Articles and Blog Posts by Daniel Pipes
Don't Put Terrorists on Trial
by Daniel Pipes • July 14, 2014 • National Review Online
The Obama administration has brought an accused Libyan terrorist named Ahmed Abu Khattala to Washington for trial. His saga reveals how the government views the Islamist threat, and it's discouraging. Fortunately, a much better alternative exists.
Abu Khattala stands accused of taking part in the murder of an ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi in September 2012. After an achingly slow investigation, during which time the suspect lived in the open and defiantly gave media interviews, the American military seized him on June 15. After being transported by sea and air to Washington, D.C., Abu Khattala was jailed, provided with a defense attorney, Michelle Peterson, indicted, arraigned, and, after listening to an Arabic translation of the proceedings, pleaded not guilty to a single charge of conspiracy and requested a halal diet. He potentially faces life in prison.
Surprising Support for Israel, not Hamas
by Daniel Pipes • July 11, 2014
The current Hamas assault on Israel has lured the predictable coven of Palestinian nationalists, Islamists, Leftists, and antisemites from the woodwork to bash the Jewish state. But, more surprisingly, Israel is getting support, or at least restraint and fairness, from unexpected sources:
Why Does Hamas Want War?
by Daniel Pipes • July 11, 2014 • National Review Online
Politicians start wars optimistic about their prospects of gaining from combat, Geoffrey Blainey notes in his masterly study, The Causes of War; otherwise, they would avoid fighting.
Why, then, did Hamas just provoke a war with Israel? Out of nowhere, on June 11 it began launching rockets, shattering a calm in place since November 2012. The mystery of this outburst prompted David Horovitz, editor of the Times of Israel, to find that the current fighting has "no remotely credible reason" even to be taking place. And why did the Israeli leadership respond minimally, trying to avoid combat? This although both sides know that Israel's forces vastly out-match Hamas' in every domain – intelligence gathering, command and control, technology, firepower, domination of air space.
CAIR Steals My (Intellectual) Property
by Daniel Pipes • July 5, 2014
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, founded by Hamas supporters and seeking to overthrow Constitutional government in the United States, has engaged in so many morally dubious activities that there's a bibliography of my writings on not trusting CAIR; also, America's self-styled "Largest Civil Rights and Advocacy Organization" has played so many dirty tricks on me that I finally had to document these in both an article and then a follow-up blog.
One Year After Morsi, How Goes Egypt?
by Daniel Pipes • July 3, 2014
Egyptians took to the streets in numbers never seen anywhere, ever on June 30, 2013 to protest against their Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi. Three days later, Defense Minister Abdul Fattah al-Sisi responded to this outpouring by overthrowing Morsi. How do things look now, exactly a year later?
Pretty awful. Looking at the two most urgent arenas, Islam and the economy, almost nothing offers a sign of hope.
In the debate over the proper role of Islam in the lives of Egyptians, the dividing lines have only increased, spawning violence, further extremism, and a sense that the country's split between Islamist and anti-Islamist factions will last for many years. Even the dividing lines among Islamists and among anti-Islamists are hardening. The inscrutable Sisi presides over this mess as the new Husni Mubarak, stolid and repressive, with his own views seemingly contradictory and elusive.
Netanyahu's Steady Hand
by Daniel Pipes • July 2, 2014
Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave an important speech worthy of discussion when he addressed the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv on June 29. The following excerpts are from the official translation on the prime minister's office website:
An historic change is taking place in our region, with major repercussions for Israel's security and the security of the entire world. The Sykes-Picot agreement which, almost a century ago, defined the borders in our region, has come to an end. … we are now looking at many years of conflict and instability.
I agree that Sykes-Picot, a secret agreement between the British, French, and Russian governments in 1916, is likely defunct. But it is one thing for me as historian and analyst to make this point and quite another for a sitting prime minister to do so. It's probably not wise for the head of a government, who has enough on his hands, to engage in such public speculations. They can harm him more than help him.
The Acute Danger of Iraqi Dams
by Daniel Pipes • July 1, 2014
It's been apparent at least since the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 that the Mosul Dam, Iraq's largest, could spell devastation for Iraq due to a combination of faulty construction, governmental indifference, and an ongoing civil insurrrection. Were it to collapse, it would lead to the largest human-induced loss of life in history. (For more on this problem, see my coverage here and here.)
The conquests in 2014 by what used to be known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and now just as the Islamic State, have dramatically shown that other dams in Iraq can also pose problems, if not on so catastrophic a scale.
First, when ISIS seized Falluja in January 2014, it also took control of the Falluja Dam (or Barrage), which is on the Euphrates River, and proceeded to manipulate it for its purposes. Hamza Mustafa of Asharq Al-Awsat quoted a pro-government militia leader a few months later, after Baghdad government forces managed to recapture the barrage, explained ISIS' tactics: ISIS
More on Turkish Support for ISIS
by Daniel Pipes • June 18, 2014
In an article today, "Turkish Support for ISIS," I made the case that the AKP government of Prime Minister Erdoğan stands behind the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. This blog pursues the topic with new proofs.
