Egypt and the Arab Spring: Bill Connor Was Right

November 27, 2012

Photo credit: AP

 

Below is pasted a piece that our contributor Bill Connor wrote back in February of 2011 at the beginning of the unrest in Egypt and throughout the Middle East that resulted in Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak being deposed, and the Muslim Brotherhood coming into power as the power behind the current government -“the so-called Arab Spring”

 

Reading back over it now seems sort of eerie because everything that Bill warned about is coming to past.  As you can read in its entirety below, Bill warned – “The Obama administration is being “played” by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and the administration is acting criminally naïve.  If the Muslim Brotherhood is allowed to destroy the Egyptian power structure and come to power, it will spell the end of moderation in the largest, most historic and popular country in the Middle East.  Additionally, it will destroy the lives of Christians and secular minded Egyptian Muslims.  The “spillover” effect will cause problems for our allies throughout the Middle East.  In the past few days King Hussein of Jordan, another moderate Arab leader and friend of the US, was forced to fire his entire cabinet due to recent rioting.  If the Muslim Brotherhood comes to power in Egypt, expect to see the export of Islamism throughout the Middle East.  That kind of destabilization throughout the Middle East will make US and Israeli security a nightmare.”

 

In the last few days, Egypt has once again erupted in rioting in response to Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohamed Morsi declaring for himself virtually unlimited powers.  This comes as tension is past the boiling point between Israel and Gaza after Hamas-controlled Gaza has been lobbing hundreds of rockets into Israel, including the cities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

 

At least a few of those rockets that hit Israel were launched from Egyptian territory.  Israel and Gaza have for the moment agreed to a ceasefire, but it’s sure to be short lived.  Though Egypt supposedly played a key role in brokering the ceasefire, it was all engineered to give Hamas a perceived victory after having forced Israel to “back down.”

 

One thing is for certain, Bill Connor was dead right about Egypt and the Middle East.  Bill also warned us to be pro-active in working against the growth of radical Islam in South Carolina, and to strengthen SC law to ensure that Sharia law will never be imposed here at home.  I’d recommend that we take his advice.

 

Posted by: Javan Browder

 

Egypt

By: Bill Connor on Wednesday, February 2, 2011

As Americans watch the escalating violence in Egypt, it’s important to understand the truth.

From a Western perspective we tend to see only a populist uprising similar to Tiananmen Square.  What many fail to see is the motivation of those pulling the strings of those rioting and what it means for the security of the United States.  Yes, many in Egypt are out of work and the gap between rich and poor is immense.  However, for the most part the rioters are being used by the power behind the curtain: The Muslim Brotherhood.  Egypt has had a unique 20th century experience and has become a moderating influence on the rest of the Middle East.  Let’s review that history and why it’s so important to fight back against the rising Islamism in Egypt and back home.

I have a unique connection to Egypt.  Having served on a peacekeeping mission between Egyptand Israel from July 1996 to Jan 1997, I was able to speak with many in the Egyptian military as well as civilian leaders.  We were based out of The Sinai during the height of the rise of Egyptian Islamism – A time of many attacks against Christian Egyptians and western tourists.  We had the chance to travel throughout much of Egypt and see ground truth in a way a tourist would not.

Additionally, my Christian Egyptian relatives (in-laws) and friends have told me volumes about the rising persecution of non-Muslims over the past few decades.

A little history: The Muslim Brotherhood came with the end of the Islamic Caliphate following World War I. The goals of the Islamist leadership were to end British “occupation” of Egypt, end the “secular” monarchy, re-establish the Caliphate, and establish Sharia law.  Just think about the goals of Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda and you’ll be close enough.  The Muslim Brotherhood assisted Gamal Nasser with overthrowing the monarchy in the early 1950s and expelling the remaining British.  However, after taking power, Nasser was wise enough to see the dark side of the brotherhood and imprisoned the key leadership.  Nasser promoted “Arab” nationalism during his rule, downplaying Islamism and helped bring cohesion with the large Christian community in Egypt.  Following Nasser’s death in 1971, his successor Sadat released most Islamist leaders.  Anwar Sadat paid for that mistake with his life when he was assassinated by the Muslim Brotherhood in 1981.  Since that time, Hosni Mubarak, Sadat’s deputy and former Air Force Chief, has ruled Egypt.

