Because Pundita does not have a Comment section I try to avoid inserting comments on other blogs; however, on occasion I break my self-imposed rule. This is by way of explaining how I landed in a debate about Condoleezza Rice's statement in Cairo on Monday that she would not meet with representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood -- the largest (outlawed) opposition party in Egypt. Her statement set off a firestorm of criticism.(1)
For the complete account of Pundita's adventure, visit ZenPundit (Mark Safranski) to read the Comment Section and the very short essay that prompted Pundita to add her two cents' worth.
My original comments (including the remark that the Muslim Brotherhood "developed a 'rap' that is meant to appeal to Euros still clinging to the idea that Tehran is not a terror sponsor") greatly incensed another ZenPundit reader, who identifies himself as Collunsbury, and who is a businessman based in Morocco:
[Quoting Pundita] I understand the part about contradiction but to talk w/ Muslim Brotherhood is akin to formally recognizing the Nazi PartyAfter making my original comment and adding a reply to Mark's response, I promptly forgot about the comment thread. I didn't check back until yesterday afternoon, when I found Collunsbury's comments. So this is how we learn that if one starts something on the blogosphere one should keep tending to it. Pundita then leaped to amend her oversight:
This is one of the stupidest things I have ever seen written.
The Muslim Brotherhood is by no means comparable to the Nazi Party, and whatever simple minded analysis that has "bad guys" being untouchable simply doesn't have the first bloody clue about the region. Then I have read "Pundita" rather bizarre posturing on MENA [Middle East-North Africa] before so I can't say this is suprising. Not even the idiotic "Euro" slur.
"Clearly, Collunsbury is under the wrong impression that I was making a 'comparison' between the Nazi Party and the Muslim Brotherhood. I did not go into detail because I assumed that ZenPundit's readers are well-informed enough to know that the Muslim Brotherhood is the remnant of the Nazi Party in Egypt. Declassified US intelligence documents (declassified years before 9/11) and much other evidence makes this statement inarguable.(2)
"However, the Muslim Brotherhood is but one in a long list of examples that showed the downside of CIA reliance on guidance from MI6, which convinced the US that it would be a splendid idea to support the Muslim Brotherhood. This is for reasons clearly understood only by avid students of the Cold War and the barking mad.
"As with so many other movements the CIA supported during the Cold War, the MB is another of America's Frankensteins -- or chickens come to roost, if one prefers."
Pundita does not belong to the Scorched Earth school of rebuttal. And because I'm aware of the consistently lousy reporting of the European and American press available to people in Morocco about the war on terror, I did not address Collunsbury's remark that my "Euro" comment was a slur.
However, my charitable attitude was before I exchanged emails with Steve at The Word Unheard. I thanked him for keeping tabs on a situation that received virtually no attention in the mainstream media, which is the phony polling places for the Iran election set up in the USA by the mullathugs. For his part Steve informed me that Media Slander is charging once more into the breach.
At the mention of Linda Foley's name Pundita plunged into a dark mood. It's not so much that Foley accused the US military of deliberately targeting and killing journalists; such accusations are to be expected these days from the head of an American newspaper guild. It's her habit of labeling those who disagree with her as being part of a vast right wing conspiracy that sets me off.
Pundita is not a perfect person. When we get into these moods, generally we only snap out of it after we say something mean, such as accuse the raccoon of being a Trotskyite. But having been deserted again by my team, I had to cast around for another victim. Condoleezza Rice conducted herself so well this week that this temporarily left the State Department off my usual hook, which left the British.
I recalled Lyndon La Roche's memorandum, which I'd been saving for years for just such an occasion. If Collunsbury thinks Pundita slurred the Europeans by noting some cling to the idea that Tehran is not a sponsor of terrorism, he should try this slur on for size:
In January 2000 Lyndon H. LaRouche wrote a letter for presentation to then-US Secretary of State, Madeline Albright. The letter is a request "to launch an investigation, pursuant to placing Great Britain on the list of states sponsoring terrorism."
With some understatement, Mr La Rouche and his organization are controversial. And, seen from the vantage point of the year 2000, his request is laughable -- until one reads through the list of reasons he provides for making the request. Seen from the vantage point of today, the only thing laughable is that the incidents he cites just skim the surface of the cesspool that Britain -- and the rest of West Europe -- had become.
Seen from the vantage point of today, it is a tragedy for the civilized world that Secretary Albright did not act on La Roche's memorandum. By 2000, Great Britain -- not Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, North Korea, Iran, Libya, Yemen or Syria -- had become the biggest exporter of state-supported terrorism.
