Obama’s Egypt Policy Breeds Terrorism

Exclusive: President Obama has gotten in line behind the Israeli-Saudi preference in Egypt for the brutal dictatorship of Gen. al-Sisi over the elected (but now deposed) Muslim Brotherhood government of President Morsi, a posture so shocking that even some U.S. neocons object, writes Jonathan Marshall.

By Jonathan Marshall

Like a stopped clock, even rabid neoconservatives can be right once in a while. A good case in point is a recent open letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, signed by such neocon luminaries as Robert Kagan, Elliott Abrams, Reuel Gerecht and Ellen Bork, calling on the Obama administration to “press the Government of Egypt to end its campaign of indiscriminate repression in order to advance a more effective strategy for countering violent extremism.”

The Obama administration, which helped blow up Libya and Syria in the name of human rights, has resumed arms shipments to the military regime of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, which seized power from a democratically elected government in 2013. Washington’s double standard not only undercuts U.S. credibility internationally, it also jeopardizes important security interests in the region.

Egypt's deposed President Mohamed Morsi

Egypt’s deposed President Mohamed Morsi, now imprisoned facing a possible death sentence.

As the letter from the “Bipartisan Working Group on Egypt” rightly warns, “State violence, several thousand killed during street demonstrations, tens of thousands of political prisoners, hundreds of documented cases of torture or forced disappearance, sexual assault of detainees or family members, reported collective punishment of Sinai communities possibly with weapons provided through U.S. military aid, is creating more incentives for Egyptians to join militant groups.”

The letter adds, “By carrying out a campaign of repression and human rights abuses that is unprecedented in the country’s modern history, and by closing off all avenues of peaceful expression of dissent through politics, civil society, or media, Al-Sisi is stoking the very fires he says he wants to extinguish.”

Just three days before the group sent its letter to Kerry, Human Rights Watch reported that Egyptian security forces, operating with “nearly absolute impunity,” have killed hundreds of dissidents in recent months, detained more than 40,000 suspects, and “forcibly disappeared” dozens of people. University students in particular have been targeted for mystery disappearances and killings.

The government has also jailed some 18 journalists for publishing reports that conflict with government-approved messages. Its massacre of roughly 1,000 protesters in Cairo in August 2013 ranks as one of the worst single-day atrocities in the region.

Government repression is growing more, not less, severe with time. President al-Sisi recently issued an executive decree giving himself the power to fire officials at independent state institutions. The government is also fast-tracking legislation to further crack down on press freedoms, including, for example, heavy fines for contradicting official statements on terrorist attacks. Human rights organizations have termed it “a blatant violation of the constitution.” The executive director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information said the proposed law “turns journalists into mere conveyors of the state’s official data.”

Yet the tepid response of Kerry’s State Department is to endorse Egypt’s “fight against terrorism,” while expressing the “hope” that the final version of Egypt’s new counterterrorism law will respect “individual rights.” The New York Times rightly called the statement “laughable.”

It is, however, fully in keeping with the Obama administration’s “see-no-evil” policy toward Egypt of late. During a visit to Cairo last year, Kerry praised al-Sisi for expressing “‘a very strong sense of his commitment to human rights.” Then, in December, the United States delivered 10 Apache helicopters to support Egypt’s counterterrorism efforts. Finally, this March, the Obama administration lifted its partial freeze on military aid to Egypt, enacted in October 2013 to encourage movement toward free and fair elections in the country.

When Egypt started buying arms from France and negotiating with Russia, the administration suddenly decided that resuming its full $1.3 billion in annual military aid was “in U.S. national security interests.” That finding came despite the administration’s admission this June that “the overall trajectory for rights and democracy has been negative,” including “arbitrary and unlawful killings” and repressive new laws and executive initiatives that “undermine prospects for democratic governance.”

One factor in the administration’s calculus is its concern over rising numbers of Islamist terrorist attacks within Egypt. They include numerous guerrilla operations by the Egyptian affiliate of the Islamic State (Wilayat Sinai) and, more worrisome, the devastating car bombing of the Italian consulate in downtown Cairo this month. A campaign of urban terrorism could devastate the country’s economy and turn Egypt into a much greater crisis than Syria.

But as numerous human rights activists warn, Egyptian repression has become the most effective recruiting tool for anti-government extremists. The Muslim Brotherhood’s longstanding doctrine of peaceful political change has lost credibility with young activists, who refuse to submit passively to arrest and torture at the hands of state security forces.

