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Author Archives: Richard Clarke
By Richard Clarke Listening to Iran’s president Ahmadinejad deny the Holocaust or claim 9-11 was a US plot, most people correctly regard him as a dangerous kook and a product of the corrupt political system that runs Iran. In addition … Continue reading
The successful strike on Al Awlaki today is yet another success in Obama’s greatly expanded counter-terrorism offensive and his use of armed UAVs as the center of that campaign. The death of the American citizen cleric is notable, too, because … Continue reading
There has always been industrial espionage, and sometimes it has involved governments spying on behalf of their home industries. In the last decade, however, China has stretched that practice to the point where it threatens the international economic system. By harnessing … Continue reading
Having wandered recently among the orange-red dunes of the Arabian desert, my mind is filled with analogies about shifting sands, blurred vision, and the stark clarity that can come when the winds settle down. The winds on this peninsula and … Continue reading
Sitting on the sidelines as students and workers poured into Tahrir Square for the initial demonstrations that ultimately brought down Hosni Mubarak were the well organized cells of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, known in Arabic as the brothers, or the Ikhwan. Their leadership decided to hold back and see what developed in the protests. Why?
Among the many reasons considered by the Ikhwan leaders was probably the simple fact that the protesters in the square were not their people. Many of the protesters were secular democrats, some were even Coptic Christians. A large number were women. The Ikhwan has always stood for an Islamic religious state, where the government would enforce strict interpretations of Islamic law, not a place for secularists, Christians, or activist women. For decades their view of democracy had been as one possible means to gain power, but in the sense that the Algerian Islamists viewed elections: “one man, one vote, one time.”
When it was clear, however, that the Egyptian movement was powerful and might succeed, the Ikhwan joined in. They were invited to the table to negotiate with Mubarak’s Vice President. After Mubarak fell, they were invited to appoint a representative on the new committee to recommend constitutional change.
In the late 19th century, American Admiral Alfred Mahan described the rise of sea power and its relationship to a nation’s global strength. In the early 20th century Italian General Giulio Douhet was first to develop theories about the essentiality … Continue reading