Britain and the Brotherhood
The New Statesman gets some leaked documents. Here is a link to the most interesting one. And here is a picture...
What this shows is that the British Foreign Office is ready to open dialog with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and also to encourage the US and Europe to do the same. Yes, that is the same group that is banned in Egypt and and considered a terrorist organisation by the United States. So why the need for a friendly chat?
"Engaging with movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood will help increase our understanding of 'political Islam' generally, as well as in the specific Egyptian context"and
"we should be trying to influence these groups.It is not simply 'terrorists' anymore but 'political Islam' and this is not just an isolated policy towards Egypt but a general policy across the Middle East. For "Muslim Brotherhood" - you can just as well substitute "Hamas" or "Sunni Insurgents". Here is Britain telling the Americans to face up to some reality. What we see here is the start of the pathetic end to the 'War on Terror'. As any politician will tell you, the first step to peace is negotiation with the enemy. What could have happened to cause this change of heart? Well, simply put, Iran happened.
Bush's whole policy towards the Arabs has been to villainise Sunni Islam because of their opposition to direct American occupation of Arabia and, gee, because America needs an enemy in this world. So America turned a blind eye to Israel's humiliation of the Palestinians, ousted the Taliban in Afghanistan and forced the Sunni's out of power in Iraq by disbanding the army and 'de-Baathification'. America has also fought a three-year bloody war with politicised Sunnis in Iraq.
Now, the West is slowly wake up to the realisation after all these years that the Sunni's were their best allies. They were keeping a lid on popular independence movements, diverting Arab attention away from Israel and, most important, they were the real barrier against Iranian influence.
Iran is now emerging as the single biggest threat to Western domination of the region and America is powerless to stop it. Bomb Iran and you risk the lives of 130,000 Americans held hostage in Iraq. Leave Iran alone and it becomes a nuclear power that can unite the Shi'a (who happen to sit atop nearly all the Arab oil) and hold the world economy to ransom.
So here is what the Foreign Office is really suggesting: Bring the Sunnis back on board and set them on the Iranians. Well Mr. Foreign Office Diplomat, I have news for you.... too late. The key to stopping Iran is Iraq and after being bombed and persecuted, the Sunnis don't stand a chance to come back to power. The back of the old Iraq army is broken and the Shi'a are too well armed to ever accept Sunni domination again.
So what can Britain and America really do? The answer is quite simple. Get rid of the stupid constitution that will allow the creation a mini Iranian republic in the south of Iraq and allow Iraq to develop its own independent democracy. It may not end up creating an American lackey in the region, but given the options, what choice do you have?