Denial River Valley: Bill Kristol on Egypt
February 13, 2011 1 Comment
Part I: Kristol Misses the Point.
After some preliminaries about Egypt which rely heavily on a Charles Krauthammer article, Bill Kristol launches into this rather strange and petty screed against Glenn Beck:
Now, people are more than entitled to their own opinions of how best to accomplish [a] democratic end [in Egypt]. And it’s a sign of health that a political and intellectual movement does not respond to a complicated set of developments with one voice.
But hysteria is not a sign of health. When Glenn Beck rants about the caliphate taking over the Middle East from Morocco to the Philippines, and lists (invents?) the connections between caliphate-promoters and the American left, he brings to mind no one so much as Robert Welch and the John Birch Society. He’s marginalizing himself, just as his predecessors did back in the early 1960s.
Thank you, Dr. Kristol, for your diagnosis. Kudos on mustering the restraint necessary to avoid using the terms “paranoid,” “fringe,” and “conspiracy theorist.” You must have been well-pleased with yourself. I can imagine that smug little grin of yours as you peck at your laptop.
Nor is it a sign of health when other American conservatives are so fearful of a popular awakening that they side with the dictator against the democrats. Rather, it’s a sign of fearfulness unworthy of Americans, of short-sightedness uncharacteristic of conservatives, of excuse-making for thuggery unworthy of the American conservative tradition.
Again with the “health” theme? Are you planning on following in Krauthammer’s occupational footsteps? Or are you simply taking a page out of the Leftist playbook and branding those with whom you disagree as mentally ill?
Who is making excuses for thuggery? Mr. Beck? I think not. You are quite specific elsewhere in the piece, where are the specifics here? Who is making excuses? What are the nature of those excuses?
Since I listen to Beck a few hours a week, I’d love to know what I missed! Unless, of course, it wasn’t something that Beck said, but that someone else said, in which case the proximity of those preceding two paragraphs is a dishonest attempt to put words in Beck’s mouth.
It was not so long ago, after all, when conservatives understood that Middle Eastern dictatorships such as Mubarak’s help spawn global terrorism.
Bill, Bill, Bill. That is your “understanding,” not that of “conservatives.” Salafi Islamists have been slaughtering infidels for about two millennia now. Don’t be a silly willy. And don’t try to speak for all conservatives–you don’t.
Mr. Kristol goes on to invoke the Declaration of Independence and the Federalist Papers, but manages to stop himself before he veers off into the Gettysburg Address, the National League and Norman Rockwell.
If the purpose of Mr. Kristol’s piece was to make the case that we should not support dictators, he undercuts it by throwing several disparate elements into the Cuisinart. You’re a bright guy, Bill–surely you can make that case stand on its own, without trotting out the favorite whipping boy of the Left and squishy Right, right?
Part II: The Point That Kristol Misses.
In case Kristol was too busy inventing things to put in Glenn Beck’s mouth to see this, a very interesting translation was released last week: “The Muslim Brotherhood–in its own words: PMW translation of ‘Jihad is the way’ by Mustafa Mashhur, Leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, 1996-2002,” by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik.
From the Introduction:
Jihad is the way. We need to be fully aware of this and to act and follow in its way. The faltering of faith has led the Muslims to their current state: one of laxity, disintegration, the dominion of Allah’s enemies over the Muslim’s resources, and the succumbing of some of them to abandoning their faith. The revival of the faith is the starting point for the revival and revitalization of the Islamic Ummah [nation], so that it can regain its power and be liberated and assume its rightful position which was intended by Allah, as the most exalted nation among men , as the leaders of humanity, and through this religion of truth they will deliver humanity from darkness unto light.
Together with the power of faith, there is no escaping from the power of unity among the Muslims to unify efforts. Then comes the power of arms and weapons, when nothing else will suffice, and this is the role of Jihad. The Imam (Muslim religious leader) and Shahid (Martyr), Hassan al-Banna (founder of the Muslim Brotherhood) learned of the need for these three forces, from the biography of the Prophet [Muhammad], may Allah bless him and give him peace…
Many questions arise regarding the Muslim Brotherhood’s stance as to Jihad… There is one who asks: Is the meaning of Jihad to force non-Muslims to become Muslim under threat of violence? While another says: Do you want to fight Allah’s enemies in the East and West while they are immensely powerful and you are weak…? … And some say do you want, through the Jihad, to send Muslim youth to their death and to hand them over as easy prey to the enemies of Islam? At the same time we hear those among the enthusiastic youth who say: Has the [Muslim] Brotherhood grown weary after the challenges, thrown down its weapons and abandoned Jihad? Yet another says: Do you wish, with this passivity, to weaken the youth’s vigor and kill the spirit of Jihad in them?
Another asks: How long will you content yourselves with Da’wa (Islamic missionary activity) and education without Jihad, while the enemies of Allah lie in wait and attack you from time to time, and you confront their attacks with submissiveness and without resistance?
These are all questions which are brought up regarding the [Muslim] Brotherhood and their position on Jihad… We feel it necessary to make these matters clear to all of us so that there will be a unified understanding and the efforts shall be unified with Allah’s help.
Please don’t tell me that Jihad is a spiritual quest, or I shall be forced to throw this keyboard in your direction. These people tried to kill Nasser, they succeeded in killing Sadat…but of course this was in addition to all the fine charitable work they do through Hamas (I jest).
Perhaps Mr. Kristol would care to address the real history of the real organization that is very likely poised to finally achieve an Islamist state in Egypt.
As for Beck “inventing” links between the hard-Left and Islamists–well, Billy, there’s so much evidence it would take several blog posts to bring you up to speed. You can start here, though. Thanks are not necessary. And if you want to dispute the information, do so–but save the character assassination for the Left.
Part III: Concluding Comments From Someone Who Actually Knows Something About Islamists.
The Obama administration has courted Egyptian Islamists from the start. It invited the Muslim Brotherhood to the president’s 2009 Cairo speech, even though the organization is officially banned in Egypt. It has rolled out the red carpet to the Brotherhood’s Islamist infrastructure in the U.S. — CAIR, the Muslim American Society, the Islamic Society of North America, the Ground Zero mosque activists — even though many of them have a documented history of Hamas support. To be sure, the current administration has not been singular in this regard. The courting of Ikhwan-allied Islamists has been a bipartisan project since the early 1990s, and elements of the intelligence community and the State Department have long agitated for a license to cultivate the Brotherhood overtly. They think what Anwar Sadat thought: Hey, we can work with these guys.
Let me know how that works out.
Denial is not a sign of health, either, Bill.