Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Report: Obama To Meet With Muslim Brotherhood Officials At The White House

A report from the Egypt Independent has it that President Obama has scheduled a meeting at the White House with Muslim Brotherhood officials to discuss events in Egypt. Also attending the meeting would be Turkish diplomats from that country's Islamist government.

The Brotherhood officials and the Turkish diplomats are expected to push hard for deposed Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi's reinstatement as well as the Brotherhood's return to power.

The Egypt Independent claims to have heard from sources within the Brotherhood that Brotherhood member and billionaire Hassen Malek was the intermediary who contacted the White House to request the meeting


Malek is definitely a person of interest. Born into a Muslim Brotherhood family and named after MB founder Hassan al-Banna, Malek joined the organization at a young age and is particularly close to the man who was the real power in Egypt during Morsi's tenure, Brotherhood supreme guide Khairat al-Shater, whom he befriended when they were students at Alexandria's university.

Malek and al-Shater co-founded one of Egypt’s first software companies, Salsabil, which had the Egyptian military as one of its clients and made a huge amount of money, but they were later accused of money laundering and funding a terrorist organization, which was what the Brotherhood was considered during Mubarak's regime. Both were released after a year in jail without being charged.

Malek continued to amass a fortune through his software endeavors and through a series of business deals with companies like the Turkish furniture manufacturer Istikbal. He was actually a part of the Morsi regime, serving as the leader of Morsi's business development council.

Another connection is that he is reputed to be close to none other than former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin's parents, her late father Syed Zainul Abedin, head of the Brotherhood front the Muslim World League and Abedin's mother Saleha Abedin, a prominent and long standing member of the Brotherhood's International Women's Organization (IWO)

There's no question that Malek has the clout to arrange a meeting with President Obama. And Malek can definitely afford the president's going rate for a face to face, although given President Obama's sympathy and support for the Brotherhood, Malek might get a discount or have the fee waived altogether.

Do I credit this as accurate? Ordinarily, I'd tread cautiously here, especially as it's Egyptian media and based on unnamed sources. But given who President Obama is, I'd be leaning towards this being accurate. Especially since the Administration's attempt to intimidate the current Egyptian government fell flat on its face.

There may just be a need to meet, greet and coordinate some strategy.

1 comment:

B.Poster said...

The events in Egypt do not seem to be very complicated. It all depends upon which way the military goes. During the overthrow of Mubarak the Obama Administration and the US government had the good sense to side with the military regarding the overthrow of Mr. Mubarak.

Now that the military has switched sides against the MB, Mr. Obama, his team, and the US government need to develop the good sense to side with the Egyptian military, as there is no possibility the MB can prevail.

Meeting and greeting to coordinate some sort of strategy will be irrelevant as there is no strategy that the MB, team Obama, or the US government can implement that can change the outcome. In fact, attempts to do so will only make things worse for both entities. If America pushes to hard, the Egyptian military will switch suppliers to Russia, China, or some combination and kick the US out entirely. Given Egypt's central position in the Middle East, this would be the end of any significant US influence in the region.

As for the MB, especially if reports are accurate on this meeting and greeting session at the White House, they will likely be viewed as being to close to the Americans. As such, there days of significant influence in the Middle East are likely over along with America's influence.

As for a strategic defeat for the MB, this would be good for the Middle East, the world, and for America's survival. As for America, with the huge problems it has of a massive national debt, lack of manufacturing capabilities or know how, it's worn down military, and the fact that it's intelligence gathering capabilities have been destroyed or at least severely compromised due to ill timed leaks. It has few good choices in the Middle East or elsewhere.

The best choice for American leaders is to recognize that the 21st century will likely be dominated by other nations. I think we have a reasonably good idea who those nations will likely be. Try to get on good terms with those nations and transition to this reality. If done properly, good outcomes are possible and even probable for our country.

What is clear the current combination of ego driven and ideology driven policies are helpful and need to be changed. The sooner the better. While good outcomes are still possible for America, as long as the problems are not properly dealt with, they get worse. At some point, good outcomes will no longer be possible. I estimate America has about year perhaps longer to begin righting the proverbial ship. After that it's going to be to late.