Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Talking Terror with Islamists

OK, here is a more reasoned approach to the Islamist problem than I conveyed in yesterday's post. Bruce Reidel at the Hoover Institute writes................. "As America begins to talk to the new Islamist governments in Egypt, Tunisia and other Arab countries it will need to have two dialogues. One will be the traditional diplomatic dialogue done by the State Department; another will need to be a clandestine dialogue between intelligence services on both sides. For decades the United States has been talking to the secret police of the Arab world. Omar Suleiman, who just passed away in a Cleveland hospital, was our second most important interlocutor in Egypt after Husni Mubarak for twenty years. As head of the mukhabarat in Egypt, Suleiman knew everything worth knowing and could do anything he and Mubarak wanted done. The CIA station chief in Cairo had no more important job than the relationship with Omar. He delivered in the war against al Qaeda and other terrorists. America was not alone. Israel, the United Kingdom, France and virtually everyone else dealt through Suleiman to get things done. The other Arabs dealt with Suleiman from the Saudis to Hamas. It was no surprise that Mubarak belatedly made him Vice President in the closing hours of his regime’s life."

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