“When the American President George Bush, Jr. and his English partner Blair understand that there is a high price for their forces’ remaining in Iraq, and that Iraqi soil will be a graveyard for their invading soldiers, [only] then will [they] – this bloody man and his partner who walks in his footsteps – [understand] that they are guilty before their own countries, before they are guilty before Iraq and the Iraqi people.”

Egypt’s 5,000-Strong Sinai Increment – Now You See It, Now You Don’t

Egypt’s 5,000-Strong Sinai Increment – Now You See It, Now You Don’t

DEBKAfile Exclusive Military Report

October 30, 2006, 10:21 PM (GMT+02:00)

During the weeks of Israel’s military operations to uncover Palestinian arms smuggling tunnels from Sinai into Gaza, Washington quietly sent over a military delegation of counter-terror experts to take a look at the situation on the Egyptian-Gaza and Egyptian-Israeli borders. Their first task was to find out how vast quantities of smuggled Palestinian weapons and explosives, including anti-tank and anti-air missiles, were being slipped unnoticed into the Gaza Strip through tunnels burrowed under the feet of Egyptian border and security police.

The American delegation reported back that the Egyptian officers and personnel on the spot were not exactly straining themselves to guard the border; in fact, some were taking hefty bribes from the Palestinian terrorist organizations to shut their eyes to the traffic.

Acting on this report, the Bush administration turned to Cairo with a demand for US officers and counter-terror experts of the US-led MFO, the Multinational Forces and Observer force stationed in Sinai, to be attached to the Egyptian border units.

The Egyptian government took umbrage over the demand and decided to prove it was fully capable of handling border control without American supervision. One result was the dispatch of 5,000 security personnel to northern Sinai on Saturday, Oct. 28.

DEBKAfile’s Washington sources disclose that the Americans were not convinced; they are continuing to press for US observers to join Egyptian units along the Philadelphi route dividing Gaza from Sinai, maintaining that MFO’s task in Sinai is to combat terror; putting a stop to Palestinian weapons smuggling including missiles, they say, is part of the war against world terror.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the 5,000-strong force posted to northern Sinai was Cairo’s third action in two weeks to fend off the pressure from Washington.

The two previous steps were:

1. The tip-off to Israel on the locations of 13 smuggling tunnel exits within the Philadelphi route on the Gazan side of the border. IDF units on special tunnel-hunting expeditions earlier this month were able to blow the shafts up. But Egypt gained points for doing very little. Cairo much prefers Israel to destroy the tunnels at the Gaza end rather than having its own security police halt the traffic at the Sinai entrances. Demolishing the shafts in Gaza leaves the main galleys in Sinai whole and ready for reuse by Palestinian weapons smugglers.

2. Friday, Oct. 27, Egypt announced that Bedouin goatherds had “discovered” a ton of explosives hidden in the Rissan mountain range of central Sinai, 30 km from the Egyptian-Israeli border. Al Qaeda’s Sinai cells and their Bedouin collaborators are holed up in a well-fortified hideout on this range. Repeated Egyptian security forces operations to flush them out in the last two years always ran into trouble. Our sources report that the Bedouins’ “discovery” of the explosive cache was not exactly fortuitous. It was handed to Egyptian intelligence agents under the command of Intelligence Minister Omar Suleiman after long haggling with the Bedouin chiefs, who were well rewarded with cash and promises of better living conditions.

According to DEBKAfile’s sources, the Americans were not taken in by the two Egyptian gestures as proof of a serious effort to stem the flow of smuggled arms through Sinai to Palestinian terrorists in Gaza.

Two American military battalions are stationed in Sinai, a commando unit of the 82nd Airborne Division which is based in Sharm el-Sheikh and the contingent at MFO’s al Jora base near El Arish in the north. As Washington’s contact with the Egyptian authorities, MFO Director General James Larroco has taken several trips to Cairo in recent weeks to discuss Egypt’s failure to halt the illegal traffic. He reminded Gen. Suleiman that when in late 2005, the Pentagon proposed terminating the MFO’s operation for the sake of budget cuts and transferring the two battalions to Iraq, Egypt objecting strenuously, maintaining it lacked the strength to maintain security in Sinai and halt terrorist operations which would end up attacking Israeli targets.

In the face of Cairo’s objections, the Pentagon reconsidered the transfer and the US contingents stayed in Sinai.

But Larroco still insists that the US troops be allowed to do their job. Instead of being confined to their bases and doing nothing but defending themselves against al Qaeda, they must carry out their counter-terror missions.

