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The Failure of American Academics to Speak the Truth About the Middle East

Historians/History




Mr. Pipes is the director of the Middle East Forum. His website address is http://www.danielpipes.org.

Mr. Pipes made the following remarks in November 2003 at Renaissance Weekend, a forum sponsored by David Horowitz's Center for the Study of Popular Culture.

It's my pleasure to be here. And, again, I commend David Horowitz for his focus on the universities, not just visiting them incessantly but taking them as an important aspect of his work in the various institutions he has. They are, I agree with Lanny that they're one of the worst institutions in the United States in terms of having been taken over by the Left. I just simply say there are four institutions that have been captured by leftists: the mainline churches, the media, the universities, and Hollywood .

I have a niche topic of the campus problem, which is Middle East and Islamic studies. It's not particularly worse than, say, anthropology or Latin American studies or English literature, but it is more prominent, and it plays a larger role in the formulation of policy. There are topics that we must deal with as a country where the specialists have a unique role. For example, what is jihad ? This is something we cannot turn to the government for, Hollywood , the churches, the media. One really has to look to specialists on religion, history, and the like to get an understanding what jihad is. What has been declared against us? And it's interesting to see that the virtually unanimous response by the specialists on this topic is apologetic, obfuscatory.

Jihad means the extension of Muslim control of territory against non-Muslims. It is not about converting people. It is about extending power. But if you look at what the academics are saying, the people who should know, they deny that that is what it is. They'll sometimes acknowledge that it's a defensive war, which it's not, but most of the time they will say it is moral self-improvement. My favorite definitions are as follows: controlling one's anger, working on behalf of feminism, and combating apartheid. This is what these specialists are telling us. And this is important because jihad is a significant factor in our foreign policy now.

My focus is really on the college faculty, because my understanding is that the origins of the problem lie with the specialists who are working on the Middle East and Islam, not the biologists, for example, who take this as an avocation, not the students, not the administrators.

I see five problems in this field, and I would expect that they apply to other fields, as well:

First, what I mentioned just before, apologetics, an unwillingness to confront the difficult issues. There has never been a full-length study of Osama bin Laden by the academics. They don't look at the repression on Saddam Hussein 's Iraq . The two million dead in Sudan as a result of jihad has never been studied in depth. Muslim anti-Semitism is off the table. What one finds instead is apologetics, dealing with, say, the PLO, Iran , or Libya , portraying these in a favorable light.

Mistakes are the second problem. Because the analysis is so lopsided, there's no debate, and so what one finds as a consensus. The consensus on the Left, as you might expect, is wrong. For instance, the assertion that militant Islam will serve as a democratizing force in the Middle East and abroad, or that the Palestinian Authority is going to be democratic.

Then there's extremism. I hardly need give you the kind of examples of anti-Americanism one finds. It's ubiquitous.

There's intolerance of opposing points of view. Again, it's standard issue. I wouldn't say that everybody has the same point of view. There are differences, of course, but it's all on one side of the great debate.

And, finally, the most appropriate to this discussion, there is an abuse of power vis-à-vis students. One finds over and over again that students are not allowed to dissent from their professors' viewpoints. And I hear about this in an odd kind of way, because I am contacted by students once a month or so, reporting to me that they cited me in a paper, and the professor writes back on the paper that I am not a source that may be cited.

Things have gotten so bad that what one has is a situation largely characterized by sterility, ineffectiveness, and an inability to answer the public need at a moment of national emergency. This is truly a field dominated by arrogance, and it's a classic example of intellectual hegemony.

By way of solution, I have created something with my colleagues, as you heard before, called"Campus Watch," which focuses on the Middle East studies faculty and does two things: It argues with the professors, takes issue with what they're doing, in the hope that it will spur their doing a better job. And, secondly, it is a kind of Consumer Reports for students, parents of students, alumni, legislators, Department of Education, state legislators, and Congress.

We got started a year ago, September of 2002, with a website, a rather modest website, which merely posted some articles by others that we had noted and found interesting. And what was curious is that the specialists on the Middle East and Islam responded to our modest website with a fevered reaction. The least hostile of the names we were called was McCarthyite. And you can imagine the more aggressive ones.

The interesting result of this was to give us a platform. Our little website became a national—indeed, international—topic. Four newspapers in Germany , for example, wrote full-scale articles about us. We were on the map, and this in turn gave us the means to make ourselves heard, it brought in funds, so we beefed up our staff and have been engaged in a series of studies, many of them published on FrontPage Magazine.

We've even gotten into investigative work. In October of 2003 alone, for example, we did three investigative studies. At the University of Michigan , we found that the website of the Middle East Center endorsed Wahhabi websites At the University of Pennsylvania, we found the administration funded a talk by William W. Baker, a wild-eyed anti-Semite. And at Florida Atlantic University in Jupiter, Florida , not far from here, we found that an exchange professor in the U.S. government-sponsored Fulbright Program by the name of Mustafa Abu Sway is an activist in Hamas, something which did not particularly perturb the university.

We have suggested that the U.S. government de-fund Middle East studies (and area studies programs more generally). Our premise is that taxpayer money going for these projects is explicitly designed to bolster the national defense – these are important languages, important cultures for us to know about. Yet, many Middle Eastern centers have explicitly rejected the idea of service to the government and basically said to students,"Take the money, and use it for your own purposes." So, we're thinking, why spend taxpayer money on institutions that want to misuse it? Why not give this money to the military institutions?

And, finally, we have supported House Resolution 3077, which calls for an advisory board to oversee the spending of U.S. federal money on area studies, what's called Title VI. Right now, the government hands out the money and then doesn't look at what's happening with it. We're saying, someone should see what's going on. This too has generated a furious reaction. What we sometimes call adult supervision gets our friends at the universities very annoyed and understandably so.

So we've got the attention of our colleagues in the universities, and I think it's a healthy development. They now are aware that students might turn to us with their stories, are aware that we're watching the student newspapers to see what inanities they might have spoken. We are looking at their research, we are watching, and we might post it, and we might make fun of it, and we might bring into public attention, and we might write about it. We might even go on television about it.

And I think there has been a discernible effect. I flatter myself perhaps in thinking that the rather subdued academic response to the war in Iraq in March and April may have been, in part, due to our work.


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Josh Greenland - 1/17/2004

"Why do I bother to go through this resume? No, it is not because I am infatuated with Pipes and as a liberal, I disagree with him vehemently on many issues of domestic policy. I post this resume of Pipes to answer why it is appropriate for someone of his experience and expertise to be given wide latitude on this website."

HNN can post whomever they want, but where is Pipes' supposed experience and expertise? I went point by point through two articles of his in the past which covered things that I had some knowledge of and found those articles grossly error-ridden and filled with illogic. If HNN is going to have a resident neo-con, fine, but why not someone who is actually able to get it right some of the time?

And no, HNN isn't fair, and doesn't make much effort to be. Many posters have asked what the purpose of HNN is, and the answers its supporters give don't satisfy anyone.

The status quo is apparently the way it's gonna be.


Richard F. Miller - 1/15/2004

The hypocrisy of some of those "resisting" Dr. Pipes is galling, and it's remarkable how many of the left suddenly veer right when money is involved. Pipes, Martin Kramer and others have been very aggressive in urging proper oversight for Title VI funding of Middle East studies. While the original purpose of Title VI--to provide language and area specialists to advise government policy makers--has been virtually ignored by academe, the funding has become a torrent. At the same time, elements within the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) have actually called on publicly subsidized university centers to "resist" cooperating with the government! A bill to require public oversight has been passed by the House and is currently pending before the Senate. In the meantime, university lobbyists have been roaming the halls of Congress, assuring our solons that such oversight amounts to "McCarthyism" and of course, "it's not about the money." Indeed, it's only about the money. And regarding McCarthyism, to take liberties with Dr. Johnson, "Claims of McCarthyism are the last refuge of a scoundrel." One can disagree with Pipes's views from now until the cows come home, but to fail to understand that the argument has, for many of his critics, a frankly commercial component is to fail to understand much about the real conversation. Regarding his website, I can only quote William O. Douglas regarding one of his first assignments, that of Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission: "Sunlight is the best disinfectant."


Derek Catsam - 1/13/2004

Don --
Just keep in mind that one can support the state of Israel and do so ardently and be neither a Likud or Bush supporter. I had an article on here several months ago that did just that. Keep in kind also that it has been Democratic Presidents who provided the strongest support for the state of Israel for most of its existence and that it was the Labor Party that was in control of Israel for the first quarter century of its existence. Please do submit a Ha-aretz piece (though I am not certain it is your right to do so) -- Ha'aretz certainly supports Israel's right to exist. Indeed, many of us who are liberal supporters of Israel point precisely to Ha-aretz as how one can be both supportive of Israel yet critical of many of its policies. In other words, I can't help but wonder if by raising this spectre of Likud and Bush and coupling it with vague accusations of antisemitism you are not trying to stifle the arguments of those with whom you disagree.


C.R.W. - 1/12/2004


but I cannot agree with his opinions or positions on a morally or logically defensible basis.

Seems like a good guy, and I admire his conviction, passion, dedication, and sense of ideals, but I think he is putting ideology first - an approach not inclined to succeed.

Keep it up, though. We could all use a "glass half full" perspective from time to time when it comes to the potential of humanity as a collective entity.

Thanks.


KOB - 1/12/2004

As a member of the "Right", I also find a great deal of treachery and cunning in Mr. Bush's dealings with the public regarding our true motivations for actions in the Middle East. While I agree in general with his actions, I could not disagree more with the fraud being perpetrated upon American society. He has shown absolutely no faith in the American Public to discern right from wrong. The entire lie regarding WMD in Iraq is offensive. Why not be honest regarding our intenetions and the underlying reasoning behind our agresive stance. Saddam Hussein is a perpitrator of unimaginable repression and violence who should have been removed from power long ago. His attacks with chemical weapons on the Kurds alone justify removal from power and charges of crimes against humanity. While I agree with our presence in Iraq on a short term basis, I was sorely disappointed in Mr. Bush's lack of faith in the American people to discern right from wrong. Whether or not the United States should serve as the world's moral police is an issue for further dabate.


