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Daniel Pipes



  • Islamism with a Human Face?

    by Daniel Pipes

    Until now, Islamist rule has implied violence and dictatorship; can it evolve into something decent?



  • Daniel Pipes: Obama's Foreign Fiasco

    It's a privilege to be an American who works on foreign policy, as I have done since the late 1970s, participating in a small way in the grand project of finding my country's place in the world. But now, under Barack Obama, decisions made in Washington have dramatically shrunk in importance. It's unsettling and dismaying. And no longer a privilege.

  • Why Was Enoch Powell Condemned as a Racist and Not Charles de Gaulle?

    by Daniel Pipes

    Credit: Wiki Commons/HNN staff.The French and British empires historically had different premises, with the former (in the Roman tradition) focused more on culture and the latter more on race, hierarchy, and family. This difference took many forms: one finds meals of bifteck-frites in tiny towns in the former French colony of Niger but little English food even in the cities of neighboring Nigeria. Léopold Senghor of Senegal became a significant French poet and cultural figure whereas Rabindranath Tagore of Bengal could never transcend his Indian origins.Likewise, French and British politicians responded to the initial post-World War II immigration of non-Western peoples to their countries in characteristically different ways. Charles de Gaulle, arguably the most important leader of France since Napoleon, focused on culture while Enoch Powell, a rising star in the United Kingdom, emphasized race. Here are their speeches on the topic, starting with de Gaulle (1890-1970), who spoke on March 5, 1959:



  • Daniel Pipes: The Right Moment for Israel's Danny Danon?

    Daniel Pipes (DanielPipes.org) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2013 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved."Lunacy." That's how Danny Danon describes Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's decision to hand over 104 killers to the Palestinian Authority as a "goodwill gesture."He's hardly alone, as many observers (including myself) are outraged by this move. But Danon, 42, has a unique place in this debate because he (1) sits in Israel's parliament as a member of Netanyahu's Likud Party, he (2) is chairman of Likud's powerful Central Committee, and he (3) serves as Israel's deputy minister of Defense. In American terms, his criticism resembles Gen. Stanley McChrystal's 2010 interview mocking Vice President Joe Biden. But McChrystal was gone within days whereas Danon continues to gain influence and stature.



  • Daniel Pipes: On Closed Embassies, the Worldwide Travel Alert, and Wimpitude

    Daniel Pipes (DanielPipes.org) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2013 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.In April, the city of Boston was effectively under military curfew because two terrorists were on the loose. Now, fears of al-Qaeda attacking has led the U.S. government to close 21 U.S. embassies in Muslim-majority countries and then issue a worldwide travel alert announcing that "Terrorists may elect to use a variety of means and weapons and target both official and private interests. U.S. citizens are reminded of the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure."The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, said that the two steps result from "a significant threat stream" and so the authorities "are taking it seriously."



  • Daniel Pipes: Will Turkey's Military Emulate Egypt's?

    Daniel Pipes (DanielPipes.org) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2013 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.That is the important question asked today by Steve Coll:Will Egypt's counter-revolution inspire Turkey's fragmented, avowedly secular military—which once dominated the country's politics, via coup-making—to reorganize and reassert itself? Could the military do so if it tried? … recent events in Egypt will surely stir and tempt Atatürk's heirs in the opposition.My take: It is hard to imagine, given how the top Turkish brass submitted so meekly to AKP control and permitted the imprisonment of so many of its members that, at this late date, it will find the gumption to challenge Erdoğan & Co.If there were to be a revolt, therefore, it would more likely come not from the ranks of the generals – who carried out all of Turkey's prior coups d'état – but from some disgruntled colonel fed up with his superiors' supine responses to Islamist domination and inspired by Sisi's bold action in Egypt.



  • Daniel Pipes: What to Want in Egypt

    Daniel Pipes (DanielPipes.org) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2013 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.In the aftermath of the coup d'état in Egypt, a consensus has emerged, to cite an anonymous Obama administration official, that "Trying to break the neck of the [Muslim] Brotherhood is not going to be good for Egypt or for the region."The thinking behind this view is that (1) it's better to have Islamists in the political process than violently rebelling and (2) participating in civil society has the potential to tame Islamists, making them see the benefits of democracy and turning them into just another interest group.May I vociferously disagree?Yes, we do indeed want to break the brotherhood's neck because that is good for Egypt, the region, and (not least) ourselves. Both the above assumptions are wrong. (1) Islamists can do more damage within the political process than outside it. To put it graphically, I worry more about a Turkey, with elected Islamists in charge, than Syria, where they are engaged in a civil war to attain power. (2) Islamists have a history of using the political process for their own ends, and not of being tamed by it: see Mohamed Morsi's year in power for one clear example.



  • Daniel Pipes: Islamism's Likely Doom

    Daniel Pipes (DanielPipes.org) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2013 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved. As recently as 2012, it appeared that Islamists could overcome their many internal dissimilarities -- sectarian (Sunni, Shi'ite), political (monarchical, republican), tactical (political, violent), or attitudes toward modernity (Salafi, Muslim Brotherhood) -- and cooperate. In Tunisia, for example, Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) types found common ground. Differences between all these groups were real but secondary, as I put it then, because "all Islamists pull in the same direction, toward the full and severe application of Islamic law (the Shari'a)."



  • Daniel Pipes: Is Netanyahu Turning Left?

    Daniel Pipes (DanielPipes.org) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2013 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.With Syria and Egypt aflame, why is U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry returning to the Middle East for his sixth visit since February to focus on more Israeli-Palestinian shuttle diplomacy?In part, because he and other liberals think that the Arab and Iranian (and now Turkish?) war on Israel boils down to an Israel-Palestinian conflict and therefore they over-emphasize this dimension; in part, too, because he subscribes to the liberal illusion that Israel-related issues constitute the "epicenter" of the region (as James L. Jones, then Obama's national security adviser, once put it), so their resolution must precede dealing with other Middle Eastern problems.But there's another possible reason for Kerry's enthusiasm: he took the measure of Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and found him indeed serious about reaching an accord with the Palestinians, and not just pretending enthusiasm to please Washington.