The path of extremism

Those looking for evidence of Daniel Pipes’ extremism can look no more. His performance on last night’s ABC Lateline showed a man who was delusional, racist and fundamentally removed from the reality of the Middle East. Suffice to say, he’s clearly been spending too much time in the Green Zone. Some “highlights” follow:

“Let me emphasise I do not want them [Shia and Sunni] to be shooting each other. I wish that the communities found a way to work together. I’m just saying should there be a civil war, it is not necessarily all that bad for our interests. By no means am I endorsing it, by no means do I want one. I’m looking at it in a cool way and saying there are advantages to it. Let me emphasise that does not mean I want it to happen.”

“…The name in the US was Operation Iraqi Freedom. I bristled at that. I thought it should be ‘Operation American Security’. And we don’t spend American lives to win other people’s freedom; we do it in order to protect ourselves. I think, again, a more modest approach where we keep an eye on our interest and hope for the best for the Iraqis and do the best we can for them, or any other people’s, but not make their welfare the reason why we go to war, why we lose lives. That’s not going to work.”

“The US has extreme tensions, with both Syria and Iran – this could exacerbate them [Iraqi civil war]. I don’t know that that’s all to the negative. I’m not – this is a complicated matter. But again, you know, strategically speaking, coolly speaking, I’m not sure that’s all to the bad; Turkey would be all to the bad.”

“I don’t believe, at this point, the coalition forces in Iraq constitute an occupation no more than say American forces in Europe are an occupation force at this point. They are there at the invitation of the Government and can be told by the government to leave. So this is not an occupation anymore. There is now a constituted government in Iraq. I say the Iraqis are adults they are not our wards. They will define their future. We can help them but it is not our burden to re-establish, to rehabilitate Iraq on a new basis.”

In the world of Pipes, there is no occupation in Iraq, growing conflict with Iran and Syria could be a positive for Western interests, Iraqis killing each other in greater and greater numbers could benefit the US strategically and only American lives truly matter. No wonder the Murdoch press and conservative bloggers love this man.

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