Caleb - 1/12/2004

Frank,
Following this argument, your largest problem seems to be the fact that HNN keeps posting articles by Pipes, who you hold in great disdain and compare to McCarthy. While we can debate Pipes beliefs back and forth, I wanted to take the opportunity to defend HNN's decision to post his articles.

For the past 3 years (really the past 50 years) the conflict in Israel has been a hot topic in books, newspapers, and college lectures. Since 9/11, the issue of Islamic fundimentalism has been the forefront of public interest, with few ignoring the link between the attack on America and our response, and attacks on Israel and Israel's response. That is why I applaud HNN for going back to the issue of Israel and Islamic fundimentalism again and again. Now... why Pipes?

The simple answer is that he might very well be the person most willing to offer his articles to this site (of course, I really don't know but it is a fair presumption since HNN hasnot been afraid to post opposite views in the past, however infrequent).

Pipes is a harvard educated scholar who is a prize winning columnest, noted auther of over 12 books, and presidential appointed member of U.S. Institute of Peace. He has studied in Egypt, can read Arabic, and tought at Ivy League colleges, as well s serving in the Department of State and Defense.

Frank,
Following this argument, your largest problem seems to be the fact that HNN keeps posting articles by Pipes, who you hold in great disdain and compare to McCarthy. While we can debate Pipes beliefs back and forth, I wanted to take the opportunity to defend HNN's decision to post his articles.

For the past 3 years (really the past 50 years) the conflict in Israel has been a hot topic in books, newspapers, and college lectures. Since 9/11, the issue of Islamic fundamentalism has been the forefront of public interest, with few ignoring the link between the attack on America and our response, and attacks on Israel and Israel's response. That is why I applaud HNN for going back to the issue of Israel and Islamic fundamentalism again and again. Now... why Pipes?

The simple answer is that he might very well be the person most willing to offer his articles to this site (of course, I really don't know but it is a fair presumption since HNN has not been afraid to post opposite views in the past, however infrequent).

Pipes is a Harvard educated scholar who is a prize winning columnist, noted author of over 12 books, and presidential appointed member of U.S. Institute of Peace. He has studied in Egypt, can read Arabic, and taught at Ivy League colleges, as well s serving in the Department of State and Defense.

Why do I bother to go through this resume? No, it is not because I am infatuated with Pipes and as a liberal, I disagree with him vehemently on many issues of domestic policy. I post this resume of Pipes to answer why it is appropriate for someone of his experience and expertise to be given wide latitude on this website.

I am thankful for these message boards to vent our opinions on anything we like, but I maintain that HNN is fully justified in offering as many articles as it can from Mr. Pipes or any other notable academic.


Caleb - 1/12/2004

Jesse,
The issues and questions you raise in your post are both appreciated, and you make some good points in them. However, to respond specifically…

1) “The Republicans wanted to win over the Wallace bloc, and they wanted to offset the inroads Democrats had made with black voters. If that is racist, the open appeals Democrats make along these lines are racist as well. It's electioneering either way.”

I think it would be necessary to define racism in order to argue about what is racist and what is not. I should have done so in my last post, but I define it as the practice of racial discrimination, historically against those from African decent. Republicans, in trying to woo the “Wallace bloc” was wooing the racist bloc. It is not the same as Democrats wooing blacks, although I will agree with you this much: it was both electioneering. To say that both were racist seems to me to be like saying both Martin Luther King and David Duke (who was a Republican politician) are racists.

2) “If progressives want to directly appeal to minority groups at election time (and they do), why should it be verboten for similar appeals to go to white voters, based on their perceived interests?”

If you are referring to racist interests, I would argue that while it is legally acceptable for any party to appeal to whomever they like, IF the Republicans try to appeal to racists, all I am trying to do is point that out (not that I have ever said they were, or believe that they are- this original debate was simply to discredit the hypothesis that liberals play the race card all the time, and to point out the history of racial politics in this country- not to say that the Republican party is currently a racist party).

3) “It's pretty disingenious to tout programs such as affirmative action, which are race-based by definition, than complain when people who are opposed to such programs "play the race card".

Jesse, that is exactly my point! David posted the following: “Conservatives don't talk about race, they talk about issues… When this happens, the Left inserts race into the equation… Affirmative action? RACE.”
To which I replied that you have to talk about race when talking about affirmative action. What I was doing was the opposite of complaining about race being used as a factor… I was complaining about people who complain about race being used as a factor (if that makes any sense).

4) “Anyway, there are plenty of reasons to oppose race preferences that have nothing to do with racism (which is pretty loosely defined these days anyway).”

I agree 100%. However, whatever argument you come up with, race is going to be an issue since that is the nature of the program.

5) “Quite frankly, the racial politics engaged in by progressives is getting pretty threadbare anyway. It's hard even to call it progressive, really: shopworn appeals to fear and prejudice, based on a view of the United States (and especially the South) that is as out-of-date as a "Leave it to Beaver" rerun, the real objective being to perpetuate the existence of certain bureaucracies. It's so hysterical: Mr. B wants to dump affirmative action, therefore he wants to bring back Jim Crow and the Klan marching down Pennsylvania Avenue. Give me a break.”

It is hard to argue with the above, other than to say that I don’t know where it comes from. Although some far left liberals probably believe this just as far right liberals believe their stereotyped misconceptions, as a liberal, I certainly do not subscribe to them and I would argue that most mainstream liberals don’t either. In 2000, when Bush said he was against affirmative action, Gore did not call him a racist in any way, nor did most mainstream liberals.

6) “You also stated, as if it was a known fact, that many of the Republican Party's "most visible supporters" are racists. Huh? Examples? Please?

The examples I had in mind was simply white racists who are a part of the Republican party. This is the branch of the part that has always opposed civil rights, and continues to oppose them. However, if you would like specific names, I don’t even need to leave Washington.

Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist was a longtime Republican activist. As a clerk for a Justice during the 1950’s, he opposed Brown v. Board of education and believed that Plessy v. Fergesun was good law that should be upheld. Attorney General John Ashcroft also opposed racial integration and the appointment of African Americans to offices as Missouri governor, I need not go into Trent Lott’s past history of racist actions while in college, and in Congress, and even President Bush himself felt no problems speaking at a college that banned interracial dating. I could go on but I think you see my point. Each and every one of these examples could be argued back and forth. Nevertheless, I stand by my original statement that started it all, that “liberals bring up race (especially in the immigration area) far less than conservatives in any given election, although they would be justified in doing so, given conservatives recent history on race relations in this country.”

7) “And what is your definition of a "racist result"?”

A racist result devoid of intention is quite simply, a law or action that effects only (or disproportionately) blacks. For example, crack is used mostly by blacks and cocaine by mostly whites, and yet the penalty for using crack is significantly more sever than the punishment for using cocaine. Racial result.


Jesse Lamovsky - 1/12/2004

Was one of the aims of the "Southern Strategy" to secure white votes from that region? Yes. The Republicans wanted to win over the Wallace bloc, and they wanted to offset the inroads Democrats had made with black voters. If that is racist, the open appeals Democrats make along these lines are racist as well. It's electioneering either way. I'm not willing to fault Republicans for playing by the same rules as Democrats, or vice versa.

If progressives want to directly appeal to minority groups at election time (and they do), why should it be verboten for similar appeals to go to white voters, based on their perceived interests? Whites still make up the bulk of the electorate, after all. Anyway, other than affirmative action, what is a "race issue" that gets talked about in mainstream politics? I'm not sure welfare qualifies. I'll bet most welfare recepients are white anyway.

It's pretty disingenious to tout programs such as affirmative action, which are race-based by definition, than complain when people who are opposed to such programs "play the race card". Anyway, there are plenty of reasons to oppose race preferences that have nothing to do with racism (which is pretty loosely defined these days anyway). It should be pointed out that the same libertarians who oppose affirmative action laws and the welfare state also oppose the drug war, and what goes with it: profiling stops and asset forfeitures (which disproportionately affect African-Americans).

Quite frankly, the racial politics engaged in by progressives is getting pretty threadbare anyway. It's hard even to call it progressive, really: shopworn appeals to fear and prejudice, based on a view of the United States (and especially the South) that is as out-of-date as a "Leave it to Beaver" rerun, the real objective being to perpetuate the existence of certain bureaucracies. It's so hysterical: Mr. B wants to dump affirmative action, therefore he wants to bring back Jim Crow and the Klan marching down Pennsylvania Avenue. Give me a break.

You also stated, as if it was a known fact, that many of the Republican Party's "most visible supporters" are racists. Huh? Examples? Please? And what is your definition of a "racist result"?


Caleb - 1/11/2004

David,
1) "conservatives don't talk about race, they talk about issues, ie, immigration, welfare, crime, etc. When this happens, the Left inserts race into the equation, at which point they are correctly blamed by conservatives for using the "race card"

I don’t speak for all liberals, but smart people know a racial issue when they see one. When whites in the 1960’s talked about "states rights," most people with brains knew that this was a euphemism for a states rights to deny constitutional rights to certain races (i.e. blacks). In other words, there were few states rights marches about federal funding of highways or a national drinking age. As for welfare, no one accused Bill Clinton of racism for his welfare reform initiatives. Conservatives however, will discuss race issues such as affirmative action, and then be shocked when liberals actually admit that yes, race is an element in the discussion. Often, it seems like there is nothing conservatives like more than crying race baiting to liberals, despite the absence of such rhetoric from the liberal side.

3) "Affirmative action? RACE."

If you can explain affirmative action, its issues, its history, its meaning, without mentioned race in any way, I applaud you. Personally, I don’t see how it can be done.

4) "Can we talk about immigration without making it about racism against Hispanics? Would that be possible? No, because the Left relies on race hatred, they pander to it, that's how they get their votes."

I don’t recall any liberal accusing conservatives of racism over immigration policy. As for pandering to votes, surely you would never throw such accusations against Bush’s new immigration policy? If Bush were a liberal but had the same policy, would that make a difference in your opinion (I am obliged to think that it would)

Jesse,
"You talk dimly about "conservatives' recent history on race relations in this country". Please specify, if you like."

