The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has pointed out the astonishing contrast and shocking inconsistency between President Barack Obamas reaction of not intervening during the Iranian public protests and crushing of the protestors by an American enemy, Irans Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; and his reaction to Egyptian public protests again a U.S. ally, the regime of Hosni Mubarak, in which Obama quickly and repeatedly intervened, calling for a swift transition to a new government. President Obama owes the American public an explanation for this shocking inconsistency. (The ZOA wants to make it clear, as it did last week, that we recognize that Mubarak is an oppressive dictator; nonetheless, he is an ally who does not call for the destruction of Israel and United States, as the Iranian regime does).
During the bloody repression of Iranian demonstrators in 2009, President Obama said nothing for days, only tepidly criticized the Islamist Iranian regime and said, while he had deep concerns its not productive, given the history of U.S.-Iranian relations, to be seen as meddling — the U.S. President meddling in Iranian elections (Remarks by President Obama and President Lee Myung-Bak of the Republic of Korea in Joint Press Availability, June 16, 2009). President Obama has also said that the U.S. was wrong to have previously interfered in the affairs of Iran and other countries and has apologized repeatedly abroad for U.S. involvement in other countries.
However, after demonstrators erupted onto Cairo streets in late January, President Obama said, that while it is not the role of any other country to determine Egypts leaders, he nonetheless declared that it is my belief that an orderly transition must be meaningful. It must be peaceful, and it must begin now (Remarks by the President on the Situation in Egypt, February 1, 2011).
Also, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, when asked if a push for democracy and elections in Egypt might result in Islamists gaining power, I think it is clear that increase in democratic representation has to include a whole host of important non-secular actors that give Egypt a strong chance to continue to be the stable and reliable partner that the world sees in the Middle East (Press Briefing by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, January 31, 2011). Secretary of State Clinton has also indicated that the Obama Administration is accepting without criticism the participation of the Muslim Brotherhood in transition talks, saying that the Egyptian people are looking for an orderly transition that can lead to free and fair elections. Thats what the United States has consistently supported we learned that the Muslim Brotherhood has decided to participate, which suggests that they, at least, are now involved in the dialogue that we have encouraged (Interview With Michele Kelemen of NPR, February 6, 2011).
All this implies that President Obama is willing to build up anti-American, anti-Israel Islamist forces and give them increased, undeserved legitimacy. For example, in June 2009, when President Obama delivered his speech to the Muslim world in Cairo, he invited the Muslim Brotherhood leadership to attend, including, Mohammed Saad el-Katatni, the head of its parliamentary bloc. According to terrorism analyst Chris Carter, writing in 2009, The Obama administration claims that invitations were sent out exclusively by Egypt’s Cairo and Al-Azhar Universities. However according to the Middle East Media Research Institute, the Egyptian daily Al-Masyroon reported that the invitations were extended at the request of U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Margaret Scobey (Chris Carter, Obamas Muslim Brotherhood Links Deserve Second Look, International Analyst Network, June 11, 2009).
A Muslim Brotherhood memorandum, written in 1991 by Mohamed Akram, one of its leaders, stated that the Muslim Brotherhood must understand 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 by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Gods religion is made victorious over all other religions (An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Brotherhood in North America, Investigative Project on Terrorism).
Yet, despite the support for an extremist, Islamist agenda in Egypt, as evidenced by a 2007 University of Maryland survey, which showed that 67% of Egyptians favor the re-establishment of a single, Islamic state, or Caliphate; and by a 2010 Pew poll, showing a large majority of Egyptians favoring the imposition of strict sharia (Islamic) law and various anti-human rights practices, President Obama has played down this fact, as well as playing down the virulent anti-American, Islamist extremism of the Muslim Brotherhood, saying in an interview only that, There are strains of their [i.e., the Muslim Brotherhoods] ideology that are anti-U.S. there are a whole bunch of secular folks in Egypt, there are a whole bunch of educators and civil society in Egypt that wants to come to the fore as well (Transcript of President Obama’s Super Bowl Interview with Bill O’Reilly, February 6, 2011).
An important Obama adviser, Bruce Riedel who, at Obamas request, chaired the strategic review of policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2009, has argued that America should not be afraid of the Muslim Brotherhood. Living with it wont be easy but it should not be seen as inevitably our enemy (Bruce Reidel, Don’t Fear Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Daily Beast, January 27, 2011).
