During the Cold War extremists like James Burnham, who declared themselves reformed Communists, pushed extremely hawkish policies which historians agree merely prolonged the Cold War by at least two decades. In a similar vein, a gaggle of self-styled ‘ex-extremists’ is today shaping security policy in both domestic and international spheres through alliances with the neoconservative right. In an excellent piece of reportage, Anderson Cooper, Kathleen Johnson and Drew Griffin of CNN recently exposed Walid Shoebat, one stalwart of this industry. Richard Silverstein who runs the excellent Tikun Olam began exposing Shoebat in 2007. Meanwhile in the UK, ex-extremist Maajid Nawaz of the controversial Quilliam Foundation, is being feted by forums like TED! A disgrace, indeed.
Anderson Cooper, who earlier in the day was assaulted by Mubarak’s goons, describes scenes from the day.
It is too easy to mock the crude prejudices of the Tea Party. But in the US, Islamophobia has universal sanction, from Bill Maher to Bill O’Reilly. The following is therefore disturbing but not entirely surprising. Kudos to Anderson Cooper for bringing some sense to American mainstream television.