Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Michael Ledeen - 1

Jihad Khazen Al-Hayat - 10/07/06

Following the publication of the Prophet Mohammed cartoons in Denmark, I embarked on an effort, parallel to my daily work, to collect additional information about Israel’s cabal in the US. Soon I was inundated with material and decided that I can only offer the reader examples of the Israeli apologist. Last month, I wrote a series about Daniel Pipes and today I continue with Michael Ledeen… two extremist faces of the same, fabled, coin.
Michael Ledeen holds the “Freedom Chair” at the American Enterprise Institute, regarded as the leading and most influential neoconservative think tank in America. He is one of the most controversial neoconservatives, and wields much influence. In the three years since the invasion of Iraq, he has relentlessly urged the US administration to widen the “democratic revolution” (one of his hallmark phrases) from Iraq to elsewhere in the region, starting with Iran and Syria. He has constantly argued that the “democratic revolution” should have started with Iran and not Iraq.

Ledeen constantly urges the administration to speed up its actions in this direction. At the end of an article of April 7 2003 headlined “Syria and Iran must get their turn”, he wrote “Faster, please”, and he repeats this catch phrase or variations of it in his articles, of which he churns out a steady stream.

In February 17 2006, at the end of an article on Iran, and the need for America to stand with the Iranian people to fight for freedom and liberate their country; he wrote “Now finally, they know we will. And the cry of ‘faster please’ must quickly go out to them.”

Ledeen is a contributing editor to National Review Online. The National Review is widely considered to have much clout, and Ledeen’s articles receive wide attention. However, he constantly repeats himself and there seems to be limited new intellectual content.

Ledeen’s writing is peppered with slogans and abstracts, such as “Freedom is on the march “Freedom will Triumph” urging action based on slogans and Utopian visions, with little in the way of practical analysis. He has long seen the world as being manipulated by “terror masters” – with the Soviets at the centre of a terror web in the Cold War, and now the Islamists and especially Iran. .

He has a very black and white view of the world in his writing, tyrannies versus freedom, good versus evil and so on, not realizing that he promotes a worst kind of tyranny.

Michael Ledeen has an exalted view of his place in history. His biography, as posted on for example the websites of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA, of which he is a founder and advisory board member), and the bureau for neoconservative speakers, Benador Associates, describes him as “a man who has helped shape American foreign policy at its highest levels.”

The biography says he is “one of the world’s leading authorities on intelligence, contemporary history and international affairs. In a few years in government, he carried out some of the most sensitive and dangerous missions in recent American history.” (They include the Iran Contra affair, and more recent involvement in certain scandals, in Italy and other places).

Ledeen’s biography on the website of the American Enterprise Institute plays down his “adventurous” side and highlights his work career and expertise. He is described on the American Enterprise Institute website as an expert on US foreign policy whose research areas include state sponsors of terrorism, Iran, the Middle East, Europe (Italy), US-China relations, intelligence and Africa.

As the reader can see he is multi-talented, but his talents do not include uncovering Israeli terrorism and the killing of Palestinian women and children. I point the reader’s attention to Ledeen’s expertise in intelligence, Italy and Africa because they will come up together in the forged Niger documents about Iraq.

He was a special adviser to the Secretary of State in 1981-1982 and consultant at the National Security Council, State and Defense Departments in 1982-86. He was a Commissioner on the US-China Commission in 2001-2003, senior fellow, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), 1982-1986 senior staff member, Georgetown University Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1977-1981

He was Rome correspondent of The New Republic, 1975-1977, and visiting professor of history, University of Rome, Italy, 1975-1977

He has written 15 books, the latest of which, published in 1992, is: “The War Against the Terror Masters: How it Happened. Where We Are Now. How We Will Win.”

Jim Lobe, the follower of the neoconservatives for IPS, focused on Ledeen in an article of June 26 2003 entitled “Veteran neo-con adviser moves on Iran”.

Lobe wrote: “When the Washington Post published its list of the people whom Karl Rove, President George W Bush's closest advisor, regularly consults for advice outside the administration, foreign policy veterans were shocked when Michael Ledeen popped up as the only full-time international affairs analyst”.

Lobe observed that the Washington Post had “cheerfully reported” that "the two met after Bush's election,” and it quoted Ledeen on “Rove's request that ‘any time you have a good idea, tell me’. More than once, Ledeen has seen his ideas, faxed to Rove, become official policy or rhetoric," the Washington Post noted the newspaper.

Lobe added: "When I saw that, I couldn't believe it," said one retired senior diplomat. "But then again, with this administration, it seemed frighteningly plausible."

Ledeen was a cofounder in late 2002 of the Coalition for Democracy in Iran, which stopped functioning in mid –2005. The Coalition for Democracy in Iran operated out of the offices of its other co-founder Morris Amitay, the former director of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Other members included Frank Gaffney, Joshua Muravchik, Danielle Pletka and James Woolsey.

“CDI worked closely with AIPAC to pass resolutions condemning Iran”, the website Right Web states. “The CDI principals continue their efforts to promote regime change in Iran through other organizations, including the Foundation for Democracy in Iran, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, Committee on the Present Danger, and the American Enterprise Institute.”

Ledeen was a founder of, and in 1977 became the first executive director of, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), where he is now an advisory board member.

The Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs noted back in 1991 that despite his role in JINSA Ledeen has claimed never “to have been particularly active in Jewish affairs” nor to have had “particularly close links with Israel.

In an interview with Raw Story on March 20 2006, Ledeen was asked whether the Iraq war has not turned out badly for Israel. Ledeen replied: “Israel is stuck. The Arab-Israeli conflict cannot even be sensibly addressed until the war is over. The Palestinians cannot deliver what Israel needs, which is security, because the terrorists are in the hands of the terror masters in Tehran and Damascus and Riyadh. So what exactly are the Israelis supposed to do?”

When Raw Story asked him about Zionism, he said “I don’t view Israel in ‘Zionist’ terms. I don’t have relatives there, I don’t travel there very much, and on balance I have a dim view of most Israeli political figures and Israeli intellectuals. I think it was right to provide a sanctuary for the European Jews after the Holocaust.”

Ledeen added: “I think it’s right and automatic for Americans to support Israel vis a vis the tyrannical regimes that want to destroy it.”

He said: “I feel much the same about Iraq and Afghanistan, both of whom have started down the road to freedom, and who are now hated and under attack by the tyrants in the region.”

The Raw Story interviewer asked how this translated to US foreign policy and responsibility. Ledeen said “Most Americans support free countries and so it’s only logical for the US to support democratic Israel. It’s the right thing to do. We should always support democratic countries that are threatened by antidemocratic tyrannies. Freedom is on the march.”

I will continue tomorrow but conclude today with the US Committee for a Free Lebanon, of which Ledeen is a “Golden Circle supporter”. It was founded in 1997 by investment banker Ziad K Abdelnour. It describes itself as “America’s pro-Lebanon lobby”.

Michael Ledeen - 2

Jihad Khazen Al-Hayat - 11/07/06

Iran has always been the focus of Michael Ledeen’s work. He told the electronic magazine Raw Story that Iraq was “wrong war, wrong time, wrong way, wrong place, as I said at the time.”

He added: “The key to the terror structure was and is Iran, and we should have started by supporting democratic revolution in Iran, not invading any place. And even if you decided to ‘do’ Iraq first, it should have been political first and military second – if necessary. I proposed declaring the ‘no fly’ zones to be ‘free Iraq’ and then dropping leaflets on the country urging Iraqis to go govern themselves, preparing for the fall of the regime.”

When asked why the US has failed in democratic endeavours with regard to Iran, Ledeen said: “I think the CIA is both incompetent and unwilling to find and report the truth about Iran. They are afraid some president will tell them to get active in Iraq, and they don’t know where to start. To get the top Al Qaeda people you would have to go into Iran where most of them spend most of their time and the CIA isn’t up to that.”

Ledeen said: “We still have no Iran policy and we are trying to win a regional war while playing defense in one country alone. That is a sucker’s game.”

Ledeen said: “The world’s leading supporter of terrorism, the Iranian regime is still in power and racing towards nuclear capacity, Ditto for the terror masters in Damascus. And it’s obvious that our security systems are not as good as they should be. Have you been through an airport recently?

On the subject of Iraq, Ledeen denied that there is a civil war there. He said the main failure was “to have misconceived the nature of the war and to have chosen the wrong target to begin with and to have refused to launch a political challenge to the other terror masters. Most of the violence in Iraq would end if there were political freedom in Iran and Syria.”

The above means that this extremist exclaims better knowledge than the CIA. His repeated references to Iran and Syria are Israeli policy no matter how much he denies it.