Reflecting pressure from within its ranks, the powerful Islamic movement declared in late January, “We are at the beginning of a new phase where we summon our strength and evoke the meaning of jihad. . . [We] prepare ourselves, our wives, our sons and daughters, and whoever follows our path for relentless jihad where we ask for martyrdom.”

As one student of Egypt’s Islamists notes, “the matter has yet to be settled. Given the Brotherhood’s long history of non-violence, many members don’t find it easy to accept it now even in response to the Sisi regime’s clampdown. But the fear of losing ground is occupying the minds of Brotherhood leaders. The way many Brotherhood leaders are framing this is that if there is a war between society and the state, and if the society has taken a stance, the Muslim Brotherhood should not hinder society’s fight for freedom.”

Last year, Robert Kagan became one of the first neoconservatives to break with conservatives in Congress, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the Netanyahu regime to warn about prospects for “a new Egyptian jihadist movement brought into existence by the military’s crackdown.”

“To Israel, which has never supported democracy anywhere in the Middle East except Israel, the presence of a brutal military dictatorship bent on the extermination of Islamism is not only tolerable but desirable,” Kagan wrote. But “In Egypt, U.S. interests and Israel’s perceptions of its own interests sharply diverge. If one believes that any hope for moderation in the Arab world requires finding moderate voices not only among secularists but also among Islamists, America’s current strategy in Egypt is producing the opposite result.”

Kagan’s pithy observations remain as true today as they were then. The advice that he and others in the Working Group on Egypt sent to Kerry last week,urging him to stop whitewashing Egypt’s regime and instead to pressure it to meet international human rights commitments and promote national reconciliation ,is not simply humane but the wisest possible strategic counsel.

Jonathan Marshall is an independent researcher living in San Anselmo, California. Some of his previous articles for Consortiumnews were “Risky Blowback from Russian Sanctions”; “Neocons Want Regime Change in Iran”; “Saudi Cash Wins France’s Favor”; “The Saudis’ Hurt Feelings”; “Saudi Arabia’s Nuclear Bluster”; The US Hand in the Syrian Mess”; and Hidden Origins of Syria’s Civil War. ]

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36 comments for “Obama’s Egypt Policy Breeds Terrorism

  1. Joe L.
    July 29, 2015 at 11:08 am

    When I think of Egypt, I also think of the coup that occurred there and the backing of US NGO’s to overthrow the “democratically elected” government in Egypt (same US NGO’s in Ukraine etc.).

    Al Jazeera: “Exclusive: US bankrolled anti-Morsi activists” (July 10, 2013):

    Berkeley, United States – President Barack Obama recently stated the United States was not taking sides as Egypt’s crisis came to a head with the military overthrow of the democratically elected president.

    But a review of dozens of US federal government documents shows Washington has quietly funded senior Egyptian opposition figures who called for toppling of the country’s now-deposed president Mohamed Morsi.

    Documents obtained by the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley show the US channeled funding through a State Department programme to promote democracy in the Middle East region. This programme vigorously supported activists and politicians who have fomented unrest in Egypt, after autocratic president Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising in February 2011.

    ‘Bureau for Democracy’

    Washington’s democracy assistance programme for the Middle East is filtered through a pyramid of agencies within the State Department. Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars is channeled through the Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL), The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), USAID, as well as the Washington-based, quasi-governmental organisation the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

    In turn, those groups re-route money to other organisations such as the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), and Freedom House, among others. Federal documents show these groups have sent funds to certain organisations in Egypt, mostly run by senior members of anti-Morsi political parties who double as NGO activists.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/07/2013710113522489801.html

    • bobzz
      July 29, 2015 at 11:35 am

      Thanks for the link.

      • Joe L.
        July 29, 2015 at 11:55 am

        You’re welcome. I just find it interesting how US NGO’s continually show up in countries that go through “regime change” or attempted regime change such as in Venezuela 2002 or even in Cuba in 2012 by USAID trying to set up a Cuban Twitter to create social unrest and overthrow the government in Cuba. It is interesting to hear our politicians talk about “freedom” and “democracy” yet our government’s in the western world believe that the only “democracies” worth respecting are those that support the western world. It is a twisted dogma (if you are interested check out John Pilger talking with former Senior CIA Official, Duane Clarridge, about the US overthrowing the “democratically elected” government of Allende in Chile 1973 – https://vimeo.com/114561495)…

  2. ahmed
    July 29, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Yeah right, we Egyptians will push Sisi to open up for ISIL to participate in power!! LOL

    Your type of pundits make me laugh at their naïveté ! If you were in Europe 1938, you would have probably cheered the Munich agreement!!

    • dahoit
      July 30, 2015 at 11:41 am

      Substituting military dictatorship for popular democracy only ensures the next revolution,which will be much more violent than you and your buddies will like.
      You,and I aint seen nothing yet.

  3. Abbybwood
    July 29, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Obama also has a “Turkey” problem:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/links-between-turkey-and-isis-are-now-undeniable-2015-7?r=UK&IR=T

    How is it that Turkey is now allowing the U.S. to use its airfields in the fight “against ISIS” while at the same time Turkey is working “with ISIS”?

    • Joe L.
      July 29, 2015 at 2:44 pm

      Well I find the whole “War on Terror” to be quite stupid when I look at the history. I believe it was Carter that used $500 Million, about 6 months before the Afghan/Soviet War began, to create the Mujahideen in Afghanistan (which would become Al Qaeda and the Taliban). Al Qaeda attacks the US and the US illegally attacks Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11, and ISIS or ISIL becomes an off-shoot of Al Qaeda from within Iraq. It almost seems as if every invasion that the west does in the Middle East only opens the door for Al Qaeda to grow and expand. So sometimes I wonder, would we have an ISIS in the Middle East had the US never created the Mujahideen in the first place? Would 9/11 in the US never have happened if the Mujahideen had never been created? I just sometimes wonder if we in the west, especially the US, are not the “arsonist and the fireman”!

      • dahoit
        July 30, 2015 at 11:44 am

        All I know is the FBI has never fingered OBL for the day that changed everything,for whatever that is worth to the truth.
        Story at CP about how Hayden lied about not knowing where the hijackers were calling from.The phone company knew.Another link in the chain of bullsh*t we endure.

  4. Nabil
    July 29, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    The author of this article is either imbecile troll or another stooge on Turkey or Qatar’s payroll. There was NO military coup in Egypt, it was a revolution or people’s coup, over 31 million people descended to the streets refusing to be ruled by the Muslim brotherhood theorcratic goverment.

    Are you aware that under Morsi instead of that government focusing in on how to feed its 85 million Egyptians that were quickly running out of cash AND food, his government began to legislate the dress length of Air Egypt’s flight attendants?

    It was that sort of thing that had millions out in the streets demanding he go – not the US meddling. You really ARE here to spread disinformation aren’t you? Moreover, what’s helping Daesh is NOT El-Sisi’s goverment but RATHER it’s Turkey’s Erdogan harboring and aiding and funding and training Sunni Islamists in Turkey and shipping them to Syria or Iraq, get your facts straight next time before your spread ignorant venom or simply retire your stinking pen!!

  5. Nabil
    July 29, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    As an Egyptian American I salute President Sisi who is NOT only fighting Islamic terrorists in the Sinai and in Libya, but he is also at cold war at the very powers that fund and train these terrorists like Qatar and Turkey whom are close Washington’s allies. Not only Obama/Pentagon has withheld the F-16 planes that Egypt needs to bomb terrorists camps, but he is also helping Qatar and Turkey execute their bellicose influence in the region.

    Human rights groups have accused Egyptian authorities of widespread
    abuses in a crackdown on Brotherhood supporters” – what a stupid thing
    to say. In order to have your “human” rights violated, you first have to
    qualify as human and act humanely.

    The Muslim brotherhood – a murderous 7th century barbaric cult and the
    mother of all Jihadi organizations in the world, how can anyone refer to
    these savages as “human”? It is a crime against humanity to support
    these so called “human rights groups” as they are the biggest
    hypocrites in the world. They are silent when muslims behead muslims and
    non-muslims alike. They are silent when innocent girls are kidnapped,
    raped and sold into slavery. They are silent when muslim dictators and
    their cronies murder thousands. Yet, when it comes to mass murderers
    such as this one – the “human rights” groups are in the uproar?????

    I truly hope they meet with their “defendants” somewhere in Syria. Hopefully, they will
    experience first hand how “humane” these savages really are. Good for you Sisi. No
    “mercy” to Morsi and all other islamists. It is time to eradicate them all without exception.

    • dahoit
      July 30, 2015 at 11:47 am

      Ah,go home to your thugs already.We ‘ve got enough fascists,lickspittle.
      The guy was voted in,and needed to be voted out.Anything else is a coup.All hail Sisi!Not.

  6. nabil
    July 29, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Since 1928, their long term goal has been to establish a Caliphate from Indonesia to Spain. Since most people do not want to live in a Caliphate, especially these days, the only way the the MB can achieve its aims is by violence. In fact the MB is the source and/or inspiration for all terrorist groups in the world today. The MB is the most malevolent organisation in the world, with tentacles in many countries. I only hope that President Sisi prevails against the MB, whatever it takes. In fact Sisi is just about the only leader in the world with the courage to stop this evil scourge. To hell with the Human ‘Rights’ of terrorists and their followers. What about the rights of those killed and injured, not to mention their families and friends, including the brave members of the security forces?

  7. nabil
    July 29, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    What a hugely flawed argument. A poor reading of the facts in August 2013 that result from seeing this region from behind your macbook. Some historical facts are correct and yes sisi hasnt been doing the best job, but the way you package the argument is manipulative, like concluding a certain study without doing the fieldwork. august 2013 witnessed a massive arrest like you said for 1000 people, killings also involved. Where they protestors? Absolutely not. They were a group of militia with snipers and grenades, crashing people’s houses in that square. If the british, german or american police was faced withe a situation of heavily armed people, they would have had a much more violent reaction. State security is a priority to any country, Egypt is no exception. And the brotherhood have wide spread hate on ground for their extremists ideas, so please stop mixing half correct facts with some history and analysis to package a silly argument.

    • Brad Owen
      July 29, 2015 at 7:17 pm

      Thank you so much, nabil and ahmed, for speaking up about the situation in Egypt. I’ve relied more upon what has been reported on Executive Intelligence Review, and Webster Tarpley’s website, for what’s going on in Egypt. The M.B. is a creature of British intelligence, either created by them, or infiltrated by them, in 1928, for purposes of keeping Egypt a weak dependency and forestalling any “Nasserist” tendencies from developing (you know; a developed Egypt for EGYPTIANS, for THEIR OWN general welfare and common good, NOT a weak, poor, appendage of a foreign Empire), by keeping them mired in deadly Dark Age nonsense. Same thing goes for those other modern, secular Republics of Baathist origins, and pre-Shah Iran too. All of this crap has been going on, so as to reduce all of the M. E. to the same status as that of Israel and Saudi Arabia; puppet/stooges of the Western Empire of City-of-London, and their chief enforcer, Wall Street…this is the New Roman Empire, and they’re seeking to reclaim their “Eastern Provinces”, via regime changes and rogue armies of foreign jihadists/terrorists, or at least deny them any strength and integrity, if they can’t have them for themselves.
      I’ve also come to realize that such “strongman” behavior as demonstrated by Assad, Hussein, and the Generals of Egypt, is simply the predictable response to armed & dangerous bands of madmen and thugs, enabled covertly by the Western Empire (NOT to be confused with any particular western Nation…we, the people, are trying to figure out how to shut this deadly Empire down, too). Lincoln was also accused of being a horrible dictator, which is nonsense. All of his actions were necessary replies to deadly hostile intent (mostly from the British Empire, for whom the CSA was foolish enough to play “Proxy”, and implement their Plan for destroying The Union, which the Empire saw as their “break-away, rogue Colony”).
      And BRAVO for Egypt turning to BRICS, for aid in REAL development, and not mere financial “colonization” as is offered by the Western Empire, which brings austerity and more poverty & suffering in its’ wake.

      • dahoit
        July 30, 2015 at 11:53 am

        Dark age nonsense;Ha ha.What the hell do we endure here,but dark age nonsense?Might makes right?God is dead?No matter the MB invention or whatever,today it was the legitimate govt.of Egypt,pre coup,and certainly does not represent the British,The French the US or Israel,today.
        And when sisi turned to the brics,we turned and gave them billions in weaponry.sheesh.

        • Brad Owen
          July 30, 2015 at 12:30 pm

          You are blind…just simply blind.

      • Aman
        July 30, 2015 at 7:28 pm

        You are mistaken concerning Israel being “the West’s stooge”.

        Israel controls US foreign policy in the M-E to the point it benefits Israel only and not the USA or anyone else.
        Search: ((( Israel control US government )))

        What exactly is it that makes you so blind and or biased?

        Could it be Israeli propaganda that’s been fed to generations of Americans? Search; ((( Israel control US media ))).

    • Aman
      July 29, 2015 at 7:27 pm

      Nabil, you seem to have no problem exchanging one form of tyranny for another — while you have an obvious preference for the tyrant who is friendly to US of Israel’s dictated interests in order to receive bribe money — or is it “aid” from the US?

      As far as the MB being the root of Muslim terrorism, that also must be attributed to Israel and their “successful” birth from Zionist terrorism which continues today with the slaughters in Gaza and lands grabs in the West Bank.

      Zionism is the root of Muslim terrorism directed at Israel and their complicit enablers in the West.

      No extremists are more successful than Zionists — reaching across the Atlantic to take over US foreign policy while commandeering the US military for Israel’s pre-planned wars to be imposed on the Mid-East while being directly and indirectly responsible for the deaths of well over a million Arabs since 9/11 and multi millions that are displaced and homeless as a result. And the pro-Israel press white washes it all to manipulate the Western public as much as possible — no extremist are equal to the Zionists.

      Israel and the US have manufactured the current reality in the Mid-East with continuous war crimes and illegal regime changes and nothing can change those facts…!

      Maybe you should apply for the lead job as a CIA/Israeli propagandist?

      • dahoit
        July 30, 2015 at 11:49 am

        Yes.

      • Brad Owen
        July 30, 2015 at 12:13 pm

        Zionism is just a Plan that was hatched by the New Roman Empire to regain a RELIABLE beach-head into their “Eastern Provinces”, and people it with folks who would desperately rely upon this New Roman Empire to do whatever is necessary to “protect” them from the outraged natives of the “Eastern Provinces”( they even agreed to do the fighting FOR us). The Plan was on the books for a long time. Hitler’s incompetent WWII activities (the fool was supposed to act in UNISON with THE REST of Imperial Europe, to DESTROY USA, USSR, Republic of China..republican threats to Empire. USA has since been “couped” from within, to become a player for Empire), never-the-less, provided the opportunity to put the Plan in motion. A lot of conquest can be done, in the name of “protection”.

        • Brad Owen
          July 30, 2015 at 12:28 pm

          Although the USA has suffered a coup by agents-for-Empire, the very “linchpin” of this New Roman Empire threatens to fall apart. Watch for unfolding events concerning the House of Windsor…also another 2008 financial melt-down is currently on-coming.

        • Aman
          July 30, 2015 at 7:42 pm

          Modern Israel would not exist without Jewish Zionism and their activities as terrorists — the most extreme terrorists on record having lobbied foreign governments and foreign media with which to propagandize foreign populations in order to commandeer foreign government support, including the US military to expend US taxpayer blood and money for Israel’s benefit in fighting their pre- planned wars as began with 2003 Iraq and includes Syria and Iran as we see Netanyahu controlling US officials to that extent while the pro-Israel media does not question any of this.

          Why is it you fail or refuse to acknowledge reality in this regard?

          It’s as though you’re trying to be a sophisticated Zionist propagandist with a flat out denial of existing facts…

      • charliethreeee
        July 31, 2015 at 9:06 am

        “Zionism is the root of Muslim terrorism directed at Israel and their complicit enablers in the West.”

        You sound like a child blaming a sibling after a fight. There is guilt on both sides of this issue and if you refuse to own that than you are part of the problem.

        “Israel and the US have manufactured the current reality in the Mid-East with continuous war crimes and illegal regime changes and nothing can change those facts…!”

        I’m an American socialist. I hate war. America has contributed to the problem in the Middle East but we did not create it all on our own as you suggest. We have been behind regime changes all over the planet, not just the ME. How do you explain how the whole planet is not in chaos then?

        Aman just because somebody calls you out does not make said person a CIA/Israeli propagandist. I’m saying don’t just play blame game without looking in the mirror and owning the fact that team Islam is also responsible for some of the mess.

        • Aman
          July 31, 2015 at 4:25 pm

          Tell me; if European Zionists didn’t form terrorist gangs to massacre Arabs to steal land in Palestine, then how did the Zionists get the land?

          Truman to officially recognize Israel in 1948 making those massacres and expulsions the Zionists committed “legitimate”.

          If Zionists had stayed in Europe and not came to the Mid-East to steal the land as they are still doing today, Muslims would not be attacking Israel and the USA or Europe for that reason.

          Zionism is the root of Muslim terrorism emanating from the Mid-East — to say anything else is CIA/Zionist propaganda — which you are reciting like a parrot whether you actually know it, or believe it yourself or not!

  8. Uuta
    July 29, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    The author of this article is either a) a complete idiot, b) blind/dumb/deaf/, c) has no idea how to think outside the box — or he is a terrorist or/and a supporter of terrorism.

    Two countries in the ME have the best success at fighting terrorism — Egypt and Israel, and the US is doing their best to alienate them. Westerners need to compare this with their failed campaigns against terror and their part in creating terrorist vacuums in LIbya and Iraq. Gee, thanks guys.

    The Gods are on Egypt’s side to make available such a competent, brave, and resourceful man such as Prez Abdel Fatah es-Sisi to lead the country.

    • Aman
      July 29, 2015 at 10:24 pm

      Another Israeli propagandist? I wonder if a job like that would pay well enough that a normal person could forget about all the death and destruction they are an accessory to?

      I suppose the people for those jobs would be straight out psychopaths…

      Does anyone know where are these disconnect from reality commenters are suddenly coming from? I suspect plan B is being enacted since the Iranian deal has been struck and agreed to by everyone except Israel and their double agent American politicians.

      The question is: what does plan B entail beyond an onslaught of propaganda extolling the non-existent virtues of Israel and anyone that bows to their commands?

    • dahoit
      July 30, 2015 at 11:56 am

      The gods?Who,Ares and Mars?No Allah for you huh?
      Terrorism;Who are more in terror,our victims or US?(actually from the scared rabbit division,maybe US)But we have the ways and means,they have to improvise.

  9. Abe
    July 29, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    While the cat’s away, the rats will play– and this time the rats are the clique around General John Allen who have been for months demanding a wider US war in Syria for the purpose of overthrowing the Assad government. Now, with Obama in Kenya and Ethiopia, as far out of the loop as it is possible to be, the Allen clique has decided to confront the President with a fait accompli in the form of the buffer zone/ safe zone/ no fly zone which the deranged Moslem Brotherhood fanatics and neo-Ottoman megalomaniacs have been seeking. This treacherous maneuver is being accomplished as a series of subterfuges– last Friday, the Turkish government was supposedly bombing ISIS; on Saturday, the world learned that the main target was the Kurdish PKK in northern Iraq. On Monday, the headline of the Washington Post announced: “Turkey, US plan safe zone in Syria.” This Turkish farce must stop. Obama must stop this monstrosity now!

    This current coup comes in the following form. Obama is in Africa addressing the African Union on the problem posed by ISIS, and is thus isolated from his usual cluster of White House advisors and other inputs. Turkey has begun its deceptive bombing attacks against the Kurds, weakening the most effective opponents of ISIS. On Monday, the front page of The Washington Post declared the air campaign will be expanded into a “safe-zone” along the Turkish-Syrian border that “could become a haven for civilians” — meaning ISIS and Nusra butchers disguised as the “Free Syrian Army”.

    Obama had been reluctant to follow Erdogan’s demand for a no-fly zone in Syria. Obama’s answer was always NO. Now, with Obama out of the country, the opportunist clique of military officers led by General John Allen have seized on the opportunity to preserve a supply line for more ISIS fighters to infiltrate Syria through an alleged refugee sanctuary. Allen, representing the axis of NATO, Gulf monarchies, Saudi Arabia and Turks ostensibly fighting ISIS, has claimed that his recent visits to Turkey contained no talk of creating a buffer zone. As our Daily Briefing reported over the weekend:

    “ISIS czar General John Allen met with Turkish delegates earlier this month, resulting in contradictory reports over the status of establishing a no-fly zone over Syria; Allen claims that, ‘No. It was not part of the discussion,’ but Turkish publications claim that Ankara, ‘got what it received in the negotiations, which is a no-fly zone.’”

    Pushing ISIS away from the Turkish border, regardless of the semantic argument over whether it will be a buffer zone/safe zone/no-fly zone or “civilian haven” are all methods for achieving the same end. Any place along the Turkish-Syrian border put under the control of the NATO-Turkey-Saudi-Qatar Axis represented by Gen. Allen would act as a smuggling route transporting ISIS fighters, money and equipment into the country and oil or other resources out of the country.

    The alleged “civilian haven” would represent the only part of the Turkish-Syrian border not interdicted by Kurdish forces who will not let ISIS logistics cross into Syria. In recent weeks, the Kurds had almost completely seized the Turkish-Syria border crossings, threatening to completely sever the ISIS supply line running from Turkey into northern Syria. The Erdogan-Allen civilian haven would represent an open door for foreign fighters to cross into northern Syria. If the Kurds had in fact succeeded in interdicting the entire border, ISIS would have been severely weakened and possibly doomed. Therefore, Erdogan and Allen had to spring into action to save their ISIS asset from destruction.

    The foreign fighters passing through this open door, would not only be unleashed on Assad, who has consolidated his forces in western Syria, but also be directed against the weakened Kurdish forces in northern Iraq. Assad recently said the consolidation of the Syrian Army is a result of the prolonged war of attrition NATO is waging against him, using fanatical foreign jihadis. With Assad’s offensive attacks temporarily slowed, the Kurds are an indispensable force against ISIS. As Time Magazine of July 23, 2015 argued:

    “The recent run of victories in Syria illustrates the Kurds’ battlefield capabilities. Six months after winning in Kobani, the Turkish border town where as many as 1,000 ISIS fighters died, Syrian Kurd fighters on June 15 took another border town, Tel Abyad, creating a corridor on Syria’s northern border and—far more important—cutting off the main supply line to Raqqah, ISIS’s capital 60 miles due south. On Tuesday, the Kurd forces—a Syrian affiliate of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, or PKK—seized a military base known as Brigade 93, as well as the town adjoining it, Ain Issa. The victories put them within 30 miles of Raqqah.”

    This analysis shows how close ISIS has been coming to collapse and rout, in sharp contrast to the myth of invincibility trumpeted by the rotten US media. Pushing the Frankenstein monster of ISIS away from Turkey and towards the Kurds is Erdogan’s goal. Pushing ISIS towards Iraq and Iran is the goal of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Destroying Assad and partitioning Syria is the goal of General Allen, NATO and their supporters like General Petraeus and the Kohlberg Kravis Roberts Wall Street faction behind Petraeus and Allen. Obama’s absence from the White House allowed the perfect opportunity for this clique to enact a shift in U.S. policy that has matured over time.

    The Obama Administration now is left with two choices: Either accept the coup d’etat or fire General Allen and pursue further cooperation with Iran to rebuild the Middle East with a new Marshall Plan.

    Note: A coup d’etat does not necessarily mean that government leaders are overtly removed from power by force. In fact, the idea of a coup is that the policy of government is dramatically shifted, often with those in power simply following along to maintain appearances and their position of power. One example of this was the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Another example is currently in progress.

    Coup d’Etat in Washington: While Obama Visits Africa, ISIS Czar Allen Rams Through No Fly Buffer Zone in Northern Syria, Protecting ISIS Supply Line from Kurds
    By Webster Tarpley
    http://tarpley.net/coup-d-etat-while-obama-visits-africa-isis-czar-allen-rams-through-no-fly-buffer-zone-in-syria/

    • Aman
      July 29, 2015 at 11:37 pm

      I doubt Obama has the intestinal fortitude to fire the insubordinate General even if he thinks he should.

      And he should, but he is also reluctant to take full responsibility by making the final decisions based on his own sense of “what is” — afraid again something will happen that he’ll get blamed for. If he would have stayed true to the neocon agenda and philosophy, they likely would have taken some of the heat and helped with the redirecting scramble if something did go wrong.

      Regardless of all else, no act of betrayal to Obama or US citizens has ever really been outside the neocon accepted realm of possibility.

    • Peter Loeb
      July 30, 2015 at 5:57 am

      US FOLLOWING ISRAELI POLICIES

      With thanks to Jonathan Marshall, and commenters “Joe L” and “Abe”
      one must also view the entire relationship with Egypt (Morsi) as a
      big favor for Israel. Of course for Israel, the prospect of having an
      Arab neighbor with power such as Morsi was intolerable. That also
      would not have followed the Israeli strategy for continued oppression
      of what’s left of Palestine. The issue is not that Morsi made no mistakes
      but rather that 1) his errors could have been altered 2) the so-called
      “liberals” were complicit in ruining Egypt and in their failure to comprehend
      any “democracy” or “change” (someone wins, someone loses) and were
      complicit in the return to military rule and sycophancy to the US & Israel
      3, by continuing military support to Egypt the US virtually guaranteed
      the outcome. What is almost as bad is the hell this has meant for
      the Egyptian people. Though Morsi was often criticized because he
      had no “magic bullet” to solve all of Egypt’s many problems instaneously,
      the US never offered any meaningful help.The US was faithful to Israel, of
      course. Many of these issues were incisively addressed by Professor
      Lawrence Davidson. (See http://www.tothepointanalyses.com, Davidson’s website.)

      Of course the US continues its support of reactionary governments. This
      has become a predicted pattern. I dimly recall that Morsi was to address
      the US Congress in a hearing and one would have hoped that he would
      meet President Obama at this time. (Norman Finkelstein’s IMAGE AND
      REALITY…analyzes the Israeli relationship in his usual
      documented fashion.)

      —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, MA

    • F. G. Sanford
      July 30, 2015 at 6:03 am

      It’s interesting to watch Larry Wilkerson tap-dance around this reality over at The Real News. By the way, am I the only guy that thinks Paul Jay has a glass eye?

  10. John P
    July 29, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    Perhaps Prez Abdel Fatah es-Sisi should have called for a vote on particulars that many didn’t like or called for an election. Then his brutal assault and imprisonment of those who revolted against his armed take over might not have occurred, or would it? Could it be that Egypt is too divided between the have and the have nots, or the religious vs the secular, for compromise, and that is why the armed forces, which benefit the most from foreign aid, Sadat, Mubarak and now es-Sisi, take power and squeeze the life out of the less fortunate. If there had been a re-election would es-Sisi have won?
    When you want a democratic country it has to work for everyone trying to make an honest living.
    And excuse me, but Israel is not a democratic country. Most of it’s rulers like Egypt have been military men, and 25% of the population lack rights on where they can live, distribution of government infrastructure funding, freedom of movement, freedom of bringing in a partner through marriage, etc.

  11. Abe
    July 29, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    The li’l love note to the Secretary of State from Robert Kagan, Elliott Abrams and company is a nothing more than a public service announcement that Al Qaeda brand du jour will make Egypt its next port of call after Syria is a wrap.

    That should do wonders for U.S. military aid to Israel.

    Gangsterism at its most brazen.

  12. Abe
    July 29, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    The United States should support the Egyptian people in efforts to eliminate threats posed by terrorist groups—as it is doing in other countries around the world.

    […]

    Sincerely,

    The Working Group on Egypt

    http://pomed.org/media-posts/working-group-on-egypt-letter-to-secretary-kerry/

  13. Dan Huck
    July 30, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    The Egyptians seem to believe, cognizant of US NGO’s & the US government’s stimulation of Arab Spring fiascos, the falling out of grace of Mubarak, his ouster, the concomitant hiring by the Clinton Climate Initiative in 2007 of Gehad el-Haddad to organize and run the Egyptian operation of the ‘Initiative’, who shortly after being hired took an evening and weekend job as a chief assistant to the primary money bags and behind the scenes head of the Muslim Brotherhood, Khairat al-Shater, and Morsi’s subsequent election facilitated by allegedly vast amounts of money from Qatar and Saudi Arabia, our proxies in the Gulf, that it was ourselves and Israel who had decided it was time for Egypt to join the Islamist team we have been assembling in the Mideast. Al-Shater and el-Haddad are in jail now. They are the guys visited by Burns, McCain and Lindsey Graham. The deep state was invested in Morsi.

    If we have what might be referred to as a ‘deep state’, the neocons mentioned have been primary operatives. Once they have set a direction, it is very hard to convince them it’s a lose, lose proposition. Never in my memory has their been such a unified outcry by the powers that be – governments, MSM, opinion leaders, etc. – as there was when the Egyptian people had a second revolution – this one not fomented by us – and tossed out Morsi. Our man in Cairo, Gehad el-Haddad, as the Morsi communications, new media wizard, was wined and dined and interviewed by every western media, and his take on the fall of Morsi was the line the US government wanted us to believe.

    Mr. Kagan and other supporters of a greater Israel evidently had their eye on Sinai. Morsi was cooperating in a plan to settle Hamas Islamist operatives in Sinai ‘if they had Egyptian wives’, and Israel is working hard to expel Palestinians one way or another.

    The author seems not to be aware, or that it would be worth mentioning Israel’s atrocities on a yearly basis on the population of Gaza put the peacekeeping efforts of the Egyptians in a lesser league altogether.

    It’s not clear what the situation would be in Egypt now, if we had not bumbled in our choice of the MB so badly, however, perhaps we are getting a more existential sense now of what bad actors they have been and still are. Kagan and the author are right that Egypt is under siege by these fanatics and it is serious. To propose more ‘human rights’ awareness and gentle treatment is the answer, and to be inclusive towards these fanatics who are committed to win at any cost is totally ludicrous.

    They neglect to say the final straw for the Egyptian people and military was when Morsi was ready to commit troops, or raise a citizen army, to fight Israels’ and the US’ battle in Syria, aiding Al-Nusra Front, what has morphed into ISIS.

    If Israel and the Saudis are supporting al-Sisi it is simply for appearances alone.

    Israel, which may be doing so in collusion with our ‘deep state’, shows no inclination to stop supporting anyone who will work to destroy the Assad regime. Egypt is evidently not on board. Neither are the American people on board for an exacerbated conflagration in the Mideast.

    • Aman
      July 30, 2015 at 7:59 pm

      The incentive is there for Egypt to close the border with Gaza, bowing to Israel’s will, to keep the American bribe/aid coming on behalf of what serves Israel’s intent to make life unbearable for Palestinians.

      It all about Israel’s sinister Yinon and PNAC plans — war crimes for which they’ve successfully conscripted the US to commit on their behalf…

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