8. Daniel Pipes
Daniel Pipes is one of the world’s great scholars of Islam and the Middle East. He’s the Director of the Middle East Forum and a regular contributor to FrontPage Magazine.
Daniel was on the same panel as James, on the question of American Decline. The challenging argument that he advanced was this: we’re engaging Islamism as though we’re fighting World War II when really our model should be the Cold War. In 1945 we set about the task of apprenticing the nations we defeated. We helped integrate Japan and Germany back into the modern world. With Afghanistan and Iraq we’ve pursued a similar course of nation-building. In his talk Daniel expressed skepticism at how successful we’ve been. Instead he argued that we should be pursuing a strategy of containment.
I got to have lunch with Daniel on Saturday. He thanked me for the post I did a few weeks ago about the Wikipedia smear job of him and told me the back story of how he and his supporters had tried to get a corrected version up. He also recalled that I’d been in a debate about Islam not long ago. I refreshed him as to the details of the “Moderate Islam Bigfoot Hunt” with pedophile-apologist and ex-NewsReal Blog contributor John Gwardiano (whose name I’ll continue to intentionally misspell until he gets over himself.) When I pointed out that part of the debate was over Gardiano’s misinterpretation of Daniel’s own writings he explained that my reading of him was the correct one. Daniel agreed that there is not a “moderate Islam” of today but that there was in the second half of the 19th century.
Q/A with Daniel Pipes starts at 9:00, see previous page for his speech just before James Carafano’s: