FAO Quotables

"But being right, even morally right, isn't everything. It is also important to be competent, to be consistent, and to be knowledgeable. It's important for your soldiers and diplomats to speak the language of the people you want to influence. It's important to understand the ethnic and tribal divisions of the place you hope to assist."
-Anne Applebaum

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Analysis Roundup on Libya and Egypt--all Islamists Are Not The Same

Analysis on Libya and Egypt

I will be posting links here to good articles and analysis that I read throughout the day.  I think it is important to follow the news but more important to think analytically and address the problems critically.

All analysis should stem from the recognition that Islam, Islamism, Jihadism are not monolithic.  While they may have common roots, they each contain myriad variations influenced and shaped by local conditions.  If you want more on the history of Islamism and my thought process, I wrote a paper on it here (I've also embedded it at the bottom of this post).

One of the most important things that you can take away from this is that Islamism is not the same in each country.  "Salafism" is not the same in each country for that matter.  They are all shaped by local (i.e., state conditions).  The response required to militants in Egypt and Libya is necessarily unique in each case.  Reticence by some Islamists or Islamists' parties (or Morsi) to condemn the violence may make them jerks but it does not mean they condone (or are responsible for) the violence.  The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt for example has been working to arrive at their politically dominant position since the 20's--they are nothing if not pragmatic.  Aside from that, Morsi was never their first choice for the Presidency--he has made some strong moves but it still uneasy and insecure about his position as he straddles the aisle between a wide span of political parties.  Alienation of the US is likely the last product desired by political leadership in Egypt.  

Lastly, it's been 33 years since a US Ambassador has been killed overseas (Adolph Dubs--in Afghanistan).   It is a BIG deal for an Ambassador to be killed.  I hear they are sending in the Marines--read the Abu Muqawama blog below for more background on that--there is sure to be no worse enemy for the militant murderers.

**I just finished 4500 words on the Coptic Christians that I will post tomorrow if you are interested in their history and contemporary relevance.

LINKS (updated throughout the day):

Benghazi, Cairo, and the "New" Force Protection Reality

Al-Shalchi's ongoing definitive account of events on the ground in Libya

The Collision Between Blasphemy and the First Amendment  - The Atlantic

Jihadism in Libya

Behind the anti-Muhammad movie – a new pastor Terry Jones?

Sec Clintons Remarks on Murders in Libya


Amb. Stevens introduces himself to Libyan people






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