OFFICE OF SENATOR TED CRUZ
185 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
THE LEGAL LIMIT: THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S ATTEMPTS TO EXPAND FEDERAL POWER
Report No. 4:
The Obama Administration’s Abuse of Power
By U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)
Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on The Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights
Of all the troubling aspects of the Obama presidency, none is more dangerous than the President’s persistent pattern of lawlessness, his willingness to disregard the written law and instead enforce his own policies via executive fiat.
The President’s taste for unilateral action to circumvent Congress should concern every citizen, regardless of party or ideology. The great 18th-century political philosopher Montesquieu observed: “There can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or body of magistrates.” America’s Founding Fathers took this warning to heart, and we should too.
Rule of law doesn’t simply mean that society has laws; dictatorships are often characterized by an abundance of laws. Rather, rule of law means that we are a nation ruled by laws, not men. No one—and especially not the president—is above the law. For that reason, the U.S. Constitution imposes on every president the express duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”
Rather than honor this duty, President Obama has openly defied it by repeatedly suspending, delaying, and waiving portions of the laws that he is charged to enforce. When President Obama disagreed with federal immigration laws, he instructed the Justice Department to cease enforcing the laws. He did the same thing with federal welfare law, drug laws, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
In the more than two centuries of our nation’s history, there is simply no precedent for the White House wantonly ignoring federal law and asking others to do the same.
For all those who are silent now: What would they think of a Republican president who announced that he was going to ignore the law, or unilaterally change the law? Imagine a future president setting aside environmental laws, or tax laws, or labor laws, or tort laws with which he or she disagreed.
That would be wrong—and it is the Obama precedent that is opening the door for future lawlessness. As Montesquieu knew, an imperial presidency threatens the liberty of every citizen. Because when a president can pick and choose which laws to follow and which to ignore, he is no longer a president.
Governing by Executive Fiat
1. Disregarded 1996 welfare reform law in granting broad work waivers for work requirements of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).1
2. Implemented portions of the DREAM Act, which Congress rejected, by executive action.2
3. Ended some terror asylum restrictions, by allowing asylum for people who provided only “insignificant” or “limited” material support of terrorists.3
4. Allowed immigrants in the U.S. illegally, who are relatives of military troops and veterans, to stay in the country and get legal status.
5. Extended federal marriage benefits by recognizing, under federal law, same-sex marriages created in a state that allows same-sex marriage even if the couple is living in a state that doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage.
6. Recognized same-sex marriage in Utah, even though the Supreme Court stayed the court order recognizing same-sex marriage in Utah and Utah said it would not recognize same- sex marriages performed before the stay.
7. Refused to prosecute violation of drug laws with certain mandatory minimums.
8. Issued signing statements, refusing to enforce parts of congressional-enacted statutes.
9. Illegally refused to act on Yucca Mountain’s application to become a nuclear waste repository.
1 Caroline May, Obama administration ‘guts’ welfare reform with new HHS rule, Daily Caller, Jul. 13, 2012.
2 Mark Krikorian, Today is A-Day, National Review Online, Aug. 15, 2012.
3 Reid J. Epstein, Obama administration ends some terror asylum restrictions, Politico, Feb. 5, 2014.
4 Julia Preston, Immigrants Closely Tied to Military Get Reprieve, N.Y. Times, Nov. 15, 2013.
5 Matt Apuzzo, More Federal Privileges to Extend to Same-Sex Couples, N.Y. Times, Feb. 8, 2014.
6 Charlie Savagejan, U.S. to Recognize Utah Gay Marriage Despite State Stance, N.Y. Times, Jan. 10, 2014.
7 Pete Williams & Michael O’Brien, Holder: ‘New Approach’ to reduce mandatory drug sentences, NBC News, Aug. 12, 2013.
8 Charlie Savage, Obama Takes New Route to Opposing Parts of Laws, N.Y. Times, Jan. 8, 2010.
9 Joel B. Pollak, Nuclear fallout: Yucca decision would affect immigration, obamacare, Breitbart, Aug. 14, 2013.
Falsely portrayed the Benghazi terrorist attack as a spontaneous protest against an anti- Muslim YouTube video,10 and then lied about the White House’s involvement.11
Illegally revealed the existence of sealed indictments in the Benghazi investigation.12
Failed to enforce the Magnitsky Act as required by law, by not adding Russian human rights abusers to a list of people not permitted to travel to or do business in the U.S.13
Killed four Americans overseas in counterterrorism operations without judicial process.14
Continued to give Egypt aid after the military took over its government, even though federal law prohibits aid to Egypt in the event of a coup.15
10 Bill Flax, Benghazi: Four Americans Died, Obama Lied, and the Press Complied, Forbes, Oct. 18, 2012.
11 Michael D. Shear, Email Suggests White House Strategy on Benghazi, N.Y. Times, Apr. 30, 2014.
12 Mike Levine, President Obama’s Surprise Revelation of Sealed Benghazi Indictment, ABC News, Aug. 9, 2013.
13 Obama’s Magnitsky Walkback, Wall St. J., Jan. 5, 2014.
14 Karen DeYoung & Peter Finn, U.S. acknowledges killing of four U.S. citizens in counterterrorism operations, Wash. Post, May 22, 2013.
15 White House says U.S. has not cut off aid to Egypt, Reuters, Aug. 20, 2013.
Granted a “hardship” exemption from the individual mandate for people whose health plans were canceled because their plans weren’t Obamacare compliant.16
Delayed the individual mandate for two years.17
Allowed individuals to buy health insurance plans in 2014 that did not comply with Obamacare.18 Extended this delay until 2016—past the mid-term elections.19
Extended the deadline to enroll in Obamacare.20
Illegally granted businesses a waiver from Obamacare’s employer mandate.21 Twice.22
Illegally continued the Obamacare employer contribution for congressional staffs.23
Illegally delayed the Obamacare caps on out-of-pocket healthcare payments.24
Illegally delayed Obamacare verification of eligibility for healthcare subsidies.25
Illegally required people to violate their faith via the Obamacare contraception mandate.26
As of May 2011, over 50% of Obamacare waiver beneficiaries were union members (who account for less than 12% of the American work force).27
16 Margaret Talev & Alex Wayne, Obama Lifts Health Mandate for Those With Canceled Plans, Bloomberg.com, Dec. 20, 2013.
17 ObamaCare’s Secret Mandate Exemption, Wall St. J., Mar. 11, 2014.
18 Stephanie Condon, Obama letting people keep canceled health plans for another year, CBSNews.com, Nov. 14, 2013.
19 Louise Radnofsky, Obama Gives Health Plans Added Two-Year Reprieve, Wall St. J., Mar. 5, 2014.
20 David Martosko, Busted! After promising ‘no delay’ in final Obamacare sign-up deadline, Obama administration unveils new ‘honor system’ extension through mid-April, Daily Mail, March 25, 2014.
21 Sarah Kliff, White House delays employer mandate requirement until 2015, Wash. Post, July 2, 2013.
22 Juliet Eilperin & Amy Goldstein, White House delays health insurance mandate for medium-seized employers until 2016, Wash. Post, Feb. 10, 2014.
23 Ezra Klein, In 2014, Congress gets Obamacare. Here’s how they’ll pay for it., Wash. Post, Aug. 1, 2013.
24 Avik Roy, Yet Another White House Obamacare Delay: Out-Of-Pocket Caps Waived Until 2015, Forbes, Aug. 13, 2013.
25 Avik Roy, Not Qualified for Obamacare’s Subsidies? Just lie – Govt. To Use ‘Honor System’ Without Verifying Your Eligibility, Forbes, July 6, 2013.
26 Joel Gehrke, Little Sisters of the Poor sue over Obamacare fines, contraception requirement, Wash. Examiner, Sept. 24, 2013.
