EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

September 17, 2012

Letter: Bush, Obama, lost Middle East to radicals

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — To the editor:

On Jan. 27, 2006, Palestinians went to the polls and participated in a free election that the Bush administration had supported and encouraged. The election resulted in Hamas receiving 58 percent of the legislative seats under the Palestinian Authority. This result was shocking to the Bush camp in that the administration had been confident that the more moderate and reasonable al-Fatah would have a far better showing in the votes. Instead the people chose an organization whose aims and thrust are far more in line with those of al-Qaida, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and the Muslim Brotherhood. The Washington Post at that time characterized Hamas as a “radical Islamic movement.”

In June 2009, Iranians went to the polls and provided the virulently anti-Jewish, anti-American, anti-Israel and anti-U.S. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with a resounding victory. Once again the people of a Middle Eastern state had chosen to support a regime whose aims include the destruction of Israel, America and the West. A protest of the election, known as the Green Movement, took place almost immediately, showing that at a minimum there was a vocal minority in Iran who would have their elected leader removed. This movement asked for help from the Obama administration, but their pleas fell on deaf ears. Torture, imprisonment, beatings and killings proved effective in stopping the show of non-support from the dissenters.

In January and February of 2011 throngs of Egyptian protesters forced Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak from power. Some also raped or assaulted at least one, and possibly three or more, female Western reporters on the scene. Mubarak stepped down on Feb. 11. Free elections followed and on June 12, 2012, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate elected by the Egyptian people assumed control.

When one considers that the Egyptian people had also elected a legislature, approximately 70 percent of which is made up of Muslim Brotherhood or Salafi members, it appears that one more Middle Eastern population has come down decidedly as anti Jew, American, West, Israeli and freedom. Salafis, by the way, are seen as even more radical than the Muslim Brotherhood.

Shortly after Mubarak’s departure, a fall preceded by repeated calls from his administration for Mubarak to step down, Barack Obama absolutely gushed over the results in Egypt, and, in his euphoria, even compared the events in Egypt to the 20-30 year struggle by Mahatma Gandhi in India. Obama’s comments were made by one who chose to ignore the cautions from many that Mubarak’s departure would likely be followed by Muslim Brotherhood entrenchment. One can only hope that Obama’s allegiances have changed, after viewing our diplomats slaughtered in Libya and our embassy invaded and flag desecrated in Egypt.

We have been told, almost immediately, that Libya was the work of “terrorists” — read that as not reflecting the real desires of Libya’s people. And Obama chose to chastise Mitt Romney for speaking this truth to power: that what issued from our embassy in Egypt and from this administration was woefully, perhaps willfully, naive and pathetically weak.

What might happen eventually in Tunisia and Libya remains to be seen. What is the current view of a large majority of the people of Palestine, Iran and Egypt has been made very clear.

My vote would be to bring our troops home now, even if that is still five to seven years too late. Unfortunately neither of our presidential choices supports that.

Barry McCloskey