In October 2010, on the eve of the Islamic revolution that the media fancies as “the Arab Spring,” the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood called for jihad against the United States.
You might think that this all but unnoticed bombshell would be of some importance to policymakers in Washington. It was not. It is not. This week, the Obama administration quietly released $1.5 billion in foreign aid to the new Egyptian government, now dominated by a Brotherhood-led coalition in parliament — soon to be joined by an Ikhwan (i.e., Brotherhood) luminary as president.
It is not easy to find the announcement. With the legacy media having joined the Obama reelection campaign, we must turn for such news to outlets like the Kuwait News Agency. There, we learn that, having dug our nation into a $16 trillion debt hole, President Obama has nevertheless decided to borrow more money from unfriendly powers like China so he can give it to an outfit that views the United States as an enemy to be destroyed.
This pot of gold for Islamic supremacists is the spoils of a Brotherhood charm offensive. Given the organization’s unabashed goals and hostility towards the West, it was U.S. policy, until recently, to avoid formal contacts with the Brotherhood — although agents of the intelligence community and the State Department have long engaged in off-line communications with individual MB members. By contrast, the Obama administration from its first days has embraced the Ikhwan — both the mothership, whose leaders were invited to attend Obama’s 2009 speech in Cairo despite its then-status as a banned organization under Egyptian law, and the Brotherhood’s American satellites, which have been invited to advise administration policymakers despite their notorious record of championing violent jihadists and repressive sharia.
Obama has overlooked the MB’s intimate ties to Hamas, which self-identifies as the Ikhwan’s Palestinian branch and is formally designated a terrorist organization under American law. Administration officials have absurdly portrayed the Brothers as “secular” and “moderate,” although the organization, from its founding in the 1920s, has never retreated an inch from its professed mission to establish Islam’s global hegemony.
The administration further hailed the Brotherhood’s triumph in post-Mubarak legislative elections and made a point of abandoning the policy against formal MB contacts — though, in now-familiar Obama fashion, it simultaneously claimed that this “outreach” broke no new ground. And this week, the White House hosted a Brotherhood delegation to “broaden our engagement” with Egypt’s new political actors, as an administration spokesman put it. In this, Obama officials were quick to exploit the cover they’ve gotten from the transnational-progressive wing of the Republican party: The administration spokesman stressed that “Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham and others have met with members of the MB during their visits to Egypt.”
The useful-idiot brigade also includes the “House Democracy Partnership,” a bipartisan cadre of congressmen that traipsed over to Egypt on its recent tour of the “Arab Spring” countries. On the agenda was a confab with Khairat el-Shater, the Brotherhood’s newly announced presidential candidate.
Shater is Washington’s new darling. That much is clear from an unintentionally hilarious dispatch from the New York Times’ David Kirkpatrick, who portrays the Brotherhood as America’s “indispensable ally against Egypt’s ultraconservatives.” Sure, they may be the world’s leading exemplar of what Kirkpatrick gently calls “political Islam,” but our policy geniuses reckon the Brothers are much to be preferred over the “Salafis” — reputedly, the more hardcore Islamic supremacists. As the Times elaborates, the Obama administration is alarmed by the rise of a charismatic Salafist, Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, who has shot to second place in the polls. Shater, the theory goes, could overtake Ismail and lead Egypt in the Brotherhood’s more “pragmatic direction.”