Chuck Spinney: Has the US Lost Its Grand Strategic Mind?

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Chuck Spinney
Chuck Spinney

As Esam Al-Amin explained here, Mohamad Morsi made some colossal blunders during his one year rule of Egypt, as its democratically elected president.  He was elected in what most observers regard as a reasonably fair election.

But the exclusive report by Al Jazeera (also attached below) reveals that the United States — which claims to support democracy in the Middle East and elsewhere — has been actively involved in bankrolling Morsi’s opposition, and in so doing has continued its long policy of subverting Islamist democratic victories when they win fair elections (Hamas in  2006) or threaten to win fair elections (Algeria  1991).

Al Jazeera reveals how stark contradictions continue to rip through the three legs of the moral triangle that is US foreign policy — i.e., the contradictions between  (1) the values we profess to to the world that we uphold, (2) the values we actually hold as demonstrated by our actions abroad as well as at home (don’t forget the neo-fascist, non-accountable, hidden hand the emerging American deep state exemplified by the NSA scandal) and (3) the world we have to deal with deal with (in this case epitomized by the changing conditions of the Arab Spring).

The result is an accumulating grand strategic blunder of immense and long-lasting, perhaps irreversible, proportions.  Not only do our actions violate the criteria for sensible grand strategy; this particular violation of the US moral triangle took place on Obama’s watch, which is doubly ironic, given that Mr. Obama demonstrated an intuitive feel for exploiting the weaknesses in his adversary’s moral triangle, with his resounding defeat of John McCain in 2008 (explained in my essay, The M&M Strategy: How Obama Won).

Put bluntly, if the report in Al Jazeera is close to being true, the United States is pursuing a morally obtuse grand strategy that makes Kaiser Wilhelm’s look like a stroke of genius.

Chuck Spinney
Marina de Campo, Elba, Italia

Exclusive: US bankrolled anti-Morsi activists

Documents reveal US money trail to Egyptian groups that pressed for president’s removal

Emad Mekay

Al Jazeera, 10 July 2013

Berkeley, United States – President Barack Obama recently stated the United States was not taking sides as Egypt’s crisis came to a head with the military overthrow of the democratically elected president.But a review of dozens of US federal government documents shows Washington has quietly funded senior Egyptian opposition figures who called for toppling of the country’s now-deposed president Mohamed Morsi.Documents obtained by the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley show the US channeled funding through a State Department programme to promote democracy in the Middle East region.

This programme vigorously supported activists and politicians who have fomented unrest in Egypt, after autocratic president Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising in February 2011.The State Department’s programme, dubbed by US officials as a “democracy assistance” initiative, is part of a wider Obama administration effort to try to stop the retreat of pro-Washington secularists, and to win back influence in Arab Spring countries that saw the rise of Islamists, who largely oppose US interests in the Middle East.

Activists bankrolled by the programme include an exiled Egyptian police officer who plotted the violent overthrow of the Morsi government, an anti-Islamist politician who advocated closing mosques and dragging preachers out by force, as well as a coterie of opposition politicians who pushed for the ouster of the country’s first democratically elected leader, government documents show.Information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, interviews, and public records reveal Washington’s “democracy assistance” may have violated Egyptian law, which prohibits foreign political funding.It may also have broken US government regulations that ban the use of taxpayers’ money to fund foreign politicians, or finance subversive activities that target democratically elected governments.‘Bureau for Democracy’Washington’s democracy assistance programme for the Middle East is filtered through a pyramid of agencies within the State Department.

Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars is channeled through the Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL), The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), USAID, as well as the Washington-based, quasi-governmental organisation the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).In turn, those groups re-route money to other organisations such as the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), and Freedom House, among others. Federal documents show these groups have sent funds to certain organisations in Egypt, mostly run by senior members of anti-Morsi political parties who double as NGO activists.

The Middle East Partnership Initiative – launched by the George W Bush administration in 2002 in a bid to influence politics in the Middle East in the wake of the spent close to $900m on democracy projects across the region, a federal grants database shows.USAID manages about $1.4bn annually in the Middle East, with nearly $390m designated for democracy promotion, according to the Washington-based Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED).The US government doesn’t issue figures on democracy spending per country, but Stephen McInerney, POMED’s executive director, estimated that Washington spent some $65m in 2011 and $25m in 2012. He said he expects a similar amount paid out this year.

Phi Beta Iota:  The US Government does not make decisions based on ethical evidence-based decision support.  What we are seeing is a massive money spending machine run by amateurs led by crooks who are in turn manipulated by banks, Zionists, and neo-cons.  The US has never had a “grand strategy” in that the US has never been able to muster either the long view or a whole of government view, or even the most fundamental understanding of cause and effect.  No one is held accountable because the revolving door moves so fast that evil-doers are able to stay at least two and more often than not five years ahead of any possible accountability curve.

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