Certainly Jesse,
The term "Solid South" was originally meant to describe the solidly Democratic South. That all changed in the 1960’s. When LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act, he looked to an aid and said, "we just lost the South." Why does any of this matter? Because the Republicans were able to capitalize on the new Dixicrat rebellion and get those votes. From then until today, the policies of the Republican party have been directly at odds with the concerns of black Americans (as that is not their constituency).

This is not, by itself, explicitly racist in any way. Nevertheless, while most conservatives and most Republicans are not racist, many of the party’s most visible supporters are, and they use the mantra of state sovereignty to achieve racist results. The fact that several prominent blacks in the Republican party are given high profile jobs demonstrates nothing. That is what I was to when I alluded to the history of conservatives and race relations.


Sinister Southpaw Slayer - 1/11/2004


Who are "conservatives" ? This is new word I haven't seen you use before, oh great David, in your vast multitude of previous epistles to your loyal followers like me. Are "conservatives" people in favor of conserving America's natural environment, or the fiscal viability of a balanced federal budget, or solid partnerships with traditional American allies abroad ?

I know they can't be the same as racist leftists. Only an evil Palestinian-terrorist-race-hating sinister leftist would ever let his daughter get into her 70s and then die himself without ever acknowledging her publicly. Slay those lefthanded haters now, even if they are already dead !


David - 1/11/2004


No, conservatives don't talk about race, they talk about issues, ie, immigration, welfare, crime, etc. When this happens, the Left inserts race into the equation, at which point they are correctly blamed by conservatives for using the "race card". Why the obsession with race? Don't you want a color blind society? Don't people of color want to be judged by their content of their character or the color of their skin? Then why keep raising the issue of race? Affirmative action? RACE. Can we talk about immigration without making it about racism against Hispanics? Would that be possible? No, because the Left relies on race hatred, they pander to it, that's how they get their votes.


C.R.W. - 1/10/2004


Didn't want to end on an unceremoniously harsh note. I know how much formalities mean to you. Seriously - have a good one.


C.R.W. - 1/10/2004


I see you didn't take me up at all on what was an obvious invitation for an analytical debate on the failings of Islam and Islamic civilization. Instead you chose to go around in circles about Ariel Sharon, Pipes, HNN and every other peripheral non-issue, with the hopes that you could ultimately pigeonhole me into taking some stupid "side," (of which I get the choice between only TWO.) I would think someone championing the idea of "complexity" would be above such a, shall I say, *McCarthyist* strategy, or at least have the intelligence to have listened to me the first time when I spoke to my own take on oversimplifying into mindless dualities. If you're "against" this website (whatever that means) you make a really poigniant statement about nothing short of yourself, by continuing to post on it - your sanctimonious proselytizing role notwithstanding.

Seriously, bashing is not my primary purpose, but it only detracts from a dialogue if it wasn't meaningful enough to go anywhere in the first place. And as I already said before (now twice), if you refuse to engage on *any* issue, then talking past each other is merely masturbatory, and I intend on getting some action tonight. Don't make me have to pity you, on top of everything else.

And no offense, but BTW, single-sentence paragraphs reveal a serious deficiency of coherent thought. At least that's one thing I learned from my Freshman English professor.


Frank Lee - 1/10/2004


You can pursue an analytical dialogue or you can bash, CRW. But don't try to claim the first while engaging in the second. Unless you enjoy your long uninformative back and forth shouting matches with me and others here, that is. As long as I'm wasting my time advising you here anyway, a bit less hypocrisy would be nice as well. You accused me of putting words in your mouth in your last post, and now are trying to make me out to be some kind of pro-Jihadist. I never said Moslem bashing "invented" "Islamic terrorism". One might as well say the chicken invented the egg.

The failings of Islam are not the issues here, the issue is HNN's ignoring those failings in favor of giving Pipes a soap box for his McCarthyist crusade against academia, and anyone who isn't 100% behind Ariel Sharon

I don't know actually whether Pipes wants to provoke responses in order to further his career. I am not his shrink. It is clear, though, from his prior 41 articles on HNN, that a learned and objective analysis of the Mideast is not something he is capable of engaging in.

Again it's your choice. You are either with this bogus "history" website, whose name would more accurately be something like "Pipes Fearmongering Network", or you are against it.

Your hundreds of prior posts suggest strongly that you have already made your choice, and in favor of defending Joe McCarthy wannabe Pipes. Fine, but in that case, enough of this holier than thou BS about your "intellectual clarity", and "analytical" intentions.



Jesse Lamovsky - 1/10/2004

Caleb,

You talk dimly about "conservatives' recent history on race relations in this country". Please specify, if you like.


C.R.W. - 1/10/2004


I see addressing me in the third person helps your post to follow a trial-like format, albeit a bit Salem-style. I'm not sure whether to take the pro-con approach as a sign of a balanced appeal to congeniality. No matter. Whether you believe it or not, I'm here primarily to discuss analytically; bashing ranks a distant second place. So I'll have to regret continuing the rhetoric if your initial references to "diehard chickenhawk apologists, and the West Bank settler mentality" (not to mention the bizarre "bootlicking" comment) were directed at some, as yet unidentified, other party.

As far as the contribution of social situations to understanding people in general, I happen to think it would greatly behoove these Moslem leaders you seem to know (and perhaps yourself, as well), if they could drop the prohibition on alcohol, forget about about things, and go out and have a drink every now and then. Taking the steam off from inflamed and over-inflated (not to mention outdated) grievances, even if through fermented drinks, sure beats the mental energy wasted on meticulously planning the deaths of 3,000 office workers, the suppression of legal and social movements to protest and counter such actions, and the unquestioning adherence to an unreformed and outdated 1,400 year-old social code to enforce both the latter and continued actions in the spirit of the former. History, as you see it, may be complex, but the immutability of unchallenged religious teachings, is somewhat less so. (If you disagree that the concepts of dar al Harb, dhimmi, jizya, and the lesser jihad haven't faced significant internal challenges - I'd greatly appreciate access to whatever references you possess that indicate otherwise. If you disagree that such teachings are not at the root of the conflict from the Muslim side, I'd like to hear your own reasoning for why you believe this to be the case).

Since I pity that your preference for complexity has come at the expense of intellectual clarity, I'll forgo addressing the muddled and circuitous second-to-last paragraph. As for the last paragraph, "self-reinforcing" seems appropriate, "cycle," ok, but you expose just how much you don't know with the word "fanatical." If you want to debate Islam, its social mores, the effects thereof on human, social and political development, I'm ready for it, buddy, even if you're not - all absolution-granting presumptions notwithstanding.

Or you could just dismissively maintain that "lunatic fringe anti-Moslem bashing" caused, invented and sustains Islamic terrorism. I'm sure Bernard Lewis would be proud of such a facile evasion. If it makes you feel better, you can even throw in some unrelated ad hominems for good measure.

But you didn't need me to tell you that.



Frank Lee - 1/10/2004



At the risk of disturbing the weekend, a few brief replies.

It is true that CRW has not directly echoed the anti-"leftist" mantra so pervasive amongst Pipes' apologists, at least not in this thread. (It is also true that I never called for “Global Government” or supported “tow-the-line terrorism & dictatorship apologists”. When one argues using hyperbolic rhetoric, the back-and-forth mudslinging often misfires).

In his steadfast defense of the Pipes News Network here, CRW has also never criticized the endless“left-right” subterfuges thereof, just as few Moslem leaders had the courage after 9-11 to speak out forcefully against Al Qaeda. They, however, at least had the excuse of widespread intimidation, rather than wanting to not be late for a Friday night party.

CRW's new evidence on Moslems supporting Pipes is anecdotal and probably highly unrepresentative, but at least he is making a rational argument now. In the low-expectation context of the discussions here, that can be regarded as a mild form of progress.

The more significant Moslem support for Pipes of course, comes from the extremist fringe of Islam which thrives on its opposite (e.g.Pipes) just as Pipes thrives because his years of wolf crying finally came true on 9-11.

What the self-reinforcing cycle of fanatical Moslem terrorism and lunatic fringe anti-Moslem bashing, ala Pipes, has to do with “understanding the complexities of history” is something I do not expect CRW or anyone else here to explain. But, maybe, just maybe, they can stop trying to excuse one half of the cycle using irrational hype.


Ralph E. Luker - 1/10/2004

You refer to Pipes's critics as "communist" and then call my response "shrill" and "irrelevant"? This conversation was obviously a mistake.


C.R.W. - 1/9/2004


Does it make zilch sense to you? Tell me, in your mind, what barriers must be surmounted before someone's opinion or perspective matters.

Where's the Muslim Debate?
by Hussain Haqqani
Wall St. Journal
May 22, 2003

Some Muslim groups in the U.S. have launched a campaign to block the appointment of Daniel Pipes to the board of the United States Institute of Peace. The USIP is a taxpayer-funded institution with a mandate to promote "peaceful resolutions of international conflicts." Mr. Pipes, a Bush administration nominee, is a scholar of Islam and the Middle East and an outspoken critic of militant Islamists.

Although the Washington Post, among others, has editorialized against his appointment, the controversy should be seen in the context of the civil war of ideas in the Muslim world -- between those who wish to reconcile adherence to their faith with modernity and those seeking the restoration of a mythical glorious past. The Pipes nomination has become a test of strength for those Islamists who wish to paint the war against terrorism as a war against Islam. If they can rally American Muslims to their cause, they would be able to limit the scope of debate about Islamic issues within parameters set by them. That objective doesn't serve the interests of the U.S. or of Muslims.

Many Islamic revivalists, or Islamists, have turned to terrorism in an effort to destroy the West's military, economic, cultural and technological domination. Above all, they resent and resist the free flow of ideas within the Muslim community and with the West. In dealing with terrorism, the U.S. cannot afford to ignore the ideas -- and the lack of openness in Muslim discourse -- that generate terrorist thinking. While his detractors label Mr. Pipes an "Islamophobe," the tussle is less about Daniel Pipes and more about the terms on which the U.S. should engage the world's Muslims, including many American citizens. Mr. Pipes is probably not always right in all his arguments. As a Muslim, I disagree with several of his policy prescriptions. But his views are neither racist nor extremist; they fall within the bounds of legitimate scholarly debate.

