When the dust settles in Cairo, at least long enough to make out anything through the smoke and flames, it may turn out that the Muslim Brotherhood has suffered its worst blow at the hands of none other than Barack Hussein Obama. .
The blow will not have been intentional. Like the killing of Bin Laden, a useful intervention carried out by Navy SEALS who were perhaps less than enthusiastic about Obama’s plan to use the civilian trial of the terrorist leader as a prop for dismantling the military tribunal system, it wasn’t something that he meant to do.
It just happened.
Obama could never have intentionally defeated the Muslim Brotherhood. But he may have just hugged it to death.
To understand the Middle East is to understand that such petty things as the deaths of hundreds of protesters or massive street fighting don’t really matter all that much. Not in a region where Saddam Hussein or the butchers of Sudan could pile up enough corpses to start an entire country and still enjoy the support of the Muslim world.
The trick is killing the right people. Saddam Hussein killed Shiites and Kurds with religious and ethnic differences from the region’s Arab Sunni baseline. Sudan killed Christians and Animists who are infidels and rebellious dhimmis making them even more foreign and more ‘killable”.
It is that foreignness which is all-important. Muslims are not supposed to kill Muslims unless they’re somehow ‘foreign’ either by being members of a heretical sect or a different ethnic group. And if all else fails, they can be pawns of foreigners. That is why both sides in Egypt keep accusing each other of being Jews.
Osama bin Laden aimed at America to hit the House of Saud because it allowed him to charge the Guardians of Mecca and Medina with being American puppets. It made internal terrorism justifiable.
That is the charge that has been laid against the Muslim Brotherhood. It is what makes killing them of no more note than a minor change in the weather. The only charge against the Muslim Brotherhood that matters is the charge of “foreignness”.
Obama’s embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood made them into fair game in the Muslim world.
Despite its Egyptian roots, the Muslim Brotherhood is a transnational organizational, and like any transnational organization, that makes it both foreign and suspect. Its ties to Hamas, a foreign group viewed with suspicion in Egypt, despite the supposed global Muslim affinity for the Palestinian cause, add another element of foreignness that will come into play during the trial of Brotherhood leaders.
And there is Qatar, a foreign country, widely despised, with too much money and power, whose ties to the Brotherhood are blatant and whose dubious financial deals with the Morsi government should provide more than enough material for a conviction. But Qatar is still an Arab and Muslim country.
Obama is the real lever for bringing down the Muslim Brotherhood. Linking the Brotherhood to him along a chain that includes Qatar upstream and Hamas downstream, that plugs in the hated CIA and Israel, can destroy the Brotherhood not just organizationally, but politically as a credible alternative.