27 Milton Wolf, Obamacare waiver corruption must stop, Wash. Times, May 20, 2011.
Ordered Boeing to fire 1,000 employees in South Carolina and shut down a new factory because it was non-union.28
Implemented a moratorium on offshore drilling after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill without statutory authority, and continued to enact new versions after federal courts repeatedly invalidated the moratorium.29
Treated secured creditors worse than unsecured creditors in the Chrysler bankruptcy.30
Terminated the pensions of 20,000 non-union Delphi employees in the GM bankruptcy.31
Had SWAT teams raid a Gibson guitar factory and seize property, on the purported basis that Gibson had broken India’s environmental laws—but no charges were filed.32
Government agencies are engaging in “Operation Choke Point,” where the government asks banks to “choke off” access to financial services for customers engaging in conduct the Administration does not like—such as “ammunition sales.”33
28 Steven Greenhouse, Labor Board Tells Boeing New Factory Breaks Law, N.Y. Times, Apr. 20, 2011.
29 Frederic Frommer, Government takes third attempt at drilling moratorium, Associated Press, Jul. 13, 2010.
30 An offer you can’t refuse, The Economist, May 7, 2009.
31 Emails: Geithner, Treasury drove cutoff of nonunion Delphi workers’ pensions, Daily Caller, Aug. 7, 2012; Report: Obama administration played key role in GM Bankruptcy as pensions cut for salaried workers, not unionized ones, Associated Press, Aug 16, 2013.
32 Deborah Zabarenko, Gibson Guitar CEO slams U.S. raids as “overreach”, Reuters, Oct. 12, 2011.
33 Frank Keating, Justice Puts Banks in a Choke Hold, Wall St. J., Apr. 24, 2014.
Executive Nominees and Personnel
- Appointed czars to oversee federal policy specifically because czars do not require Senate confirmation, earning criticism from stalwart Democrats such as West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd35 and Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold.36
- As of January 2012, 36 of the President’s executive office staff owed $833,970 in back taxes.37
- Made illegal “recess” appointments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Labor Relations Board when Congress wasn’t in recess.34 Ignored the rulings of three federal courts of appeals that held those nominations unconstitutional.
- As of 2011, 311,566 federal employees or retirees owed $3.5 billion in taxes.38
34 Timothy Noah, Cordray’s Recess Appointment Sure Doesn’t Look Constitutional to Me, New Republic, Jan. 4, 2012.
35 John Bresnahan, Byrd: Obama in power grab, Politico, Feb. 25, 2009.
36 Jordan Fabian, Feingold questions Obama ‘czars’, The Hill, Sept. 16, 2009.37 Andrew Malcolm, 36 Obama aides owe $833,000 in back taxes, Investors Business Daily, Jan. 26, 2012.38 Richard Rubin, Number of Tax-Delinquent Government Workers Up 11.5%, Bloomberg, Mar. 8, 2013.
Free Speech and Privacy
- Circumvented the Freedom of Information Act, by requiring White House Counsel review of all documents to be released under the Freedom of Information Act that the Administration believed pertained to “White House equities”—and then delayed in producing many of these documents by FOIA’s statutory deadline, or didn’t produce them at all.40
- Got secret permission from the FISA Court to reverse restrictions on the National Security Agency’s use of intercepted phone calls and emails, permitting the NSA to search American’s communications in its databases.41
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking to monitor about 80% of U.S. credit card transactions.42
- Targeted Fox News reporter James Rosen by falsely labeling him a possible “co- conspirator” in a criminal investigation of a new leak.43
- Illegally targeted conservative groups for heightened IRS scrutiny.39
- Secretly obtained phone records from staff at the Associated Press.44
- Had meetings with lobbyists in coffee shops near White House to avoid disclosure requirements.45
39 Greg Sargent, Conservatives have themselves a real scandal on their hands, Wash. Post, May 10, 2013.
40 Mark Tapscott, ‘Most transparent’ White House ever rewrote the FOIA to suppress politically sensitive docs, Wash. Examiner, Mar. 18, 2014.
41 Ellen Nakashima, Obama administration had restrictions on NSA reversed in 2011, Wash. Post, Sept. 7, 2013.
42 Richard Pollock, CFPB’s data-mining on consumer credit cards challenged in heated House hearing, Sept. 13, 2013.
43 Another Chilling Leak Investigation, N.Y. Times, May 21, 2013.
44 Mark Sherman, Gov’t obtains wide AP phone records in probe, Yahoo News, May 13, 2013.
45 Eric Lichtblau, Across From White House, Coffee With Lobbyists, N.Y. Times, June 24, 2010.
Other Lawless Acts
Aided drug cartels instead of enforcing immigration laws—as found by a federal judge. Border Patrol agents, multiple times, knowingly helped smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.; “the DHS is encouraging parents to seriously jeopardize the safety of their children.”46
Illegally sold thousands of guns to criminals, in the operation known as Fast and Furious,47 and then refused to comply with congressional subpoenas about the operation.48
Dismissed charges filed by Bush Administration against New Black Panther Party members who were videotaped intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling station during the 2008 election.49
Argued for expansive federal powers in the Supreme Court, which has rejected the Administration’s arguments unanimously 9 times since January 2012.50
Sued Louisiana to stop school vouchers and keep low-income minorities trapped in failing schools.51
Threatened to arrest military priests for practicing their faith during the partial government shutdown.52
Muzzled the speech of military chaplains.53
Sued fire departments saying their multiple-choice, open-book written employment tests were racially discriminatory.54
Gave 23,994 tax refunds worth more than $46 million to aliens here illegally using the same address in Atlanta, GA.55
46 Stephen Dinan, Border Patrol helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the United States, Wash. Times, Dec. 19, 2013.
47 DOJ Inspector General, A Review of ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious and Related Matters, Sept. 2012.
48 Jerry Seper & Stephen Dinan, GOP sues to force Obama, Holder compliance on Fast and Furious, Wash. Times, Aug. 13, 2012.
49 Kevin Bohn, Justice Department drops charges in voter intimidation case, CNN.com, May 28, 2009.
50 Senator Ted Cruz, The Legal Limit: The Obama Administration’s Attempts to Expand Federal Power; Senator Ted Cruz, Addendum – More Cases on Obama DOJ’s Expansive View of Federal Power; Senator Ted Cruz, Addendum 2 – More Cases on Obama DOJ’s Expansive View of Federal Power.
51 Obama, Holder Stand in Louisiana Schoolhouse Door, Investors Business Daily, Aug. 30, 2013.
52 Alex Pappas, Priests threatened with arrest if they minister to military during shutdown, Daily Caller, Oct. 4, 2013.
53 George Neumayr, Muzzling Military Chaplains, The American Spectator, Jan. 9, 2013.
54 Editorial: Firehouse flunkies, Wash. Times, Mar. 7, 2011.
Other Abuses of Power
Released a mentally ill Guantanamo detainee,56 who had been a high-risk al Qaeda fighter in jihad combat since the 1980s.57
Backed release of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi.58
President Obama told NASA administrator to “find a way to reach out to the Muslim world.”59
Claimed the Fort Hood shooting was “workplace violence” rather than terrorism.60
Signed a stimulus bill that spent money on bonuses for AIG executives,61 and then acted shocked and outraged at the bonuses.62
Gave $535 million to Solyndra, which went bankrupt; Solyndra shareholders and officials made substantial donations to Obama’s campaign.63
Reneged on a campaign promise to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term in office.64
Increased the national debt more in one term than President Bush did in two terms.65
Extended mortgage assistance to people who bought multiple homes during the housing bubble.66
Proposed rules that would have decimated family farms, by prohibiting children under 18 from doing many forms of farm work.67
55 Terence Jeffrey, IRS Sent $46,378,040 in Refunds to 23,994 ‘Unauthorized’ Aliens at 1 Atlanta Address, CNSNews.com, June 21, 2013.
56 U.S. judge orders release of mentally ill Guantanamo prisoner, Yahoo News, Oct. 4, 2013.
57 The Guantanamo Docket: Ibrahim Othman Ibrahim Idris, N.Y. Times.
58 Jason Allardyce & Tony Allen-Mills, White House backed release of Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, The Australian, July 26, 2010.
59 Alex Pepper, White House, NASA, Defend Comments About NASA Outreach to Muslim World Criticized by Conservatives, ABCNews.com, July 6, 2010.
60 Aaron Goldstein, Obama Still Doesn’t Get 9/11, American Spectator, Sept. 11, 2012.
61 Dana Bash & Ted Barrett, Bonuses allowed by stimulus bill, CNN.com, Mar. 18, 2009.
62 Helene Cooper, Obama Orders Treasury Chief to Try to Block A.I.G. Bonuses, N.Y Times, Mar. 16, 2009.
63 Bankrupt solar company with fed backing has cozy ties to Obama admin, Daily Caller, Sept. 1, 2011.
64 Josh Gerstein, 5 unmet promises of President Obama, Politico, Oct. 16, 2012.
65 Mark Knoller, National Debt has increased more under Obama than under Bush, CBSNews.com, Mar. 19, 2012.
66 Prashant Gopal, Boom-Era Property Speculators to Get Foreclosure Aid: Mortgages, Bloomberg, Mar. 5, 2012.
67 Washington Elitists Want to Take Over the Family Farm, Investors Business Daily, Apr. 26, 2012; Dave Jamieson, Child Labor Farm Rules Scrapped by White House Under Political Pressure, Huffington Post, Apr. 27, 2012.
