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Key Syria opposition group refuses Geneva peace talks
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Page 6: Politix
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Olde Tyme Religion
In the Middle East, the Muslim Brotherhood is in retreat
[Jpost] The Sunni Islamist movement's fortunes have been reversed throughout the Middle East, with the Brotherhood losing power in both Egypt and Tunisia, as well as influence in Syria, Turkey, Qatar and Gazoo.

Reports surfaced this week suggesting that Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, leader Khaled Mashaal is seeking to relocate from his current base in the Qatari capital of Doha. Hamas has indignantly rejected these claims.

This shouldn't be taken as authoritative -- the movement also dismissed evidence that it was leaving Damascus in 2012, until the move was complete and could no longer be denied.

If it turns out that the Hamas leadership is indeed on its way out of Qatar, this is the latest indication of the astonishing change of fortunes that has hit the Moslem Brüderbund. History may remember 2013 as the year of the movement's eclipse, after its very brief moment in the sun in 2011-2012.

At the beginning of this year, the Brotherhood held power in Egypt and Tunisia. A Syrian insurgency dominated by militias with similar ideas to the Brotherhood and supported by the same patron (Qatar) looked to be heading for victory in Syria's civil war.

A Brotherhood-related party was in power in Turkey, and the Emirate of Qatar had emerged as the energetic financier and enthusiastic cheerleader of the Brothers' advance across the region.

Qatar, through its immensely popular Al Jazeera channel, had the ability to sculpt public opinion according to its will, across borders in the Arabic-speaking world.

The Brotherhood/Qatari alliance also seemed well on the way to claiming the commanding stake in Paleostinian nationalism. Hamas, the Paleostinian branch of the movement, had carved out the only genuinely independent Paleostinian entity in the Gazoo Strip. This was pivotal as the Paleostinian cause and opposition to Israel remain key badges of legitimacy in the politics of the Arab world.

Hamas, led by Mashaal, spent 2011 and 2012 relocating itself out of Damascus, drawing ever closer to Doha. Emir Hamad Bin Khalifa al-Thani then visited Hamas-controlled Gazoo in October 2012, pledging $400 million to the Hamas enclave. Everything seemed to be going in the right direction.

But the advance of the Brotherhood was alarming to the conservative Gulf monarchies of Soddy Arabia
...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face...
and the United Arab Emirates. Israel, too, was watching events with concern. While Israel was far less vulnerable than the fragile Gulf states, the rise of the Brotherhood in Egypt seemed to promise trouble somewhere down the road.

In the course of 2013, the advance was reversed.

Most important, the Brotherhood was forcibly removed from power in Egypt in a Saudi and UAE-supported military coup in July. The new military regime is in the process of destroying Islamist military resistance. The Brotherhood has been declared illegal and will not be permitted to stand in future elections once the civilian political process has been reactivated.

In this age of asymmetric conflicts, in which the very concepts of victory and defeat are said to be obsolete, the Brotherhood in Egypt has suffered something that looks very much like an old fashioned, unambiguous and clear defeat.

In Qatar, meanwhile, the emir was replaced in June by his son, Tamim. The precise circumstances and reasons for Thani's sudden departure from power remain mysterious.

Since then, Qatar has virtually disappeared from the regional stage. Its contributions to the Brotherhood in Egypt are drying up.

Hamas, alarmed by the turn of events in Egypt, is reactivating its contacts with Iran and the rival, Shi'ite-dominated Islamist bloc led by Tehran.

In Syria, Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Lord of the Baath...
's regime rallied in the first months of 2013, and its existence is no longer in imminent danger. On the Syrian rebel side, meanwhile, it is now the Saudis who are making the running -- officially supporting the "moderate" Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, and enabling the funding of Salafi organizations through private funds. The Qataris and the Brotherhood are no longer the main players. In the latest reversal of fortune, Tunisia's al-Nahda party has agreed to dissolve the government that it formed following its election victory in 2011. The government will be replaced by an administration of technocrats pending new elections. This move follows the unrest and political crisis that erupted after the liquidation of opposition leader Mohammed Brahmi in July.

In Turkey, meanwhile, the Brotherhood- aligned AKP is left to ponder the ruins of its plans and hopes for the region. It had expected the formation of an alliance of like-thinking Brotherhood-style Sunni Islamist regimes across the region, in North Africa, the Levant and the Gulf.

After the events of 2013, this is no longer on the cards. Instead, the AKP government must cope with angry protests by non- Islamist Turks, the loss of allies and regional isolation.