A thorough exposition of Ledeen’s thinking on Iran came in his prepared testimony to the House Committee on International Relations, on March 8 2006. The hearing to which Ledeen had been invited to give evidence was entitled “United States Policy Towards Iran – Next Steps.”

Ledeen said: “From the first hours of the fanatical regime of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979, Iran declared war on us in language it seems impossible to misunderstand. We are the great Satan, while they are the representatives of the one true faith, sworn to combat satanic influence on earth.”

Iran has “waged unholy war on us ever since. They created Hizbollah and Islamic Jihad, and they support most of all the others, from Hamas and al-Qaeda to the Popular Front. Iran’s proxies range from Suiites to Sunnis to Marxists, all cannon fodder for the overriding objective to dominate or destroy us.”

In his testimony to the House Committee, Ledeen condemned those who think difference with Iran can be reconciled and that it is possible to reach a modus vivendi with the Islamic Republic. “Religious fanatics of the sort that rule Iran do not want a deal with the devil. They want us dominated or dead. There is no escape from their hatred, or from the war they have waged against us. We can either win or lose, but no combination of diplomatic demarches, economic sanctions, and earnest negotiations can change that.”

Ledeen also alleged that the Iranians have long worked on nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction and “they doubtless have moved plenty of terrorists all over the Western world.” Ledeen said “ I am afraid that the obsession with the nuclear question often obscures the central policy issue: that the Islamic Republic has waged war against us for many years andis killing Americans every week..” They would do this even if they had no chance of developing nuclear bombs. “The mullahs will do that because it is in their essence.”

In his statement to the House Committee hearing, Ledeen said the first step towards crafting a suitable policy toward Iran is “to abandon the pretence that we can arrive at a negotiated settlement. It can’t be done.”

There are then three courses of action, none of which is automatically exclusive of the others: sanctions, military strikes and support for democratic revolution.

Ledeen told the House Committee on International Relations that he is generally opposed to military strikes, and that “I fully endorse support for revolution.”

On the question of sanctions, Ledeen said he did not know of a case in which sanctions have produced a change in behaviour by a regime that “considered us its enemy”. Enemy regimes do not respond to sanctions. However, he was in favour of seizing the assets of Iranian leaders, “because while the mullahs have ruined the lives of most Iranians, they have greatly enriched themselves at the people’s expense, and a good deal of that money has been squirreled away in foreign bank accounts.” He added “my favourite example of the greed of the Iranian ruling class is a transaction tax, roughly worth 5 per cent of the purchase price, all of which goes into the personal fund of the Supreme Leader, Ali Khameini.

Ledeen warned that military action would carry enormous risks, because of the many unforeseeable consequences. Some Iranians would rally to national defence, even if they hat the regime. And there would inevitably be innocents, “and our strategy should aim at saving innocents, not killing them”.

Ledeen also pointed out that it is virtually certain that Iran would respond to military action with “a wave of terrorism, from Iraq to Europe to the homeland.”

In his testimony to the House Committee, Ledeen was optimistic about the prospects for a ‘democratic revolution’ in Iran. “We empowered a successful revolution in the Soviet Empire with the active support of a very small percentage of the population. How hard can it be for a revolution to succeed in Iran, where more than 70 per cent of the people want it?” Ledeen is daydreaming; he is measuring Iran by his own yardstick. There is opposition, but it is certainly not 70 percent, and describing one Iranian leader as “moderate” and the other as “extremist” is misleading. Most of the Iranian nuclear program was finished before Mahmoud Ahmadi Nejad was elected about a year ago.

Ledeen told the House Committee that while there is much that is praiseworthy in the Iran Freedom Support Act, “I think it can be improved by more openly embracing a policy of regime change in Iran, and allocating an adequate budget to demonstrate our seriousness in this endeavour.

“I heartily endorse the suggestion that the President appoint someone responsible for our Iran policy, and who will advise the president and report to Congress. The Choice of that person is important, because the Iranians will be encourage by someone who they believe to be firmly on their side, while they will be discouraged by someone who has participated in the failed efforts to formulate a serious Iran policy.”

Is Ledeen making a job application? If he gets such an appointment he would be serving Israel just like John Bolton at the United Nations.

Michael Ledeen - 3

Jihad Khazen Al-Hayat - 12/07/06

Michael Ledeen has for the past three years been a firm advocate of widening the war in Iraq to encompass Syria and Iran. Many of his articles are variations on this basic theme. And he doesn’t tolerate dissent; when Nicholas Kristof wrote a fair column about Iran in the New York Times, Ledeen ridiculed and dismissed his views.

A National Review Online article by Michael Ledeen on March 28, 2006 was headlined: “Iran is at war with us: Someone should tell the US government”. Ledeen said that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is dying of cancer, but is convinced that his legacy will be glorious. Khamenei and his top cronies believe they have effectively won and that the US and Israel are both paralysed. They despise the Europeans and believe they have a strong strategic alliance with the Russians and that they have the Chinese over a barrel since they depend so heavily on Iranian oil.

On May 17, 2006 he wrote on National Review Online that it was reported Iran’s revolutionary guards were supplying Zarqawi’s al-Qaeda in Iraq with Russian made anti-aircraft weapons including the infrared guided, shoulder-born missile Sam in addition to other weaponry like machine guns and improved improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

He said: “Here is the usual question: How long are we going to watch the mullahs kill Americans and our Iraqi allies without reacting? Isn’t 27 years long enough? Why are we not attacking the terrorist training camps in Syria and Iran? Why are we not gong after the IED assembly lines in Iran? Why are we so totally distracted by the nuclear issue, when our people are being killed by bombs, rockets and guns?”

On the same day May 17, 2006, responding to the news that Turkish judge Mustafa Ozbilgin had shot dead in a court building by a gunman shouting “God is great”, Ledeen wrote on National Review Online that he had known Mustafa back in the early 80s when Ledeen had been doing some counter-terrorism work in the Pentagon. He then presided over the most important terror cases.

“If we continue to dither along as we are at present, the day will come when some disgusting animals shouting ‘God is great!’ burst into our courtrooms and kill our judges, and the deranged elite of this country will wonder what terrible things we have done to provoke such carnage,” Ledeen wrote. “But we’re negotiating.” So a dead Judge in Turkey is proof that negotiation with Iran are futile.

And yet, Ledeen has said that he is not in favour of bombing Iran. For example he told Raw Story in an interview published on May 20, 2006: “if we end up bombing Iran it will demonstrate a terrible failure of American policy. We should have worked for non-violent regime change years ago. And here the reactionary left has a big share of the blame, having reflexively supported the mullahs all these years.”

In an article in the New Yorker on March 6 2006, Connie Bruck wrote on the son of the deposed Shah of Iran Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, and Shahriar Ahy, who is his political strategist, mentor and speechwriter were working.

The two men saw 2006 as the critical year.

She recalled how Michael Ledeen was among those who had argued that in bringing democracy to the Middle East through regime change, Iran, not Iraq, should be first. “Ledeen has been predicting for many years that Iran is on the verge of a popular revolution, which only requires some outside help to become a reality”. Bruck quoted him as telling a group of Iranian expatriates in Los Angeles not long before her article was published: “I have contacts in Iran, fighting the regime. Give me twenty million, and you’ll have your revolution.”

Iranian expatriates are not that stupid. A big question mark is placed on Ledeen’s credibility by his writing on January 9, 2006: “according to Iranians I trust, Osama bin Laden finally departed this world in mid-December. The al Qaeda leader died of kidney failure and was buried in Iran, where he had spent most of the time since the destruction of al Qaeda in Afghanistan. The Iranians who reported this note that this year’s message in conjunction with the Muslim Hajj came from his number two, Ayman al-Zawahiri, for the first time.

If he was so wrong on this, how can one take his statements on Iran seriously? For example on how ready the Iranian people are to overthrow the “mullocracy”?

Ledeen is brazen enough to ignore the fact that his credibility has been shot. On May 13 the Italian newspaper Il Foglio reported that hundreds of parliamentarians and political experts in Europe had signed an international call for the West to take firm action against Iran’s support of terrorism.

The report was carried in English translation on the website. Michael Ledeen was among those signing, and the signatories included a number of other prominent US neoconservatives such as Daniel Pipes, Victor Davis Hanson, David Frum, Max Boot and William Kristol.

The statement accused the West of not showing any reaction , while Iran “through intimidation and terror” is changing the shape of the world’s daily life”. The signatories said that out of concern about the problems of adopting a correct and firm policy, the international community was hiding itself behind minor technicalities. “After three years of futile negotiations, diplomacy continues to purse the same carrots and sticks approach, in the hope that his storm would finally come to an end. Some even try to calm the Iranian regime’s savagery by offering it ‘lucrative deals’…as if the Teheran Mullahs could ever become a trustworthy partner or any partner at all.”