Former “safe schools czar” has written about his past drug abuse and advocated promoting homosexuality in schools.68
Nominated Timothy Geithner—who had significant tax issues69—to head the Treasury Department, which enforces tax laws.
Reneged on campaign promise to broadcast healthcare reform negotiations on C-SPAN.70
Reneged on a campaign promise to wait five days before signing any non-emergency bill (at least 10 times during first 3 months in office).71
Unilaterally, increased the minimum wage for federal contract workers from $7.25 to $10.10, via executive order.72
Cancelled all White House tours after sequestration—purportedly saving $18,000 per week—even though President Obama had spent more than $1 million in tax money to golf with Tiger Woods one weekend a few weeks before.73
Adopted pro-union “ambush election” rules.74
Pressured Ford to pull an anti-auto-bailout TV ad.75
Actively, aided in George Zimmerman protests.76
Tried to seize a privately owned motel when guests used illegal drugs at the motel.77
Shut down the Amber Alert website, while keeping up Let’s Move website, during the partial government shutdown.78
Gave supervised release to a convicted criminal (an alien here illegally) who later killed a nun in a DUI.79
68 Maxim Lott, Critics Assail Obama’s ‘Safe Schools’ Czar, Say He’s Wrong Man For the Job, FoxNews.com, Sept. 23, 2009.
69 Jonathan Weisman, Geithner’s Tax History Muddles Confirmation, Wall St. J., Jan. 14, 2009.
70 Chip Reid, Obama Reneges on Health Care Transparency, CBSNews.com, Jan. 7, 2010.
71 Jim Harper, The Promise That Keeps on Breaking, The Cato Institute, Apr. 13, 2009.
72 Ed Henry, Obama to sign executive order raising minimum wage for federal contractors, FoxNews.com, Jan. 28, 2014.
73 Tom Blumer, Our Petty, Country-Be-Damned President, PJ Media, Mar. 8, 2013.
74 Senator John Thune, NLRB’s ambush elections would hurt local businesses, The Hill, Apr. 19, 2012.
75 Daniel Howes, WH Pressures Ford to Pull Bailout Ad, FoxNews.com, Sept. 27, 2011.
76 Documents Obtained by Judicial Watch Detail Role of Justice Department in Organizing Trayvon Martin Protests, Judicial Watch, July 10, 2013.
77 George Will, When the looter is the government, Wash. Post, May 18, 2012.
78 Update: Let’s Move Website Works Fine – Obama plays Politics with Lost Children, shuts down Amber Alert website, The Right Scoop, Oct. 6, 2013.
Shut down an Amish farm for selling fresh unpasteurized milk across state lines.80
Spent $7 million per household in “stimulus funds” to connect a few Montana households to the Internet.81
Spent $205,075 in “stimulus” funds to relocate a shrub that sells for $16.82
Fired an inspector general after investigating an $850,000 AmeriCorps grant received by a nonprofit run by former NBA star and Obama supporter Kevin Johnson (now mayor of Sacramento).83
79 JW Forces Release of DHS Report on Illegal Alien Charged with Killing Virginia Nun in August 2010 Drunk Driving Incident, Judicial Watch, Mar. 4, 2011.
80 Stephen Dinan, Feds shut down Amish farm for selling fresh milk, Wash. Times, Feb. 13, 2012.
81 Nick Schulz, How Effective Was The 2009 Stimulus Program?, Forbes, July 5, 2011.
82 Thomas Cloud, Shovel Ready in San Fran: $205,075 to ‘Translocate’ One Shrub from Path of Stimulus Project, CNSNews.com, Apr. 12, 2012.
83 Susan Crabtree, Allies of official fired by Obama mount defense, The Hill, June 24, 2009.
OFFICE OF SENATOR TED CRUZ
185 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
JARKESY POLITICAL by TOM O’HALLORAN via http://jarkesypolitical.com/2013/09/04/egypt-has-documents-indicating-obama-is-part-of-the-muslim-brotherhood/
Egypt has documents indicating Obama is part of the Muslim Brotherhood
Egypt has documents indicating Obama is part of the Muslim Brotherhood
Surprise, surprise, President Obama’s half brother, Malik Obama, oversees much of the finances of the Muslim Brotherhood, not just in Egypt but throughout the Mideast.
When Morsi was arrested last month, the Egyptian military discovered a pile of documents linking the Obama regime with the illegal activities of the Muslim Brotherhood. Investigative journalist Jerome Corsi has obtained a copy of the document held by the Egyptian military, proving the Obama regime sent millions of dollars in bribes to the Muslim Brotherhood, paid out by the U.S. Consulate.
Conveniently, the President’s brother…is one of the architects of the major investments of the Muslim Brotherhood and oversees an $8 billion dollar bribe to the Muslim Brotherhood made by the Obama regime. The bribe was payment to guarantee that the huge tract of Egyptian land, the Sinai Peninsula, be turned over to the Muslim Brotherhood sister group Hamas, The Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas mince no words about their goals for Israel, which is total annihilation.
The former Chancellor of the Constitutional Court of Egypt and current adviser, Tahani Al-Jebali stated that the reason the United States cannot fight the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood is because the brother of U.S. President Barack Obama is the architect of the investments for the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood.
According to Egypt Daily News, a document exists showing the eight billion dollar “holocaust” agreement with the Obama administration that was signed by former Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi and his second in command Khairat Al-Shater. Both are under arrest by the Egyptian military for murder and treason.
Obama’s close ties certainly explains our weapons and arms shipments to Egypt along with monetary aid. It may also explain why the Obama administration ignores the persecution of Christians in Egypt.
According to Khairat Al-Shater’s son, Saad Al-Shater, prior to being arrested by the Egyptian military, his father was in possession of information linking Obama with the Muslim Brotherhood that he says would put Obama in prison.
If the Egyptian military releases this document, it would no doubt spell the end of the Obama presidency, bringing impeachment, a long prison term, and perhaps even the death penalty.
Obama Named As Accessory to Murder, before the International Criminal Court (conservativeread.com)
Muslim Brotherhood in the White House (ireport.cnn.com)
Obama Promoting Muslim Brotherhood “Stooge” Anne Patterson at State Department (freedomoutpost.com)
Kerry: Muslim Brotherhood ‘stole’ Egypt revolution (washingtontimes.com)
Political News & Commentary
Out of ideas, Obama’s team throws more words at Egypt’s deadly violence
Posted 09:02 AM ET
AP (A disappointed Egyptian.)
Major powers like the United States have many ways to attempt to influence the actions of other countries — money, of course, humanitarian and military aid, personal and official contacts, sanctions, the media. None guarantee success.
But one thing guarantees failure: Hedging, Waffling, Whatever you want to call a foggy policy. And that is exactly what President Obama and his team have followed regarding Egypt and beyond. And now — and for perhaps years to come — the United States is paying the price for his Amateur Hour.
It’s yet another facet of the Obama Doctrine of Failure in the Middle East. Iran–Levy international sanctions to cripple the economy to force abandonment of its nuclear weapons development. That didn’t work, so maybe more will.
Libya–Bomb the bejesus out of the dictator’s army to help the rebels topple him, which worked great. A mob murdered him, saved a trial. But what filled the vacuum? Chaos as militias war, generating another potential lawless homeland, a mini-Afghanistan, for al Qaeda & Co. to flourish.
Syria–This time international sanctions will surely work to oust Bashir al-Assad. Except not. He has Russian help. Should we help the rebels? Which ones? OK, we’ll send weapons, even though it’s too late.
Then comes Egypt–The crown jewel of American diplomatic ineptitude, the site of Obama’s grandiose 2009 address to the Muslim world promising a new beginning.
Late to sense the Arab Spring, Obama stuck with dictator President Hosni Mubarak until he was clearly a goner, alienating the rising freedom forces. Late to support the new revolution, he’s all for the new constitution and elections. Which put in place the Muslim Brotherhood.
