Reuters reports that the Muslim Brotherhood is feeling its oats. In Syria, it has risen from oppression to a position of power within the opposition to Assad’s brutal rule.
At a meeting of Syria’s opposition, Muslim Brotherhood officials gather round Marxists colleagues, nudging them to produce policy statements for the Syrian National Council, the main political group challenging President Bashar al-Assad.
With many living in the West, and some ditching their trademark beards, it is hard to differentiate Brotherhood from leftists. But there is little dispute about who calls the shots.
From annihilation at home 30 years ago when they challenged the iron-fisted rule of Hafez al-Assad, the Brotherhood has recovered to become the dominant force of the exile opposition in the 14-month-old revolt against his son Bashar.
Careful not to undermine the council’s disparate supporters, the Brotherhood has played down its growing influence within the Syrian National Council (SNC), whose public face is the secular Paris-based professor Bourhan Ghalioun.
“We chose this face, accepted by the West and by the inside. We don’t want the regime to take advantage if an Islamist becomes the Syrian National Council’s head,” former Brotherhood leader Ali Sadreddine al-Bayanouni told supporters in a video.
He didn’t add, for now. But it would be accurate. They chose a secular face to mask the direction the opposition will take, for now, but they will rip that mask off if the opportunity arises after Assad is gone. Syria is headed for either a continuation of one dictatorship, or the establishment of another dictatorship. Secular, Marxist, Islamist — probably a fusion of the latter two that will in time give way to pure Islamist.
If Syria goes Islamist, Lebanon surely follows, and Jordan and Iraq will be at least imperiled, and find themselves surrounded by Islamist regimes.
The American president who spent last week spiking the football for killing Osama bin Laden is presiding over a massive turn in the fortunes of Islamists globally. The Muslim Brotherhood is poised to seize power in Syria. It has already seized power, or soon will on the strength of elections, in Egypt after Obama helped push the secular Mubarak regime out. In Tunisia, the Arab Spring has led to empowered Islamists too. The Nation, voice of the American far left, professes shock that Tunisia’s Islamists aren’t “progressives,” but regressives backed by the Saudis. Newsflash for the Nation: Islamists are all regressives, from the Muslim Brotherhood to CAIR, its North American PR agency. They all want the same thing: total Islamic power. And it’s hard to argue that they aren’t getting it, under the neglect or perhaps with the support of the very progressive President Obama.
The progressive Obama used his poorly attended campaign kickoff speech Saturday to again announce that the war in Afghanistan will be over by 2014. He did not say that it would be won, just that it would be over. His audience of progressives applauded. Behind that statement and applause is at best a cruel indifference to the Afghanistan Obama will leave behind or the progress of of the fight against radical Islam going forward. The Taliban is getting stronger in Afghanistan, and according to a Democratic senator and a Republican representative, it’s stronger now than it was before Obama’s troop surge. The place where the war against al Qaeda began may flip back into the enemy’s column the day American troops leave. It would be difficult to find a better recruiting symbol for the Islamists, than to see them declare victory on the spot where 9-11 was planned.