Iran’s Major General Qassem Suleimani, Chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, delivered a speech on May 22, 2011 at the Haqqani Theological Seminary in Qum during which he stated that the revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa “…provide our revolution with the greatest opportunities. Iran’s victory or defeat no longer takes place in Mehran and Khorramshahr. Our boundaries have expanded and we must witness victory in Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria. This is the fruit of the Islamic revolution.” Suleimani sent a clear message to the Obama administration that in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Morocco, and for that matter anywhere else in the Arab world where a revolution might occur, a new Islamist Iran-like state will emerge.
The Arab world is marching towards an “Arab Winter,” as the authoritarian regimes that fell by the wayside have given way to the emergence of even darker regimes, steeped in Islamist intolerance and hatred of the West and Israel. The Islamist victories in Tunisia, Libya, Morocco and Egypt were not supposed to happen according to the Western governments, including the Obama administration. In Washington, the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified before the House Intelligence Committee, and declared that Egypt’s branch of the Muslim Brotherhood movement is “largely secular…” It prompted Richard Engel, NBC’s News Chief Foreign correspondent to call Clapper’s statement “a wild misreading of the organization.”
Last month a pre-election Muslim Brotherhood rally in Cairo’s most prominent mosque turned into a venomous anti-Israel protest with attendants vowing to “one day kill all Jews.” This is the same MB that we are told by members of the western media and governments is “moderate” and “marginal.” The same MB that liberal western pundits claimed is only 20% of the vote.
Interviewed by Fox News, Frank Gaffney, head of the Washington-based Center for Security Policy, articulated the contrast in how Obama dealt with the aftermath of the stolen 2009 elections in Iran when millions of Iranian demonstrated against the theocratic regime, and last February demonstrations in Egypt. The Obama administration’s cautious response to the uprising in Iran – a vicious US enemy – was explained as being part of President Obama’s attempt to “engage” Iran. In Egypt however, Obama called for the swift departure of former President Hosni Mubarak – a US ally. According to Gaffney, “The President of the United States in both cases did the bidding of the Islamists, who wanted to preserve the regime in Iran and who wanted to remove the regime in Egypt. Gaffney told Fox News, “I think that quite apart from what his intentions were, in so doing, he made all the more predictable the very unhappy outcome that I think is playing out before our eyes.”
In Egypt, the largest Arab Muslim country, secular liberals and especially Christian Copts are no longer harboring illusions about the revolution called the “Arab Spring.” For them it is already a dreadful “Arab Winter.” And, for all the optimists in the West, next time they’ll be better off betting on the worst case scenario when it comes to revolutions in the Arab Muslim world.
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