It was 2003, and French President Jacques Chirac expressed anger and hostility towards several countries who disagreed with his position regarding the impending US action against Iraq. He offered up the following commentary.
“They missed a great opportunity to shut up.”
- Jacques Chirac (HT:CNN)
While Chirac was acting in character (ie contemptibly obnoxious), his turn of phrase does well to describe many of the mistakes large nations make in diplomacy. The United States intelligence community has missed not one, but two valuable opportunities to zip their collective soup coolers in the last 48 hours.
The comedy of errors began with CIA Director Leon Panetta reporting that there is a high probability that Hosni Mubarak would step down yesterday. Panetta, according to the Washington Post, had complained that his job was complicated by not being able to get inside people’s heads. Well, he successfully got inside Mubarak’s head.
Mubarak will now, quite emphatically, NOT.STEP.DOWN. He probably won’t participate in US President Barak Obama’s March Madness Office Pool either. Nor will he be returning Hillary Rodham Clinton’s insistent emails and tweets. He is currently livid at the imbeciles in the US Government. He may well have been willing to accept a buy-out – before Leon Panetta publically pissed on his Hush Puppies.
Panetta back-pedaled with desperation reminiscent of a Free Safety burned by a play-action fake. The WaPo article linked to above describes the gathering of fig leaves, to cover Panetta’s exposed posterior.
After the committee chairman referred to media accounts predicting that the Egyptian president would step down, Panetta said, “I got the same information you did, that there is a strong likelihood that Mubarak may step down this evening, which would be significant in terms of where the hopefully orderly transition in Egypt takes place.”
Shortly thereafter, a U.S. intelligence official said that Panetta “was clearly referring to press reports alluded to” by the panel chairman, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.).
They even remembered to obliquely blame a Republican. This was Democratic Party professionalism at its epic finest. If Mike Rogers would stop asking intelligence professionals for intelligence, they would be far less likely to say stupid things.
You can’t expect a multi-million dollar agency, which gathers data for a living, to know more about the world than your typical yuppie King Richard scanning the Internet on his Crackberry. It’s clearly the nefarious impact of The Tea Party storming Capitol Hill that leads brilliant men like Panetta to commit these hideous gaffes.
Ironically, the best advice the Democrats have received on this issue came from a man who knows more about arrogance than even Barack Obama has ever forgotten. Arlen Specter has once more been drawn to a TV camera like a moth to a candle flame. He opined intelligently below.
12:28 p.m. Former Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., tells MSNBC: “We have to recognize that President Mubarak is a very proud man…he has to be eased out.”
The bumbling, stumbling, mediocre, maundering of our morally bankrupt and intellectually suspect leadership not only has failed to properly read the chicken entrails concerning Mubarak’s travel plans. But even worse, it has also veered deleteriously into the dangerous terrain of disingenuous dhimmitude. The National Journal also reports the following nugget of brilliance from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told House lawmakers that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is “largely secular” and has rejected violence and decried al-Qaida as a perversion of Islam, NJ’s Chris Strohm reports.
(National Journal. Ob. Cit.)
Here we have the head of US Intelligence proving himself less well-informed than the dedicated reader of Takimag.com. Jim Goad lays out some basics that even the marginally well-informed know about the Muslim Brotherhood.
Still, their crossed-sword logo doesn’t exactly scream “peaceful.” And their motto—“Allah is our objective; the Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations”—doesn’t quite epitomize the words “moderate” or “nonviolent.” As recently as 2008, Brotherhood leader Mahdi Akef spoke of raising a new generation of Islamic warriors “who love to die as much as others love to live.”
Muslim Brotherhood leaders have openly expressed a desire to “take control of Europe” or that they issued a memorandum stating that their “work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house…so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
In essence, the Muslim Brotherhood rejects violence to the extent that they hate it when other people shoot back. They are determined to destroy the West and all who adhere to its values.
But let’s assume James Clapper knows more than hundreds of Arabic Speaking experts who have translated the writings of Muslim Brotherhood leaders. Let’s say the Muslim Brotherhood consists of wise and gentle peace activists who travel the world putting daisies into the rifle-barrels of the world’s most dangerous militarists. Just how well would such an organization fare in an open democracy that had an electorate similar to the population of Modern Egypt?
A Pew Center Survey suggests that a largely secular party that rejects violence would be in for a Walter Mondale 1984 Election Night. 95% of the Egyptian population believes Islam should have a large role in the nation’s politics. 49% of the Egyptian people like Hamas, only 48% disagree. 59% of Egyptians willing describe themselves as Islamic Fundamentalists. I’m relieved they aren’t turning into Jeebus-Land.
So if what James Clapper says is true, and what Pew says is true, we won’t have to worry about the Muslim Brotherhood unless it bothers our sense of aesthetics to see their dead and bloated corpses go floating down the Nile. Of course, what Clapper says is Bravo Sierra on a level of Recovery Summer and Warmal Cooling. The Muslim Brotherhood bankrolls Hamas. Hamas expresses their non-violence by firing shoulder-mounted rockets at people. Clapper is an idiot at best and a mendacious and willing accessory to mass-murder at his worst.
Or maybe Clapper and the people who hire him are something even worse. They could be knowingly and cynically trading the truth for a brief and illusory stretch of peace in our time. The Muslim Brotherhood will be no more interested in stopping at Cairo than Osama Bin Ladin was in hanging up the spikes after his success on 9-11. I wish US Intelligence was smart enough to figure that out.