The statement said: “A serious and frank discussion about the nature and urgency of the Iranian threat cannot be postponed.” .

Ledeen sometimes complains that he is misquoted.

Comments he made in a breakfast briefing on Iraq at the America Enterprise Institute on March 25, 2003 have often been cited – in particular his remark that “All the great scholars who have studied American character have come to the conclusion that we are a warlike people and that we love war.”

Ledeen made these comments in answer to a question on the level of casualties the American public would digest. Ledeen had started his response by saying: “I think it all depends how the war goes, and I think the level of casualties is secondary.” They are secondary as long as they are American not Israeli.

Ledeen has been accused of ‘flirting with fascism’ or worse, something he denies. In an article published by The American Conservative on June 30 2003, headlined “Flirting with Fascism”, John Laughland wrote that unlike other neoconservatives, whose roots lay in Trotskyism, Ledeen’s personal odyssey began with a fascination with fascism.

Ledeen has written a book on Machiavelli, and is a great admirer of his. It is therefore worth examining his attitudes towards him and how they colour his world view. They were laid out in a speech of May 1997, which is posted on the American Enterprise Institute website, on the subject “Machiavelli for Moderns”.

Ledeen says one reason for Machiavelli’s continuing relevance is his “pitiless view of mankind.” Enemies are always “ready to march, or fly, or launch.”

Ledeen added: “you might have thought that this most bloody and turbulent century would have taught us that peace is not normal, and that it is best to prepare for the next war, to be sure of winning it with the least cost.” Machiavelli knows better; stability exists only in the grave.

Ledeen praises what Machiavelli called “the sweetness of domination”. Power over others is addictive, stimulating the desire for more of it. “The drive to expand is therefore built into all human institutions,” Ledeen said. War and the threat of war, not peace, is the normal condition of mankind.

Michael Ledeen’s statement “creative destruction is our middle name” has drawn much comment. The statement comes in a paragraph from his most recent book “The War Against the Terror Masters” .

It is destruction of Arabs and pure Muslims to serve Israel and Machiavelli’s words are exactly what Israel is practising. Tomorrow, the scandal in Italy.

Michael Ledeen - 4

Jihad Khazen Al-Hayat - 13/07/06

Knowing the background of Michael Ledeen I suspected from day one that he is somehow connected with the forged Niger documents about Iraq’s attempt to buy uranium (yellow cake) from Niger. I have no proof so I do not level any accusations against him but rather offer the reader a summary of the material available on the subject.

There have been long-standing allegations that Ledeen was tied to the Italian P2 Masonic Lodge. This right-wing organisation was involved in a number of terrorist attacks in Italy in the 1970s and 1980s. It has been noted that Ledeen was working as a consultant to Italian intelligence on terror issues in the late 1970s.

In an interview published on the Raw News website on March 7 2006, Ledeen denied any involvement with P2. Ledeen said: , “There’s no truth to the P2 charges. In fact I didn’t believe in its existence, even though various Italians, including Pazienza, were pushing me to interview Licio Gelli, who was the head of it. I was New Republic correspondent at the time, and it probably would have been a good story, but I thought it was just another of the endless conspiracy theories that one ran into every day.”

The Raw Story interviewer Larisa Alexandrovna asked Ledeen how he met the current head of SISMI (the Italian military intelligence and security agency), Nicollo Pollari. When she said “You are good friends, no?” Ledeen insisted “Pollari isn’t a good friend; he’s a person I met occasionally at bridge games in Rome.”

Alexandrovna reminded Ledeen that when she had talked to him before, he had indicated that he did used to do work for SISMI around 1980. “What was the nature of the work?”

Ledeen replied “I think in the late seventies, when I was invited to participate in a desktop exercise dealing with how to communicate with friendly countries. What to ask, what not to ask; who to ask, who not to ask; how to ask, how not to ask. An exercise in bureaucratic communication.”

Ledeen played a part in the meetings in Rome in 2001 between Larry Franklin, Harold Rhode in Rome in 2001, Ledeen told Raw Story in an interview published on March 7, 2006 that he was in Rome at “my own expense, as a private citizen” for meetings between American officials from the Pentagon (Larry Franklin and Harold Rhode) and Iranians who had information about the mullahs’ plans to attack Coalition forces in Afghanistan.

Ledeen denied that Iraq had been discussed. “There was no discussion of Iraq at all”, he said. He was told the meeting had been authorised by the State Department, the Defense Department, the CIA and the NSC, and he personally briefed the US ambassador before and after the meetings. “They were very good meetings by the way. They produced information that saved American lives in Afghanistan.”

When asked if Menushahr Ghorbanifar was at the meeting, he said: “Ghorbanifar helped arrange the meeting. “

The Raw Story interviewer, Larisa Alexandrovna, commented: “You know the old saying of the appearance of impropriety? So imagine a regular US citizen watching this unfold. You have two highly visible Iran Contra figures meeting in Rome during a time of war. Iran is declared part of the axis of evil. And that one of the members of the party, Larry Franklin, a DIA analyst, has now pled guilty for passing classified information to Israel and Iran, and possibly false intelligence on Iran to the US.”

The interviewer continued that “another member of the party Harold Rhode, working as a consultant for the Pentagon, went on to have meetings with Ghorbanifar in Paris, despite being asked to stop. Add to that the Niger forgeries began to make their rounds in the form of transcripts only a short time later. So you can understand why there is scepticism?”

Ledeen merely replied: “As for ‘looking bad’, it looks pretty good to me, since it saved American lives in Afghanistan.

When he was asked why Rhode and Franklin were brought along, he said: “They were selected by the Pentagon because they were very knowledgeable bout Iran.”

Raw Story asked who selected them. “Both worked for Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith, so did Feith select them?

Ledeen answered “I don’t know. I never discussed it with him.

There has been constant speculation that Ledeen had a role in the Niger forgeries. It has been reported that the Italian Parliament in June 2005 concluded its own investigation and named four men including Ledeen as suspects in the creation of the forged documents. The other three men are Dewey Clarridge, Ahmed Chalabi and Francis Brookes.

The online encyclopaedia Wikipedia amasses some of the speculation in its eight-page entry assessing the evidence about the Yellowcake forgery. It does not mention the naming of the four men by the Italian Parliament.

One of the items Wikipedia quotes, and that has been widely quoted by others, is an interview in 2005 with Vincent Cannistraro, the former head of counterterrorism operations at the CIA and the intelligence director at the National Security Council under Ronald Reagan.

Cannistraro maintained the forgeries had been produced in the US and funnelled through the Italians. In an interview published on April 7 2005 Cannistraro was asked by Ian Masters what he would say if it was asserted that the source of the forgery was Ledeen (who had allegedly been a liaison between the American intelligence community and SISMI two decades earlier).

Cannistraro answered: “you’d be very close”.

Ledeen has reacted furiously to this. In the interview with Raw Story published on May 20, 2006 he said “it’s outrageous to be accused – by the likes of Vince Cannistraro – of being involved in the Niger forgeries, which is totally groundless. People just make up things, and then I’m supposed to defend myself against their fantasies.”

Cannistraro’s business partner and columnist for the “American Conservative” former CIA counter terrorism officer Philip Giraldi has made similar allegations. He told Scott Horton that the forgeries were produced by “a couple of former CIA officers who are familiar with that part of the world who are associated with a certain well-known neoconservative who has close connections with Italy.” He confirmed it was Ledeen when asked.

In a second interview with Scott Horton, Giraldi said Ledeen and his former CIA friends had worked with Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress.

But Wikipedia points out that suggestion of a plot by CIA officers is countered by “an explosive series of articles” that Nicolo Pollari, the chief of Italy’s military intelligence service, SISMI, brought the Niger yellowcake story directly to the White House after the CIA had rejected his insistent overtures. Pollari met the then deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.

I don’t know who forged and who didn’t, but I know a hundred thousand Iraqis and over 2500 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq so far. We may have to wait until the next American administration to find out the guilty party or parties.

Daniel Pipes - 1

Jihad Khazen Al-Hayat - 27/06/06

Many years ago I had a driver with excellent qualities. If asked, he would work in the evening or over the weekend. He would take the dog for a walk in the afternoon and wash the family cars regularly. He would remove leaves from the gutters of the conservatory and work in the garden. He had all qualities except one: he was a bad driver.

Daniel Pipes reminds me of that driver. He is highly qualified. He writes for newspapers such as the New York Sun, Jerusalem Post, and for a host of other publications including Atlantic Monthly, Commentary, New Republic, Weekly Standard, Foreign Affairs and Harper’s. More than 100 newspapers have published his op-eds, among them the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times.

He is a columnist, and the author or co-author of 18 books. His most recent book is “Miniatures: Views of Islamic and Middle Eastern Politics” which appeared in late 2003. Other titles include “Militant Islam Reaches America” (2002), “Conspiracy” (1997) and “The Hidden Hand” (1996).