Yet the memorandum does not explain how a once-great civilization descended to such depths. The only clue, perhaps, is found in the lack of vigorous response to George Galloway's ringing defense of terrorism. (Yes, this is the same George Galloway who recently appeared before a US congressional panel investigating the UN Oil for Food Program, and who lambasted the US for the invasion of Iraq):
On Jan. 25, 1997, Tory Member of Parliament Nigel Waterson introduced legislation to ban foreign terrorists from operating on British soil. His "Conspiracy and Incitement Bill," according to his press release, would have for the first time banned British residents from plotting and conducting terrorist operations overseas.I'm trying to understand how the British came to despise their own culture to such extent that they refused to Anglicize those who came there as immigrants.
Waterson proposed the bill in the aftermath of a scandal over Britain providing safe haven for Saudi terrorist Mohammed al-Massari, who claimed credit for the bombing of U.S. military sites in Saudi Arabia in June 1996.
On Feb. 14, 1997, Labour MP George Galloway succeeded in blocking Waterson's bill from getting out of committee.
Galloway, in a speech before the committee that was printed in the House of Commons official proceedings, stated, "The Bill will change political asylum in this country in a profound and dangerous way. It will change a state of affairs that has existed since Napoleon's time. . . . We are all in favor of controlling terrorism in Britain. Surely not a single honorable Member has any truck with terrorism here, but we are talking about terrorism in other countries. . . .
"The legislation is rushed in response to a specific, and, for the government, highly embarrassing refugee case--that of Professor al-Massari, who was a thorn in the side of the government of Saudi Arabia. . . .
"By definition, a tyranny can be removed only by extraordinary measures. Inevitably, in conditions of extreme repression, the leadership of such movements will gravitate to countries such as ours where freedom and liberty prevail.
"The bill will criminalize such people, even though they have not broken any law in Britain or caused any harm to the Queen's peace in her realm. They will fall open to prosecution in this country under the Bill because they are inciting, supporting, or organizing events in distant tyrannies, which are clearly offenses under the laws of such tyrants."
Or perhaps they despised the Arab and African tribal peoples who came as immigrants. Perhaps the British considered the peoples so beneath the radar of civilization that to attempt to integrate them into the culture would be an affront to British history.
Yet what is beyond my ability to conjure is how the British came to accept the ideas that terrorism is the only means by which tyranny can be undone, and that their country should practice a grotesque double standard: provided the terrorists were not attacking the British, it was okay if they attacked even Britain's closest ally.
Mr. La Rouche's memorandum provides no answer. So I return to Collunsbury's third argument for the US recognizing the Muslim Brotherhood:
The Ikhouane have in the past dabbled in terror and/or armed opposition. Who can bloody well blame them, given the bankruptcy of the regimes in question? The world is a rough place, and realists should not be afraid of a stupid word, "terrorism."Collunsbury is uninformed about the present activities and intent of the brotherhood's leaders. But this aside, clearly he does not perceive as terrorism the practice of sawing off a female child's clitoris for the express purpose of robbing her of sexual pleasure in adulthood. Or the act of burying a child in the ground up to the neck, then picking up stones and hurling them at the child's head until it is pulp; this done for offenses so minor among civilized peoples they don't even amount to a prank.
Barbaric tribal practices one can understand -- they are ghastly but at least comprehensible acts rooted in humankind's primitive past. But that this primitivism should be tolerated, accorded the rank of civilized behavior in the modern era by the British culture, speaks of an evil nearly beyond comprehension. It is an evil that threatens the survival of the human race. So if you find yourself wondering how someone such as Collunsbury can shrug off terrorism as "realism," go ask the British for the answer.(3)
After writing the above words and putting a link to Media Slander on the Pundita sidebar, I feel much better.
(1) For background and an analysis of the controversy, read yesterday's Washington Post article, Rice's Unwillingness to Cross Lines May Have Limited Mideast Trip.
(2) A few minutes later I added a postscript:
"Whoops - correction: the documents might not have been declassified until after 9/11. To the best of my knowledge (admittedly, not expert in this area) all the US intel relating to the situation under discussion was supposed to remain classified until 2015 and surely several documents relating to MI6-CIA and Muslim Brotherhood remain classified."
I picked up on the 2015 date after reading a posting at the Warriors for Truth website, which cites John Loftus as a source for comments about the connection between the Muslim Brotherhood, Nazi Party, CIA and MI6.
I add that the WFT posting only skims the surface about the connection between the CIA's post-WW2 involvement with remnants of the Nazi party and their decision that the MB could be useful to American interests in the region at that time.
I cannot fathom the use the CIA and MI6 found for Nazis; however, as with the US decision to arm and train mujaheeden fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, there might have been a perceivable logic during the Cold War to the CIA's nurturing of Nazi Party members hanging out in the Middle East. Yet once loosing the hounds of hell, one does have an obligation to keep minding them. Yet as with the mujahadeen, CIA minding of the brotherhood drifted then ended, leaving the hounds to work out their karma, so to speak. This has caused no end of trouble for the USA, not to mention the Muslim Middle East, Israel, and the European and African continents.
(3) For tips on how to reassert the views of Western civilization without touching off another Crusade, see 6/25 Pundita essay, Going Native and how to insult a killer bee....