Late to spot its governing ineptitude and anti-democratic moves, for whatever ignorant or sinister reason Obama is silent about the brotherhood’s obvious moves to smother democracy now that it’s in power.
On his African trip last month and late to grasp the army’s ultimatum to the government to be more inclusive, Obama publicly telephones to support the embattled Brotherhood president hours before he’s ousted by the army, again alienating scores of millions of Egyptian democrats demonstrating for the military to rescue the country.
Meanwhile, thousands of Brotherhood supporters had cordoned off parts of Cairo and elsewhere in recent weeks. The army decided the government could not govern only parts of the country and the Brotherhood wasn’t sincere about negotiating.
So, it moved in Wednesday in force to take over Brotherhood areas. Conflicting reports said at least 400 died, police and protesters. “It was necessary to take a firm stand,” said Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi.
Both Obama and Biden are taking this week off. So, it was left to a deputy press secretary to explain the U.S. attitude: “The United States strongly condemns the use of violence against protesters in Egypt.” (Scroll down for full text.)
Strangely, no mention of Brotherhood violence, including the sacking and burning of government buildings and numerous Coptic Christian churches.
Secy. of State John Kerry, in a hastily-arranged media appearance just as his boss was playing another round of golf on Martha’s Vineyard, added his voice. He deplored the violence, of course, and warned that more of it will only lead to more instability and a longer path to reconciliation.
But while reciting the usual diplomatic yada-yada about both sides respecting the rights of others, Kerry announced no changes in U.S. policy. The administration has refrained from calling the military’s ouster of the Brotherhood a “coup” because that would, by law, trigger an automatic suspension of this country’s $1.3 billion in aid per year.
Truth is, that’s about the only U.S. leverage left. and it’s dwindling, as billions more in aid flood into Egypt from conservative Gulf regimes eager to stem the tide of radical Islamists.
Kerry gave an inadvertent admission of the limits of U.S. influence Wednesday. Instead of substantive actions, he was reduced to describing the many telephone calls he had made to Egypt and elsewhere. To no effect obviously, as the fighting raged all day.
Two years ago when Libyan rebels seized the capital of Tripoli, Obama interrupted his island vacation to make a TV statement, which gave him a large share of ownership of what became this Libyan mess including the Benghazi attack.
His absence was notable Wednesday. The White House only released a photo of Obama talking with security adviser Susan Rice over a lovely floral arrangement, presumably not about quarterback Tom Brady’s knee injury.
Statement on Egypt by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest
The United States strongly condemns the use of violence against protesters in Egypt. We extend our condolences to the families of those who have been killed, and to the injured.
We have repeatedly called on the Egyptian military and security forces to show restraint, and for the government to respect the universal rights of its citizens, just as we have urged protesters to demonstrate peacefully.
Violence will only make it more difficult to move Egypt forward on a path to lasting stability and democracy, and runs directly counter to the pledges by the interim government to pursue reconciliation.
We also strongly oppose a return to a State of Emergency law, and call on the government to respect basic human rights such as freedom of peaceful assembly, and due process under the law. The world is watching what is happening in Cairo. We urge the government of Egypt – and all parties in Egypt — to refrain from violence and resolve their differences peacefully. ####
U.S. Condemns Violence in Egypt; John Kerry says Country is at Pivotal Moment (blackchristiannews.com)
Egypt’s bloody crackdown: What does Obama do now? (kstreet607.com)
US: Egypt Violence ‘Serious Blow’ to Peace Efforts (newser.com)
White House condemns Egypt violence (washingtontimes.com)
Obama to address situation in Egypt Thursday (ktvb.com)
US: Egypt violence ‘serious blow’ to peace efforts (cnsnews.com)
Libyan official ties Morsi to Benghazi attack
Egypt’s recently deposed leader named in letter from security chief
Published: 16 hours ago
Jerome R. Corsi About |
A letter by a top Libyan official blames the attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens on Mohamed Morsi, the now deposed president of Egypt.
WND has verified the authenticity of the letter by Col. Mahmoud al-Sharif, the chief of the Department of Security of the Libyan government in Tripoli, written four days after the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi.
The letter mentions Morsi as being implicated in the planning that led to the Benghazi attack and identifies the Egyptian jihadist group Ansar Sharia as the group responsible.
The letter discloses that the bodies of three Americans killed in the attack along with Ambassador Stevens were desecrated in revenge for the production of an anti-Islam film, assumed to be “Innocence of the Muslims.” The film was produced by the imprisoned Mark Basseley Yousef, the person the Obama administration erroneously claimed was responsible for triggering for attack itself.
White House press secretary Jay Carney confirmed Wednesday the Obama administration has no change in plans to deliver F-16s to the Egyptian military. The U.S. most likely will deliver four F-16s in August, with another eight slated for December. The deliveries are part of the continuing U.S. $1.5 billion in aid scheduled to be dispersed to Egypt in the current fiscal year, despite the military coup that ousted the Muslim Brotherhood-backed Morsi.
WND was among the first to report that Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt allegedly were involved in the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attack. Videos of the attack posted on YouTube show several jihadists pleading in an Egyptian dialect of Arabic, “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot. Dr. Morsi sent us.”
The Libyan document corroborates an Arabic-language report two days after the attack, discovered by Arabic-speaking former Muslim Brotherhood member Walid Shoebat, and another, Oct. 5, 2012. The reports presented evidence the radical Islamic broadcaster Al-Nas TV and radical Egyptian Islamic TV preacher Safwat Hijazi were behind the protests in Cairo and the attack in Benghazi.
The Libyan letter states, according to Shoebat’s translation: “The most distinguished names that were obtained from the confessions by members of the cell, is the person, the president of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi; Safwat Hijazi; Saudi businessman Mansour Bin Kadasa, the owner of Al-Nas TV station; Muhammad Hassan, previous candidate Hazim Salah Abu-Ismael; Egyptian attorney Mamdouh Ismael; Egyptian cleric Atef Abdul Rashid; and other personalities.”
Al-Sharif’s Nov. 15, 2012, letter, seen below, was addressed to the Libyan government’s Ministry of Interior in Tripoli.
Shoebat ‘s translation of the letter:
Ministry of Interior
National Security Directorate of Tripoli
Reference Number: 442.67D
Date: September 15, 2012
Report Regarding Egyptian Accomplice Terror Cell That Raided and Burned The American Embassy in the District of Benghazi
His Excellency and dignified Interior Minister, a blessed greetings.
We are honored to bring to his Excellency’s attention regarding the arrest of the Egyptian [terror] cell, which carried out the crime and our investigation up to this date and this hour. That is, after the carrying out of the crime of invading and burning the American general consulate building in the district of Benghazi which happened on Tuesday, September 11, 2012 which resulted in the killing of Mr. Chris Stevens, the American Ambassador in the nation of Libya and Mr. Sean Smith, who finances the Department of Information of the United States Foreign Service including other employees [working] for the embassy. Based on the confessions declared by some who were arrested at the scene of the incident and through our fruitful cooperation with the Department of Security agencies in Benghazi with the information obtained shows that some of the accomplices have escaped the scene of the crime and concentrated themselves in Tripoli. Based on this provided information, an investigative and research group in the agency gained a precise location of the whereabouts this escaped cell was hiding in the vicinity of Khilat Al-Farjan. Immediately after, they were engaged by a special strike force unit, which was able to arrest persons from the cell, all of whom are Egyptian. The initial investigation shows that the membership of the group [belongs] to the jihadist group Ansar Sharia in Egypt which was established and led by Egyptian cleric Marjan Salem. In addition, there were extremely crucial information as to the financial sources of this group and the planners and executers of the operation which carried out the breaking and entering of the American Consulate in Benghazi and killing all occupants including the desecration of their bodies in revenge for the film which was produced by the Crusaders who produced the film that insults the Messenger, Peace and Prayers be upon Him. The most distinguished names that were obtained from the confessions by members of the cell, is the person, the President of Egypt, Muhammad Morsi, Safwat Hijazy and Saudi businessman Mansour Bin Kadasa, the owner of Al-Nas TV station, Muhammad Hassan, previous candidate Hazim Salah Abu-Ismael, Egyptian attorney named Mamdouh Ismael, Egyptian cleric Atef Abdul Rashid, and other personalities. We also promise your Excellency to exert all our efforts to complete all the investigations and place the final report with your Excellency with 48 hours, Lord willing.