Pipes went to Harvard University and studied the Middle East. He obtained a BA in history in 1971, and his PhD at Harvard is in medieval Islamic history. He spent six years studying abroad, including three years in Egypt. He speaks French and reads Arabic and German. The institutions at which he has taught include Harvard, the University of Chicago and the US Naval War College.

He has held various positions in US government including two presidentially appointed positions; vice chairman of the Fulbright Board of Foreign Scholarships and membership of the board of the US Institute of Peace. He was the director of the Foreign Policy Research Institute from 1986 to 1993.

As the reader can see Pipes has all the qualities but one. He is bereft of the milk of the human kindness. Just as my driver could not drive to save his life, Daniel Pipes has not a drop of a human kindness in his veins.

I referred to Pipes in my column over the years but my interest increased after I discovered a link between him and Danish right-wingers following the publication of the Prophet Mohammed cartoons. Six months ago I started collecting material about his work, and found that the problem in researching Pipes is the abundance, rather than dearth, of material. I was half way through my work this month when I came across two more of his toxic articles: Muslim Zionism, and “Almost Like an Invasion”. In Muslim Zionism he asks: Might Muslim Zionism be stronger than Jewish Zionism? His answer: Although the question may sound preposterous, is it not.

And his proof?
Emotional significance: Ehud Olmert, today the prime minister of Israel, said in 1997 that Jerusalem represents “the purest expression of all that Jews prayed for, dreamed of, cried for, and died for in the two thousand years since the destruction of the Second Temple.” The Palestinian Authority’s Yasir Arafat echoed his words in 2000, declaring that Jerusalem “is in the innermost of our feeling, the feeling of our people and the feeling of all Arabs, Muslims, and Christians.”
Eternal capital: Israel’s President Ezer Weizman reminded Pope John Paul II en route to his visiting Jerusalem in March 2000 that Jerusalem remains Israel’s “eternal” capital. A day later, Arafat welcomed the pontiff to “Palestine and its eternal capital, Jerusalem.” Jewish and Muslim religious leaders meeting with the pope likewise spoke of Jerusalem in as their eternal capital.
To use Pipes’ own word this is absolutely preposterous. There are no archeological finds of importance to support the claim that today’s Jerusalem is the old capital of the only short-lived Jewish kingdom. Even Israeli archeologists, like Israel Finkelstein, said that if the old Jerusalem existed it would have been a small settlement and not in the same place. At the time of Yitzhak Rabin’s first government the Israelis dug under the Holy Haram only to find an Ummayad palace. No temple, first, second or third.

“Almost Like an Invasion” is an attack on African immigration to Europe, a subject I will deal with in more detail in later columns. I would only say now that Europe needs immigrants as its population growth is stagnant, and in places like Denmark, is negative.

One of Pipes’ favourite ways of operating is to smear others and raise doubts about them. He has conducted campaigns of vilification against a number of individuals, and with the creation of his latest project – Islamist Watch –further individuals will be threatened by his approach. His approach is the very opposite of those who try to build bridges and increase understanding between opposing viewpoints. His tone is highly self-righteous.

He has already had, through Middle East Forum and Campus Watch, and other activities, an influence that many would regard as destructive. He is highly organised, efficient, and proactive and he and his like-minded colleagues have a reach far into the administration, into institutions and into the media.
He has aspirations for influence far beyond the borders of the US and the Middle East. Europe is a target, as shown by his targeting of Denmark and the suspicions of his possible background role in the cartoons furore. He has several foreign language versions of his main website with translations of his articles; one recent article was available, in addition to English, in 11 languages including Danish and other European languages, Hebrew, Hindi and Russian. He is toxic in all of them.

Daniel Pipes - 2

Jihad Khazen Al-Hayat - 28/06/06

Daniel Pipes is an Israeli apologist, an extremist and a racist who works to spread hatred of Arabs and Muslims. That is my opinion of him in few words. My information about him is more detailed and comes from highly qualified Western sources, mostly American.

In an article in The New York Review of Books (June 8 2006 issue) Michael Massing, a contributing editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, describes Daniel Pipes as “an energetic neoconservative whose views seem extreme even within that world.”

Massing’s remark came in his review of the essay “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy” by professors John J Mearsheimer and Stephen M Walt.

In their paper, Mearsheimer and Walt had said, among other things, that the Israel Lobby monitors what professors write and teach. They wrote: “In September 2002, Marin Kramer and Daniel Pipes, two passionately pro-Israel neo-conservatives, established a website (Campus Watch) that posted dossiers on suspect academics and encouraged students to report remarks or behaviour that might be considered hostile to Israel, This transparent attempt to blacklist and intimidate scholars provoked a harsh reaction and Pipes and Kramer later removed the dossiers, but the website still invites students to report ‘anti-Israel’ activity.”

In a letter to the London Review of Books, which published one version of the essay, Pipes retorted that this was inaccurate in several ways – for example Kramer had no role in founding Campus Watch. Perhaps not - but he is very involved in it.

Pipes said he was writing “specifically to state that no ‘Lobby’ told me to start Campus Watch. Neither the Middle East Forum nor myself has ever taken orders from some mythical ‘Lobby’, and specifically I decided to establish Campus Watch on my own, without direction from any outside source.” He challenged Mearsheimer and Walt to provide their information that connected the ‘Lobby’ to his decision to establish Campus Watch.

They did not need to prove a connection as they did not claim this in their study.

Mearsheimer and Walt responded in a follow-up article in the London Review of Books. Regarding Pipes’ criticism, they said: “Most important, the Israel lobby is not a secret, clandestine cabal; on the contrary, it is openly engaged in interest-group politics and there is nothing conspiratorial or illicit about its behaviour. Thus we can easily believe that Daniel Pipes has never ‘taken orders’ from the lobby, because the Leninist caricature of the lobby depicted in his letter is one that we clearly dismissed. Readers will also note that Pipes does not deny that his organisation Campus Watch was created in order to monitor what academics say, write and teach, so as to discourage them from engaging in open discourse about the Middle East.”

What is the relationship between Pipes and Martin Kramer?

Pipes does have a close working relationship with Martin Kramer, who is one of the 20 “experts on Islam, Islamism, and the Middle East” attached to Pipes’ Middle East Forum and listed on the forum’s website. Kramer is senior editor of the forum’s journal, Middle East Quarterly.

His website offers “an alternative reading of the history and politics of the Middle East”. It includes a blog, Sandbox, and a column, Sandstorm.

Kramer is the Wexler-Fromer fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a neoconservative think tank. He has a 25-year record of teaching at Tel Aviv University and has directed the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies.

Of particular significance for the work of Campus Watch is Kramer’s onslaught on Middle East studies in the US, particularly through his book “Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America” which was published in 2001. The book has had much influence, and has aroused much debate and criticism. Kramer is a savage critic of the late Edward Said and of the Middle East Studies Association.

One leading British scholar on the Middle East, Professor Fred Halliday, wrote in his review of “Ivory Towers on Sand”, published in the Chatham House journal International Affairs in 2004, that Kramer had the right and even the responsibility to engage in a public assessment and critique of the work of other scholars in the Middle East. But “that Kramer should have written the book he has is, however contestable, disappointing from a person of his scholarly and academic standing, and, on many of the issues he touches, irresponsible.”

Halliday accused Kramer of distorting the contemporary state of Middle Eastern studies. His book “has, as it would appear to have been intended to have, deleterious consequences for university life itself. Kramer has done neither himself nor the international community of Middle Eastern studies any service by producing this bilious book.”

While some of the arguments advanced by Kramer were valid, Halliday added, “whatever valid points he does make are more than offset by the general tone of this text, which often appears to be wilfully distorting the role of particular scholars and journals; it is evocative more of a political brawl – which he and his publisher would appear, indeed, to have wished to initiate - than of an exploration of academic issues.”

Halliday has himself has made some criticisms of Edward Said’s work, as have certain other scholars, but Kramer “proceeds with his own diatribes that are lacking in originality, either theoretical or substantive.”

Kramer conducts his campaigns against certain Middle East studies academics on his website. He is constantly targeting Rashid Khalidi who has the Edward Said chair at Columbia University and may go to Princeton.

Kramer vies with Pipes who vies with the Israelis themselves. It’s not just those sympathetic to the Palestinians, or who favour dialogue with Muslims, who are critical of Pipes. He has alienated some Jewish and Israeli opinion with his extreme views on the Palestine-Israeli conflict.

In his article “Israel Shuns Victory”, published on on March 28 2006, Pipes complained: “As Israelis go to the polls, not one of the leading parties offers the option of winning the war against the Palestinians. It’s a striking and dangerous lacuna.” Rather than seek victory, “Israelis have developed a lengthy menu of approaches to manage the conflict.”

