Trompe L'oeil Tactics Conceal the Actual Middle Eastern Strategy in Play

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In an unguarded moment at the G-7 summit meeting in Schloss Elmau, temporarily free of his handlers, Obama let drop what is a startling revelation only to those who have not been watching for the last two years, namely, that he does not “yet” have a strategy for dealing with the jihadi depredations of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s misbegotten “Islamic” State. However, for those who have been able to tear their eyes away from the trompe l’œïl tableau of the sputtering talks with the Iranians, the strategies of the two contending jihadi powers, the twin clusters of Sunni and Shi’i groups, are perfectly obvious.

First, it must be noted that in recent months, a tacit alliance has begun to take shape between Israel and several Muslim-majority states on Israel’s periphery. To the west, we find Egypt, profoundly rocked by the near-death experience of the so-called “Arab Spring” which brought down long-time Arab nationalist dictator Hosni Mubarrak, only to be replaced by an Ikhwanist (ikhwan, “brotherhood,” is the real name of the Sunni jihadi movement commonly called the “Muslim Brotherhood”) regime so arrogantly overreaching that it was in turn overthrown by popular revolt under the leadership of the traditional Muslim General Abdul Fattah as-Sisi. The Sisi regime has mobilized the moral force of Al-Azhar University, widely regarded as the premier Sunni Muslim institution in the world, whose rector and faculty have roundly condemned the horrific barbarity of the incipient Ikhwanist entity which calls itself so beguilingly the “Islamic State,” serially denouncing its minions' slaughter of Christian prisoners and the destruction of priceless ancient relics in Mesopotamia.

On Israel’s eastern border, King Abdullah II of Jordan has quietly strengthened diplomatic ties with Israel (returning the Jordanian ambassador who had been recalled in protest over violent incidents in Jerusalem, and signing a new accord governing the strategic management of water resources and the Dead Sea), while at the same time fighting actively in what he now terms the Third World War against the jihadis in the name of rescuing the traditional Muslim religion from their evil ideology.