This appears to be taking its toll.

A broadcast featuring Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussing the crushing of the Brotherhood in Egypt had to be stopped recently when the Turkish leader began weeping uncontrollably.

What all this means is that on literally every front on which it made significant advances, the Brotherhood has now stalled.

Whether or not it turns out that the reports regarding Mashaal's relocation are true, Hamas is being forced to reposition itself, and to go back to Iran with cap in hand. The reason is because this movement, too, had placed its bets on a Qatar-financed alliance of Brotherhood-oriented states -- which will now not come into being.

The Brothers are by no means finished. Their politics retain a natural purchase in the conservative, Sunni Arab Middle East. But the moment when everything seemed possible has decidedly passed. What looked like the potential beginning of a new age ended up as a brief moment in the sun.

The sun is now setting on the Moslem Brüderbund's hopes of regional domination.
Posted by: trailing wife || 10/14/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under: Muslim Brotherhood

#1  And Jordan too?
Posted by: newc || 10/14/2013 0:15 Comments || Top||

#2  I read an article that the Muslim area on earth was like a sick patient that badly needed Radiation Therapy, preferably Nuclear, and we,(The World) Needed to hope we survive it.

Sounds reasonable, very sick patients often do not realize they are sick, especially when desperate measures are needed.

And the sickness doesn't get a say in it' treatment.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 10/14/2013 0:56 Comments || Top||

#3  Thank you TE for that post. #1 and # 2 also. Obama's plans always are a ruination. I'd bet his golf game is just as bad.
Posted by: Dale || 10/14/2013 7:25 Comments || Top||

#4  TW, OOPS!..
Posted by: Dale || 10/14/2013 7:25 Comments || Top||

#5  No harm done, Dale. You are very welcome.
Posted by: trailing wife || 10/14/2013 8:28 Comments || Top||

#6  Don't write the Brøderbund off just yet.

Like a cancer, they seem to metastasize elsewhere when removed from a sick body.
Posted by: Mullah Richard || 10/14/2013 9:17 Comments || Top||

#7  And what comes after the Bruders? They come in like a bunch of Mensheviks, screw things up so the Bolsheviks can get things organized? I see AlQ ready to fill any vacuum. Lots of bad choices. I guess that's why radiation treatment seems like the most likely outcome.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 10/14/2013 10:42 Comments || Top||

#8  In Qatar, meanwhile, the emir was replaced in June by his son, Tamim. The precise circumstances and reasons for Thani's sudden departure from power remain mysterious.

Thani had problems with the neighbors.
Posted by: Pappy || 10/14/2013 11:22 Comments || Top||

Terror Networks
Has Islamism Peaked In The Middle East?
[Jpost] The popular opposition to Islamist-led governments in Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Tunisia, and Sudan have been cited by experts as a sign that the once-popular ideology is waning.

Almost every day there is news about a new attack by al-Qaida or another radical Islamic group, yet events since the summer demonstrate that there is also a regional pushback against Islamists in countries such as Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey.

The Egyptian army toppled the Muslim Brotherhood from power on July 3, marking the beginning of a strong opposition by some in the region to Islamists. And in Tunisia, the like-minded ruling Ennahda movement has its rule under threat after agreeing to appoint a caretaker government in the coming weeks. In May, massive protests against Turkey's ruling Islamist AKP party erupted in Istanbul's Gezi Park, revealing that a significant portion of the country's population opposed the government's increasing aggressiveness in forcing its views on the public.

In Syria, there is mounting evidence that the country is becoming a stew of Islamist groups, both al-Qaida-affiliated and other Muslim Brotherhood-type groups. A United States official, who has access to intelligence reports, told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday that Syria may become similar to the tribal areas of Pakistan, where al-Qaida and other radical groups are based. US officials have also made comparisons to Afghanistan and Yemen.

Gulf States, while opposing al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood, have nonetheless been supporting Islamists in the quest to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad. The Egyptians, who voted the Brotherhood into power, have largely turned on the group and the jihadists in Sinai that have been launching attacks against the army.

In addition to Syria, al-Qaida or affiliated or similar groups have been active in places such as Nigeria, Egypt, Somalia, Kenya, Iraq, Libya, Tunisia, Mali, and Yemen.

Seth Jones, an associate director at the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the Rand Corporation in Washington and a former representative for the commander of US Special Operations Command to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations, spoke to The Jerusalem Post about the rising tide of al-Qaida attacks in the Middle East.