To begin with, Michael Rubin has simultaneously with me published an article on this same topic, "Turkey: Al-Qaeda Not Terrorists."
June 23, 2014 update: Salih Muslim, the co-chairman of Syrian's dominant Kurdish organization, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), explains his basis for saying that the Turkish government has been supporting ISIS. Excerpts:
"ISIS itself says it gets Turkey's support. Its media gives details of how they get assistance from Turkey and how their militants reach them via Turkey."
Why the seizure of hostages in Mosul? "Some groups within ISIS could have done it without informing the others. For their safety or to blackmail Turkey not to alter its moderate approach to ISIS. It could well be an agreed scenario."
Turkish Support for ISIS
by Daniel Pipes • June 18, 2014 • The Washington Times
The battle in Iraq consists of "Turkish-backed Sunni jihadis rebelling against an Iranian-backed Shi'ite-oriented central government," I wrote in a recent article.
Some readers question that the Republic of Turkey has supported the "Islamic State in Iraq and Syria," the main Sunni group fighting in Iraq. They point to ISIS attacks on Turkish interests, within Turkey, along its border with Syria, and in Mosul and a successful recent meeting of the Turkish and Iranian presidents. Good points, but they can be explained.
First, ISIS is willing to accept Turkish support even while seeing the Islamist prime minister and his countrymen as kafirs (infidels) who need to be shown true Islam.
ISIS Rampages, the Middle East Shakes
by Daniel Pipes • June 12, 2014 • National Review Online
The jihadis' takeover of Mosul on June 9 won them control of Iraq's second-largest city, a major haul of weapons, US$429 million in gold, an open path to conquer Tikrit, Samarra, and perhaps the capital city of Baghdad. The Iraqi Kurds have seized Kirkuk. This is the most important event in the Middle East since the Arab upheavals began in 2010. Here's why:
Regional threat: The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a designated terror group, is in a position to overthrow the governments of Iraq and Syria and perhaps beyond, starting with Jordan. Straddling the Iraq-Syrian border, it may both erase the nearly century-old border between these two colonial creations and end their existence as unitary states, thereby overturning the Middle Eastern political order as it emerged from World War I. Rightly does the U.S. government call ISIS "a threat to the entire region."
Syria's Looming Water Calamity
by Daniel Pipes • June 1, 2014
Two reports from Beirut's Al-Akhbar point to potentially catastrophic water problems about to affect Syria.
The lesser concerns Aleppo, where mortar shells and barrel bombs have slackened off but Islamist rebels have shut down the city's potable water supply, forcing Aleppan residents in government-controlled areas to depend on wells and trucks for limited, contaminated, and expensive water. Lines of women and children "have become ubiquitous in front of mosque fountains and government wells in order to fill small containers such as cooking pots, teapots and plastic bottles as well as small barrels." According to an official at the Syrian Red Crescent, "The situation signals a humanitarian and health disaster."
The Afghan War's Dismal End; Blame Bush Too
by Daniel Pipes • May 28, 2014
Barack Obama's announcement today that the number of U.S. troops will be reduced to 9,800 by year's end and to zero two years later virtually declares that this war, which will have lasted slightly over 15 years and nearly all of four presidential administrations, will end in total American failure.
That's because the Taliban and other Islamist forces have already made a substantial comeback; because the coalition-sponsored Afghan leaders have proven themselves corrupt and inept; and because Americans and other Westerner populations remain unconvinced that this war is worth their lives and treasury. As I have often predicted, about both Afghanistan and Iraq, it's only a matter of a few more years before the impact of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars devoted to their liberation will disappear with little more than a trace.
A 1914 Novel's Prescient Vision of Londonistan
by Daniel Pipes • May 28, 2014 • The Washington Times
Exactly one century ago, the renowned British writer G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936), called by his admirers the greatest writer and thinker of the twentieth century, published a curious novel titled The Flying Inn. On the cusp of World War I, he imagined the Ottoman Empire conquering Great Britain and imposing Shari'a law.
Chesterton rides this implausible scenario as a vehicle to ridicule progressivism – that same arrogant, "scientific," top-down, and leftist approach to government that characterizes the age of Obama. "The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes" Chesterton rightly explained, and The Flying Inn mordantly exposes their failings. Along the way, his vision of an Islamized sceptered isle has arresting features deserving celebration on its centenary.
by Daniel Pipes • May 24, 2014
Andrew C. McCarthy and I are allies over the long term, fighting the Islamist scourge in the same trench for two decades. But alliance does not mean singlemindedness and he responded critically today at NRO in "Can Islamism Evolve?" to my earlier NRO article, "The Growth of 'Moderate' Islamism."
I wrote there that while Islamism – the radical utopian movement aspiring to a consistent and global application of Islamic law under the rule of a caliph – remains in large part violent and tyrannical, developments in several countries suggest the slight possibility that this ideology will evolve in a more benign and decent direction. To which, Andy responded with three main observations, which I shall briefly answer:
1. Andy observes: "Western democracy is regressing away from a culture of individual liberty protected by limited government. If it now seems conceivable that Islamism could democratize, it can only be owing to modern democracy's accommodation of more centralized and intrusive government."
Continue to Archives: Articles / Blog