Pipes Disconnected


Put on your hip boots: Charges of McCarthyite lynch mobs are on their way. The nomination of Daniel Pipes to the board of the U.S. Institute of Peace has been put off after the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee failed to get a quorum in his confirmation hearing.

Here are two stories, from the Arab-American Insitute and JTA News. AAI's Jennifer Salan tells me there doesn't seem to be a new date for hearings, and there's a slight chance President Bush may appoint Pipes during the August recess, allowing him to skip the confirmation but only serve until the end of the 108th Congress.

I still maintain that Pipes' credentials more than qualify him for the job, but I take with much salt the Chicken Little conspiracy mongering that depicts poor Pipes as the victim of CAIR, AAI and the other usual suspects. They're out to get him, and he's out to get them—a point that gets lost in the hysterical shrieking of Pipes defenders like David Horowitz. This is a straightforward case of two sides dedicated to inclusion doing their best to exclude each other from positions of influence. (For a more reasoned defense, see Mistah Kurtz's argument that the Arab and Muslim groups should be engaging Pipes rather than attacking him.)

Interestingly, Pipes himself is an old hand at studying the conspiratorial style in politics.


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  1. Ever notice this unseemly non sequitur on Pipes’ “Middle East Forum” page? Among its declared goals are “strong ties with Israel, Turkey, and other democracies as they emerge…human rights throughout the region…a stable supply and a low price of oil…and the peaceful settlement of regional and international disputes.” Wassup with that?

  2. Remember M.E. Bradford? This is just karma in action.

  3. Pipes has as much intellectual credibility as Ann Coulter does, or Michael Moore for that matter. His “Islam: What Went Wrong?” is an oversimplified narrative which has all the intellectual rigor the film “Kentucky Fried Movie,” not that Edward Said’s attacks on him are any better.

  4. Stephen Fetchet,

    Can you be any more unoriginal? Yes, there are many Jewish neoconservatives and many Jews were integral in the development of neoconservatism. However, we do not criticize neoconservatives because they are Jews; we criticize them because of their ideas. Yes, some far-right group like http://www.vanguardnewsnetwork.com equate neocons with Jewish people, however, to generalize ALL critics of neocons as anti-Semitic is intellectually lazy.

    By labelling all critics of neocons as “anti-Jewish” or “Anti-Semitic”, you are attempting to nullify all debate regarding neocons and their imperialist philosophy.

    Below is a segment from a column by Bill Ravotti which succinctly dismisses these spurious charges of “Anti-Semitism”:

    “To say one attacks neoconservatives because they are Jewish is false,… Neoconservative is a term that has been used for some time, and it has never been used exclusively for “Jewish conservatives.” The most ardent may be evangelical Christians like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, and some are Catholics like William Bennett and Michael Novak…”

  5. Pipe’s uncritical and total dismissal of conspiracy analysis in his “Conspiracy” is anti-intellectual and in it he commits many errors of fact and logic. Also, he uses attacks on conspiracists as a tool to telegraph blows agianst those who may oppose a Sharon-type agenda for Israel. But heres what’s worse and more frightening considering his influence:

    “Indeed, conspiracist writings constitute a quite literal form of pornography (though political rather than sexual). The two genres became popular about the same time, in the 1740’s…” (p. 49)

    And then he goes on to write:
    “The United States has far and away the most complete freedom of expression of all the countries in the world (one survey of censorship calls it “libertarian to the extreme”), so conspiracist ideas banned elsewhere for their violent and noxious qualities find American publishers.” (p. 118)

  6. Yeah, that wacky Bernard Lewis. We all know how stupid and intellectually unserious them Ivy League perfessers is, especially the perfessers emeritus. Reg’lar bubble headed lightwaits compared ta our Croesus.

    Of course, the real problem is he’s a “neocon”, or as Cynthia McKinney’s father said in a stage whisper, a J. E. W. And if you don’t think that the good hearted, Islam-means-peace kum-ba-ya singers at CAIR aren’t after his ass, you have clearly not visited their website lately.

  7. i think pipes gets confused with big C Conspiracy (a la Spectre versus james bond) versus little c conspiracy (the normal political machinations we know and love)

  8. “Mistah Kurtz” – hehe, good one, Tim!

  9. “Of course, the real problem is he’s a “neocon”, or as Cynthia McKinney’s father said in a stage whisper, a J. E. W.”

    Given the many non-Jewish neocons and the many Jews that are among the neocons most vociferous critics, stupid statements like the above are exposed for what they are.

  10. Croesus,

    You are mistaking Pipes for Bernard Lewis.
    By the way, what was wrong with “what went wrong ?”

  11. Stephen, I would dispute your claim that both sides are “dedicated to inclusion” and trying to keep the other side out. There is no one with positions like Pipes on USIP…there is no shortage of members who toe the CAIR/AAI line. Pipes is not trying to take over…just be included. My guess is that he would welcome representation from the more radical groups in that forum because it could force discussion and debate i public that would be well worth having. Bottom line…Pipes is not trying to prevent inclusion…only one side is doing that.

  12. If I may toot my own horn on this subject:


    There’s a link at the bottom connecting to my rejoinder to Pipes’s reply.

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