We are honored to announce to your Excellency our continual care to work hard with innovation through out blood and soul for the sake of Libya the land of the brave.
[Please] accept the highest greetings
Colonel Mahmoud al-Sharif,
Security Chief – Tripoli
[SEAL] Department of Security
[SEAL] Department of Security, Tripoli
Office of Chief of Security
Morsi’s ties to genocide in Sudan
Shoebat has documented Morsi’s close relationship with Lt. Gen. Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir, the president of Sudan.
On Sept. 16, 2012, five days after the Benghazi attack, Bashir flew to Cairo to meet with Morsi at the Presidential Palace in Cairo’s Heliopolis district to congratulate Morsi on being elected Egypt’s president the previous June and to discuss in person bilateral relations, including plans to inaugurate an Egypt-Sudan highway.
On May 4, 2013, at the conclusion of a trip to Sudan, Morsi held a joint press conference with Bashir in the capital, Khartoum, in which the two leaders announced an agreement with Ethiopia over the management of the Eastern Nile Basin that represents approximately 86 percent of the Nile waters.
Shoebat has described Bashir as “a modern Hitler,” an Islamic tyrant responsible for the deaths of over 3 million people, all in the name of jihad against Christians.
Shoebat has additionally discovered that Bashir, working in conjunction with Bashir’s uncle, Eltayeb Mustafa, supported a fatwa in 2011 declaring that it is the duty of every Muslim to persecute Christians. The fatwa provoked a mob of Muslim thugs working for Bashir’s National Party to attack Sudanese Christians on a Kambouni playground Oct. 10, 2011, and to set fire to a Christian church in Khartoum.
Now, more than 10 years after the genocide in Darfur, the International Criminal Court, or ICC, has arrest warrants outstanding for Bashir and other Sudanese officials. The Bashir regime continues to bomb and burn civilian structures in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. The tribal regions, which include many Arabic-speaking Christians, have been the targets of what the ICC characterizes as continuing crimes against humanity.
On Sept. 11, 2012, the day of the attack on the U.S. compound at Benghazi, mobs of Islamic radicals attacked the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.
Shoebat was the first to report Bashir was behind the mobs of Islamic radicals that raided the British, German and American embassies in Khartoum around the same time.
WND has reported that the attacks by Islamic radicals in North Africa on Sept. 11, 2012, including the attacks on Benghazi and on embassies in Cairo and Khartoum, were in response to a video released Sept. 10, 2012, by al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri. The video message called on Muslims to retaliate for a U.S. drone strike that killed Libyan al-Qaida leader Abu Yahya al-Libi in Pakistan’s Waziristan tribal area June 4, 2012.
Obama’s brother’s ties to Bashir
Shoebat has also reported that President Obama’s older brother, Malik Obama, is deeply associated with Bashir, despite Bashir’s involvement in the 2011 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum
Malik is the executive secretary for the Islamic Dawa Organization, or IDO, in Khartoum, which aims to help expand Wahhabist Islam in the African subcontinent, Shoebat noted.
Malik Obama and Bashir attended the General Conference of the Islamic Council of South Sudan and a meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Islamic Dawa Organization at which Bashir said “the enemies of Islam who attempt to impose hegemony and make a siege and to encourage plots (and evil measures) toward Sudan will fail.”
Malik Obama appears to share Bashir’s anti-Christian views. The Dawa organization of which he is executive secretary has stated in writing that “Muslims in Kenya suffer from the great challenge of the tyranny of the church which is known for aggression.”
Shoebat has noted Bashir’s expressed desire to make Sudan’s new constitution “100 percent Islamic,” operating under the rule of Islamic law, or Shariah.
WND has reported that funds contributed in the U.S. to a non-profit foundation run by Malik Obama have been diverted to support Malik’s multiple wives in Kenya.
Libyan Documents: Egyptians – Including Dr. Morsi – Linked to Benghazi Attacks (thegatewaypundit.com)
Egypt’s Morsi behind murder of U.S. ambassador? (conservativebyte.com)
Muslim Brotherhood plots to form new terror group (vineoflifenews.com)
Muslim Brotherhood plots to form new terror group (itmakessenseblog.com)
15 Photos From the Tahrir Square Protests You’ll Never See In Legacy Media. #Egypt #Morsi #Obama
Curiously, a massive wave of anti-Obama sentiment in Egypt has been utterly ignored by vintage media, even though the protests may be the largest in all of human history.
Consider the dichotomy: Obama 2011: Mubarak Must Go; Obama Today: ‘It’s not our job to choose who Egypt’s leaders are’.
- 15 Photos From the Tahrir Square Protests You’ll Never See In Legacy Media. #Egypt #Morsi #Obama (directorblue.blogspot.com)
- Egyptians Love Us for Our Freedom (silveristhenew.com)
- Breaking: Egyptian army says Morsi is no longer president; Updates (twitchy.com)
- Military seizes power in Egypt, suspends Constitution (tv.msnbc.com)
- Egypt’s Morsi Rejects 48-Hour Ultimatum (voanews.com)
- Egypt’s Army Takes Power (voanews.com)
Egyptian Army Overthrows President in Coup
Wednesday, 03 Jul 2013 02:54 PM
Egypt’s military has ousted the nation’s Islamist president, replacing him with the chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court, calling for early presidential election and suspending the Islamist-backed constitution.
Army chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, in a televised address to the nation on Wednesday, said a government of technocrats will be appointed to run the country during a transition period he did not specify.
An aide of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, Ayman Ali, said the former leader has been moved to an undisclosed location. He gave no details.
Morsi’s Facebook page quoted him on Wednesday as saying he rejected measures announced by the army as a “military coup.” It was unclear whether Mursi has access to his own Facebook page or if the statement was posted by an aide.
Cheers erupted among millions of protesters nationwide who were demanding Morsi’s ouster. Fireworks lit the Cairo night sky.
Supporters of Morsi who have gathered in a Cairo suburb reacted angrily to an announcement by the army that it had suspended the constitution and appointed a new, interim head of state.
Some broke up paving stones, forming piles of rocks. Muslim Brotherhood security guards in hard hats and holding sticks formed a cordon around the encampment, close to a mosque. Men and women wept and chanted.
Denouncing military chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, some shouted: “Sisi is void! Islam is coming! We will not leave!”
Earlier Wednesday, Egypt’s army deployed tanks and troops close to the presidential palace in Cairo after a deadline for Morsi to yield to street protests passed without any agreement.
Tahrir Square Live Cam:
Egypt’s second-biggest Islamist party said on Wednesday it agreed to an army political “road map” that suspends the constitution so that the country can avoid conflict.
The road map appoints the head of the constitutional court as interim head of state, replacing the Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi.
“We took this position and we took these decisions only so we stop the bloodshed of our people,” Galal Murra, Nour’s secretary general, said in a televised broadcast.
Egypt leader’s office calls military measures coup (world.time.com)
Egyptian army takes over state TV as military, opposition heads meet (timesofisrael.com)
I am positively appalled at two of your choices of people of the year! The Egyptian dictator and the US Socialist usurper? There are millions who agree with me and disagree with Time. We can’t imagine how you would risk sacrificing your subscriber numbers in exchange for this up close and personal suck-up to those two men. What were you thinking??
Egypt’s Morsy gives himself new powers, orders retrials in protester deaths
Egypt’s Morsy grants himself more power
Morsy: Any decisions until new constitution is established can’t be overturned
Move could give him unchecked power for months; protesters call him ‘dictator’
Declaration comes on 4th day of protests against president and the Muslim Brotherhood
Hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters demonstrate for Morsy on Thursday
(CNN) — Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy has issued an order preventing any court from overturning his decisions, essentially allowing him to run the country unchecked until a new constitution is drafted, his spokesman announced on state TV Thursday.
Morsy also ordered retrials and reinvestigations in the deaths of protesters during last year’s uprising against strongman Hosni Mubarak. That could lead to the reprosecution of Mubarak, currently serving a life prison term, and several acquitted officials who served under him.
The order for retrials could please some Egyptians who’ve expressed disappointment that security officers and others have escaped legal consequences over last year’s protester crackdown by the Mubarak regime.
Some demonstrators in Cairo, however — protesting for a fourth day against Morsy and the growing influence of the Muslim Brotherhood — expressed anger over his assumption of more power. About 2,000 people protested Thursday night in and around Tahrir Square, with some chanting “birth of a new pharaoh” and “Morsy the dictator.”
