The latest controversy between William Kristol and Glenn Beck reveals two fundamentally different approaches to understanding the global threat faced by the United States and the West, as evident in the impending insurrection in Egypt against American-backed ruler Hosni Mubarak.
In a widely-circulated editorial in The Weekly Standard, Kristol condemned Beck’s coverage and views on the Egyptian conflict. His condemnation deviates from the widely-accepted view of the Egyptian “revolution” among mainstream conservatives, and shockingly seems to indicate support for the rampaging protesters.
In the editorial, oddly entitled “Stand for Freedom,” Kristol claims that conservatives should support the uprising, despite its being led and orchestrated by a well-organized and well-financed cadre of socialist, communist, unionist, Islamist, and all-around anti-American and anti-Israeli elements:
Who doesn’t love a democratic revolution? Who is not moved by the renunciation of fear and the reclamation of dignity in the streets of Cairo and Alexandria?
Some on the right, that’s who. Elections will be held. The primary U.S. objective is to guide a transition period that gives secular democrats a chance.
The Egyptian awakening carries promise and hope, and of course merits our support. We agree that the United States must support the Egyptian awakening, and has a paramount moral and strategic interest in real democracy in Egypt and freedom for the Egyptian people. The question is how the U.S. government can do its best to help the awakening turn out well.
Kristol has adopted the misguided view that the United States should not be concerned with protecting its interests and the interests of the Free World overseas. He naïvely believes that “democracy” equates to pro-American, effectively befuddling our understanding of the events unfolding on the streets of Cairo, and compromising the interests of America and Israel, not to mention the free market, in favor of a view that could have otherwise been expressed by any host of left-wing or so-called “libertarian” commentators.
An analysis of his editorial indicates a desperate and ignorant attempt by Kristol to stake a claim to relevance within contemporary conservatism. It also reveals that Kristol is seemingly completely without knowledge regarding trends in contemporary Middle Eastern politics, especially the strategic, unholy alliance between the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian Communist Party, and other leftist groups within Egypt, who are united by their common hatred for anything associated with America or Israel — their common enemies — which they perceive through the racialist and classist lenses of Marxian dialectic and so-called “anti-imperialist” Pan-Arabism, rooted in the socialist, pro-Soviet proclivities of Egypt’s first president, Gamel Abdel Nasser.
While Kristol condemns Beck and those who are aware of the toxic implications of an Islamist-communist alliance in Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, or any other country in the Middle East where pro-American rulers are being toppled daily in favor of despots who play into the Anti-American sentiments of the Arab World, he is acutely ignorant of what experts have already noted regarding the Islamist-Communist-Nationalist alliance.
In fact, it is the “Kefaya Movement” which is leading the Egyptian protests, and Nadia Oweidat — a political scientist associated with the RAND Corporation, in her analysis The Kefaya Movement: A Case Study of a Grassroots Reform Initiative — identifies the Egyptian “democracy” movement as an example of the Islamo-Communist connection, as well as what is for America, a dangerous harbinger of political developments among us:
Described as a secular organization, Kefaya is widely diverse, uniting communist, nationalist, and Islamist members in the most significant model of modern political parties in the Arab World. [Emphasis added.]
In addition, Professor Helen James, in her book Civil Society, Religion, and Global Governance: Paradigms of Power and Persuasion, also identifies the communist nature of Kefaya:
The swelling advocates of Kefaya (now) include the masses of the Cairene poor, drawn by Socialist-Communist and Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood) community networks, and expressing open defiance of regulations forbidding large gatherings.
Furthermore, the Egyptian “democracy” movement was organized by its now-deceased General Coordinator, Abdel Wahab ElMessiri, who was a member of both the Egyptian Communist Party and Muslim Brotherhood. ElMessiri was a radical Islamist and anti-Semite who condemned Israel and the United States as being “hedonistic, colonial societies,” and has published anti-Israel books with the Nasserite, USSR-backed Committee of Supporting Middle East Liberation.
In what amounts to an uneducated, unnecessarily abrasive, and highly revealing blow to Glenn Beck and dyed-in-the-wool conservatives who disagree with his rhetoric of an alleged mandate to be engaged in “democracy-building” at the expense of our national security and interests abroad, Kristol shows a complete disregard for objective evidence:
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.
Kristol relies on old, debunked stereotypes regarding The John Birch Society, which has long pointed to the geopolitical truth that in a strategic, and also perhaps an ideological, alliance against the United States and the West, Communist regimes such as China and Russia have long collaborated with various Arab countries to oppose their common American enemy.
Kristol is oblivious regarding this truth. One need only look at the following examples, among many others:
• Russia’s support and development of Iran’s nuclear weapons program
• China’s infrastructure development and petroleum campaign within the Sudan.
• Reports from the Pentagon that Russia aided and abetted Saddam Hussein’s regime and contributed to Weapons of Mass Destruction program in Iraq, and that Belarus offered passports and a safe haven to top aides and advisors to Saddam Hussein
• Russian weapon sales to Yemen, and previous support of Marxist South Yemen.