Jones, who also served as an adviser to the commanding general of Special Forces in Afghanistan, said that he recently gave testimony in Congress about the rising number and the growing geographic scope of al-Qaida affiliates and other extremist Sunni groups across North Africa and the Middle East.

One of the reasons for their rise, he says, is that the Arab uprisings have created weaker regimes in the region. The resulting power vacuum and lack of control over territory has created an opportunity for groups like al-Qaida to establish a foothold.

The primary issue from a US perspective is to stop attacks and plots against the US homeland and its citizens. For example, Jones referred to uncovered plots against US airplanes and embassies. Worrying about attacks on allies comes second, he said.

He explained that al-Qaida has become fractured and decentralized, and that we are increasingly seeing the rise of affiliate groups such as al-Nusra in Syria.

Asked about the US's views about the Muslim Brotherhood, Jones said that these vary quite a bit, but since there is little evidence that they are plotting attacks against the US, they are a secondary worry to that of jihadist groups.

He added that some segments of the Muslim Brotherhood are unhelpful and deeply anti-American, also opposing US allies in the region.

Jones said he believed that the rise of the jihadists was also due to the growing sectarian conflict in the region, particularly in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. For example, he said that fatwas -- Islamic religious decrees -- had been issued in Egypt, calling on fighters to go to Syria to participate in the jihad.

He added that the sectarian nature of the conflict has led to a surge in resources, money, and fighters flowing to battle zones.

On a positive note, he said that there has been pushback against jihadists in Somalia and Mali, where the terrorists have lost ground.

Regarding Israel, Jones said the biggest threats tend to be from groups in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as the growing jihadist threat from Sinai. He said that Al-Nusra has training camps not far from the Israeli border, and that while the group is focused for now on the Syrian regime, they definitely view Israel as an enemy.

"A concern would be if any of these groups would be able to cooperate in the long run. If I am sitting in Israel right now, I am worried about Hamas and Hezbollah," he said, adding that the al-Qaida groups are a secondary threat to keep an eye on.

Jonathan Schanzer, vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the Post that in his estimation al-Qaida and its affiliates are on the rise, and that "the al-Qaida network was neither decimated or weakened when the administration said it was last year."

Commenting on the Brotherhood, he said that the group has lost some of its luster in recent months. "But there does not appear to be any ideology or political movement capable of countering it. So, the Brotherhood is basically grappling with itself. If it is able to regroup and rebrand, it will find a way to reassert itself in politics around the region," he said.

Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum, spoke at the conference held by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies this week at Bar-Ilan University, and presented the original thesis that the events over the past few months may mean that Islamism has peaked in the region and has begun its decline.

He cited the popular opposition to Islamist-led governments in Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Tunisia, and Sudan.

"The more you know it, the less you like it," he said in reference to Islamism. "It is not popular in the long-term."

Another important point, he said, is that Islamists cannot get along with one another. Turkey and Iran had grown closer only to have relations cool because of the Syrian war. Meanwhile, in Lebanon and in the region there is a Shi'ite-Sunni clash as well as divisions within each of these camps. In Turkey, there is a growing division between President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan; in Syria, there are Sunni Islamists fighting each other; in Egypt, there are divisions between the Salafists and the Muslim Brotherhood; and in Tunisia, there is a conflict between the Salafists and the ruling Islamist Ennhada party.

In an interview with Pipes after the conference, Pipes told the Post that if there is a concern for people getting killed, then al-Qaida should be the focus; but that he sees this battle as heavily one-sided.

"Who is going to win, the US versus al-Qaida? The answer is very clear," he said, pointing out that the success of the former Soviet Union was not based on terrorism. "Terrorism is a strategy when you have no real options."

In the short-term there is obvious danger, he said, but there is "no way they are going to win."

It is much more dangerous when Islamists decide to work through the system, and rule a state like in Turkey, where they can do real damage to US interests, he said. But on the other hand, "can Boko Haram take over Nigeria?" asked Pipes, adding that in Somalia, al-Shabaab controls a small swath of the country -- they can wreak havoc, but have no shot at gaining wider power.

He pointed out that the September 11, 2001 attacks turned out to be counterproductive, as they woke people up about the threat of radical Islam. Similarly, "Going on a rampage in a mall in Kenya does not impress me as a victory for Islamists but rather as an indication of their failure to convince people of their message," asserted Pipes.

