Obama Administration Recognizes Egypt's Dangerous Muslim Brotherhood
This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," June 30, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MONICA CROWLEY, GUEST HOST: Well, it is official, the Obama administration is recognizing the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and preparing to sit down with the group at the negotiating table.
Hi, everybody, I'm Monica Crowley in tonight for Sean Hannity.
According to a senior administration official, quote, "the political landscape in Egypt has changed and is changing. It is in our interests to engage with all of the parties that are competing for parliament or the presidency."
Well, I wonder how the administration plans to engage with a group that flies its flag under the motto, quote, "Allah is our objective, the profit is our leader, the Koran is our law, Jihad is our way, and dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope."
And while President Obama and his liberal allies may be seduced by the Muslim Brotherhood's renunciations of violence, the Brotherhood stated the objectives reveal its wishful thinking. The Brotherhood's own documents indicate that the group seeks, quote, "Grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their hands and the hands of their believers so that it is eliminated."
Nonetheless, the administration's latest move shouldn't surprise anybody who is paying attention during the 2008 campaign. Senator Obama made his intentions crystal clear on the campaign trail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS FROM CNN)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I will meet not just with our friends but with our enemies.
OBAMA: I would meet without preconditions.
OBAMA: I do think that it is important for the United States not just to talk to its friends but also to talk to its enemies.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
CROWLEY: Enemies indeed.
Joining me with analysis, is former adviser to President George W. Bush, the author of "Courage and Consequence," Karl Rove. Karl, great to see you there in Texas.
KARL ROVE, AUTHOR, "COURAGE AND CONSEQUENCE": Thanks, Monica, great to be with you tonight.
CROWLEY: Well, thank you. You know, I can't say that I'm surprised by this. But it is outrageous and it's incredibly dangerous for the United States. The Obama administration is seeking to establish formal contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood which is openly committed, Karl, to the destruction of the United States and the west. What is team Obama doing, establishing formal contacts with these people?
ROVE: Well, you're right. We shouldn't have been surprised in one sense because he made such a big deal about meeting with our enemies in the 2008 campaign. But you would have thought having been in office now for two-and-a-half years, he would have been sobered by events and made another decision, this is frankly inexplicable. Why does the administration go out of its way months before the fall elections, to in essence give legitimacy and credibility to the Muslim Brotherhood by announcing formal contacts? What is to be gained by doing that except to advance the Muslim Brotherhood and make America look weak.
I mean, it looks like we're the supplicant, please, can we met with you? The Muslim Brotherhood went out of its way today to say they've been no contacts as far. But we'd be open to them. There was nothing to be gained by this. And why the president did it now and did it in such a public fashion is inexplicable. If he wanted to have contacts, let him be informal and off the stage. Why make this an act that basically gives legitimacy to the Muslim Brotherhood?
CROWLEY: You know, what Karl, when our enemies tell us who they are, believe them. And there is no mystery here about who the Muslim Brotherhood is. They've openly stated that their agenda is to Islamize societies. To ultimately establish a global Islamic caliphate, to destroy Israel and to expand Sharia throughout the west.
So, it is not like we are trying to read tea leaves here as to where the Brotherhood is coming from. Why would the administration think that is a group they could do business with?
ROVE: You know, I have no idea. And look, let's get a little bit more sophisticated in nuance here. There are actually elements apparently within the Muslim Brotherhood -- they're beginning to be little fracturing on the edges by people say, you know, what? This may have been the only way that we could express ourselves before the fall of Mubarak. But you know, what? All of this stuff about Jihad and violence has been causing us to be a little bit unnerved. Maybe there's a different course we ought to go. We have now undermined those people. Let alone that small "d" Democrats, the people who actually want to have a functioning democracy that is not dominated by Sharia law and tries to live in peace and security with its neighbors.
You know, we've given them the back of our hand by this very public gesture which again to me is inexplicable. Why do it? Why do it now, when there is no upside to the United States -- very little upside and lot of downside, not only for us but for our allies inside Egypt. People who want to see a modern Egypt that looks to the west not to Mecca and Medina.
CROWLEY: Well, let's talk about our enemies too here, Karl, because on the one hand, we are supposed to be at war with exactly these kinds of Islamists. And now, on the other hand, we are getting into bed with them, at least in Egypt. So, what kind of signal do you think that sends to our enemies, that we're not serious about prosecuting this broader war?
ROVE: Look, there have been a whole series of steps this year. Look, saying Qaddafi on February 28th, saying Qaddafi must go. And we now find ourselves on July 1, and Qaddafi is still there, because of an ineffectual and feckless U.S. response to the president's declaration with his own policy. That's got to have hurt in the region. The president's premature withdrawal from Afghanistan which is clearly being driven not by General Petraeus but by General Plouffe. Not being driven by the aims and necessities of the war but by the aims and necessities of a political campaign. This has got to send a message to our enemies which is dangerous for the United States. And then add this on top of it.
Look, the president was behind the power curve when the spring revolutions broke out throughout the Mideast. And now, he's demonstrating how tone-deaf he is by this action today.
CROWLEY: Yes, I mean, look, we are either in a war or we're not. Choose one path and then stick to it. But this sort of zigzagging confused policy is really putting the United States at a distinct disadvantage.
Karl, today we saw a headline that the Attorney General Eric Holder, his Justice Department is now moving forward with some criminal investigations, based on these CIA interrogations, in particular two detainees that happened to die in CIA custody. And when I read that, along with other criminal investigations that are ongoing of some other CIA operatives that took part in some of these interrogations, it just strikes me that this administration is fighting more aggressively against our own patriots than they are against our actual enemies.
ROVE: Well, this is mystifying why the attorney general has vendetta against the CIA for having helped produced the kind of intelligence that made possible success in Iraq and success in Afghanistan. And it's just -- it is, you know, we have the terrorism adviser to the president this week detail, you know, their new view of how the world operates. And it depends at the heart of it upon the development of wide and robust sources of intelligence. But who in the intelligence community is going to be excited about being slapped back by this administration in this way, when things that were done in a legal, lawful manner are now causing some retired CIA people to pay their own legal bills and has delayed the retirement of other CIA people. Because they said, I can't retire, because if I retire, I have to pick up the tab for my legal expenses as opposed to having the government do so. I mean, this is a shortsighted and highly counterproductive measure. But it gives an enormous insight into the ideological tendencies of this current attorney general and of his boss, the president of the United States.
CROWLEY: Yes. And to paraphrase the secretary of state last week with regard to Libya, you must wonder whose side they are actually on.
Final question for you Karl, is the big lesson here that when the United States has a confused and weak national security policy, the wheels come off the world. The bad guys advance and bad things happen.
ROVE: Absolutely. And the problem is, this is not recent with this president. Remember, when he went to his first G-8 meeting, his performance was so underwhelming that Nicholas Sarkozy, the president of France turned to his aides and in the ear sight of the vision and hearing of members of the press said -- pointed to the president of the United States, is he weak? And we have seen nothing, we've seen little sense that demonstrates strength in foreign policy. And when America is weak our enemies are emboldened. When America fails to lead the rest of the world, you know, is left without the stalwart resolute leadership that it needs.
CROWLEY: And we know how that usually ends up.
Karl, great to see you. Happy Independence Day.
ROVE: Same to you. Happy 4th of July.
CROWLEY: Thank you.
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