Political rivals also expressed dismay Thursday evening.
Egypt’s role in Israel-Gaza cease-fire
Learning about Egypt’s Morsy
Egypt’s Morsy ‘retires’ military brass
Egypt: What power shift means for U.S.
“Morsy is taking over the executive, judicial, and legislative powers in his hands, and this is a dangerous path,” said the Twitter account of Hamdeen Sabahy, a former presidential candidate.
“Morsy has issued immunity to any laws he issues. This is the birth of a new dictator,” tweeted Khaled Ali, another former presidential candidate.
Hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters, meanwhile, stood outside the general prosecutor’s office Thursday to support Morsy’s decrees.
Morsy declared that any laws or decrees he’s made since he took office June 30, and until a new constitution is put in place, are final and cannot be overturned or appealed, his spokesman said on state-run TV.
Morsy also declared that a 100-man council drafting a new constitution, plus the upper house of parliament, cannot be dissolved. And he granted the council two more months to finish a draft constitution, meaning the panel has six months to finish.
That means Morsy, who earlier this year took over legislative powers from the military council that ruled after Mubarak’s ouster, could have at least six months of unchecked rule by decree. The draft constitution would go to a referendum before it is finalized.
He also fired Egypt’s general prosecutor, who had taken criticism from protesters in recent months because they believe prosecutions over demonstrators’ deaths were insufficient. Morsy swore in Talaat Ibrahim as the new general prosecutor on Thursday.
Morsy’s moves come three days after the start of violent protests in central Cairo, largely by people angry at Morsy’s government and the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement to which Morsy belongs. They also come amid turmoil in the constitution panel, which has been torn between conservatives wanting the constitution to mandate Egypt be governed by Islam’s Sharia law, and moderates and liberals who want it to say that Egypt be governed by principles of Sharia.
The announcements also come a day after Morsy helped broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas after an eight-day conflict between the sides.
On Wednesday, Morsy released a statement saying he had canceled a planned trip to Pakistan — sending his vice president instead — to concentrate on internal political developments and the Israel-Hamas cease-fire.
Thousands of people have protested in Cairo since Monday, chanting — for the first time since Morsy took office — for the toppling of the regime. Some in Tahrir Square held posters saying “No to the Brotherhood,” and banned Brotherhood members from entering the square.
Some protesters have thrown Molotov cocktails and rocks at police, who have fired tear gas and birdshot at the demonstrators.
One person has died and at least 80 have been injured in the protests, according to Mohamed Sultan, a Health Ministry spokesman.
Nine police officers have been injured in the clashes so far, said Alaa Mahmoud, an Interior Ministry spokesman.
Dozens of protesters have been arrested, said Interior Minister Ahmed Gamal El Din. Cameras have been installed around Tahrir Square, its side streets and the Interior Ministry in an effort to determine the identities of people attacking security forces, he announced.
More demonstrations are scheduled in Tahrir Square on Friday.
Fekri Mahkroub, a criminal court judge in Egypt’s Ismailia district, said Thursday night that he was “sad because what President Morsy did is an assault on the legislative and judicial system.”
“He defies anything the revolution stands for, and his actions are an insult to us as judges,” Mahkroub said. “Declaring that his laws cannot be questioned is unacceptable, and we may see a general judicial strike.”
Eric Trager, a fellow with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said Morsy not only is preventing the judiciary from overruling his decisions, but he also has “insulated the Muslim-Brotherhood-dominated (constitutional panel) from judicial oversight.”
Depsite the protests in Cairo and objections from political rivals, Morsy — elected with nearly 52% of the vote in a June runoff against former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik — enjoys the “best mobilizing capability in the country” in the Muslim Brotherhood, Trager said.
“If there’s a nationwide movement against this, you’ll (also) have a nationwide movement for it,” Trager said.
After he was elected, Morsy took legislative control from the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which had ruled after Mubarak was deposed. Earlier, the council dissolved parliament’s lower house, saying parliamentary elections that began in November 2011 were unconstitutional. Morsy indicated in June he would call back parliament, but Egypt’s high administrative court upheld the dissolution.
Mubarak and his former Interior Minister Habib El Adly were convicted and sentenced in June to life in prison on charges relating to the deaths of hundreds of protesters after a 10-month trial, while six former government aides were acquitted. Some Egyptians protested the sentences and acquittals.
Morsy, who still was running for office, said at the time that he would initiate new investigations if elected.
About 840 people died and more than 6,000 others were injured in last year’s 18-day uprising, according to Amnesty International.
- State TV: Protesters storm Muslim Brotherhood party headquarters in Egypt (cnn.com)
- Protests erupt across Egypt after presidential decree (guardian.co.uk)
- You: Egypt’s Morsy gives himself new powers (edition.cnn.com)
- Protests rock Egypt after Morsi seizes sweeping new powers (jpost.com)
- Egypt president Mohammed Morsi’s powergrab brings angry clashes (cbsnews.com)
- Egyptians Protest After President Assumes Sweeping Powers (blogs.voanews.com)
- Morsy decree set to trigger protests at Tahrir (thehindu.com)
- Violent protests erupt across Egypt after President Morsi seizes sweeping powers (standard.co.uk)
Obama works to avert Israel-Egypt break as Gaza violence persists
In conversation with Egypt’s Morsi, American president condemns rocket fire from Strip, defends Israel’s right to self-defense; Egyptian FM to Clinton: Stop Israeli aggression.
By Barak Ravid | Nov.15, 2012 | 1:27 PM |
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu listens as President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, March 5, 2012. Photo by Amos Ben Gershom GPO
The U.S. government is stepping up efforts to prevent any damage in the Israel-Egypt peace accord that might result from Operation Pillar of Defense taking place in the Gaza Strip. U.S. President Barack Obama spoke last night with Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi, and asked him not to take action that would worsen tensions with Israel.
Israel did not brief the United States in advance about its plan to assassinate the head of Hamas’ military wing, Ahmed Jabari, or regarding the date of the start of this Gaza operation. However, during talks held by National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror at the White House early this week, he made clear that Israel is prepared to carry out a military action in Gaza.A top American official stated that the United States wanted to make certain that Egypt will not take irreversible steps regarding its relations with Israel, and its peace accord with Israel. According to the U.S. official, Washington believes that Egypt needs to play a moderating role, and act to curb escalation and restore stability.The same official said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office has relayed a message to U.S., indicating Israel’s preference for avoiding continued escalation, but also clarifying that Israel will proceed with this operation as long as is needed to bring an end to missile attacks against it.The White House released a statement on Wednesday regarding the phone conversation between Obama and Netanyahu, indicating that the” President reiterated to Prime Minister Netanyahu the United States’ support for Israel’s right to self-defense in light of the barrage of rocket attacks being launched from Gaza against Israeli civilians.””The president urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to make every effort to avoid civilian casualties. The two agreed that Hamas needs to stop its attacks on Israel to allow the situation to de-escalate,” the statement added.Immediately after this discussion with Netanyahu, Obama phoned his Egyptian counterpart, Mohammed Morsi, a talk held a few hours after Egypt decided to recall its ambassador from Tel Aviv for consultation in Cairo. A senior U.S. official indicated that the Obama government had hoped that the Egyptians would not recall their ambassador from Israel; however, this official added, the Egyptian response was relatively measured, and not irreversible.In the conversation with Morsi, the White House statement noted, “President Obama condemned the rocket fire from Gaza into Israel and reiterated Israel’s right to self-defense. The two leaders agreed on the importance of working to de-escalate the situation as quickly as possible and agreed to stay in close touch in the days ahead.”In tandem with the Obama-Morsi discussion, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held a phone call with her Egyptian counterpart, Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr. The latter told Clinton that the United States should intervene immediately in order to halt “Israeli aggression” against the Gaza Strip.Speaking today following a special discussion he convened in his office to discuss the situation in Gaza, Morsi said that he was doing everything in his power “to stop Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip and stop bloodshed.””Israel needs to understand that we won’t accept the aggression that negatively affects the security and stability of the region,” Morsi said.