Remarking on Egypt, Pipes said that "the size and vehemence of anti-Islamist opposition is mind-numbingly large, verging into anti-Islamic sentiment -- it is extraordinary, and for civilization this is positive."

Pipes hedged his argument, noting that things are fluid, and that recent events could reverse themselves. "I am not suggesting the Islamists are finished, but from a long ascent from the late 1920s and a sharp increase in the late 1970s and in 2002, it may be that they have peaked."
Posted by: trailing wife || 10/14/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6513 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It is much more dangerous when Islamists decide to work through the system, and rule a state like in Turkey, where they can do real damage to US interest

Here's a clue: Islamists don't need to rule. They merely have to ingratiate themselves into the system. You experts might want to start looking at places closer to home.
Posted by: Pappy || 10/14/2013 11:27 Comments || Top||




Wid Al-Qaeda affiliates + aligned cleaning out the domestic Syria Rebs, IMO BOTH ASSAD + TEHRAN NOW IS THE BEST TIME FOR NEW RAPPROCHEMENT WID THE US.


As long as Al-Qaeda + similar hardline, pro-Jihad Foreign MilTerr Groups stay in the region, Assadian Syria + Iran are now among the US' BFFS in the Middle East.


As in "post-US" + "Superpower" wannabe, albeit wid imperfect or problematic rise, that is???

Perhaps more accurately, OWG GLOBALIST "CO-SUPERPOWER"???





fighting agz Assad in Syria.

Russia = USA = China, etal. = all have a stake in making sure Baby Assad stays in power + wid a strong military to keep or put the Hard Boyz down.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 10/14/2013 21:41 Comments || Top||

O Can't Waste This Moment - Double Down! Crush the Radicals!
The senseless government shutdown has led to a rout of the tea party, right-wing extremism and a House Republican leadership that was cowed into a march toward oblivion. But a great deal hangs on what happens next. Will this be a watershed moment? Or do we return to the same dreary politics that led to the shutdown in the first place?
I'm afraid it'll be more dreariness, E.J. You keep forgetting about the red half of the country.
What needs to happen is a sharp course correction -- from an agenda championed by the forces that were beaten in the last election to an engagement with the problems our nation must solve.
The One was re-elected, sure, but the House remains in GOP control, Mr. Dionne.
No by-line listed in this post but by the time I'd read to the second yellow comment I knew it was Dionne...
Democrats have been much tougher in this round of negotiations than they were in the past not only because the GOP vastly overreached in trying to gut Obamacare, but also because they know how important it is to insist that budget cutting and deficit reduction not be the sole priority of the political class. Rep. Paul Ryan (who was, by the way, the other member of the Republican ticket that lost last year, partly because of his budget ideas) hoped to steer the talks in this direction. But Democrats have made it clear that it's not 2011 anymore.
So budget cutting and deficit reduction are not the only priorities? What are the others?
The United States should build, not just cut. We should invest again in an infrastructure whose decayed condition ought to shame us. We should deal with high ongoing unemployment, reverse the rise of inequality and give poor and working-class kids real opportunities for upward mobility.
Actually I agree with the goals, so long as we don't raise taxes. SMARTER SPENDING™.
Future negotiations must be premised on getting rid of sequester cuts that are hobbling our economy and on matching future cuts with new revenues. Talk of changes in Social Security and Medicare need to take into account not only their long-term costs -- which require, above all, further fixes to our health-care system -- but also how these programs may be inadequate for a generation whose members will not enjoy the pensions their grandparents had.
More money to O'care, less to pensions!
It's important to understand that the American people really have blamed this mess on the GOP and really did revolt against the tea party's irrationality. The public's reaction has not been "a plague on both your houses," even if the shenanigans make Congress as a whole look very bad.
Keep it up with the Kool Aide, E.J.
The president and his allies seem determined to seize this moment and not squander a triumph built on a willingness to stand firm against right-wing radicalism. Obama can't slip back into the style of deficit wrangling that so weakened him in 2011. He now has an opening to refocus on his priorities: universal pre-kindergarten education, immigration reform, rebuilding our transportation and communications systems -- and, one would like to hope, an even broader agenda for speeding growth and sharing its dividends fairly.
No time for compromise! Forward!
Posted by: Bobby || 10/14/2013 06:49 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6500 views] Top|| File under:

#1  EJ pretty reliably represents the conventional wisdom of the mainstream left.

The fact that what he says is basically drivel tells us the problems of the mainstream left are, in their own way, as severe as those of the GOP.
Posted by: lord garth || 10/14/2013 7:55 Comments || Top||

#2  [shakes head] I suppose reality has to be somewhere in between E.J. and the right-wing, whatever "reality" is...
Posted by: Bobby || 10/14/2013 9:26 Comments || Top||

#3  The Left has demonstrated time and again, the heart felt desire for a one party system whether its Dear Leader or a 'King'. I don't recall the Left was too cooperating when Nixon won a second term. A lot of these writers weren't born yet, so its all prehistoric for them, as history is only what they can recall in their life's experience.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 10/14/2013 10:01 Comments || Top||

#4  The 'invest in infrastructure' would be a well received message had the previous several trillion borrowed dollars gone to actual infrastructure projects.

The liberals increase spending when times are good, bad, near bankruptcy... There is never a time to cut spending; after all the real America is the GIVERnment.
Posted by: airandee || 10/14/2013 10:09 Comments || Top||

#5  I have come to believe that Dionne knows he is full of crap but he knows if enough of his friends say the same thing it becomes conventional wisdom and may actually become the truth when McCain and company start to beleave it. That is what happened with a lot of the polling in the last election. lie, lie, lie with polls until eventually turnout starts to look the way you want (and any voter fraud numbers start to look like the predictions and thus don't stand out).
Posted by: rjschwarz || 10/14/2013 10:18 Comments || Top||

#6  The bit that is really beginning to bore me is the "shameful infrastructure" talking point. True in Baltimore or Detroit, but outside the blue cities, ours is still more than adequate. Especially when one considers the over-built, over-engineered projects one sees in Europe and Eastasia. Those are jobs programs, not infrastructure.
Posted by: 11A5S || 10/14/2013 11:48 Comments || Top||

#7  Eliminate the biggest tax increase in history. Eliminate Obamacare.

Eliminate the slave trade. If you have to pay money to someone whether you buy or not buy, you are now a slave.
Posted by: Thrans Splat1574 || 10/14/2013 13:31 Comments || Top||

#8  "The 'invest in infrastructure' would be a well received message had the previous several trillion borrowed dollars gone to actual infrastructure projects."

The money wouldn't go to actual infrastructure projects this time either, airandee.

Generally speaking, construction jobs are done by men - can't spend that money on all those jobs for burley men, y'know. >:-(

Posted by: Barbara || 10/14/2013 13:39 Comments || Top||

#9  If Paul Ryan proposed a budget that reduced federal spending by $1.00, it wouldn't pass and he would be accused (again) of taking money out of the mouths of starving children. (The $650 million pissed away on a non-functioning website somehow doesn't come out of the mouths of starving children.)
Posted by: Matt || 10/14/2013 19:36 Comments || Top||


Posted by: JosephMendiola || 10/14/2013 19:49 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Culture Wars
The Threat We Face
by David Horowitz
...a lengthy but essential article...
Posted by: Uncle Phester || 10/14/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6465 views] Top|| File under:

Who's in the News
5Govt of Syria
5Arab Spring
4Islamic State of Iraq & the Levant
2Govt of Pakistan
2al-Qaeda in Pakistan
1Muslim Brotherhood
1Palestinian Authority

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Two weeks of WOT
Mon 2013-10-14
  Key Syria opposition group refuses Geneva peace talks
Sun 2013-10-13
  Tunisian Forces Clash with Jihadists
Sat 2013-10-12
  US troops capture a senior Pakistan Taliban leader in Afghanistan
Fri 2013-10-11
  Libya PM 'Freed' after Several Hours Held by Militia, Calls for Calm
Thu 2013-10-10
  Libyan Prime Minister Zeidan kidnapped by gunmen
Wed 2013-10-09
  Egypt Strips Muslim Brotherhood of NGO Status
Tue 2013-10-08
  Egypt: Huge Explosion Hits Security HQ In Sinai
Mon 2013-10-07
  SEAL Strike on Shaboob Big Turban Fails in Somalia
Sun 2013-10-06
  Abu Anas al-Libi snatched
Sat 2013-10-05
  Boko Haram: 186 killed, 15 arrested as Military raids insurgents' camp in Yobe
Fri 2013-10-04
  Belgium Extradites Nisar Trabelsi to U.S.
Thu 2013-10-03
  Iranian cyber warfare commander shot dead in suspected assassination
Wed 2013-10-02
  Iraq Executes 23 People in Two Days
Tue 2013-10-01
  Drone strike in North Waziristan kills two, injures one
Mon 2013-09-30
  US drone kills three in Pakistan

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