Pipes said all these approaches manage the conflict without resolving it. “All ignore the need to defeat Palestinian rejectionism. All seek to finesse war rather than win it.” He cited Douglas MacArthur observing: “In war, there is no substitute for victory.”

Pipes often disagrees with the Bush administration’s approach towards the Middle East and towards Islamists. One reason he think a civil war in Iraq would not be a strategic disaster is “that it would be the end of over-fast democratisation.” When he was asked in an interview in April 2006 whether he agreed with the goals and methods of President Bush’s Middle East policy, he said he agrees with the goals much more than the methods.

He has asserted that “over and over again branches of the American government have been embarrassed by their blindness to jihadist Islam”. The American government “needs to wake up to those elements in its midst whose allegiance in the war on terror is on the other side.”

I’ll continue tomorrow.

Daniel Pipes - 3

Jihad Khazen Al-Hayat - 29/06/06

Of the many hats worn by Daniel Pipes, today I will briefly discuss two: Middle East Forum and Campus Watch.

The Middle East Forum was founded by Pipes - who is its director - in 1990, and became an independent organization in 1994. By 2004 it had 15 employees and a budget of more than 1 million dollars.

The website of the Middle East Forum, describes it as:
“A think tank whose goal is to define and promote American interests in the Middle East, defining interests to include fighting radical Islam (rather than terrorism), working for Palestinian acceptance of Israel, urging the Bush administration to better manage its democracy efforts, reducing funds going to the Middle East for energy purchases, more robustly asserting U.S. interests vis-à-vis Saudi Arabia, and containing the Iranian threat. The Forum also works to improve Middle East studies in North America”.

The Middle East Forum “sees the region, with its profusion of dictatorships, radical ideologies, existential conflicts, border disagreements, political violence, and weapons of mass destruction as a major source of problems for the United States. Accordingly, it urges active measures to protect Americans and their allies.”

The Forum’s list of 20 “experts on Islam, Islamism and the Middle East” includes neoconservatives and several people from the Middle East whose views and activities appeal to the Forum. Among the neoconservatives are Patrick Clawson (of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy), Martin Kramer, William Kristol (editor of The Weekly Standard), Meyrav Wurmser (director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Middle East Policy), Laurent Murawiec (virulently anti-Saudi, from the Hudson Institute), and Robert Satloff.

Other Middle East Forum experts are Ziad K Abdelnour, a founding member and president of the US Committee for a Free Lebanon; Habib C Malik, who teaches history and cultural studies at the Lebanese American University in Beirut, and Arab-American right-wing journalist Joseph Farah.

The experts also include Tashbih Sayyed, the Editor and Publisher of Pakistan Today, who has defended and praised Daniel Pipes in articles. His publication welcomed President George W Bush’s nomination of Pipes to the US Institute of Peace, with an article by Fatima Sayyed claiming that “many moderate American Muslims welcome the appointment”.

The Middle East Forum publishes Middle East Quarterly, edited by Michael Rubin. It claims to be “the only journal on the Middle East consistent with mainstream American opinion” and “America’s most authoritative journal of Middle Eastern affairs”.

The list of the journal’s contents gives a flavour of the thrust of the Middle East Forum. The Spring 2006 issue of Middle East Quarterly continues the Forum’s long-standing campaign against the Council on Islamic American Relations (CAIR) with an article by Daniel Pipes and Sharon Chadha entitled: “CAIR: Islamists fooling the establishment”. It claims CAIR is wrongly an establishment favourite.

Other articles in the issue are on the “Islamist Challenge to the US Constitution” with “US Islamic groups wanting to return to separate but equal”; “Re-energizing a West Bank-Jordan Alliance”; “At what Cost Israel-China ties?”(arguing that Israel’s arms sales to China are a “costly blunder”); and “Replace Turkey as a (US) Strategic Partner?”

The 2006 issue contains a debate on “Has Saudi Arabia Reformed?” and on US-Saudi relations. It includes a document on “Does Saudi Arabia Fund Terrorism?” and complains that “four years after 9-11 the US government takes Riyadh at its word.”

One of Pipes’ most controversial activities has been the setting up of Campus Watch to monitor Middle East studies on campus. Critics of Campus Watch accuse it of setting up witch-hunts in order to try and intimate scholars and to skew Middle Eastern studies towards a more favourable position on Israel and on US policies in the Middle East.

The website of Campus Watch proudly carries at its head a statement by Miriam Cooke of Duke University, taken from an article she wrote expressing much concern over the activities of Campus Watch. Cooke wrote: "Campus Watch is the Trojan horse whose warriors are already changing the rules of the game not only in Middle East Studies but also in the US University as a whole. They threaten to undermine the very foundations of American education."

Campus Watch claims to review and critique Middle East studies in North America with an aim to improving them. It describes itself as addressing five main problems in Middle East studies: “analytical failures, the mixing of politics with scholarship, intolerance of alternative views, apologetics, and the abuse of power over students. Campus Watch fully respects the freedom of speech of those it debates while insisting on its own freedom to comment on their words and deeds.”

Campus Watch has in particular campaigned against Rashid Khalidi, who has the Edward Said chair at Columbia University. Pipes spoke out against Khalidi’s appointment when it was made in August 2003. (Khalidi strongly defended himself at the time against accusations that he was anti-American and a supporter of “terror attacks”, as opposed to legitimate resistance to occupation, in the Middle East).

But a Columbia University investigation into the Middle East Studies faculty stated in its report of March 31 2005 that the university’s Middle Eastern studies professors did not engage in large-scale intimidation of pro-Israeli students. However, Professor Joseph Massad was criticised by a five-member panel for exceeding “commonly accepted bounds of behaviour” in the classroom.

The investigation was ordered by Columbia’s president Lee Bollinger after a group of students made a video, funded by the David Project, a pro-Israeli group based in Boston, alleging that Middle Eastern studies professors had harassed them.

Campus Watch includes a “keep us informed” sectionon its website, asking for reports on Middle East related scholarship, lectures, classes, demonstrations and other relevant information. This is equivalent to an invitation to spy on individual teachers. As some sort of cover, it claims to want positive news as well as negative: “we are very interested in learning about professors and administrators who do credit to Middle East studies”.

Campus Watch has a survey of institutions and of faculty. For example Fawaz Gerges, the professor of Middle Eastern studies at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, who is widely regarded as a highly respected scholar and commentator, is described in an article by Jonathan Calt Harris (managing editor of Campus Watch) in the National Review of July 2003. “Who is Fawaz Gerges? Another problem Middle East scholar who minimizes the threat of militant Islam while presenting the US as a sinister force.”

Campus Watch refers to those academics it has in its sights in the most vulgar, derogatory, crude terms. In its research section, the headline “Georgetown’s Jihad Denier” refers to Professor John Esposito and in the article “Academics Against Israel” the “academics” in question are actually certain Israeli academics whom Alexander H Joffe and Asaf Romirowsky accuse in an article in the Jerusalem Post of October 19 2005 of working in conjunction with pro-Palestinian and “peace” activists to delegitimize Israel in the eyes of the world and “propose its destruction”.
They add: “This is being paid for by Jewish support of higher education in Israel, and of organizations such as the US-based Association for Israel Studies.”
According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Sheldon Adelson, described as the richest Jew in the world, is considering whether to donate money to expand Georgetown University’s Programs for Jewish Civilization, which would involve hiring three more professors and possibly a new building. The newspaper said one of the key goals of Adelson and other advocates of the Jewish center is to moderate the Arab presence at the university, which is strong and getting stronger. This is particularly important because many Georgetown graduates end up at the State Department.

As to Pipes, it gets worse with Islamist Watch tomorrow.

Daniel Pipes - 4

Jihad Khazen Al-Hayat - 30/06/06

If Daniel Pipes is not diverting attention from Israeli murder of Palestinian schoolchildren, is not attacking Arabs and Muslims, or is not intimidating university professors in Middle Eastern studies, one would find him exercising his racism and extremism in his most recent project, Islamist Watch.

The Middle East Forum website has been carrying a job announcement – the director for the forum’s new “Islamist Watch” project. This project will add new weapons to Pipes’ long campaign against Islam and Islamists.

The self-avowed aim of Islamist Watch is to “combat the ideas and institutions of non-violent, radical Islam in the United States and other Western countries. It exposes the far-reaching goals of Islamists, works to reduce their power, and seeks to strengthen moderate Muslims.”

This statement invites the question of definitions. Given they are non-violent yet radical, how is this to be defined? And how are the ‘moderate Muslims’ of the type acceptable to Pipes and his group to be identified?