- Egypt asks US to stop Israel’s Gaza offensive (thehindu.com)
- Obama warns Hamas after deadly Israeli attacks (worldbulletin.net)
- Obama Talks With Israel, Egypt On Gaza Attacks (huffingtonpost.com)
- U.S. Working to Avert Israel-Egypt Break (gestetnerupdates.com)
- What’s happening in Gaza? (salon.com)
- Rocket Attacks, Airstrikes Resume After Israeli Fire Kills Top Hamas Leader – New York Times (nytimes.com)
- Obama speaks to Netanyahu, Morsi about Gaza escalation (haaretz.com)
- Egypt mediating Israel-Hamas truce as more than 100 rockets hit south – Haaretz (haaretz.com)
- Israel braces for Obama ‘payback’ after re-election (dailystar.com.lb)
- Betting on the wrong horse: The night Benjamin Netanyahu will not soon forget – Haaretz (haaretz.com)
Middle East sounds off on Obama election
‘Mr. Change is here again; Four more years without change’
Published: 14 hours ago
Kayhan, a publication that serves as a mouthpiece for the Iranian regime, says Barack Obama is weak, unable to solve challenges and has the same “serial crimes” as the predecessor from whom he inherited the White House: George W. Bush.
“Obama is too weak to solve the important challenges: The Palestinian question and the security of the occupying regime, the Islamic awakening, and the Iranian challenge,” the publication said, according to a report today from the Middle East Media Research Institute.
The organization that monitors Middle East media, interprets and reports on the statements has compiled a list of comments from editorials and leaders about Obama’s narrow popular vote margin in the 2012 presidential election.
“Kayhan expressed its disdain for Obama’s re-election with its November 8 front-page headline: ‘Mr. Change Is Here Again, Four More Years Without Change,’” MEMRI reported. “In its editorial that day, the paper stated that as far as the American voters were concerned, the election was between ‘bad and worse.’”
“Obama is the same weak Bush. The America of 2012 is the same America of 2001, that has lost its value,” MEMRI said the newspaper wrote. “The sum total of the [U.S.’s] crimes during Obama’s term is no less than that during the Bush term. The traces of the U.S. and its serial crimes can be spotted in all the crises in the region – Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Bahrain, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. It suffered great defeats in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine…
“Obama and his administration have nothing new to say – not only to Iran but also to most of the countries of the world, and to Europe as well,” the newspaper wrote.
Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was in Bali, Indonesia, for a conference and said elections in the West “have turned into the scene for the propaganda campaign of the capitalists and huge expenses and many independent, decent and efficient figures do not get the chance to participate in ruling [their countries].”
And judicial chief Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani said that the Iranian people would never forget the crimes of Obama’s sanctions.
Read the story of Christian martyrs and Christian converts who fled Islam, and paid with their lives, inside Iran, in “A Cry from Iran.”
Other reactions from the Arab world assembled by MEMRI:
Mohammad Javad Larijani, judiciary authority official and head of Iran’s Human Rights Council, said: “If the interests of the [Iranian] regime demand it, we will negotiate with America, even from the deepest depths of Hell.”
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said, as the election results were coming in, that Tehran would judge the U.S. according to its deeds, not according to its words: “Any evaluation of the promise of change will be based on the actual policy and performance of U.S. officials.” He said Washington must change its “mistaken policy.”
The reformist daily Mardomsalari said, “The Keys to the White House Remain In Democratic Hands… The Warmongers Are Defeated”
An op-ed in the reformist daily Etemaad said, “Romney emits a scent of war, [while] from Obama there arises a melody of paying attention to the economic agenda.” MEMRI reported the article continued, “The [re]election of Obama will be a nightmare for the right-wingers in Israel, particularly for Netanyahu… [because] Obama has had the worst relationship in recent years with the occupying regime.”
From the Taliban in Afghanistan: “Obama May Have Realized That The Americans Have Lost The War In Afghanistan.” It continued, “Obama may have realized that the Americans have lost the war in Afghanistan; if so, they [the Americans] should leave our pious land as soon as possible, instead of telling lies, and should worry about their country and their people.”
MEMRI said Obama earned “lukewarm responses” in other parts of the Arab world.
“The Syrian regime, for its part, attacked U.S. policy under Obama and even warned America not to consider military intervention in Syria now, after the elections. In Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood (MB) officials stressed that Egypt could rely on itself and would no longer be subordinate to the U.S. Articles in the Egyptian press claimed that no change could be expected in the American policy, which had always served Israel,” the report from MEMRI said.
One editorial in the Saudi daily Al-Yawm “called on Obama to take a courageous stance and save the Syrian people: ‘A second term in office [means that] President Obama has a weighty political and moral obligation to fulfill in the Middle East. His first responsibility as part of this is [to address] the tragedy of the oppressed Syrian citizens, who, for the last two years, have been under deadly [attack] by planes, missiles and tanks, and have no hope except an international initiative that will save them from hell,’” it said.
MEMRI said the Saudi daily Al-Riyadh called for America to support the Syrian opposition, saying that is “crucial.”
From the Qatari daily Al-Watan, “[Obama] must undertake a brave and comprehensive reassessment of his country’s stance on various crises, and adjust his reading of [the situation] in various regions where deadly conflicts are under way, in order to rescue and help peoples whose rights have been usurped and who have been deprived of their right to freedom, dignity and social justice…”
From the Muslim Brotherhood came the warning, through Izzat Mustafa, a member of the MB party’s High Committee in Egypt, that Egypt will not be allowed to be subordinate to the U.S.
Deputy MB party head Issam Al-Aryan said, “The U.S.’s foreign policy will not change much. Accepting the will of the Arab people is the most important change. We must rely on ourselves and our resources, and build our country. Egypt, without direct American influence, can influence and lead the process of building a constitutional and democratic regime…”
“Hussein Darwish, a Syrian journalist residing in Dubai, addressed Obama in a sarcastic article he posted on an oppositionist Syrian website: ‘Mr. President, I know, just like everyone else, that, had you wanted to put an end to the Syrian crisis, you would have done so. But you waited for the election results. [Now] you have four more years leading the world. How about turning your attention to the Middle East, and taking a step that will bring about real change, for us and for you? I am not asking you to [undertake] a military operation against Syria, God forbid… but [only] to take a step that will help us out of the impasse in which we are stuck thanks to your long silence.’”
- Hamas TV this morning: Dancing in the streets at Obama win (atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com)
- Blogs heat up about Valerie Jarrett’s rumored role in alleged US, Iran secret talks (foxnews.com)
- Obama wins, Bahraini oppositionists lose (their citizenship) (timesofisrael.com)
- Top Iranian Official Warns Regime Will Not Be Pressured By US Into Nuke Talks (washington.cbslocal.com)
- Peres warns: Iran threatening another Holocaust (jpost.com)
- Obama administration places new sanctions on Iran – Jerusalem Post (jpost.com)
- Whose Side Is Obama On…and Now the Iranian Regime and Foreign Policy (onemorecup.wordpress.com)
- Election Over, Global Crises Beckon in Obama’s New Term – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
The outbreak of the Arab Spring in 2011 brought significant attention to groups seeking to establish Islamic states — known as Islamists — in countries once ruled by secular autocrats. The bulk of this attention went to already established political groups such as the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, which caused consternation in the West when its Freedom and Justice Party won control of both Egypt’s parliament and its presidency.
Much less attention was paid to the Brotherhood’s principal Islamist competitors, members of the ultraconservative Salafist movement, despite their second-place finish in Egypt’s parliamentary elections. This changed in late September when certain Salafists played a key role in the unrest in reaction to an anti-Islamic video posted on the Internet.
Since then, Salafism has become the subject of much public discourse — though as is often the case with unfamiliar subjects, questions are vastly more numerous than answers. This is compounded by the rapidity of its rise from a relatively minor, apolitical movement to an influential Islamist phenomenon.
Origins and Goals of Salafism
Modern Salafism is based on an austere reinterpretation of Islam, calling for Muslims to return to the original teachings outlined in the Koran and the practices of the Prophet Mohammed as understood by the earliest generation, i.e., the Companions of the Prophet. From the Salafist perspective, non-Islamic thought has contaminated the message of “true” Islam for centuries, and this excess must be jettisoned from the Islamic way of life.
Salafists are a minority among the global Muslim population and even among Islamists. Unlike members of the Muslim Brotherhood, Salafists do not belong to a singular organization. Instead, the movement comprises a diffuse agglomeration of neighborhood preachers, societal groups and — only very recently — political parties, none of which are necessarily united in ideology.
