The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


After he helped in overthrowing U.S. ally, Egypt's Hosni Mubarek, when the "Arab Spring" was at its peak, Barack Obama embraced his replacement—Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Disregarding clear evidence that the Brotherhood represented radical Islam, was a strong proponent of Sharia law, and would silence their internal critics with violence, Obama told us that they were "moderates" and that he would support them as Egypt's ruling party.

Thirty million Egyptians had another opinion, and when the Brotherhood was overthrown by popular protest, Abdel Fattah Al Sisi was named president. Barack Obama was not pleased. To this day, he has given a cold shoulder to Al Sisi, delaying the delivery of weapons to help fight radical Islamists and otherwise being aloof and unresponsive to Egypt's needs.

Al Sisi is the leader of those Muslims who are finally speaking out in favor of a Muslim Reformation, demanding that his fellow religionists reject violence and reach detente with the West. If there is one Muslim leader who Barack Obama should enthusiastically embrace, it is Al Sisi. Instead our foreign policy genius has decided to embrace the world's terror master, a clear opponent of any Muslim reformation, and an icon of radical Islam—Iran. Go figure.

The Wall Street Journal presents an interesting profile of Al Sisi. In it, the Egyptian leader states:
“The real Islamic religion grants absolute freedom for the whole people to believe or not believe. Never does Islam dictate to kill others because they do not believe in Islam. Never does it dictate that [Muslims] have the right to dictate [their beliefs] to the whole world. Never does Islam say that only Muslims will go to paradise and others go to hell.”

Jabbing his right finger in the air for emphasis, he adds: “We are not gods on earth, and we do not have this right to act in the name of Allah.”
Later he says:
“You can never reduce our relations with the U.S. to matters of weapons systems. We are keen on a strategic relationship with the U.S. above everything else. And we will never turn our backs on you—even if you turn your backs on us.”
Hmmm. Looks like a guy who is worth working with—cautiously, for sure, but certainly more trustworthy than the Mullahs of Iran.

After reading the WSJ profile, a commenter ("Herb Kay") writes the following:
This may be a moment when things look dark but when the Law of Unintended Consequences works in our and the civilized world's favor. Here is what I saw between the lines of this article:
  1. Al Sisi knows that Obama is incompetent and unreliable but since he lived and studied here he understands that presidents are transitory figures so he only has to wait him out.
  2. He understands better than anyone that that the real enemies of civilization are radical Sunni Islam and Shiite fanatics.
  3. He is working closely with the Israelis and understands that the two countries have common cause.
  4. Not one mention of Palestinians.
So, here is what I think is going on that we may all someday backhandedly thank President Obama for. The enemy of my enemy is my friend in the Middle East and we have inadvertently created a secret alliance between Israel and civilized Sunni nations to crush the bad guys. It is mostly covert since the Arab street is uneducated and needs to be respected. Good.
So ... we have Barack Obama working very hard to distance himself from Egypt and Israel (who he is now demonizing to the extreme). But maybe, Obama's bumbling, if not downright irresponsible, approach to Middle Eastern policy may have a silver lining.  Maybe not.

The real question is: Is Obama really so stupid that he cannot recognize his friends from his enemies? I doubt that. But then, why does he keep Egypt at arms length and suggest that Israel is now unworthy of our support? Why is he working so, so hard to mollify Iran—a vicious, untrustworthy and violent nation state that supports radical Islam and is a clear enemy of both Egypt and Israel?

Curious ... very, very curious.