Given the years of campaigning against Islamists by Pipes, this suggests that Muslims in the US and the West are in for more hate campaigns and targeting. It is a recipe for increased paranoia, which may be what Pipes wants.

Why is it that the Middle East Forum sees “Lawful Islamism” as such a threat? It says that Islamists ultimately seek “hegemonic control via a worldwide caliphate that applies Islamic law. Afghanistan under the Taliban offers one model of what they would establish globally.”

Here the Middle East Forum is taking the most extreme example of an Islamic state, allowing no room for variation and diversity of view. This is like a Muslim accusing all Jews around the world, the vast majority of whom are peace-loving, of being as criminal as the Israeli government. Such a Muslim would be as racist as Pipes.

Pipes suggests that non-violent Islamists are a threat. “Terrorism is one method to advance these projects but it is not the only one. Indeed the activities of non-violent Islamists arguably will prove a more effective tactic in the long term.” While the public “intuitively understands” the threat of terrorism and is mobilized by it, and while states have well-developed institutions such as law enforcement, intelligence agencies, the military and the justice system, to protect and fight against it, the activities of non-violent extremists are not alarming and institutions do not exist to deal with this problem.

How do lawful Islamists advocate their cause? “Through lobbying politicians, intimidating the media, threatening international boycotts, making predatory use of the legal system, advancing novel legislation, influencing the contents of school textbooks, and in other ways exploiting the freedoms of an open society.”

The Middle East Forum warns that the lawful Islamists advance their agenda in “incremental steps, each of which in itself is minor but in the aggregate point to fundamental changes in society.”

Pipes’ think tank gives numerous examples of “steps taken by non-Muslims to accommodate Islamists”. They include selling land at discount prices for building mosques or other Islamic institutions; banning the use of piggybanks – the symbol of frugality – in the advertising of two British banks; requiring that female American soldiers in Saudi Arabia wear US government-issued abayas; recognising polygamous marriages for tax purposes in the UK; permitting public schools and public airwaves to be used to convert non-Muslims; setting aside women-only bathing at a municipal swimming pool in France; using taxpayer funds for Muslim-women only swimming times in Washington State; and authorising Muslim-only neighbourhoods or events.

Pipes does not mention the fact that by no means all Muslims supported the banks’ ban on piggybanks in advertising, with some Muslims considering the banks were being over-sensitive. Muslim Labour MP Khalid Mahmood criticized the ban and said he doubted that many Muslims would be seriously offended by the advertising. The use of pigs in advertising has in any case proved controversial in Britain, not just among Muslims but also among Jews. There was a huge fuss when the Labour party in the last general election campaign devised posters depicting the leader of the Conservatives Michael Howard and the shadow chancellor Oliver Letwin as flying pigs. Both Howard and Letwin happen to be Jewish, and there were accusations of anti-Semitism over the posters, which were withdrawn.

How does Pipes think Lawful Islamism should be resisted?
His group says the fight against “invidious Islam” has two components.

The first is to widen the “war on terror” from violent enemies to political enemies. “The war needs to be understood to involve scholarship, think tank research, textbooks, campus activities, the media, press relations, philanthropy, corporate decisions, political lobbying, lawsuits, feature moves, toys computer games, and much else.”

The second component is “to identify and encourage the work of truly moderate Muslims who working with non-Muslims, can help reduce the power of the Islamists.” Moderate Muslims have several key roles: such as fighting the application of Islamic law as in Ontario.

Bizarrely, the Middle East Forum singles out for praise as a “moderate Muslim engaging in undercover work” Mazher Mahmood, the highly controversial journalist at the News of the World who was recently discredited and exposed when he tried to entrap the MP George Galloway in a sting concerning the financing of his Respect Party. Maybe Pipes likes the fact that Mahmood targeted Galloway - certainly Pipes wouldn’t like Galloway’s stance on Palestine and on Iraq.

If Daniel Pipes is allowed to decide who is moderate and who is radical I am leaving the Umma.
The “creative thinking in this more subtle war” must be initiated outside the government, the Middle East Forum says. Why? Because due to the demands of political correctness, state authorities find it difficult to do and say what is needed. “Governments have a record of bad judgements and of welcoming Islamists.”

Daniel Pipes - 5

Jihad Khazen Al-Hayat - 01/07/06

Another day with Daniel Pipes and Islamist Watch.

Pipes’ Middle East Forum says Islamist Watch exists “to educate the government, media, religious institutions, the academy, and the business world about lawful Islamism. It focuses on the political, educational, cultural and legal activities of Islamists in the US and (to a lesser degree) in other historically non-Muslim countries, especially Western Europe, Canada and Australia.”

Among its activities is research, including monitoring lawful Islamists via the internet and periodicals, cultivating a range of sources, pursuing investigations and “perhaps engaging in undercover work”. Surely it is most worrying for Pipes to advocate the carrying out of such spying activities, by non-accountable non-governmental organisations.

Islamist Watch will also alert the public of its results in newspaper articles, internet sites including Islamist Watch’s own, congressional testimony and perhaps books and documentary movies. “Particularly dramatic findings will be conveyed via radio and television.”

In explaining the need for Islamist Watch, the Middle East Forum says one reason no terror attack has taken place in the US since September 11 may be that Islamists realise that violence is counterproductive. “The devastation of 9/11 (as well as that in Bali, Madrid, Beslan and London) led to a heightened public awareness of Islamism and slowed down the hitherto easy penetration by lawful Islamists into western countries. “To the extent that Islamists recognize the value of lawful methods, they will rely increasingly on legal and political means rather than on violent and terrorist ones. This implies that the work of Islamist Watch will likely become increasingly central to the preservation of Western values.”

In other words, Pipes manages to see something negative among peaceful Islamists, hinting they are even more deadly than terrorists.

The setting up of Islam Watch comes after years of attacks on Islamism by Pipes which have led him to be accused of Islamophobia. In 1990 the National Review published his article “The Muslims are Coming! The Muslims are Coming!” He warned that European societies are not prepared for “the massive immigration of brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and not exactly maintaining Germanic standards of hygiene. Muslim immigrants bring with them a chauvinism that augurs badly for their integration into the mainstream of the European societies. The signs all point to continued clashes between the two sides…”

Pipes does not seem to realise that he could just as well be talking about Oriental (Arab) Jews who look the same as the immigrants he is warning against and who share with the immigrants the same food preferences and hygiene standards. A Jew with blue eyes and red hair is Aryan and not Semitic like us.

Since 1990 Pipes’ attitudes have increasingly hardened. For example in an article of August 23 2005 in the New York Sun he wrote of the two wings of radical Islam “one violent and illegal, the other lawful and political - and they exist in tension with each other.

“While terrorism does radical Islam more harm than good, it also obstructs the “quiet work of political Islamism. In tranquil times, organizations like the Muslim Council of Britain and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) effectively go about their business, promoting heir agenda to make Islam ‘dominant’ and imposing dhimmitude (whereby non-Muslims accept Islamic superiority and Muslim privilege). Westerners generally respond like slowly boiled frogs are supposed to, not noticing a thing.”

In an article of December 28 2004 in the New York Sun, Pipes said that for years it had been his position that the threat of radical Islam implies an imperative to focus security measures on Muslims. “If searching for rapists, one looks only at the male population.”

The egregious comparison with rapist is Daniel Pipes and what he represents.

He admits a near-universal disapproval of this realism, because “leftist and Islamist organisations have so successfully intimated public opinion that polite society shies away from endorsing a focus on Muslims.” He traced this back to the internment of Japanese during World War II because of a “revisionist interpretation” of it. And he supports writer Michelle Malkin for her book “In Defense of Internment: The Case for Racial Profiling in World War II and the War on Terror.”

The Professor of Law at the University of Colorado Paul Campos was highly critical of Pipes’ article and his implication that the wholesale relocation of American Muslims to internment camps might be a good idea. Campos described Malkin’s book at “an odious exercise in revisionist history, with a distinctly fascist tinge. She defends policies that have long been considered completely indefensible, using arguments that are often absurd on their face.”

Pipes had already called in an article in the Jerusalem Post on 22 January 2003 for Muslim government employees in law enforcement, the military and the diplomatic corps to be watched for connections to terrorism, and for the same to apply to Muslim chaplains in prisons and the armed forces. He returned to the subject on June 14 this year in an article in Front Page Magazine under the title “Why Police Should Profile Terrorists”.

He is an apologist for Israeli terrorism. But he is blind to Israel and its crimes against women and children. He is certainly not a member of B’tselem whose figures show that Israel killed five times more Palestinian civilians than all the Palestinian groups killed of Israeli civilians. And of course spies and spy cases in US courts involve American Jews and other supporters of Israel, not any Arab or Muslim country.

Daniel Pipes - 6

Jihad Khazen Al-Hayat - 02/07/06

The politics of Daniel Pipes is rotten to the core and nowhere is this more evident than in Iraq.

Pipes has made comments on Iraq that invite the description heartless, callous and irresponsible. He has little pity for the civilians who would suffer in a civil war, and displays an inherent racism. Iraqi lives for him are worth so much less than Western ones.

Writing on the bombing on February 22, 2006 of the Askariya shrine in Samarra, Pipes said in his article “Civil War in Iraq?” in FrontPageMagazine on February 28 that although the bombing was a tragedy, “it was not an American or a coalition tragedy.” He asserted that Iraq’s plight is “neither a coalition responsibility nor a particular danger to the West.”

He claimed that a civil war would reduce Western casualties outside Iraq, adding: “When Sunni terrorists target Shi’ites and vice-versa, non-Muslims are less likely to be hurt. Civil war in Iraq, in short, would be a humanitarian tragedy but not a strategic one.”

Pipes said in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in March that he “profoundly disagreed” with Colin Powell having told Bush about Iraq, “you break it, you fix it.”

Pipes said “I think it is possible and necessary at times to go to war without taking responsibility for the country that you make war on.”

His view is that “fixing Iraq is neither the coalition’s responsibility nor its burden.”

Pipes said the eruption of civil war in Iraq would have many implications for the West. For one thing it would be likely to invite Syrian and Iranian participation which would hasten the possibility of a US confrontation with these two states with which tensions are already high.

He told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in March that “there are those who would like to see the Syrians and Iranians contained and this would be a way to do that.”

In his February 28 article in FrontPageMagazine Pipes also said a civil war in Iraq would terminate the dream of Iraq serving as a model for other Middle Eastern countries, thus delaying the push towards elections. “This will have the effect of keeping Islamists from being legitimated by the popular vote, as Hamas was.” In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on March 2, he said the imperative that the US government has been following would be shunted aside, “an imperative which I think has led to negative results, because the victors in democracy, whether it be Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt have all in these cases been our most extreme enemies – the Islamists. And I think as developments in Iraq slow down the democracy process, so it will elsewhere and we will be the better for it.”

He said in his article that a civil war would also reduce coalition casualties in Iraq. As noted by the Philadelphia Inquirer, “rather than killing American soldiers, the insurgents and foreign fighters are more focused on creating civil strife that could destabilize Iraq’s political process and possibly lead to outright ethnic and religious war.”

He told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that a civil war in Iraq was a horrible prospect and he in no sense wanted it to happen. And yet he had sketched out what he saw as positive implications for the US and West from it.

It is worth noting that Pipes made no mention of Israel and the possible advantages to it of the war on Iraq and a civl war there.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation interviewer of 2 March said that while Pipes might not think it is a legal obligation to rehabilitate, actually under international law occupying forces have the legal duty to protect civilians in the country that they are occupying.

Pipes said: “I don’t believe, at this point, the coalition forces in Iraq constitute an occupation no more than say American forces in Europe are an occupation force at this point. They are there at the invitation of the government and can be told by the government to leave. So this is not an occupation any more. I say the Iraqis are adults, they are not our wards. They will define their future. We can help them but it is not our burden to re-establish, to rehabilitate Iraq on a new basis.”

Still this warmonger was nominated by President Bush in April 2003 to the board of the United States Institute of Peace USIP), an independent, nonpartisan, national institution established and financed by Congress.

The goals of the Institute are “to help prevent and resolve violent international conflicts, promote post-conflict stability and democratic transformations and increase peacebuilding capacity, tools and intellectual capital worldwide.” It has a Muslim World Initiative with a number of projects which stress engagement and dialogue between the US and other Western countries and Muslims.

Given Pipes’ often expressed ultra-hawkish views on for example the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and his hostility to Islam to the point of being regarded as an Islamophobe, there was astonishment and disappointment in some quarters that the US President should have nominated him of all people. It was seen as confirmation of the grip the neoconservatives had tightened on the administration, and the inroads that the extremist thinking of Pipes was making. The nomination reflected badly on the credibility of Bush and of USIP.

There was opposition from some Democratic senators, including Edward Kennedy, but Bush bypassed the Senate and gave Pipes a recess appointment. He served until the end of Congress in January 2005.

The nomination was greeted with dismay by American Muslim groups and liberal Jewish organisations. Susannah Heschel, a professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth and co-chair of the liberal Jewish group Tikkun was quoted as saying “Daniel Pipes is not a peacemaker” and that the nomination was like “appointing me to be the head of nuclear physics at Los Alamos.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations called Pipes the “nation’s leading Islamophobe” and campaigned against his nomination.

Pipes was supported by groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the American Jewish Congress, the Zionist Organization of America and the Christian Coalition.

He seems at odds with the ethos of the Institute. Not only is he harsh towards Muslims and on Palestine, but he for example denies the US has a moral obligation towards Iraq or Afghanistan after invasions.

All that comes to mind is: only in America…

Daniel Pipes - 7

Jihad Khazen Al-Hayat - 03/07/06

The Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed go back to September 30, 2005, but the furore erupted only this year. At first I thought it was a mistake but then I discovered a link between Daniel Pipes and Danish right-wingers.

In August 27, 2002 Daniel Pipes and Lars Hedegaard jointly had an article published in the New York Post, headlined “Something Rotten in Denmark?”

The two authors said a Muslim group had announced a few days earlier that the equivalent of $30,000 bounty would be paid for the murder of several prominent Danish Jews. (The amount was 250,000 Danish kroner).

There are doubts over this story in the first place. In a posting on the Social Democracy Now website on February 10 this year, it was noted that Jyllands-Posten (the newspaper that would publish the cartoons in 2006) had on 11 August 2002 published a story by contracted freelancer Stig Matthiesen claiming that a militant Muslim group had launched an ‘intifada’ against Denmark by announcing a few days earlier it would offer a 250,000 Danish kroner bounty for the murder of several prominent Danish Jews.

As a Danish blogger noted, Matthiesen revealed neither his source, nor the names of any of the individuals allegedly threatened by this unnamed Muslim organisation. The Jerusalem Post picked up the story, with an article by Nina Gilbert on August 20, 2002. She stated that an extremist Islamic group thought to be Hizb-Ut-Tahrir had created a hit list of 15 prominent Danish Jews.

The alleged list included Rabbi Bent Melchior, a leading Danish rabbi who was the father of Israel’s then deputy foreign minister Michael Melchior, and Herbert Pundak, father of Oslo accords-architect Dr Ron Pundak, director general of the Peres Center for Peace in Israel. Herbert Pundak is a former chief editor of the Danish daily newspaper Politiken which is “politically at the other end of the spectrum form Jyllands-Posten”, Social Democracy Now observed.

In her August 19, 2002 report in the Jerusalem Post, Nina Gilbert said that 15 prominent Danish Jews had been put on a hit list, according to Jyllands-Posten. She contacted deputy foreign minister Michael Melchior who said he could not deny or confirm that his father was on the list, but that the Danish authorities were taking the matter seriously and had contacted those on the list.

Michael Melchior said the Jyllands-Posten had obtained the list “through Muslim connections, but was pressured not to publish it.” He added that the attorney general of Denmark was considering outlawing the Muslim group reportedly behind the plot.

The senior Melchior, and Herbert Pundak, had received attention when they joined forces to raise money for Palestinians, and there was much surprise that they would be on any alleged Islamist hit-list.

The Social Democracy blog noted, with regard to Nina Gilbert’s post, that the board of the Jerusalem Post’s directors includes “the neocon pope, Daniel Pipes. It is no surprise, therefore, that Pipes helped insinuate the story in the American media, using it as the departure point for an article he co-wrote with a Danish anti-Muslim crusader Lars Hedegaard on Danish-Muslim tensions published in the New York Post on August 27 2002.”

The author of the Social Democracy posting e-mailed Nina Gilbert to find out more about this overlooked story which would help fill in some of the background to Jyllands-Posten’s role in the cartoons affair. She revealed that her source had been Michael Melchior and not the original Danish publication. “What’s more, when I pressed her on the content of the story, she stated that she has no doubt that the story is true, because Melchior is a credible source.”

The Social Democracy blog claimed that Nina Gilbert’s response had “certainly opened my eyes to the way the Zionist media machine works. She did not bother to obtain a copy of the original Jyllands-Posten story and made no independent effort to verify the information contained in it.” The blog said the Danish branch of Hizb Ut Tahrir had already been in trouble for distributing leaflets on the streets of Copenhagen in March and April 2002 in which a verse from the Koran was cited in such a way that it could be construed as a call to kill Jews.