Suleiman’s response was to post the 5,000 security men to northern Sinai.

Israel was not put in the picture of this exchange and was therefore taken unawares by Cairo’s announcement of reinforcements in the peninsula. Prime minister Ehud Olmert and defense minister Amir Peretz preferred to brush aside the Egyptian announcement as incorrect, insisting that the 750-man Egyptian border police force permitted to guard the Philadelphi route under existing Egyptian-Israeli accords had not been “reinforced.”

The accords which placed the limited Egyptian force on the border to monitor terrorist movements were brokered by US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice last year to enable Israeli troops to withdraw from the Philadelphi route and so complete their pullback from the Gaza Strip. Their breakdown reflects badly on all parties.


Egypt moves 5000 security personnel to Gaza border

Egypt moves 5000 security personnel to Gaza border

Tensions rising. From the Jerusalem Post, with thanks to Jeffrey Imm:

Egypt on Saturday deployed no less than 5,000 security personnel on the Gaza border, news agencies reported.Officials in Cairo said the move came in response to reports that Israel planned to intensify action to weed out smuggling tunnels, including bombing them from the air.

The Arab hate industry: Egypt continues as a center for the publication of crude anti-Semitic literature encouraging hatred for Israel, the Jewish people and the West, and in effect justifying the use of violence against them.

Online Fatwas Incite Young Muslims to Jihad Saudi Columnist: Preachers in Mosques Urge Worshipers to Join the Jihad in Iraq and Afghanistan


Special Dispatch Series – No. 1335

October 26, 2006 No.1335

Online Fatwas Incite Young Muslims to Jihad

In an article in the Saudi daily Al-Riyadh, columnist Fares bin Hazam reports that both preachers in mosques and online propaganda are inciting young Muslims to wage jihad. [1] An interview with a young Muslim who went to fight in Afghanistan, also in Al-Riyadh, provides first-hand testimony confirming this claim.

The following are excerpts from the article and the interview:

Bin Hazam writes in his article: “The business with Afghanistan will never end as long as the ‘duty of jihad’ continues to live in [our] society, in mosques, in Friday [sermons], and on the Internet…

“After the fall of the Taliban and the subsequent Guantanamo crisis… there was increasing talk about the need to investigate our youth’s growing [inclination] towards jihad, and about the need to search for the reasons that motivate them to go to Afghanistan and to other countries…

“The call to investigate these reasons is despicable; it is a tasteless joke. [One might think] that the reasons are unknown, that we are not aware of our situation [and need to conduct an] investigation in order to discover why [our young people] went forth and are still going forth [to wage jihad]… The reasons are obvious. Many of us know them, and there is no need for a scientific study or for any other [kind of study] to reveal them…

“Since the causes are known, do we lack courage to deal with [this problem]? [I believe that] we do. Our lack of courage has been apparent ever since we invented the excuse of ‘external [influences],’ and began to toy with it and wave it at every opportunity. I do not know where these [external influences] come from, since it was we who sent our young men [to Afghanistan] in the first place, before we ever heard of [these influences] that allegedly come [from outside].

“Some preachers, [namely] those who fear the censor, deceive him by being implicit in their incitement to [wage] jihad in Iraq or Afghanistan. They speak in their sermons about the merits of jihad without mentioning a particular region. They speak in general terms that can be applied to any location, even to our [own] country. During the prayer, the details start to pour in thick and fast: first, [a call to wage jihad] in Palestine, [which serve as] a smokescreen, and then [calls for jihad] in Afghanistan, Iraq and Chechnya, and finally… the call ‘oh Allah, grant them victory everywhere!’ ‘Everywhere’ includes our [own] country… and we say ‘amen’ after the preacher calls [upon Allah] to help the mujahideen in our [own] country…”

Saudi Released From Guantanamo: Fatwas Prompted Me to Join the Jihad

Sa’d Ibrahim Al-Bidna, a young Saudi, traveled to Afghanistan with the aim of joining the jihad. He was arrested two months later, and spent four years and eight months at Guantanamo. In an interview with Al-Riyadh, he said that it was fatwas posted on the Internet that motivated him to wage jihad.

Al-Riyadh: “Tell us of your journey, from [the time] you left Saudi Arabia until your return.”