There is further evidence that seems to indicate that President Obama ignores the dangers and ideology of extremist Muslims. President Obama has appointed Islamist apologists within his Administration, including, Rashad Hussain, the U.S. envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the 57-member inter-governmental group of Muslim majority states. Hussain claimed in a 2007 article that restrictions placed on non-immigrant visitors from countries which have produced Islamist terror threats were racist and denounced what he called a politically motivated persecution of Sami Al-Arian, the Florida professor who was subsequently found to have been illegally funding the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In 2009, President Obama also sought to appoint Chas W. Freeman, an apologist for the Islamist Saudi regime and other repressive dictatorships, as chairman of the National Intelligence Council. Freeman withdrew his nomination after ZOA waged a campaign exposing his record of extremism and close ties to tyrannies like China and Saudi Arabia.
Moreover, even when uttering criticism of Islamist groups like Hamas and Hizballah, Obama has given some legitimacy to their agenda, saying that the U.S. needs a foreign policy that looks at the root causes of problems and dangers [Hizballah and Hamas need to understand that] theyre going down a blind alley with violence that weakens their legitimate claims (David Brooks, Obama Admires Bush, New York Times, May 16, 2008).
Additionally, Obama has regularly tilted towards Muslim regimes in conflict with Israel. In a major U.N. speech and for the first time in U.S.-Israel relations Obama coupled U.S. support for Israels security with Israel fulfilling the legitimate claims and rights of the Palestinians (Obamas Speech to the United Nations General Assembly, New York Times, September 23, 2009) who in fact recognize no Israeli right to exist in peace and security as a Jewish state. In March 2009, Obama approved a major increase to $900 million in aid to the Palestinians, including $600 million for Hamas-controlled Gaza, despite a long history of of Hamas putting its hands on foreign money, weapons and United Nations humanitarian aid (Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, US Vows $900 Million for PA, Gaza; Hamas Pockets Recent Funds, Israel National News, March 2, 2009). He later used the very harsh term condemn for Israel announcing a building project in a Jewish neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem a term used normally only in reference to enemy states, not allies while ignoring continuing Palestinian incitement to violence and failure to arrest terrorists or outlaw terrorist groups. Despite a unilateral 10-month Israeli freeze on Jewish construction in eastern Jerusalem and Judea/Samaria, Obama falsely claimed that Israel had not made any bold gestures towards the Palestinian Authority, while ignoring the Palestinians truly making no concessions (Joe Klein, Q&A: Obama on His First Year in Office, TIME Magazine, January 21, 2010).
The Obama Administration has also dispatched to speak overseas on behalf of the U.S. several Islamist apologists, like Salam-al Marayati and Imam Feisal Rauf. Al-Marayati, the director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, is a vocal Israel-hater and apologist for Islamist terrorism who has called for Israels destruction; suggested Israel be placed on a suspect list as the possible perpetrator of the 9/11 acts of terrorism; condemned already in the 1990s American air strikes of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Sudan; and defended the rights of Holocaust deniers.
Imam Rauf, who has led the effort to build a mosque adjacent to Ground Zero in Manhattan, has called the U.S. an accessory to the 9/11 attacks; called Al-Qaeda made in the USA; refused to condemn Hamas as a terrorist organization; called upon the U.S. to apologize and offer an America Culpa for what it has allegedly done against Muslims before the terrorism against it can stop; while uttering no criticism of Muslim countries and extremist imams and sheikhs for their pro-terror, anti-peace words and deeds.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, We are perplexed and deeply concerned at the fact that, in 2009, President Obama remained silent for weeks as the Iranian public demonstrated against an oppressive anti-American regime, claiming the U.S. should not meddle in their affairs; whereas today, when Egyptians demonstrate against the long standing American-aligned Mubarak regime, President Obama intervenes quickly and powerfully by publicly and regularly calling for Mubarak to step down now and endorses the idea that non-secular actors a clear reference to the virulently extremist, Islamist, anti-American, anti-Israel Muslim Brotherhood be part of a future government.
President Obama never called for the enemy regime of Ahmadinejad to step down, even though it has called for the destruction of both Israel and America. However, in Egypt, President Obama quickly calls for a change of the existing U.S.-ally, the Mubarak government.
To repeat: President Obama owes the American public an explanation for this shocking inconsistency.