Washington’s hopes of dealing with the situation caused by a controversial film that’s sparked outrage in Muslim world are paralyzed by the looming presidential election, Pepe Escobar, Asia Times correspondent, told RT.
Escobar says that for now, the Obama administration – who is partly responsible for the demonstrations in the Arab World – will resort to using drones to find the extremists responsible for the deaths of four Foreign Service employees, including the American ambassador to Libya.
RT: US Secretary of State has condemned the controversial film that has sparked the protests, saying Washington’s got nothing to do with it. What impact do you think her words will have on the angered Muslim world?
Pepe Escobar: Well the problem is that Hillary did not tell the world that Washington had everything to do with it from the beginning. Don’t forget that the native rebels were approved by the West, while the Obama administration was leading from behind, according to our new George Orwell terminology.
So this is basically blowback. We have been warning about this for over a year now. Blowback will happen in Libya as it happened in Egypt, in Yemen… anywhere in the Muslim world, and it will extend to other parts of the Muslim world. What happened based on this absolutely disgusting, cruel, raw production – the 2011 anti-Muslim and anti-prophet Mohammad production – it may be a catalyst, but the most important thing, it’s something that I wrote about in one of my latest stories – I know that al-Zawahiri wants to commemorate the al-Qaeda-style-9/11. He issued a video admitting the killing by a drone three months ago in Waziristan of Abu Yaya al-Libi who was al-Qaeda’s number two for the past few months. So it is by no accident that what happened in Libya coincides with the al-Zawahiri video and the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11.
So this is bound to expand because the NATO rebels – there are a lot Salafi jihadis implanted in them – the rebels in the Turkish-Syrian border are also infested with Salafi jihadis. The same is happening in Yemen, and the West has been in bed with them since the beginning, just like the Afghani jihadis in the 1980s. It took years for the blowback to apply, it only happened in the late 90s and 2000s.
RT: These latest attacks, on the US diplomatic missions in Egypt and Libya, were they planned? And if so, who planned those particular attacks?
PE: There is an acronym a gang infested al-Qaeda, Salafi Jihadist style acronym jungle, let’s put it this way. Al-Qaeda in Maghreb, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. And of course reminisce of the so called the reformed Libyan Islamic fighting group (LIFG) Abdelhakim Belhadj he is a commander. He is one of many militias, the most powerful.
He also has a political proposition in Libya. But the most important thing is that these Salafi jihadists are not part of the power structure in Tripoli. Their agenda is a Caliphate in Eastern Libya. It is not by accident that the attack was in Benghazi. And the same is happening to the Salafi jihadis in Egypt, who got 25 percent of the votes in the Presidential election in Egypt; and the Salafi jihadis in Yemen as well. So the craziest thing is the Obama’s administration’s Middle East policy is now basically, ‘ let’s align ourselves with the Muslim Brotherhood.’
Okay, they may be moderate in Egypt, but they’re not moderates in Syria. And in Libya, the Muslim Brotherhood is part of the government, but at the same time they have to contend with the Salafi jihadis from outside. So what is going to be the response from the Obama administration? I predict it will be like droning them to death, and where are they these Salafi jihadis? They are basically in Dera, south of Benghazi, scattered around in the desert. So I expect a lot of droning in the area in the next few days and weeks.
RT: What can America do as a PR offensive? Or is it too late?
PE: It’s a bit too late. There are two months before the election. Every calculated move by the Obama administration from now on needs to secure the election. They don’t want a discussion about their Middle Eastern policy. They do not want the people in the US discussing if the Muslim Brotherhood is an ally of America or not.
In fact Obama himself already said that Egypt is our ally, it’s not our enemy, but it’s not exactly one of our top allies like Israel, South Korea or Japan. So they do not want to get embroiled in a discussion. And it helps that the Republicans also don’t have a Middle East policy, so if you look at the comments that Romney made yesterday accusing the Obama administration of the whole thing – no, the Obama administration was caught in the crossfire because they do not even know who they’re allied with in the Middle East anymore.