For 30 years, Mubarak has tried to balance demands of the rising Islamism, exploding since the 1990s, and the moderating secular influences making Egypt a force for stability in the Middle East.  In terms of Middle East political standards, Egypt is quite Liberal; about as Liberal as the Netherlands in comparison to the rest of Europe.

It’s important to understand that radical Islamist groups are quite sophisticated about “language” needed to neutralize Western criticism.  Before Khomeini took power in Iran, he and the clerics used words like “Democracy” and “Liberty” before Western audiences.  This rhetoric came despite plans to install the Islamic Theocracy with the fall of the Shah.  The Islamist group Hamas took power in the West Bank and Gaza through “democratic” means, partly by playing on Western sympathies.  As soon as Hamas leaders came to power, they quickly established Sharia Law.  For those who aren’t aware, Sharia (Islamic) law gives reduced legal status to women and non-Muslims and prohibits (to the point of death) apostasy from Islam or non-Muslim missionary activity.  Hamas thugs also began to kill anti-Sharia opponents to ensure elections would not occur in the future.  We saw the same dynamic with Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The Obama administration is being “played” by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and the administration is acting criminally naïve.  If the Muslim Brotherhood is allowed to destroy the Egyptian power structure and come to power, it will spell the end of moderation in the largest, most historic and popular country in the Middle East.  Additionally, it will destroy the lives of Christians and secular minded Egyptian Muslims.  The “spillover” effect will cause problems for our allies throughout the Middle East.  In the past few days King Hussein of Jordan, another moderate Arab leader and friend of the US, was forced to fire his entire cabinet due to recent rioting.  If the Muslim Brotherhood comes to power in Egypt, expect to see the export of Islamism throughout the Middle East. That kind of destabilization throughout the Middle Eastwill make US and Israeli security a nightmare.

Americans need to look beyond the superficial and demand the Obama Administration begin showing true leadership.  The Muslim Brotherhood is pushing the riots in a brazen manner due to certain perceptions of US confusion.  For many years and through multiple administrations, the United States has stood behind moderate Arab leaders against the radicals.  It’s time Obama carried that baton.

Unfortunately, it may be too late to stop the Tidal Wave of radicalism and Sharia Law in Egypt.  The administration may have let this go too far to pull back.  However, we can start preparing ourselves at home.  To ensure Sharia Law is not allowed to gain a beachhead in the US, we should preempt now.  In South Carolina, Representative Wendy Nanny and Senator Mike Fair have filed a bill which would prevent any foreign law (including Sharia Law) from being used in South Carolina.  This will send a message about our values, a message Obama must understand.  It’s time we wake up about the true fight overseas and prepare ourselves for the fight back home.

Enough is enough.

Bill Connor

 

Bill Connor - of Orangeburg SC is an Attorney, a decorated Army Reserve LT. Colonel (Airborne Ranger), and is an expert in counterinsurgency combat.  He served as Senior US Advisor to Helmand Province, Afghanistan where he received the Bronze Star. Connor is a graduate of The Citadel and the University of South Carolina (USC) School of Law.  He is a former candidate for S.C. Lieutenant Governor (making the runoff election in the Republican primary 2010.)  Connor served as National Security Advisor for presidential candidate Rick Santorum.  He currently serves as GOP Chairman for South Carolina’s sixth district, director of the Army’s Command and General Staff College (ILE) in S.C., and a is member of the U.S. Counterterrorism Advisory Team.  Connor, along with partner W. Thomas Smith Jr. recently founded National Defense Consultants LLC, a partnership providing clients with military analysis ranging from geostrategy to special operations; counterterrorism; ground, Naval, and air combat; military leadership and military law.  Connor is also the author of the book “Articles From War” He became a contributor for the South Carolina Conservative Dot Com in 2012.

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Tags: bill connor, egypt, gaza, hamas, Hosni Mubarak, israel, jerusalem, middle east, Mohamed Morsi, muslim brotherhood, Tel Aviv

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