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  • January 24, 2013

    Shifting alliances in the Middle East


    By Pinhas Inbari

    A week ago, Hamas’ weekly newspaper ‘a-Risala’ published an analysis of the incoming US administration which focused on the implications of the appointment of Chuck Hagel as the new secretary of defense. While the article realistically suggested that Hagel would not cut off America’s strategic relations with Israel, it raised the hope that this eventuality would happen one day.

    Hamas believes Hagel would not permit Israel to launch another attack on Gaza, similar to Operation Cast Lead and Operation Pillar of Defense, and would also stop Israel short of attacking Iran. In the article’s concluding sentence, the writer expresses his hope that the Israeli-American alliance will disintegrate as a result of Hamas’ policy.

    The source of Hamas’ expectations from the new administration is its conviction that President Obama will not abandon his belief in Political Islam, i.e. allying with the Muslim Brotherhood against the Salafists and al-Qaeda. Furthermore, Hagel’s past declarations tell Hamas that he will bring a more favorable approach to the ayatollahs’ regime in Tehran. As Hamas is a Muslim Brotherhood movement and an ally of Iran, these two characteristics of the incoming defense secretary give its leaders a hopeful outlook on the future of US policy in the Middle East.

    That is also the reason why anti-Muslim Brotherhood regimes in the region may negatively evaluate the incoming administration. The outgoing administration has already ruffled feathers in the region by privileging the Muslim Brotherhood over Salafist and al-Qaeda actors. In Syria, Secretary Clinton, as a reaction to the assassination of the American ambassador in Libya, quickly began to lend support to rebuild the Syrian opposition leadership in the form of a new ‘coalition’, which installed a Muslim Brotherhood leader, Muadh al-Khatib, at its head, and, at the same time, distanced all Salafists/al-Qaeda elements from the leadership echelon.

    However, seeing that al-Qaeda’s Nusra forces in Syria have become a de facto military arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, Clinton stated that the United States should consider re-shifting its focus away from the Middle East and toward the Far East. A few days ago, the administration declared it would support Japan in its dispute with China.

    While Far East nations are receiving some support from the United States, the Gulf States are in an actual state of panic. Two weeks ago, the United Arab Emirates uncovered two Muslim Brotherhood terror cells that were planning a takeover of the oil-rich State. The emirates blamed the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood for orchestrating the plot. The Persian Gulf states suspect that Egypt, instead of focusing on reforming its economy, will try and overtake the Gulf’s finances in order to climb out of the financial abyss.

    With the United States sticking to the pro-Brotherhood Political Islam policy, the UAE is left to wonder how to defend itself against this newly formed alliance. Zahi Khalfan, Dubai security chief, has already suggested that the Gulf would create an alternative alliance with Russia and China.

  • Posted by Ted Belman @ 3:38 pm | 52 Comments »

    52 Comments to Shifting alliances in the Middle East

    1. Bernard Ross says:

      dweller Said:

      It’s the transitory SecState who functions as the “basket to carry water” — and on behalf of DOS, not WH

      I meant sec of state, not DOS, carries the basket. I don’t disagree with your analysis regarding DOS in general. I forgot the name of an english comedy series which portrayed a similar relationship to that which you assert between the Minister and the permanent secretary of the ministry. Although the DOS has the most influence, where the WH has an agenda the SOS becomes the rep of the WH to DOS. What I wanted to point out is that often, the SOS is appointed intentionally to carry a basket to carry water so as to discredit the basket carrier and render them non competitive at the next stage. sometimes they are intentionally sabotaged by the executive. I think that Colin Powell and Hillary might be examples of this agenda: especially Hillary. Possibly an attempt to render her campaign in 2016 ineffectual; if so I believe it is succeeding.

    2. Bernard Ross says:

      shachalnur Said:

      What building 7 is for 9/11,is the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Eugenics for the Holocaust.
      If you refuse to seriously study these impossible anomalies,you’re blind and deaf.

      Unlike you, I have already sent you links to 2 sites(one wikipedia) which debunk, or offer alternative explanations, to the bldg 7 conspiracy. You never responded or rebutted the arguments offered by those sites as evidence so I assume you cannot do so. You have never offered a link to any site which contains evidence for any statement you utter, including Blg 7. You utter statements with no supporting evidence. I did not even know which conspiracy of bldg 7 you were asserting. Keep on talking if it makes you feel better.

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