Re: Who is Daniel Pipes?
Interesting. I never heard of the man, I never even heard of the U.S. Institute of Peace, so this is all new to me.
The Washington Post article sounded convincing enough to me, they state their case well.
I did - since I never heard of the man - however, take the effort of googling on his name, and it does seem he is indeed a man of some very controversial views.
He says some sensible things, he says some things that seem a little out there to me, and thats fine for an academic position, freedom of debate, good. But in as far as this is a political post - considering he'd be appointed by the President and Congress - I can see where the furor might come from.
Lemme play advocate of the devil and show you some links:
- his weblog and his latest columns, op-eds, etc. The last few are all from The New York Post.
He devoted one of them - "Discarding War's Rules" - to "Lee Harris, America's reigning philosopher of 9/11", summarising his views in agreement. Citing Harris, he writes: "Western restraint [..] insulates its enemies from the deserved consequences of their actions, and so unintentionally encourages their bad behavior. For the West to reverse this process requires much rougher means than it prefers to use", and praises the Bush administration for having "figured it out" and implemented new lines of policy, to wit, "Pre-empt", "Rehabilitate" ("Dismantle their polities, then reconstruct these along civilized lines") and "Impose a double standard":
Act on the premise that the U.S. government alone is permitted to use force against other agents, who are not permitted to use force.
In brief, until those Harris calls "Islamic fantasists" play by the rules, Washington must be prepared to act like them, without rules.
- "An Interview With Daniel Pipes".
Features, for example, Pipes' views on the war against Iraq. Pipes notes it'll have "vast implications on every sort of level", and prodded whether they'd be "Largely positive or largely negative?", he replied, "Every single way positive that I can think of." Also features his views on Israel. Asked, "How do you think Israel should proceed from this point?", he answered:
"I think there is no substitute for victory. [..] Assuming it's Israeli victory, it means convincing the enemies of Israel that they cannot win and causing them to despair of their goals and give them up. Any kind of compromise solution is not going to work as Oslo so eloquently showed us."
Considering the nomination is for the US Institute of Peace, "a Congressionally sponsored think tank dedicated to "the peaceful resolution of international conflicts", it seems odd, to say the least, to nominate someone who rephrased the above view also as:
"a change of heart [..] is achieved by an Israeli victory and a Palestinian defeat [..] The Palestinians need to be defeated even more than Israel needs to defeat them".
This is pointed out by Mother Jones, http://www.motherjones.com/news/update/2003/22/we_420_01.html
, which quotes Susannah Heschel, a professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth and co-chair of the liberal Jewish group Tikkun as noting, "It would be like appointing me to be the head of nuclear physics at Los Alamos."
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, one of Pipes' pet targets, even compiled an entire webpage with quotes by and about Pipes to make its point: http://www.cair-net.org/misc/people/daniel_pipes.html
Featured quotes include The Nation's Kristine McNeil:
Pipes is notorious in the academy for calling Muslims "barbarians" and "potential killers" in a 2001 National Review article and accusing them of scheming to "replace the [US] Constitution with the Koran," in a similar piece in Insight on the News. Along these lines, a 1990 National Review article insisted that "Western European societies are unprepared for the massive immigration of brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and maintaining different standards of hygiene....All immigrants bring exotic customs and attitudes, but Muslim customs are more troublesome than most."
Pipes heads "Campus Watch" - http://www.campus-watch.org
- an initiative that aims to confront "analytical failures, the mixing of politics with scholarship, intolerance of alternative views, apologetics, and the abuse of power over students" by professors of Middle East Studies. It "invites student complaints of abuse" about their professors, compiling "dossiers" on the reported misdeeds of controversial academics.
As a gesture of solidarity, more than 100 academics subsequently contacted the Middle East Forum asking to be added to the list, but Campus Watch denies charges of McCarthyism: "Campus Watch fully respects the freedom of speech of those it debates while insisting on its own freedom to comment on their words and deeds."
Oddly enough, though, for someone waging such a crusade against "intolerance of alternative views", Pipes himself was speeching to demonstrators on the steps of a Colorado college when the latter dared invite Hanan Ashrawi, the Palestinian intellectual, for a keynote address. Though the College had invited pro-Israeli scholar Gideon Doron to respond to Mrs. Ashrawi with a subsequent keynote address, Pipes was implacable:
"Simply put, the United States is engaged in a war on terror, and Mrs. Ashrawi is on the side of America's enemies [..] We should work so that this type of anti-American spokeswoman is not welcome on American campuses"
Well, et cetera. You may agree with him or you may not agree with him, but I think it's clear that those who claim Pipes has disqualified himself for a government-appointed post at the US Institute of Peace do not do so merely because of his "speaking the truth about Islamic radicalism". I think I would agree with them, judging on these few sources.
Nevertheless, should you wish to support him, you can: there's a petition online, at http://www.petitiononline.com/KN50711/petition.html
. 6,646 people have signed thus far.