• KGB support of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and subsequently, Russia’s recognition and support of a Hamas-led Palestinian State.
• Iran’s impending membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), along with Russia and China.
This is perhaps best summarized by French academic Alexandre Del Valle, who has outlined the present-day connection between Islamists, Communists, and even Neo-Nazi groups (such as the National Bolshevik Party in Russia) in their desire to bring down America and the West, identifying a Red-Green-Brown alliance, in his book The Reds, The Browns, and The Greens.
In addition, prominent academic Antony C. Sutton, formerly of the Hoover Institution, had it right, in his tenure as a member of the 1972 Republican Party Platform Committee: In order to curb the Islamist threat, the United States must seize and desist from all economic ties with Russia and Red China, who are using US-built factories to arm Israel's enemies.
Amplifying Kristol’s ignorance are these myriad documented examples of the historical and geopolitical truths which Kristol seems to deny.
The Muslim Brotherhood is actively engaged in the effort to build, like the Soviet-backed Nasser, a Pan-Arab alliance of states, with the Brotherhood desiring a caliphate coalesced around Islamist principles and Sharia law, the exact definition of a caliphate in its 21st century usage and context.
The Brotherhood’s founding ideology is Salafism, and according to expert Richard Paul Mitchell, in his groundbreaking 1969 analysis The Society of the Muslim Brothers, central to this ideology is the re-establishment of the Caliphate. While the Ikhwan may be willing to utilize democracy as a strategic tool in achieving this end, as opposed to violent jihad, Robert S. Leiken of the Nixon Center cautions that while such so-called “democrats” radiate the illusion of moderation, their commitment to true democracy is flimsy and their hatred for American foreign policy even greater.
Kristol rejects Leiken’s prudent warnings about the Radical Islamist Ikhwan’s utilitarian view of democracy, and instead wants the public to believe that “the idea that democracy produces radical Islam is false.” Kristol apparently knows little-to-nothing about the Ikhwan and its history.
Kristol fails to realize that a group seeking the imposition of Sharia does not share our American, Lockean notion of natural rights and our Jeffersonian, Enlightenment-era ideas about religious toleration, and that for the Ikhwan, democracy is not an end, but a means to an end: a caliphate.
The Muslim Brotherhood is a direct force behind the protests, which emerged out of a context of over three years of protests against perceived economic abuses and pro-free market policies. Such protests were organized by groups such as the Tagammu Party, which, according to Trotskyist journalist Hossam El Hamalawy, is essentially synonymous with the Egyptian Communist Party:
Most independent leftist organizations in the 1980s and 1990s hewed to a line on political Islam similar to that of the Egyptian Communist Party—the dominant faction inside the “legal left” Tagammu Party.
And, yes, the American Left has had a role in orchestrating the unrest in Egypt, which is inspired by years of labor movement protests against Hosni Mubarak, organized by the Federation of Egyptian Trade Unions. The group announced in a press release on January 30th:
The labor movement is the heart and soul of the Egyptian Peoples’ revolution and its emphasis on the support for the six requirements as demanded by the Egyptian People's Revolution. To emphasize the economic and democratic demands voiced by the independent labor movement through thousands of strikes, sit-ins and protests by Egyptian workers in the past years.
The group is a member of the AFL-CIO backed Solidarity Center, and its efforts have been endorsed by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who issued the following statement, demonstrating that the AFL-CIO supports the toppling of America’s ally, Hosni Mubarak:
More specifically, world labor is in solidarity with the Federation of Egyptian Trade Unions and its call for the nationwide general strike, aimed at bringing down nearly three decades of Mubarak's dictatorship.
"The people's movement for democracy in Egypt and the role unions are playing for freedom and worker rights inspires us and will not be forgotten," Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, said in a letter to the Egyptian organizers.
While Hosni Mubarak may not share American hopes and conceptions of what constitutes a democratic government, he has been an ally of the United States and Israel, and has attempted to institute as many free-market reforms as possible, to the mutual disgust of both the Egyptian and American left, and their mutual ally against so-called “American imperialism,” the Muslim Brotherhood.
Glenn Beck is articulating the same factual truths enumerated here, and by a myriad of others who comprehend the nature of the Muslim Brotherhood and the anti-Mubarak movement in Egypt.
It is a sad and shameful day when a self-identified “conservative” betrays the Kirkpatrick Doctrine and the long-term strategic interests of the United States in favor of what most likely amounts to a desperate attempt for publicity and attention from a political movement in which he is now obsolete.
Jealousy has indeed reared its ugly head, as Kristol is most likely seeking some modicum of legitimacy in a political climate which does not share his naïve and dangerous viewpoints, by smearing an organization with a long and proud history of anti-communist advocacy, and verbally attacking a media personality who has publicized many of the same views.