Muslims have suffered a great deal from their tendency to shun discussion of ideas, especially those relating to history and religion and their impact on politics. Hard-liners won't tolerate questioning of their views that Islam has nothing to learn from "unbelievers" or that Muslims have a right to subdue other faiths, by force if necessary. The notion of an Islamic polity and state -- supported by extremists, questioned by moderates -- is also an issue which must be aired. Promoting such debate should be an essential element of U.S. engagement with the Islamic world. That objective is better served by including and debating the ideas of intellectuals such as Mr. Pipes than by attacking them.

Americans are keen to understand why some people hate them enough to want to fly planes into buildings and blow themselves up while trying to kill civilians. But similar introspection is missing among Muslims. Shouldn't they be asking themselves why it's difficult for them to criticize terrorism without fearing that they'll be labeled anti-Islamic? Just as the U.S. needs to understand why Muslims resent its power, Muslims must figure out why they cannot win America's trust and respect.

Islam's external enemies, and their real and perceived conspiracies, are the focus of most discourse in the Muslim world. Colonial rule and, since then, injustices meted out to Muslims under non-Muslim occupation in several countries are real issues that need to be addressed. But the failure of Muslim societies -- in particular the leaders -- to embrace education, expand economies or to innovate cannot be attributed solely to outside factors. The root causes also lie in the fear of some Muslims to embrace reasoned debate and intellectual exchange, lest this openness somehow dilute the purity of their beliefs.

The campaign against Mr. Pipes is an example of this tendency to scuttle discussion. Muslims who disagree with his views should respond to him with arguments of their own. Slandering him might help polarize secular and Islamist Muslims, but it won't raise the level of discourse about Islamic issues. It's time for Muslim leaders in the U.S. to break the pattern of agitation that has characterized Muslim responses to the West.

Mr. Haqqani, a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, served as adviser to Pakistan's Prime Ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif.


C.R.W. - 1/9/2004


Since it doesn't take a genius to note that I never mentioned anything about the superficial and oversimplified "right-left" split when mentioning ideology, policy, or anything else on this thread for that matter. Political squabbles mean little to me personally, other than which party at the moment seems to have the greatest understanding over how to maintain our most fundamental freedoms, resolutions which you think someone who "knew jack about history" would understand.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a Friday night (and a weekend) to go enjoy. But before I do, I want to ask you which of your racistly generalizing, anti-freedom political stripes claim the intellectual loyalties of the following Muslims - who happen to support Pipes. Go tell them that he's not met your approval for addressing the distinctions between moderate and militant Islam, and the dangers of the latter. Or you could choose to ignore it along with another tepid acknowledgment of every other point you "couldn't care less to" address.

It would certainly be a pity if your social life is equally vapid.


Muslims for Pipes
Editorial
New York Sun
April 21, 2003

The Washington Post fetched up over the weekend with an editorial calling on the Senate to reject the nomination of Daniel Pipes to the board of the United States Institute of Peace. Mr. Pipes is the director of the Middle East Forum, a Philadelphia-based research group, and is a columnist of the New York Post and a regular contributor to the New York-based journal Commentary. He's one of the more thoughtful commentators on militant Islamist terrorism, the threat it poses to America, and how our country should deal with it, which is no doubt why his nomination is kicking up such a stir. The New York Sun reported last week that opponents of the nomination have been basing their opposition to him partly on what Mr. Pipes has called a made-up quote from a magazine that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee calls "stridently anti-Israel." Other quotes cited by some of the Pipes critics are distorted or taken out of context.

The Washington Post argument against the nomination is more sophisticated than the smear tactics used by some of the radical terrorist apologists, but only slightly so. The Post says the nomination should be nixed because it "is salt in the wound" of "U.S. Muslims, who are ever anxious that they are being singularly scrutinized."

Well, it's stunning that the Washington Post would make such a sweeping generalization about the views of American Muslims on the Pipes nomination. It's just not true. The publication Pakistan Today, for example, reported last week that, "Many moderate American Muslims, frustrated by and angry at the extremist policies of militant Islamist organizations in the U.S. and their efforts to portray themselves as the sole voice of Islam, have welcomed the nomination of Daniel Pipes." The article quoted a Washington-based writer, Jamal Hasan; a medical student, Khurshid Ahmad; a scholar of Islam, Khalid Duran; the president of the Council for Democracy and Tolerance, Tashbih Sayyed; Khurshed A. Chowdhury of Washington; Younus Mansour; and Nonie Darwish — all supporters of the Pipes nomination.

A Senate vote on the Pipes nomination will be a useful way of shining a light on congressional sentiment on these matters. New Yorkers can be proud that one of our senators, Charles Schumer, has already expressed support for Mr. Pipes, telling us that he'd be inclined to back the nomination. The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, which has jurisdiction over the nomination, includes several high-profile figures, including New York's other senator, Hillary Clinton; a Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards, and Senator Kennedy of Massachusetts, who is scheduled to speak Wednesday night at a black-tie awards dinner of the Arab American Institute. The Arab American Institute has issued an overheated press release calling on the Senate to reject the Pipes nomination for what it groundlessly calls Mr. Pipes's "racist and bigoted rhetoric" — yet the AAI dinner is sponsored in part by that beacon of tolerance, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Moderate American Muslims, together with Americans of all faiths who care about our security and the terrorist threat posed by militant Islamism, will be watching to see how the Senate votes on the Pipes nomination. It'll be a test of the senators' willingness to stand up to what Pakistan Today so accurately called "the extremist policies of militant Islamist organizations in the U.S."


Frank Lee - 1/9/2004

You make about as much sense as you usually do, CRW, i.e. zilch.

The "obvious" goal of HNN might be an "ideological smattering" of fake conservative Sharonistas, but if so, that gives the lie to HNN's STATED goals of revealing the "complexities of history" with articles from both "right" and "left".

If you knew jack about history, you would know that "right" and "left" pigeon-holes have little to do with historical complexity, but have a great deal to do with sensationalistic propagandizing in the present.

The number of articles here dealing with "home-grown terrorism and indigenous repression" as "serious" issues are so far to the right of the percentage decimal point, they disappear off the right end of the screen.

And, I couldn't care less about Iranian Communism, the Tudeh Party, or whether they would have shaved Saddam if they had caught him in 1984 while Rumsfeld was shaking his hand, or trying to decipher Ryan's "point".


C.R.W. - 1/9/2004


Since you've already got your steady supply of tow-the-line terrorism & dictatorship apologists from a much greater number of fora, the obvious goal is getting an ideological smattering of people who don't represent that view, who understand the folly of not addressing the same problems in the Arab world that your Global Government Big Brother, the U.N., did, two years ago.

You actually can understand home-grown terrorism and indigenous repression as a serious issue to be addressed in such forums without being a "diehard chickenhawk apologist," representing "the West Bank settler mentality." But I bet the childish red herring and labels felt good.

And your refusal to address Ryan's point didn't go unnoticed, either. I can picture you right now with your fingers in your ears, saying, "I didn't hear that!"


Ryan - 1/9/2004

My problem is that I questioned your opinion and you have yet to give me a straight answer, mumbling something about literacy hoping no one will notice. It is obvious that you either a) lack the writing skills to defend your opinion or b) just don't know what to say.

As for the conspiracy, what should one say to such shrill and irrelevant remarks?


Frank Lee - 1/9/2004

There are dozens of qualified commentators who can be read every week in newspapers around the world presenting a wide range of views on the Middle East. Why should it be HNN readers' job to do what the dozen odd staffers at HNN are not doing: sift through and selecting an interesting diversity of opinions ? Instead this place is a steady sounding block for Pipes and Klinghoffer, the diehard chickenhawk apologists, and the West Bank settler mentality, with only a wafer-thin coating of other views, mostly by Carpenter. The numbers of articles by author (readily accessible in the past archives) shows the deeply ingrained bias. What is unacceptable is not the bias, but the endless hypocrisy about this site being about historians' take on the news, with a balance of "left" and "right". It isn't flying and it won't.


P Flum - 1/9/2004


C.R.W. - 1/9/2004


"However, I would also concur there are right-wing elements that do support true academic freedom--FIRE, NAS etc.-- and the rights of professors to have controversial positions that are contrary to public opinion.

Unfortunately, Mr Pipes is not one of those and it is appropriate to denounce and challenge those who do not choose to debate merely academicians with whom they disagree, but to silence and destroy them."


So, which of these qualities does Pipes not fulfill? Is he not a professor? Pithy point if so. If his positions are not controversial to public opinion could that just be due to the fact that public opinion does support Israel and not the repressive Arafat regime? And why is that? Is the Arafat regime not repressive? Is it actually in favor of Palestinian rights or just a lot more land, at the expense of Israelis' rights?

Controversy isn't the point. The point is a reasonable degree of access to a fair debate that doesn't discriminate merely against points of view. "Blacklisting?"!!! Access to government funds is no more an inherent right for academic departments than it is to the Hamas operatives who benefit from their screeds.

It wouldn't surprise me if you also cried injustice over cutting off Hamas' funds.

Blacklisting... Sounds like just like the terrorists who love hiding in dark caves, ratholes, and underground tunnels, certain academics also hate having the light shone upon them. They both prefer operating in the dark.



C.R.W. - 1/9/2004


C.R.W. - 1/9/2004


Luker's response sounds about as dismissive and paternalistic to me as the arguments berating Arabs and Iranians as not being "ready" for self-government.

It wasn't lost on me that Ryan's point went completely ignored. Pipes' articles obviously fulfill an interest on the part of the readership - and not ONLY negative, as evidenced by a fair amount of debate generated each time. Yes, we already heard about a dozen times that he is over-represented and his writing lacks much depth, as well as the resentment over his political incorrectness in the eyes of his many enemies both inside and outside of academia.

But if his detractors honestly desire a true debate representing all aspects of the Middle East and our relationship to it, let the burden be upon them to provide an honest and vigorous appeal to the necessary balance implicit in such an approach. Let THEM suggest "acceptable" alternatives. Calls simply for reducing Pipes' contributions, or eliminating them altogether, smack of an attempt to promote an ideologically monolithic agenda, more obsessed with names, credentials, and ideology than with actual substance.

And should they fail, let them take the blame for a decrease in participation, readership, discussion and dialogue.



