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Free Fire | | The Arab Spring

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Middle East analyst Walid Phares sends along the translation of an Arabic aricle in el Watan, in which Egyptian scholar Ahmad Abed Rabbo has some provocative comments:

An el Watan article reported that US ambassador to Egypt Ann Paterson is meeting all political parties in Egypt to convince them to accept the coming legislative elections rushed by the Muslim Brotherhood. Ahmad Abed Rabbo, an Egyptian scholar said the US wants the Brotherhood to win the coming elections. They want to consolidate the Ikhwan’s rule

ومن جانبه، اعتبر أستاذ العلوم السياسية الدكتور أحمد عبدربه، أن اللقاءات التي تجريها السفيرة الأمريكية نوعا من جمع المعلومات من ناحية ومن ناحية أخرى فهم كافة الأطراف السياسية. وأضاف أنه من صالح الولايات المتحدة إجراء الانتخابات البرلمانية وعدم المقاطعة لأنها تراهن على دعم نظام الإخوان لأخرة قطرة ونجاحه في العملية الديمقراطية.

An observer in Washington DC said “the Obama Administration is pressuring the seculars in Egypt to accept the early elections as devised by Morsi, so that the Brotherhood would win them. The Administration is now meddling in Egyptian politics on the side of the Islamists, using its political influence, its foriegn aid and the fact that there is no one in Washington opposing the Administration in its pro-Ikhwan stance, so far.”

The Obama administration’s view of the Middle East can certainly be considered pro-Muslim Brotherhood– and it hasn’t been the first time Egyptians themselves have noticed. Maybe the New York Times will, once again, blame Frank Gaffney for anti-Obama sentiment by Copts and moderate Muslims in Egypt.

Barry Rubin this week wrote the must-read piece on how their view of the region (and of potential ‘moderation’ of Islamist forces more generally) couldn’t be more disastrously wrong. He points out that, in order to arrive at the conclusion that Islamist groups will moderate once they’ve taken hold of the levers of power,  the administration– from the president to highly influential advisers like John Brennan– have had to ignore the most crucial facts about these groups:

Here is an important principle in studying the politics of this contemporary era: violence (including terrorism) is not the main measure of radicalism. Instead, the way to judge the extremism of a group is the organization’s ideology, goals, and seriousness in seeking total victory. Strategic and tactical flexibility should be taken into account, but do not mitigate the threat posed by the objective toward which any political force is striving.

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