By August 2002 Danish Hizb Ut-Tahrir was embroiled in legal action over the leaflets and it is highly doubtful that it would have risked even greater unpopularity and perhaps also a total ban by launching an assassination campaign. “There is in fact no evidence that Hizb Ut Tahrir or another Danish Islamist organisation issued death threats at this time.” The party has denied that it has ever called for assassinations or issued hit lists, and the blogger suggested it was an attempt “to intimidate these two prominent pro-peace Jews” Melchior and Pundak.

Two MPs, Elisabeth Arnold and Elsebeth Gerner Nielsen, protested over the article and disputed some of its figures, including the claim that Muslims consume 40 per cent of Danish welfare expenses, when welfare includes not only unemployment benefits and social security but also housing, transport, homecare and so on. And if Muslims did represent a substantial part of the clients, this was mainly because it is hard to compete on a job market no interested in employing immigrants. They also rejected the claim that half of all rapists in Denmark were Muslim and said criminal registers to not record religion. The said that police investigators had found no evidence of real threats to Denmark’s 6,000 Jewish citizens, from a ‘death list’.

Pipes and Hedegaard reposted to the National Post that both MPs belong to the Socialist-radical Liberal government defeated the previous November and had an axe to grind. Pipes and Hedegaard defended their article.

The plot thickens as we get to an interview with Daniel Pipes conducted by Flemming Rose, the cultural editor of Jyllands-Posten who commissioned the cartoons.

Rose visited Pipes at the Middle East Forum offices in Philadelphia, and published an interview with him in Jyllands-Posten on October 29 2004. He conveyed and seemed to approve of his views rather than challenging them, or seeking the views of Pipes’ critics so as to give a more rounded profile.

Pipes spoke of the “striking likenesses” between the Islamists’ methods and goals, and that of communists and fascists, despite their different agendas. “It makes sense to look at the current conflict between the civilized world and militant Islam in the light of the two earlier confrontations with communism and fascism.”

Pipes said it was misleading to speak of the current conflict with Islamists as a “war against terror”. The conflict is directed not at Islam as a personal belief but at militant Islam. “Moderate Islam must be the solution.” Pipes said: “If you look deeply into this matter, the current conflict is one that must be fought out and won within the Muslim world”. It is important to find alternative leaders and ideas in the Islamic world that can take up the fight against militant Islam. “We must overthrow the ideology by force of arms and by means of education, media and information; and on the other hand we must support anti-Islamist Muslims.”

Only one qualification: Pipes decides who is an acceptable Muslim and who is not.

Daniel Pipes - 8

Jihad Khazen Al-Hayat - 04/07/06

The authors James Petras and Robin Eastman-Abaya wrote an article claiming that Flemming Rose - the cultural editor of Jyllands-Posten who commissioned the Danish cartoons - is a Ukrainian-born Jew who is working with Mossad. The writer Christopher Bollyn wrote: “If this is true this confirms my suspicions and would prove that Rose has lied to me about his ethnic origin. It would also confirm my description of Rose as having a foreign agenda which has done immense damage to Danish prestige in the world.” Rose denied in an e-mail to Bollyn that he was Jewish.
Rose may not be Jewish but in an article he wrote for the New York Times on May 31 headlined “Why I Published the Mohammed Cartoons” there are hints at his origin. He says: “I was raised on the ideals of the 1960s, in the midst of the Cold War. I saw life through the lens of the countercultural turmoil, adopting both the hippie pose and the political superiority complex of my generation. I and my high school peers believed that the West was imperialistic and racist. We analyzed decaying Western civilization through the texts of Marx and Engels and lionized John Lennon's beautiful but stupid tune about an ideal world without private property: Imagine no possessions/ I wonder if you can/ No need for greed or hunger/ A brotherhood of man/ Imagine all the people/ Sharing all the world.
“It took me only 10 months as a young student in the Soviet Union in 1980-81 to realize what a world without private property looks like, although many years had to pass until the full implications of the central Marxist dogma became clear to me.”

He is describing a student in a country in the former Socialist camp reading Marx and being sent to study in Moscow, a country like the Ukraine.

Whatever may be the case he ended up working for Jyllands-Posten, a newspaper with a controversial past due to its support of right wing causes and politicians. Founded in 1871, it is Denmarks’s largest-selling daily newspaper. It was a supporter of fascism in the interwar years. In 1922 it expressed admiration for Mussolini, and in 1933 it called for the imposition of a dictatorship as in Germany. It has been described as “one of the main organs in an increasingly irrational Denmark for the dissemination of Islamophobia.” It has been criticised by various organizations for its stance against minorities and immigration.

In an article by him, published in the Washington Post on February 19 2006, Rose said he had commissioned the cartoons “in response to several incidents of self-censorship in Europe caused by widening fears and feelings of intimidation in dealing with issues related to Islam.” He said: “Our goal was simply to push back self-imposed limits on expression that seemed to be closing in tighter.” He claimed that in the wake of the publication of the cartoons the previous September, never before had so many Danish Muslims participated in a public dialogue. “The radical imams who misinformed their counterparts in the Middle East about the situation for Muslims in Denmark have been marginalized. They no longer speak for the Muslim community in Denmark because moderate Muslims have had the courage to speak out against them.”

Many saw the cartoons as a calculated offence.

But on May 31 in the New York Times Rose almost claimed that he did Muslims a favor by publishing the cartoons. He said: “An act of inclusion. Equal treatment is the democratic way to overcome traditional barriers of blood and soil for newcomers. To me, that means treating immigrants just as I would any other Danes. And that's what I felt I was doing in publishing the 12 cartoons of Muhammad last year. Those images in no way exceeded the bounds of taste, satire and humor to which I would subject any other Dane, whether the queen, the head of the church or the prime minister. By treating a Muslim figure the same way I would a Christian or Jewish icon, I was sending an important message: You are not strangers, you are here to stay, and we accept you as an integrated part of our life. And we will satirize you, too. It was an act of inclusion, not exclusion; an act of respect and recognition.”
If the reader believes this I have a tramway (not the Brooklyn Bridge) to sell him. Pipes took another angle. On CNN on February 6 2006, he blamed radical clerics for circulating the cartoons. “It is a vehicle for some extremists to rally their people and become more agitatedly anti-Western.”
Pipes was quick to take advantage of cartoons row and to use it in his long-standing campaign against Islamism. In an article in the New York Sun on February 7, entitled “Cartoons and Islamic Imperialism”, Pipes declared that the battle over the cartoons was this: “Will the West stand up for its customs and mores, including freedom of speech, or will Muslims impose their way of life on the West? Ultimately there is no compromise: Westerners will either retain their civilization, including the right to insult and blaspheme, or not.”

He raised the temperature, wondering whether Westerners will “accede to a double standard by which Muslims are free to insult Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism, while Muhammad, Islam and Muslims enjoy immunity from insults? Muslims routinely publish cartoons far more offensive than the Danish ones. Are they entitled to dish it out while being insulated from similar indignities?”

In an article in FrontPageMagazine on February 14, headlined “How the Cartoon Protests Harm Muslims”, Pipes warned that the long-term consequences of the Muhammad cartoon furore (which many think he helped stir up) would help to bring about “not a clash of civilizations, but their mutual pulling apart. This separation, which has been building for years, has dreadful implications.” Should the chasm widen, the Muslim world will fall further behind than it already has. Disengagement will only worsen the Muslim predicament. “Reduced contact with the world’s most modern, powerful, and advanced countries would likely cause Muslims to do even worse in those indices and lapse deeper into a condition characterized by self-pity, jealousy, resentment, anger, and aggression.”

On February 21 Pipes wrote “Those Danish Cartoons and Me” in the New York Sun. The article was also published in the Jerusalem Post. He began: “Did you know that I had a hand in the Danish cartoons of Muhammad? No? Well neither did I until I found this out in early February on a conspiracist website.”

He said Rose had sent him an e-mail on September 29 2004 introducing himself and requesting an interview. He said he had had no contact with Flemming Rose since the interview with him published on October 29 2005. He accused Christopher Bollyn of being a “fringe anti-Semitic writer”, alleging that Rose travelled to Philadelphia penned a positive article about Pipes, and then developing this into “an elaborate conspiracy theory.” He described as “wild assumptions” by Bollyn that Rose was Pipes’ “colleague and fellow” that Rose and Pipes deliberately provoked Muslims and that they were part of a wider conspiracy to worsen Christian-Muslim relations

Pipes warned that the deeper issue “is not Muslim hypocrisy but Islamic supremacism” He fully agreed with Flemming Rose saying that if Muslims insist “that I, as a non-Muslim, should submit to their taboos…they’re asking for my submission.”

I can go on. I still have over 12 pages in English and I would have liked to talk about other friends of Pipes, i.e. other racists and extremists but I want to take, and give the reader, a respite from the subject. But I hope to return to other extremists and warmongers in few days.