Ralph E. Luker - 1/9/2004

Calm down, Ryan. Please explain to President Bush that there is a problem with Communist influence in the Republican Party. Many people complain that Pipes's piping is too often heard on HNN. I agree with them. What's your problem?


Caleb - 1/9/2004

Don,
I will not open up the box of back anf forth other than to say that, as I have noted before, I see no way an event planned well before Sharon ever got to power could be attributed to Bush's pandering to him. As for the war on Iraq, since I am against it, I don't find it related either to Israel or to 9/11.

David,
No one likes to talk about race more than the conservatives, blaming liberals for using the so-called "race-card." In fact, it is always a clever ploy to paint any liberal argument as playing the race card or the class card. In either case, liberals bring up race (especially in the immigration area) far less than conservatives in any given election, although they would be justified in doing so, given conservatives recent history on race relations in this country.


Ryan - 1/9/2004

Luker I am not using Iranian descent for anything. English is not my first language and I take it Arabic is it yours. As for Ryan not sounding Iranian, I don't think you are one to judge 'al-Quaeda' doesn't sound like any language to me.

Maybe you should go take an introductory course in logic. Being a Marxist-Republican is quite possible and the two are not at odds with each other as you might think.

Lastly if you go back and read what I wrote you will see I never called you anything. An abundance of Pipes here is because he attracts so many responses. If you have a problem with that then don't respond on a Pipes thread. Websites operate on the amount of hits they get. Why would HNN stop posting articles that attract so many people? This you have yet to explain to me. Though I seriously doubt that you have the proficiency to do so.


David - 1/8/2004


Don, I couldn't agree with you more. Ironically, you'd be branded a "racist" against Hispanics for saying the things you just said; now nobody can say anything about immigration policy for fear of being branded a racist, and you can thank the Left for that, bunch of race baiters.


Don Williams - 1/8/2004

1) In both cases, Bush is trying to destroy the Democratic Party by breaking off important chunks of its constituents.
In each instance, he doesn't give a damm about the enormous damage to American citizens that result from his actions.

2) The DNC showed Bush the way --with its disasterous gun control advocacy that alienated a large chunk of the Democratic Party's blue collar, union base.

3) As I've shown, Bush's extreme pandering to Sharon brought on the Sept 11 attack and the costly invasion of Iraq. Bush knows that the Democrats are largely financed by wealthy supporters of Israel -- such as Haim Saban who gave $12 million to the Democrats (including $7 million for the new DNC headquarters) and who founded a Middle East program at Brookings Institute whose directors were advocating the attack on Iraq.

The warmongering has a huge cost --especially when multi-trillion dollar tax cuts are given to the richest 5% of the population.
Every middle class American taxpayer has had the equivalent of $76,000 of federal debt dumped on him by Bush's actions.

It is well known -- and has been discussed in some news articles -- that Bush's pandering to Mexico, including his latest amnesty for illegals, is designed to court Hispanic voters --who are the swing vote in three large states with huge electoral votes: Florida, Texas, and California. His political games wreak great harm on the 9 million Americans who are unemployed during his Administration -- and millions more who will have their living standards driven down by the import of cheap foreign labor. But this bald-faced liar -- this "compassionate conservative"-- doesn't give a damm about American citizens.


Ralph E. Luker - 1/8/2004

Ryan, If you're going to use Iranian descent as an excuse for illiteracy in English, please forewarn me. Ryan, somehow, doesn't sound Iranian to me. Seeing Pipes in abundance here isn't because I wear "Marxist" glasses -- he's simply here in over-abundance. And, by the way, I'm a Republican and I simply don't know many "Marxist" Republicans. Smear's the point. A little less name-calling, please.


David - 1/8/2004


Barbara dolls? funny?


C.R.W. - 1/8/2004


An HNN article, or something "acceptable" to mainstream academia, period, that discusses a Palestinian viewpoint in opposition to the disastrously inhumane and anti-Palestinian Fatah/Arafat/Hamas agenda.

At the very least, you'll find Lebanese and Gulf State editorialists willing to voice such opposition (and even, on occasion, a member of the Saudi ruling clan). We already know of numerous Iranian dissidents and expats willing to speak out against Iran's ruling class. Among Arabs specifically, if you require eloquence, academic palatability, nuance, whatever, you need look no further than Fouad Ajjami or Walid Phares. At the very least they are insightful and reflect a fair degree of knowledge and research that goes beyond the mere common knowledge set of what most American intellectuals presume to know about the Middle East.

As for Jews or Israelis who are critical of Israeli policy (regardless of party or current government), you correctly noted Haaretz, and Caleb gave you the names of what should have been incredibly obvious to any Israel critic with an active EEG. Being a somewhat liberal democracy that largely respects freedom of speech and the press, however, there is no reason to believe that this should be unexpected. On the other hand, homegrown or expatriated critics of more repressive and less advanced regimes are more difficult to come by, should be welcomed for the service they provide to us and their own people, and are therefore more intellectually and socially valuable than obsessive critics of a successful Western democracy.

Until they've been more popularly embraced into the HNN fold, however, uninformed indy-media fanatics will just have to be less dismissive of Pipes and the legitimacy of the issues he at least attempts to broach.


Caleb - 1/8/2004

Don,
A very fair point about how not all Jews support Israel. Certainly, Soros and Chompsky come to mind most immidiately.

I would also like to note that while every and any policy that favors Israel is immidiately blamed on the pervasive "Jewish lobby" (rather than Christians, conservatives, or Republicans) I have yet to hear a single person blame Bush's new immigration policy on some massive Mexican lobby that puts Mexico before the United States. Even those who accuse Bush of playing politics cannot bring themselves to explicitely equate Mexican-Americans (or anyone else in this country) with Jewish-Americans who of course can do no right in the eye's of many. For the new immigration policy or againt it, it illustrates the difference between how Jews are treated and discussed among certain groups and how other ethnic groups are treated.


Ryan - 1/8/2004

Ralph, first if you want to criticize my mistakes, at least don't make the same type of mistakes yourself. In English one is to capitalize the first letter of a sentence not the second, "Ryan, Amongst your..." And how do you spell "al-Quaeda"? Being a person of Iranian descent who knows some Arabic, I believe the proper English transliteration, and the less horrendous sounding, would be "al-Qaeda". Second take note of the time that I wrote that article: 1:30AM, in Los Angeles. Yet, I doubt putting things into their proper context, is something that you are able to do.

To sum it up you criticize an Iranian-American for making a couple of spelling mistakes, at 1:30 in the morning, while making the same mistakes yourself.

As for the communist statement, it was not directed entirely to you. Just a rudimentary point that a websites goal is to attract visitors not deter them. Seeing that communist don't like to make money your advocacy that HNN drop Mr. Pipes even though he attracts so many visitors sounds a bit like Marxist rubbish, at least to me. As for 1950 political fads, what’s your point?


Don Williams - 1/8/2004

As I've said before, I think linking all of America's Jews --or even all Israelis --to the policies of Bush, of US Neocons, and of Sharon is a form of Anti-Semitism in itself - kinda along the line of "Of Course, they ALL support Sharon -- they are ALL part of the secret collective"

The danger to Jews -- and to America itself -- is that a backlash to Bush's lies is coming --and it would be profoundly unfair for America's Jews to be linked with such scum as Richard Perle, the Weekly Standard columnists, and the other Neocons.

I'll try an experiment --I'll submit an article from
Haaretz for HNN's consideration and see what happens.


Fred Ferrel - 1/8/2004

Derek,

Lewis was just an example. He may be dead for all I know.

My point is Pipes is not the only person writing about a part of the world that no one seems to be able to spell. The quantity of material by Pipes on HNN is way out of any sensible proportion to his importance in debates on Islam, the Israel-Palestine issue, radical Islam or university curricula in America. If Lewis or other authors are not seen because they do not "consent" to having their "material published on HNN", the gross distortion here in favor of Pipes is probably not intended to solicit such consent.


Sinister Southpaw Slayer - 1/8/2004

THE David, my hero:

Who are these phantom Barbara dolls that keep popping up ?
Are they some kind of leftist plot ?

Of course we have to keep exposing THE Left, and I am so glad you are taking time from your busy schedule to post hundreds of comments every week doing exactly that.

The Taliban are the worst leftists, for sure, that is why solid, conservative, correct, accurate and rightist women's rights groups were so against them. They did not realize how much they needed THE David, and lesser followers like me, and Daniel Pipes.



Derek Catsam - 1/8/2004

Fred --
Do you know if Bernard Lewis has either submitted a piece on the Midedle East or if he has consented to have suitable pieces published on HNN? Lacking one of those two things, this is quite a straw man you're building against HNN.
dc


Fred Ferrel - 1/8/2004


Pipes is not the only available "expert" on Islam or the Muddled East or the "Miuddle East" (speaking of misspellings). Bernard Lewis, for example, is a recognized author on the history of Islamic countries. He is not, to my knowledge, either a communist or a terrorist. His name has yet to appear a single time on an HNN article. Pipes has been here 41 times. QED.


Derek Catsam - 1/8/2004

Wes --
Is Ralph's comment really ad hominem? Ad Hominem means literally "against the person." Ralph's were criticisms against the argument and the presentation of it -- almost precisely the opposite of ad hominem. Snarky comments, even slightly mean ones, are not automatically ad hominem.
dc


C.R.W. - 1/8/2004


So is there, or is there not, an agenda at play? It's true that his works, or as some people would frame it, "works," are featured here with an intriguing regularity and huge preponderance over almost any other contributing author. Do we just need a more eloquent, nuanced, academically-palatable author to take the controversial (?) stand against outright acquiesence to, and cultural acceptance of, the view that dismisses Islamic fundamentalism as a largely and dangerously unfettered threat? Clearly these larger points are not lost on all of us, even moreso among those who would appear to oppose them, (or at least the fact that Pipes is the one to make them).

Which is creating the controversy, the anger? Is it the points Pipes brings up, the fact that he's the one to make them, or that he does so in a manner that others find, for some reason, objectionable? A legitimate ideological alternative is clearly served, and if HNN or its readership can't find someone else with enough guts to address it, then tough cookies.


