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Subject REVIEW: Robert Dreyfuss' Devil's Game: Our Sordid Love Affair With London's Muslim Brotherhood. How the United States Helped Unleash...
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Original Message Excellent.

Will take a bit to time to read...but well worth the effort.

The introduction of the article speaks volumes(((-:

[link to www.larouchepub.com]

Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam
by Robert Dreyfuss
New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2005
388 pages, hardback, $27.50

This reviewer recently attended a conference at the U.S. Senate, which was billed as a symposium of experts on al-Qaeda. I asked a panel of three of the leading "experts" about the links between al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, and I mentioned that the staff reports of the 9/11 Commission had noted that the purported mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, had been captured, and had boasted that he had been recruited to the Muslim Brotherhood at the age of 16. The question drew blank stares from the self-professed al-Qaeda experts, and none chose to answer. In fairness, one of the three approached me afterwards, to say that he did know something about the Brotherhood ties to al-Qaeda, but he felt that the audience, made up of senior Congressional staffers and think-tank policy wonks, was incapable of understanding the complicated answer he would have had to give.

The incident offers a telling snapshot of the state of affairs among so-called terrorism experts, many of whom boast of degrees in sociology, psychology, and computer science. Few have a grasp of history, and even fewer attempt to draw the lessons of history in peddling their dubious expertise. When I recounted the incident at the terrorism symposium to several retired military and intelligence officers who do have credentials as Middle East specialists, they shook their heads in pained acknowledgement of the problem.

Fortunately, author Robert Dreyfuss has provided a timely work that offers some relief to this major deficiency in our so-called Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) in particular, and American diplomacy and intelligence operations in general. Devil's Game provides a vivid picture of how the United States has spent the last century being dragged into a Middle East quagmire by a British imperial apparatus that has sponsored and manipulated Islamic fundamentalism, since the first hours of the era of petroleum politics at the end of the 19th Century. Dreyfuss's work combines a careful and thoroughly readable survey of the major academic literature on the history of the Muslim Brotherhood and its various 20th-Century offshoots, with interviews with some of America's senior Middle East diplomats and intelligence officers.

In his introductory chapter, Dreyfuss offers a diagnosis and remedy to the Bush Administration's misguided GWOT. "A war on terrorism," Dreyfuss writes, "is precisely the wrong way to deal with the challenge posed by political Islam. That challenge comes in two forms. First, there is the specific threat to the safety and security of Americans posed by al-Qaeda; and second, there is a far broader political problem created by the growth of the Islamic right in the Middle East and South Asia." He continues, "In regard to al-Qaeda, the Bush administration has willfully exaggerated the size of the threat it represents. It is not an all-powerful organization.... Using the U.S. military in conventional war mode is not the way to attack al-Qaeda, which is primarily a problem for intelligence and law enforcement.

The war in Afghanistan was wrongheaded; it failed to destroy al-Qaeda's leadership, it failed to destroy the Taliban, which scattered, and it failed to stabilize that war-torn nation more than temporarily, creating a weak central government at the mercy of warlords and former Taliban gangs. Worse, the war in Iraq was not only misguided and unnecessary, but it was aimed at a nation that had absolutely no links to bin Laden's gang—as if, said an observer, FDR had attacked Mexico in response to Pearl Harbor.... A problem that could have been dealt with surgically—using commandos and Special Forces, aided by tough-minded diplomacy, indictments and legal action, concerted international efforts, and judicious self-defense measures—was vastly inflated by the Bush administration."

On the broader issue of the rise of the Islamist right wing, Dreyfuss writes, "First, the United States must do what it can to remove the grievances that cause angry Muslims to seek solace in organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood.... At the very least, the United States can take important steps that can weaken the ability of the Islamic right to harvest recruits. By joining with the UN, the Europeans, and Russia, the United States can help settle the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in a manner that guarantees justice for the Palestinians; an independent state that is geographically and economically viable, tied to the withdrawal of illegal Israeli settlements, an Israeli return roughly to its 1967 borders, and a stable and equitable division of Jerusalem. That, more than any other action, would remove a global casus belli for the Islamic right. Second, the United States must abandon its imperial pretensions in the Middle East. That will require a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan and Iraq, the dismantling of U.S. military bases in the Persian Gulf and facilities in Saudi Arabia, and a sharp reduction in the visibility of the U.S. Navy, military training missions, and arms sales."

Dreyfuss's common-sense recipes for rolling back the advances of the Islamic right are useful. But the real strength of Devil's Game is the carefully documented history of Britain's sponsorship of the Muslim Brotherhood, and America's blundering responses, which leaves the world on the edge of precisely the "Clash of Civilizations" perpetual war that London has always pursued, and which the United States has traditionally opposed.

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