In many ways, Salafism can be seen as a rejection of the political ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood. For most of the movement’s existence, it shunned politics — and thus Islamism — in favor of a focus on personal morality and individual piety, arguing that an Islamic state could not exist without Muslims first returning to the tenets of “true” Islam. This means Salafism also was at odds with the concept of jihadism — itself a violent offshoot of Salafism — as practiced by groups such as al Qaeda that sought to use force to manifest their Islamist ideology.
The Salafist movement could also afford to stay away from political activism in large part because it had a political backer in the government of Saudi Arabia. While many Salafists didn’t agree with some of Riyadh’s policies, its historical role as the birthplace of Salafism and role as the patron underwriting the global spread of Salafist thought kept the movement within the Saudi orbit.
This remained the case until the 1991 Gulf War, in which Saudi Arabia was forced to allow some 500,000 U.S. troops into the kingdom to protect itself from Baathist Iraq, after the latter’s brief occupation of Kuwait. The move caused an uproar over the religious legitimacy of allowing non-Muslim soldiers on what many consider to be holy grounds, and it also gave way to a wider debate about the political state of affairs of the Saudi kingdom. Prominent scholars began publicly calling for reform, which led to Salafists in general engaging in political discourse and, eventually, to the concept of Salafism as an Islamist philosophy.
Nevertheless, Salafists would not become a political force for another two decades, simply because it takes time for an apolitical religious movement to develop a political philosophy. At the same time, the Saudi leadership was rallying the country’s religious establishment to contain these newly politicized Salafists. The 9/11 attacks and subsequent U.S. actions against jihadism further advanced Salafist thought as the sect tried to hold on to its core values amid U.S.-led international pressure for reform, distinguish itself from jihadists and come up with a viable political alternative to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Arab Spring
By the end of the 2000s, Salafism had spread across the Arab world, most notably to Egypt and Tunisia, expanding both the number of its adherents and its institutional scope, which now included social organizations engaged in charity, relief and community work. They stopped short of formal political groups, largely because of the autocratic regimes under which they lived, but they quietly developed the infrastructure for such groups. It was under these circumstances that the Salafists found themselves at the beginning of the Arab Spring.
The case of Egypt’s Salafists is the most telling. Like the Muslim Brotherhood, they were caught unprepared when the popular agitation largely led by liberal youth groups broke out and began to consume decades-old secular autocratic regimes. While they eventually were able to overshadow the largely non-Islamist forces that played a key role in forcing the ouster of then-President Hosni Mubarak, they lacked the political machine that the Brotherhood had developed over the course of some 80 years. The result was the rise of various Salafist forces haphazardly trying to assert themselves in a post-authoritarian Egypt.
Several Egyptian Salafist groups applied for licenses to form political parties. Two prominent parties — al-Nour and al-Asala — emerged along with a host of individuals, such as Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, who ran as an independent candidate for president. The two Salafist parties banded together with the newly formed political wing of the former jihadist group Gamaa al-Islamiya — the Building and Development Party — to form the Islamist Bloc. The alliance was able to garner more than a quarter of ballots cast in the parliamentary polls late last year, coming in second place behind the Brotherhood.
What was most important about these Salafists participating in mainstream politics is that they embraced the electoral process after decades of having denounced democracy as un-Islamic. In other words, they ultimately adopted the approach of the Muslim Brotherhood, which they had hitherto vehemently rejected. This transformation has been more a rushed affair stemming from expediency rather than a natural ideological evolution.
There is an expectation that radical forces joining the political mainstream could, over time, lead to their de-radicalization. That may be true in the case of states with strong democratic systems, but in most Arab countries — which are just now beginning their journey away from authoritarianism — the Salafist embrace of electoral politics is likely to delay and perhaps even disrupt the democratization process and destabilize Egypt and by extension the region.
Much of this chaos will stem from the fact that the move to accept democratic politics has led to further fragmentation of the Salafist landscape. Many Salafists still are not comfortable with democracy, and those who have cautiously adopted it are divided into many factions. The result is that no one Salafist entity can speak for the bulk of the sect.
What Lies Ahead
Clearly, the Salafists are bereft of any tradition of civil dissent. That said, they have exhibited a strong sense of urgency to exercise their nascent freedom and engage in political activism. The outcome of this was the rioting that took place in reaction to the anti-Islamic film.
The Salafists are not just suffering from arrested political development; they face an intellectual discrepancy. On one hand, they wish to be part of the new democratic order and a mainstream player. On the other, they subscribe to a radical agenda that dictates the imposition of their stern interpretation of Islamic law across the Arab and Muslim world.
Their envisioned order is not just a problem for secularists, Christians, Jews and other minorities but also for more moderate Islamists such as the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood lost its monopoly on Islamism close to four decades ago but back then it didn’t matter because the Brotherhood was an opposition movement. Now that the group has won political power in Egypt, the Salafists represent a threat to its political interests.
Some of the more politically savvy Salafists, especially the political parties, are willing to work with the Muslim Brotherhood toward the common goals of furthering the democratic transition and containing radical and militant tendencies. Ultimately, however, they seek to exploit the Brotherhood’s pragmatism in order to undermine the mainstream Islamist movement’s support among religious voters. Additionally, the Salafists are also trying to make use of their role as mediators between the Brotherhood-led government and the jihadists active in the Sinai region to enhance their bargaining power and lessen the Brotherhood’s.
Salafists — whether they operate through legal means or through raw street power — can be expected to create problems for Egypt’s new government led by President Mohammed Morsi, especially when it comes to foreign policy matters. A prime example is the recent case of the film-related violence, during which Morsi had a difficult time balancing the need to placate the masses at home and maintain a working relationship with the United States, upon which Egypt relies for its economic well-being. While the anger over the film is a passing phenomenon, the underlying dynamic persists.
There is also no shortage of issues for right-wing Islamists to exploit. U.S. imperatives in the region will continue to place the Morsi government in a tight spot and provide reasons for the Salafists to oppose Cairo’s policies. Even more volatile than the dealings between the Morsi administration and Washington will be Israeli-Egyptian relations.
So far, Morsi has managed to avoid dealing too directly with Israel. But the Egyptian president and the Brotherhood cannot avoid this for too long. They know that they will face situations where they could be caught between the need to maintain peaceful relations with Israel and deal with Salafists taking advantage of the widespread anti-Israeli sentiment among Egyptians. This is one of the reasons Morsi and his associates have been speaking of revising the peace treaty with Israel, which is an attempt to manage the inevitable backlash on the home front.
Egypt’s difficulties are particularly pronounced given the country’s status as the leader of the Arab world, but Salafists of various stripes are slowly emerging as political stakeholders across the region, especially in Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. Democratization by its very nature is a messy affair in any context, but in the case of the Arab spring, Salafist entities can be expected to complicate political transitions and undermine stability and security in the Middle East.
The major challenge to stability in the Arab world thus lies only partially in the transition to democracy from autocracy. Greater than that is the challenge mainstream Islamists face from a complex and divided Salafist movement.
Read more: Salafism and Arab Democratization | Stratfor
- MUSLIM WORLD: How Saudi petrodollars fuel rise of Salafism (sfluxe.com)
- Influence of Salafists grows after Arab Spring (dailystar.com.lb)
- What We Can Learn from the Attacks on U.S. Embassies (world.time.com)
- Time: Saudi Salafists Behind U.S. Embassy Attacks (alexanderhiggins.com)
- Anti-Islam film: the Coptic Brotherhood (veteranstoday.com)
- What the Salafists Want: An Interview with the Blind Sheik’s Son (world.time.com)
- Time: Saudi Salafists Behind U.S. Embassy Attacks (dprogram.net)
Former Ohio-based Islamist Calls for the Murder of Every Jew in Egypt
The anti-Semitism flowing out of Egypt is beyond palpable, as we now have Sallah Sultan, an Islamist cleric in Egypt, preaching sermons about “[thirsting] for the blood of the Jews” and accusing the Jews of using girls infected with AIDS to seduce Egyptian men and infect them as well.
Sultan also claims that before the Arab Spring did away the Mubarak “regime,” 30,000 Jews entered Egypt every month “in order to commit all kinds of crime: counterfeit dollars, taking photographs of military bases,” as well as seducing and sodomizing “young [Egyptian] children who did not know any better.”
By the way, this cleric used to be in Ohio (USA). It was there that he founded the American Center for Islamic Research and it was there that his son, Mohamed, was president of the Ohio State Muslim Student Association.
Last year, Sultan renewed a 1994 edict calling for the murder of “every Zionist who enters Egypt — tourist or not.”