The Muslim Brotherhood: An Education

Ok, I don’t have much time as I’m about to head out on the links with my dad for a day of what I assume will be rather punishing golf, but I wanted to make mention of this link that my buddy Hek sent me. It’s a column by the rather informed and well-spoken Mike Green that gives a clear(er) picture of the mess that is the Middle East conflict.

Read, and be smarter because of it.

Israel’s Battle Against The Muslim Brotherhood

9 Responses

  1. Interesting article, and for the most part I can understand what he’s saying. However it fails to address the fact that in 2000 Hezbollah captured 2 Israeli guards, and demanded that Israel release some ‘political prisoners’ that they had locked up. Israel reluctantly said yes, I believe in 2001 or 2002. Hezbollah then returned the two dead soldiers to Israel in 2005. Then in 2006 when they tried to pull the same stunt, Israel said no, and here we are. Potato, potato. but in today’s world when you’re allowed such liberties of protecting yourself, it’s hard to find a country that won’t go to far.

  2. “… allowed such liberties of protecting yourself…”

    Ya lost me on that bit.

    I agree 100% with the potato/potato statement… if you start doing the math on who did what to who first… in the short term, it’s always going to be like a game of pong on steroids. I think the best part about Mike’s column is that it gives some history on why shit is what it is in the Middle East and at the end of the day it comes down to Western (American/Britian) influence in the Arab world.

    Three very simple points:
    1) America’s policy of interference and political control in the Middle East is far reaching and long running.
    2) Many American’s don’t know or care about this, and generally just believe and support the demonization of people from this region.
    3) It’s wrong. If it was happening in America, which some extreme rightests would have you believe it is, Americans would be up in arms (like guns, not signs) about it.

    Most Americans (just replace “most” with “many” if “most” makes anyone feel uncomfortable) believe the “War On Terror” is a fight against those that attacked the safeties and freedoms of America – they don’t at all see it a result of the fact that America has virtually ignored the sovereignty of other countries and the actions of these “terrorists” aren’t actions, but reactions.

    What I thought was also great about Mr. Green’s article is that it gives history to something (ahem) many Americans see as having been a 5 year problem.

  3. “Adherence to Islamic faith is challenged and diluted by the privileges and allowances of secular societies (the same is true in Christian societies). And from its inception, the Muslim Brotherhood has sought both politically and through militant force to bring about an Islamic state in the Middle East while battling against the encroachment of western cultures and influences of economic enticements…”

    If they’re so keen on having their own Islamic state (and good luck to them), how come so many of them are living in England and other Western countires. If Brits complain about the number of mosques in our cities (and the odd few bigots do), we are all tarred with the same brush as being racist and anti-islam. I’m sure you’ve seen the picture of some crazy cleric preaching to a load of would-be terrorists who are all sitting in a London road stopping the traffic. Nearby stands an unarmed policeman, looking rather bemused. How is that helping their cause?

  4. (AHEM!!!!!!!!!!!) You lost me at point 2.5 🙂

    A 5 year problem?? That made me laugh. I’m not sure who the “many” you reference are, but I don’t know anyone, including our popular media, who think that this has been a 5 year problem. I’m 31 years old and remember clearly sitting in front of the TV at about 5 y/o watching the wars in Lebanon, Beirut, etc. I don’t know an American who doesn’t remember.

    As an American, who is not one of the majority or the many (ahem) you reference…I found this article interesting, but a little flawed and sweeping in places. It completely disregards the UN and UN resolutions which kept US planes flying over Iraq. Also fails to mention the large coalition of countries who participated in the first Iraq/Kuwait war. Again, interesting article, but left out some key facts to obviously boost his premise. I’m not saying it’s all bunk, just think he glossed over things a bit.

    As for what “most” or “many” Americans think on the war on terror….. 5 years have passed since 9/11 and the ra-ra of the patriotic frenzied fever has finally begun to chill to the realities of politics, greed, and corruption. What I can say is that about 49% of voters (and even greater if you believe, like many of us do, that our elections were stolen again as illustrated in a recent Rolling Stone article) believe that our leadership and the resulting foreign and domestic policies, are flawed. 49% of us definitely voted for change. If you take into account Bush’s most recent all time low approval rating at 28% in regards to how he’s doing on the War on Terror and Middle East, I would say that neither “many” nor “most” believe the wars and our actions/inactions in relation to Israel/Palestine and the Middle East are good.

    I know our country and politicians have made some gross domestic and foreign policy mistakes. However, sometimes I think it is too easy for other countries to point the finger at “America” (or Western countries as you stated, but later reverted to American) while they sit back and do nothing.

  5. @Phoebe: The Brotherhood isn’t every person in the Arab world. People, of course, are going to always migrate to places of fortune or relative safety.

    @Steve: An interesting read… but generally speaking I’m going to go on a limb and say that it’s xenophobic propoganda. I’ve read a number of sites that push stuff like this to stir up fear in the States, which then creates a fertile ground to push ahead the agendas of those in power.

    @Thea: Let me be absolutely clear … I’ve met a good number of Americans that are some of the most educated, interesting and open 78% minded people I’ve ever met. These, of course, are not the people I’m referring to when I say “most” as these people are never “most” nor “many” in any country.

    The thing about the percentages is that they mean virtually nothing now. The only time these support percentages are important is when it matters … so 98% of your compatriots can disagree with Bush, his administration and the liberties he’s taken with your civil rights … but is that changing anything? Nope.

    As for who followed your flag into battle during Desert Storm… tell America to ask countries to help out and not threaten reprecussions (political, economical, etc.). I realize that’s not qualified… but dinner’s getting cold, and I don’t think it takes much stretch of the imagination (or use of Google) to find proof of it.

    That last bit is annoying because it propagates the idea that the world NEEDS America as their police force. America is VERY specific in which conflicts it involves itself, and there is often little to no humanitarian angle to their involvement… perhaps America should sit back and do nothing more often… and perhaps the risk of the US becoming the war zone it’s created in so many other countries will be minimalized.

    (Sadly, “Western” and “American” are near interchangeable…)

  6. Hey Ryan, if you’re interested in the secular vs religious government thing, why not read ‘Snow’ by Orhan Pamuk.

    As a matter of interest, I’ve got Muslim friends in the Uk who love to go to the Mosque and then go straight to the pub to chat over a beer. OOOOhh, put a fatwah on them. They are decent, law abiding and peaceful people. Who loves a fanatic? And why do you never hear of Buddhist Fundamentalists? We had all the hoo ha about the Danish cartoon, but who raised a fuss about the great Buddha statues that were blown to smithereens in Afghanistan?

    Anyway, hope you’re enjoying your holiday.

  7. I’m going to leave the first half of your response alone, and agree with you! It would be better if the US did nothing more often. It would also be good if other countries did something (head up peace talks, negotiations, etc.) more often.

  8. @Phoebs: I’ll definitely look into the book. I’m currently on a hunt for lit. to bring back with me.

    @Thea: I shit you not… I nearly had some Moosehead (beer, to any non-Canucks reading) come out my nose when I read the “agree with you!” bit… hehe.

    What I’d give to be a fly on the wall in those “peace” negotiations.

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