Al-Bidna: “I started this exhausting journey when I left Saudi Arabia on my own, motivated by youthful enthusiasm to [wage] jihad for the sake of Allah in Afghanistan. I traveled to Afghanistan through Syria and Iran. [When I arrived], war was being waged against the Taliban and things were not clear to me. So I decided to leave Afghanistan for Pakistan, and from there to return to Saudi Arabia. But [when I reached] Pakistan, I was arrested and turned over to the American forces. [They] imprisoned me in Guantanamo, [where I remained] until the Saudi authorities intervened and brought me back to Saudi Arabia after years of suffering…”

Al-Riyadh: “Tell us about the beginning of your journey and the reasons [that motivated you] to set out for Afghanistan.”

Al-Bidna: “Many may find it difficult to believe, but I was not very devout, though I did pray regularly. But enthusiasm and zeal filled the hearts of many young people, and unfortunately, I followed certain fatwas that were posted on the Internet. [These fatwas] call upon young people to wage jihad in certain regions. They tempt them [by describing] the great reward [they will receive], the status of the martyrs in Paradise and the virgins that await them [there]. These fatwas have great influence on young people who have no awareness or knowledge [that enables them] to examine them and verify their validity.”

In Afghanistan, I Saw Muslims Fighting Muslims, and That is Why I Left

Al-Riyadh: “When you came to Afghanistan, did you find the notion of jihad to be as you had imagined it…?”

Al-Bidna: “When I arrived, the war against the Taliban was at its height. There were constant bombardments and things were not clear to me, especially since I was only there for two months. This is not enough time to understand how things really are. But what concerned me the most was that Muslims were fighting each other, and that is why I left [and went to] Pakistan – for in jihad, a Muslim must never fight his Muslim brother.”

Al-Riyadh: “Based on your experience, did you feel that there was no real jihad in Afghanistan?”

Al-Bidna: “The [brief] period I spent there did not enable me see the full picture, and I did not have the knowledge to distinguish real jihad from other actions that are [only] called jihad. But I did see that there were devout people there. Some of them were young men who came [to Afghanistan] out of youthful enthusiasm and [due to their] scant religious knowledge, or were influenced by certain fatwas published by various religious scholars, or [were influenced by] by false images, which were not free of exaggeration, of the situation in Afghanistan. This was the kind of thing that prompted me to set out without informing or asking my family, and without considering the concept of legitimate jihad, its conditions and its rules.”

Al-Riyadh: “Today, do you feel that you were wrong to set out [to Afghanistan], obeying some irresponsible fatwas?”

Al-Bidna: “Of course. I [now] understand that I was wrong. I should have asked the leaders for permission to set out [and wage jihad], or religious scholars known for their knowledge and piety, of which there are many in our country…”

Al-Riyadh: “Before you left for Afghanistan, was there anyone who urged you and encouraged you to go?”

Al-Bidna: “I did not belong to any group or organization, especially since I was not devout before I left. But there were obviously some fatwas that called [for jihad] and were posted on certain websites. [They] influenced many young men, both devout and [non-devout]…”

Had I Received Proper Guidance Before I Left for Afghanistan, I Would Not Have Gone

Al-Riyadh: “After returning [to Saudi Arabia], did you meet with the counseling committees? What changed in your way of thinking?”

Al-Bidna: “My views began to change when I saw the real picture and understood my error, [even] before I was captured. When I returned to Saudi Arabia, we [i.e. the prisoners released from Guantanamo] met with sheikhs and religious scholars who taught us a great deal, and who enlightened us on the tolerant directives of Islam. Had I [known all this] before I left, I would not have gone. The discussions with the religious scholars and sheikhs gave us the ability to distinguish truth from error, and set us on the right path.”

Al-Riyadh: “From your experience, are there specific reasons that cause young people to adopt deviant views and carry out terrorist actions?”

Al-Bidna: “Of course there are specific reasons [that motivate] young people, especially unemployment, the desire for self-fulfillment, and [having] free time. I, for example, finished [only] elementary school, and sat around without a job for many years prior to leaving for Afghanistan. Such things can cause young people to go astray, especially when there are [people] who feed them erroneous notions…”

Al-Riyadh: “Do you think that a fatwa posted online can prompt a young person to wage jihad, when he does not know for sure whether the fatwa is valid?”

AlBidna: “There is no doubt that the problem lies in the youth’s enthusiasm [coupled with] scant knowledge. That’s what happened with me. I did not think to verify the validity of these fatwas or to consult with anyone, and [consequently] made a big mistake…”

[1] Al-Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), October 10, 2006.