Wesley Smart - 1/8/2004

Mr. Luker,

How is your last line not an ad hominem? Wouldn't it have been easier to ignore the comment--his argument was not particularly compelling or interesting.


Peter N Kirstein - 1/8/2004

I can't account for the number in my subject. It is not my glitch.


Peter N Kirstein - 1/8/2004

I think if you would spend the time to analyze Daniel Pipes, you will see that he initiated a draconian Campus Watch "blacklist" against Middle Eastern specialists whom he felt were not sufficiently Zionist and supporters of the brutal policies of Palestinian suppression.

Dozens of professors were shocked and horrified at this modern day despicable "auto da fe." They signed a solidarity list that I urge all visitors on this and my website to scrutinize. It repersents a noble effort to prevent the New McCarthyism from stifling legitimate inquiry on our campuses.
http://www.sxu.edu/~kirstein to visit at Situation Analysis.

No one claims academia is not suitable for reform and improvement. Yet many on the right are attempting, under the guise of academic freedom, to extirpate the concept.
However, I would also concur there are right-wing elements that do support true academic freedom--FIRE, NAS etc.-- and the rights of professors to have controversial positions that are contrary to public opinion.

Unfortunately, Mr Pipes is not one of those and it is appropriate to denounce and challenge those who do not choose to debate merely academicians with whom they disagree, but to silence and destroy them.


Ralph E. Luker - 1/8/2004

Ryan, Amongst your illiteracies, I find this sentence: "I know communist have a problem understanding this put the point is that HNN what’s to attract people wither they are angry or delighted to see Mr. Pipes." I have complained of the Pipes overload at HNN. Do I understand you to believe, therefore, that I am a "communist"? Why not an agent of al-Quaeda? Or a "Palestinian terrorist"? "Communist" is so, so, well ... 1950s. Now, back to your spelling book ...


Ryan - 1/8/2004

“Solidarity ... to resist Pipes's version of McCarthyism.”

Again the so called academics see it fit to romanticize about a mythical struggle where they are the victims of by vicious right wing extremist who attack them and seek to take away their freedoms to express themselves. Talk of a “resist[ing] Pipes's version of McCarthyism,” you make it seem as if open debate and public scrutiny of academic is now a crime. Resisting what a website? Resisting someone’s opinion of your ideas?

Well, it’s no wonder why you academics are so keen on seeing the Palestinians ‘resist’ the Israeli ‘aggressors’ as you see them. It has become just another fairy-tale battle where the poor & weak are fighting an unjust political system where the rich and mighty are abusing & killing the defenseless. No matter how disgusting and how brutal the attacks on the Israeli civilian population it’s okay because hey they occupy Palestinian territory.

Furthermore as one who is in the field of engineering I am shocked and appalled by the fact that people in the field of social sciences are trying to ‘resist’ a website that scrutinizes and holding professionals in that field accountable. A website that takes the work of academics and holds them accountable for statements that they make, how that’s scary stuff. Just imagine if a bridge was built and inspectors found multiple points where if stressed too much could make the whole bridge collapse. What would you say to the engineer who protested and said that we need ‘to resist the inspector's version of McCarthyism?’ Yet, this is the world of social science where being wrong does not cause the same death and destruction as it does if one were wrong in building a bridge. So on goes the Professor fighting the ‘good’ fight for his lost liberties and freedoms – yet so keen on taking away Mr. Pipes’.


David - 1/8/2004


Hi Southpaw, or Barbara, or GMT or whatever your name is today. Your sarcasm, never to be mistaken for wit, is umistakeable. Does anybody think you're funny but you? I mean, "Lefthanded"? "southpaw"??? Don't quit your day job.


Ryan - 1/8/2004

I find it striking that all these leftist whom seem to hate Mr. Pipes are the ones who see it fit to comment on his work. However, it does not surprise me that they don't understand the why Pipes is featured so often. It's because he brings so many readers to come to this site. Know try to think about it for one second. Why would HNN cut Mr. Pipes voice if he gets so many people to come to this site and leave a comment about his work. I know communist have a problem understanding this put the point is that HNN what’s to attract people wither they are angry or delighted to see Mr. Pipes. Both sides tend to leave a comment. So why would you want to stop that?

Anyway if you disagree with him just leave a thoughtful comment and you will reach the same readership as he does? I think you just don't know what to say.


Sinister Southpaw Slayer - 1/8/2004

Great to see you action again, THE David, smashing leftists and exposing their mealy-mouthed leftist cant. I always wondered why Daniel Pipes was on this website so often, but now I realize: he too is a valiant crusader against Lefthanded terrorists. It really is high time some one took those leftist ivory tower snotnoses to task for not writing books about Osama bin Laden, like they should. I was just in my local bookstore yesterday. Not a single book about Osama in the whole store ! No one there who had even ever heard of the guy ! Appalling.

Those eggheaded professors are all so gauche, we really cannot bash them enough. Thank heavens for Daniel, and The David: here to protect us from all the evil-axised Academic Jihadomarxists who are teaching our kids how to become Palestinian Socialist Talibans.


Fred Ferrel - 1/8/2004

Pipes is the one of the top three or four featured writers here. There have been so many eloquent and detailed indictments of him in hundreds of complaints registered in response to his 40+ articles on HNN, which cannot have gone unnoticed, that one can only assume that airing his views is a major purpose of this website.


David - 1/7/2004


What do you call what you just did?


David - 1/7/2004


Your students don't give a damn about your "socio-economic identity" any more than you care about theirs. And unfortunately for you, they pay your salary, not vice versa.

But I'm curious to know what you meant when you said, "Belief is not an entitlement". That statement seems so contrary to the truth that I'm sure I've misunderstood you.

You also say that "ideology is not important," perhaps implying that you are "free" of those encumbrances and won't be bothered with such trifles? That also seems so contrary to the truth that, again, I'm quite certain I've misunderstood you.


Denis Sinor - 1/7/2004

Would it be possible to open this most interesting HNN without seeing Pipes's name? His idiotic, partisan rantings do more harm to his cause than is desirable


David - 1/7/2004


That's not what I heard on KUT (I don't just listen to A.M. radio). The prof speaking about it was quite incensed by it (something about "intimidation" and "suppression of ideas", blah blah blah). I was delighted.


GMT - 1/7/2004

It's not envy, David, nor is it sadism. (nor can you read minds, by the by).

Cleary, what you're ringing the AM Radio changes on is a appreciation for poetic justice. The "tax cut" is a tax shift, to the states and to the future. The fallout = poetic justice, get it?

OK, I guess there is something sadistic about watching the stupid blunder into a buzz-saw...


GMT - 1/7/2004

"ideological diversity" is not important, because ideology is not important. Academe is not Burger King, you can't have it your way. If you encounter something that makes you question your beliefs, then you have a choice to make.

Belief is not an entitlement. I really don't give a damn how my students have chosen to accessorize their socio-economic identities. I have met truly few people who were producers, rather than mere consumers, of political thought. Why should their coke-or-pepsi decision be favored or pampered, especially when it has nothing to do with the subject at hand?


GMT - 1/7/2004

and Clinton and the Democrats did nothing to stop the practice of these individuals in scaming both employees and investors

So tell me again why he was supposed to be a "liberal," in the modern sense? My AM Radio wouldn't lie to me, now, would it?


GMT - 1/7/2004

Since anyone who disagrees with a self-described conservative will be branded a "liberal," in lieu of actually framing an argument, it's no suprise that such people feel surrounded by enemies on college campuses, with their question everything ethic and push-button activism.

Ph.D.'s fled academe after the GI Bill transformed the demographics of the US intelligencia. At thinktanks, they can huddle for warmth with their coreligionists, safe in the knowledge that they will never have to face challenges to the arguments they are paid to make. Everything is advertising, now.

But academe is too heterogenous to influence in the same fashion, hardly as monolithic as its (or should I say "it's"?) enemies need it to be in their cut-and-paste attacks. Scaife, et al., must be awfully frustrated that their billions have failed to buy ALL forms of discourse, when they've even managed to penetrate and purge several major seminaries.

So, they run pressure groups from the outside. National Review is a great example. They even have a catechism:

Q: How do you want your professors to feel when you call them?

A: Threatened.

Not cowering to some well paid thug doesn't make me a socialist. I know. I looked it up.

So, I'm assuming HNN ran this retread of an old ploy because the editors have a sense of humor?


GMT - 1/7/2004

And what was curious is that the specialists on the Middle East and Islam responded to our modest website with a fevered reaction. The least hostile of the names we were called was McCarthyite. And you can imagine the more aggressive ones.

Irony is truly dead. Who knew that setting up a clearing house for hate-mail would be so unpopular?


GMT - 1/7/2004

Merit? Surely you jest. Do you also need me to reinvent the wheel for you?


GMT - 1/7/2004

Well, you just enjoy that little fantasy, then! Profs here at UT Austin were actually worried that the latest attempt at intimidation (instigated by the Young Conservatives of Texas) would actually FAIL TO MENTION THEM.

No one is worried about a battle of wits with an unarmed man.


Don Williams - 1/6/2004

-- it's just that some are not intelligent enough to realize that. But they will.

Just as occurred in the Enron con game, the crap's about to hit the fan. Just like Phil Gramm, Bush will wave to millions of bankrupt constituents as he strolls off to a lavish retirement and to well-paid sinecures.


Peter N. Kirstein - 1/6/2004

I am pleased you found it of value.


David - 1/6/2004


Don,

Nothing would make you happier than to see hard working, middle class folks lose their livelihoods, if only to prove your crackpot theories right.

Of course, you'd like to pin it on George Bush, as if he's the architect and the one responsible for the business cycle; again, to prove your crackpot theories right.

I take it you're not someone who did very well in the system you so clearly resent, and you'd like to see it fail because if you can't "have it", no one will.


C.R.W. - 1/6/2004


I wouldn't be surprised if this problem as described is much more prevalent in specifically Near Eastern studies departments. (Justifying/excusing terrorism, blaming failed Arab state policy on the U.S., etc...)


C.R.W. - 1/6/2004


What's less easily discerned than clearly unfair examples in grading and teaching is a classroom atmosphere and resulting discussions that veil criticism at the expense of ideological diversity. Less easily documented and proven, but I suspect more widespread. Shining a light on clear examples of the former (no matter how few or widespread), should help ameliorate the less easily perceived stagnant intellectual repression in the classroom that facilitates it.


C.R.W. - 1/6/2004


You know, Don, you don't have to publish the entire article EVERY time you cite it. A link or even reference note should be sufficient. It seems that on a word-by-word basis, your posts contain an embarassingly low 10% original content.

Having a default preference for letting others do your arguing for you is a sign that you don't have much to say (or possibly, thoughts to stimulate what you say).


Don Williams - 1/6/2004

Just think of it -- the fruits of 40 years of butt-kissing, of clawing up the corporate middle management ladder, of being shameless, unprincipled yes men --lost.
Lost by the very President they fought and paid to get elected.

Ha ha ha. As Mastercard would say --"Priceless".

The story from the White House is that growth in US GDP would help those middle class Republicans pay off the $76,000 in debt that has been dumped on them by Bush.

Those of you who follow the financial markets might want to look at how the dollar is doing today, ponder what's going to happen to interest rates when Bush asks to world to continue to lend money to finance his massive deficits, and extrapolate how that burden will affect our efforts to move out of the Second Bush Recession.

Or as economist Paul Krugman says in today's New York Times column "Don't cry for me, Argentina".


Don Williams - 1/6/2004

Senator Phil Gramm:
"Our accounting firms are the envy of the world. Some of the most respected companies in America are the very companies that would be dismembered by this proposal. And it seems to me that if we’re going to see this happen there has got to be hard evidence that A, there’s a problem, and that, B, this dismemberment is going to solve the problem. And I think that basically is the question … I’ve sort of set out as the standard that’s got to be met if these changes are going to be made and sustained. They’re the things that I worry about."

(Hearing on SEC Audit Rules before the Securities Subcommittee of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, September 28, 2000)
----------
Phil Gramm on why accounting firms (e.g., Arthur Andersen) should be allowed to audit firms with whom they also have large consulting contracts. See
http://multinationalmonitor.org/enron/enroncray.html


Don Williams - 1/6/2004

An excerpt from a Village Voice article at
http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0203/ridgeway.php
--------------
"Phil Gramm’s Enron Favor
Watchdog: Senator Pushed End to Oversight for Campaign Contributor
January 16 - 22, 2002



he one person in the Enron scandal whom congress is not likely to subpoena is its own revered Phil Gramm, the retiring Republican Senator from Texas. Gramm and his wife, Wendy, have tight links to Enron, Wendy being a director and Gramm the pusher of legislation that assisted the company during its troubles last year. In December, his press secretary denied the latter charge, saying, "Senator Gramm took no role, had no say, and did not vote on the energy futures provisions."

That's not the story presented by the D.C. watchdog Public Citizen, whose tale goes like this:

In an apparent response to a 1992 plea from Enron, Dr. Wendy Gramm, then chair of the federal Commodity Futures Trading Commission, moved to exempt the company's energy-swap operation from government oversight. By then, the Houston-based Enron was a major contributor to Senator Gramm's campaign.

A few days after she got the ball rolling on the exemption, Wendy Gramm resigned from the commission. Enron soon appointed her to its board of directors, where she served on the audit committee, which oversees the inner financial workings of the corporation. For this, the company paid her between $915,000 and $1.85 million in stocks and dividends, as much as $50,000 in annual salary, and $176,000 in attendance fees, according to a report by Public Citizen, a group that has relentlessly tracked Enron, which in turn has called the report unfair.

Meanwhile Enron had become Phil Gramm's largest corporate contributor—and according to Public Citizen, the largest across-the board donor in its industry. Between 1989 and 2001, the company tossed Gramm just under $100,000.

In 1998, Wendy Gramm cashed in her Enron stock for $276,912. There's nothing unusual about a Washington regulator quitting the government and going to work for a private company she was regulating. And people often get rich in the process. Wendy Gramm, whose office didn't return Voice calls, has told reporters she sold the stock expressly to avoid any hint of a conflict of interest.

But that's not the end of the story.

In June 2000, Senator Gramm co-sponsored the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, a measure aimed at deregulating certain kinds of futures trading, but not energy futures. That bill never made it to the floor, and thus quietly died. Six months later, on December 15, Gramm curiously turned up as co-sponsor of a bill with the same name, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which did deregulate energy futures and which, without undergoing the usual committee hearings and preliminary votes, was immediately attached as a rider to an 11,000-page appropriations bill. It passed and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton six days later. Few lawmakers had likely perused the rider carefully, if they even knew it was there. And at any rate, Enron had given to the campaigns of over 200 legislators.

That's not to say no one opposed Enron's aims. An economics advisory group to Clinton—with representatives from the Federal Reserve, SEC, and Commodity Futures Trading Commission—had come out against deregulated energy trading. They argued the market was ripe for manipulation. Yet the bill passed, setting Enron free to run what amounted to an energy auction, which Public Citizen claims "gained control over a significant share of California's electricity and natural gas market."

All during this period there was a series of remarkable coincidences. Between June and December 2000, the California energy situation was worsening but still not in crisis. After the Gramm bill went through, all hell broke loose, with one emergency rolling blackout after another. There were charges that out-of-state suppliers were withholding gas and running up the price. Finally, in June 2001, public pressure forced the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, to reassert price controls.

In the midst of this mess, Enron's "wholesale services" revenues quadrupled, hitting the $48.4 billion mark in the first quarter of 2001. That gain came on top of an earlier jump in income, from $35.5 billion to $93.3 billion from 1999 to 2000.

By reasserting federal controls, FERC basically killed Enron's auction system. Company executives then rushed to dump stock. CEO Kenneth Lay had been quietly selling Enron shares from early 1999 to the end of July 2001 for prices ranging from $31 to $86. (The stock's current value has dipped below 70 cents a share.) Lay eventually piled up $101.3 million for himself. Jim Derrick, general counsel, sold 160,000 shares between June 6 and June 15, 2001. Former CEO Jeffrey K. Skilling had sold 500,000 shares as of September 17, 2001. A few weeks later, on December 2, their company filed for bankruptcy. ..."
--------------
You will notice that Ken Lay, Jeffery Skilling, and Phil Gramm are walking around free as birds under the Bush Administration.


Caleb - 1/6/2004

C.R.W.
I appriciate your thoughtful response.

I suspect you are correct, that there are a few (and parhaps many) who grade based on ideological convictions. Clearly, this is a serious problem, since many students future plans depend on their high GPA. I am open minded to the possibility that Mr. Pipes concerns are wholly justified and am willing to look at his evidence as he presents it.

So far, however, while his "Campus Watch" project seems compelling, the examples are far too few to warrent any conclusions (keep in mind that there are thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of professors who teach politics and foreign studies in the United States). Perhaps, once the site has been around a little longer, his evidence will become more convincing to me that this is indeed a national trend and not just a handful of isolated examples.


David - 1/6/2004

So we've got the attention of our colleagues in the universities, and I think it's a healthy development. They now are aware that students might turn to us with their stories, are aware that we're watching the student newspapers to see what inanities they might have spoken.

Like music to my ears. Nothing gives me more pleasure than the image of Leftist academics, attempting to pass off their agenda as truth, self-consciously looking over their shoulder now.


C.R.W. - 1/6/2004


In November (assuming neither the economy nor Iraq get much worse) we'll see who gets their guts ripped out by the US voters...

[Hint - it'll probably be "Mr. Angry Flip-Flop."]


{to be sung to the tune of "I'm so Pretty"}

"I'm so angry, oh so angry, my positions would make voters cry!..."


C.R.W. - 1/6/2004


"So you create your own problem, by misunderstanding the purpose of U.S. funding of area studies: the idea is that greater understanding of cultures other than our own will be valuable, not that it will allow us to combat them, but to cohabit the planet with them."



If the "understanding" is not based on a critically-based analysis it is not useful to either end.


C.R.W. - 1/6/2004


Maybe (I emphasize *maybe*) his sites or organizations might provide more info. It's good that your experiences were positive, but I would be surprised to learn that there aren't many more universities with at least a few who grade and teach out of an unambiguously ideological lens to the detriment of what a university should stand for.

Even in the sciences I find it not at all uncommon to come across researchers who are so ingrained to thinking about something a certain way that they find it difficult to accept a well-backed and well-documented new paradigm. It would amaze me if the same problem wasn't occuring at least as frequently in the social sciences and humanities - with the handicap of an ideological bias being the primary source of the problem.

Sometimes people assume that being open-minded is easier than it is, especially when having to maintain the same standards of critical reasoning.


Don Williams - 1/6/2004

--and who then waved merrily at his tens of thousands bankrupt constituents in Texas (Enron employees) as he went off to a lavish Senatorial pension and sinecure at
investment firm Warburg.

Remember the cry "Get the government off the backs of the people"? "Let free enterprise work!" ??

Both Clinton and the Republican Congress would have done a better job if two years had not been wasted on the Clinton-Monica affair, fruitless Whitewater investigation,etc. Whose idea was that??

The Republican Party deserves to have it's guts ripped out in November by the US voters.


Caleb - 1/6/2004

Orson reveals his contempt for those who disagree in the tone of his post. In any event...

The point I dispute about Pipes is his generalizations based on isolated examples.

Orson says the following:
1) "I have waded into the relevant literature since 9/11, and Pipes litany is amply confirmed and familiar."

A simple search on borders.com and others reveals that one can also find "Islam and Terrorism" by Dr. Mark Gabriel, "Why America Slept : The Failure to Prevent 9/11" by Gerald L. Posner, "The Two Faces of Islam : Saudi Fundamentalism and Its Role in Terrorism" by Stephen Schwartz, and of course pieces written by Pipes himself, an academic! There are numerous other examples, but I think you get my point. Which of these are more emblematic of academia? Who is to say?

2) "the record of establishment academicians remains umblemished: WRONG!"

Question, what is an establishment academic? NOT Harvard educated Pipes, who chairs The Council on American- Islamic Relations?

Perhaps the largest evidence that I can produce on denying the impressive influence of liberal professors is the simple fact that most of the high profile conservatives both in government and in academia went to the very schools they now claim prevents free thought?!? Many of these people went to school in the 60's, when (presumably) the liberal wing of academia was much stronger.

Please note, I am not unequivocally denying Pipes charges, mind you, since I have no conclusive evidence that proves him wrong. I am simple not convinced, based on his evidence and my own experience, that he is right.


Herodotus - 1/6/2004

Touché, NYGuy.


NYGuy - 1/6/2004

Don,

You are so right, and Clinton and the Democrats did nothing to stop the practice of these individuals in scaming both employees and investors. But, as has been reported in HNN new evidence shows that Harriman, another Wall Street democrat got rich out of supporting Hitler. What is the difference now? Business is Business for the democrats. Power is all that counts.


Don Williams - 1/5/2004

that told Main Street mom and pop to put their life savings into tech stocks?

Maybe Herodotus would like to argue for the benign benefits associated with Enron CEOs Jeffery Skillings and Ken Lay exercising their "First Amendment rights"??


Michael Meo - 1/5/2004

The conflict which you and Mr Pipes have with academe is visible from your focus, not on any moral or intellectual damage that may occur because of apologetics from supporters you say you detect of terrorism, but on the waste of money.

The model is, that you want to put money into a study of the Islamic world and get out of it some useful weapon. The people who actually study the Isolamic world and (of course) show some understanding of their point of view, are a waste of money. Not a useful weapon.

So you create your own problem, by misunderstanding the purpose of U.S. funding of area studies: the idea is that greater understanding of cultures other than our own will be valuable, not that it will allow us to combat them, but to cohabit the planet with them.


Michael Meo - 1/5/2004

Thank you for the opportunity to read so many supporters of open inquiry.


Herodotus - 1/5/2004

I rather like the commentary that streaks down past your last link, here:
http://www.hnn.us/readcomment.php?id=25904#25904

You never can come out and say point blank that Bush had nothing to do with 9/11, can you? Or understand that the world can function with people like Glenn Reynolds and Andrew Sullivan exercising their 1st Amendment right to post their comments online (which you _don't_ have to read) simply because they want to, not because anyone is _paying_ them to do it.

For all your screaming about how the wool is being pulled over our eyes, you're failing to explain how it's the responsibility of the news media to report properly. They're not; they're too focused on Britney Spears, Michael Jackson, Lacy Peterson and the rest of the pop news nonsense. People who get their news online and avoid all the pop news claptrap are the people who can reason their way out of a paper bag and see that Reynolds, Sullivan and all the rest of the online bloggers are in fact following all of this very closely.

For all your talk about oil, you never seem to mention any other country's oil firms. Where do BP or Shell fit into this? All puppets being danced by the masters in Houston?


Don Williams - 1/5/2004

There has been a massive fraud perpetuated upon the American voters -- as I've discussed here repeatedly. The neocons criticism of the Left is hilarious, given that the neocons and Bush, in my opinion, resort to every trick in the book when it comes to intentionly misleading and deceiving US voters with propaganda. Withholding information, concealing major facts, and presenting only a partial picture of a situation is just as deceitful as deliberately lying about it.

What I think is amusing is that the Right , including myself, strongly criticized Michael Bellesiles for his sophistry in Arming America -- yet some on the Right appear willing to use Bellesiles' tactics. If Bellesiles was lying, he at least was lying about events of 200 years ago --not about events occurring today, events used to justify war and expenditure of huges amounts of taxpayer dollars.

Glenn Reynolds recently put up a post on Instapundit.com re the question of whether Saudi Arabia has bought influence over US Middle Eastern policy. Apparently, Glenn doesn't want to present factual information pertaining to other sides of this issue to his readers -- information which I submitted to him in an email, a copy of which is below:
------------------
To: Pundit@instapundit.com

Fr: Don Williams --Re Saudis buying US Middle East policy

Actually, I think the evidence is far stronger than billionaire supporters of Sharon have
bought US Middle Eastern policy -- the five largest US campaign donors include
two Israelis with dual US citizenship --Haim Saban and Davidi Gilo. Haim Saban along gave
over $12 million in the 2002 cycle.

Bin Ladin noted in an interview in Nov 2001 that US one-sided support for Israel triggered Sept 11.
There's been a massive coverup re Bush's sales of weapons to Israel in months prior to
Sept 11 (e.g, the $2.5 billion sale of 52 F16s to Sharon in June 2001).
Bush knows that wealthy supporters of Israel are the primary financiers of the Democratic Party --
and that he can destroy the Democrats if he can lure those financiers away. Hence, his extreme pandering
to Sharon. Hussein was not a serious threat to the US --but he was seen as a threat by Sharon, hence
the US attack

For detailed references/citations, see my following posts at History News Network:
http://www.hnn.us/readcomment.php?id=24276#24276
http://www.hnn.us/readcomment.php?id=24277#24277
http://www.hnn.us/readcomment.php?id=24487#24487
http://www.hnn.us/readcomment.php?id=24686#24686

A slight example of the massive amount of pro-Israeli money in the US campaign finance system is given here:
http://www.hnn.us/readcomment.php?id=25902#25902
http://www.hnn.us/readcomment.php?id=25772#25772
http://www.hnn.us/readcomment.php?id=25774#25774

Of course, pro-Israeli money is only one of three main power groups guiding Middle Eastern policy. A second force
is US defense contractors making massive sales to both Arab and Israel -- the 52 F16s sold to Israel in June 2001 were made by defense contractor Lockheed Martin, who also mades similar sales to the United Arab Emirates.
Dick Cheney's wife, Lynne Cheney, was on Lockheed Martin's Board of Directors from 1994 until the Jan 2001
inaugeration.

A third major power is Big Oil. The "war on terror" is being used to establish a series of US military bases in Central Asia --at US taxpayer expense -- which do nothing against Al Qaeda but which guard Houston's evolving investments in the huge Caspian Sea oil deposits. See http://www.hnn.us/readcomment.php?id=27429#27429.
I foresaw and predicted this two years ago in an October 2001 article after the Sept 11 attack -- see http://www.smirkingchimp.com/article.php?thold=-1&mode=nested&order=0&sid=3620
or http://mail.vex.net:99/pipermail/wclp/2001-October/001152.html .

The Iraq oil
reservoirs are a prize as well --not only for the potential profits but also because US control of the major oil reservoirs gives it a powerful hold over the other major global powers --China, France, Germany,etc.
The enormous damage to US citizens resulting from Bush's political games is described here:
http://www.hnn.us/readcomment.php?id=26110#26110

I know that Sharon's supporters have bought the Bush Administration. What I wonder is whether they
have also bought Instapundit and Andrew Sullivan. See http://www.hnn.us/readcomment.php?id=25904#25904


Orson - 1/5/2004

Caleb and Kirstein reveal either denial or ignorance - both variations of the same phenomenon.

I have waded into the relevant literature since 9/11, and Pipes litany is amply confirmed and familiar. For example, Martin Kramer observed the same academic denial after the World Trade Center was first attacked in 1993 in his book _Arab Awakening and Islamic Revival: The Politics of Ideas in the Middle East_, 1996.
(See especially the chapter "Islam and the West [including Manhattan].")

And whether one reads Joel Beinin, Graham Fuller, or John Esposito - the record of establishment academicians remains umblemished: WRONG!

It would be a great comedy of errors were it not for the fact that we suckers - the taxpayers - pay for these follies. Instead it is a tragedy as the seekers of truth deceieve us all.


Caleb - 1/5/2004

I disagree with Pipes commentary. His generalizations seem more like he is fishing for problems rather than really finding one out of the blue. I often hear conservatives complaining about intolerant minority voices (in their case, minority being conservatives) but demonstrating little more than anecdotes that seem, at times, to be a bit far fetched.

When I was an undergrad, I majored in both History and Political Science. Many of my professors were liberal, and some were conservative, but I know this mostly because I often spoke with them outside of class. In my entire academic career, I have never witnessed or heard about teachers being intolerant of others views, no matter how much they disagreed with it. In fact, most class discussions evolve into a debate (i.e. at least 2 sides of an issue) which is encouraged by my teachers. I can certainly recall a certain libertarian professor with whom I shared many heated debated with, and then got an A in the course. What does my example show you? Nothing, because I am only one person. Pipes website attracts conservatives to write in about professors they consider to be too liberal. Until something a bit more solid is presented (perhaps a poll of college students or something), I am not convinced that the problem is as grave or as systematic as Pipes would lead one to believe. His examples of this bias are simply too random and devoid of context.


Caleb - 1/5/2004

I agree with C.R.W. 100% If you dislike HNN for posting Pipes commentary, write them a letter, or better still, avoid those articles whose authors you don't like. If you do wish to respond to anyone's article, it certainly would be the better choice to attack the arguments of the article on its merit, not on its author.


Peter N. Kirstein - 1/5/2004

Only part of the link was activated. I would merely cut and past the entire link and it should work appropriately.

PNK


C.R.W. - 1/5/2004


Would it kill you to get specific?

I find it difficult to believe that you don't realize how pathetic (not to mention hypocritical) it is to keep checking in on and posting complaints on a website which you state is beneath your great and astounding professional academic insights.

Who's the McCarthyist now? Perhaps he who substitutes a critique based on substance for one unambiguously directed against a personality alone.


Peter N. Kirstein - 1/5/2004

This link might prove to be interesting. Situation Analysis at the University of Nottingham has published recent commentary from those, including myself, who signed the solidarity list to resist Pipes's version of McCarthyism.

http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/%7Eajxsm1/resources.html

Should you access the link, you will see and then click on:
Focus: Watching Campus Watch [Word Doc]

That should take you to the document.

I have no problem with HNN carrying Pipes on what seems to be a weekly basis. It serves as an important constant reminder of how the left in academia is not merely criticized intellectually but attacked as lacking moral and ethical values as well.

It is a battle worth waging and I am glad and eager to resist these folks with all the intellectual power I possess.

There can be no turning back and closing the American mind.

Peter N. Kirstein


Peter K. Clarke - 1/5/2004


Yet another irrelevant academic bashing piece by Pipes.

Why ? We have heard his demagogurey over forty times on this website already. Communist activities in America went down in the late 1950s, due in part to McCarthy. Why not run 40 pieces on why McCarthy was a great American ? That at least is history.