**Don't miss the updates at the bottom**
Glenn is saying wacky-crazy-nutty things about Egypt lately--eh? Like--it might not turn out particularly well. And that bad people might try to take control of a chaotic movement. And, that Islamic extremists want a caliphate! A caliphate!!!?? Is that even a real word??
These wild points have angered a few noted conservatives. Glenn most famously (infamously to some) outlined his commentary on Egypt in these three bullet points, so that lazy right and left wing commentators wouldn't have to actually commit multiple minutes to understand what he was saying.
- Groups from the hardcore socialist left, and extreme Islam will work together because of the common enemy of Israel.
- Groups from the hardcore socialist left, and extreme Islam will work together because of the common enemy of capitalism.
- Groups from the hardcore socialist left, and extreme Islam will work together to overturn relative stability, because in the status quo, they are both ostracized from power and the mainstream in most of the world.
Since most of those attacking Glenn don't even commit the time for these three points, let me boil it down further. Sometimes, disparate groups work together towards similarly held short term goals, regardless of how different their long term goals are.
Let me give you an example.
Bill Kristol recycled years of attacks from some of the least creative liberal hacks in America in his recent hit piece on Glenn. But, that doesn't mean that Bill Kristol has the same vision of America that Media Matters has. It just means that both don't like Glenn and will do whatever they have to in order to take a shot at him.
By the way, this isn't new. Kristol's invisible magazine has been calling Glenn a dangerous crazy Bircher maniac for close to a year. There's not a ton of nuance with all of this--old school beltway republicans don't like Glenn. They never have. Yes, they've occasionally try to kiss his ass when they want stuff, but there's not a lot of love going in either direction. Far from something worth hiding, it's something we're happy to trumpet, and it's also most of the reason Glenn doesn't bore America into a blue-suit-red-tie-induced coma.
It's fairly clear- when your priority is the party instead of principle- you aren't going to be in love with Glenn. How that is a news story in 2011 is beyond me.
More importantly, as it relates to Egypt, what part of this is so crazy? That Islamic extremists want a caliphate? Someone should tell Hamas how crazy that idea is. Glenn's point (which he buried in bullet point three) is that groups out of power usually try to further chaos. Why? Because it gives them at least the possibility of a gain in power, where the status quo does not. What is wrong with acknowledging and taking seriously someones stated intent?
Forgive Glenn for expressing a bit of skepticism when looking at a situation where Code Pink protesters and the Muslim Brotherhood are teaming up. Perhaps, these protests will be successful. Perhaps, neither Code Pink nor the Muslim Brotherhood nor someone worse will win out. Perhaps, a beautiful new free market paradise will be born with commercials for the Shake Weight lighting up Egyptian TV for generations to come. But seriously, who is the one embracing ideas that seem crazy?
*UPDATE: Democrat Diane Feinstein worries about Islamic extremists "taking over" Egypt.
**UPDATE 2: Donald Rumsfeld tells Rush "Radical Islamists intend to 'create a caliphate'
***UPDATE 3: Former commander of CENTCOM John Abizaid, 2005:
General Abizaid was dire, too. "They will try to re-establish a caliphate throughout the entire Muslim world," he told the House Armed Services Committee in September, adding that the caliphate's goals would include the destruction of Israel. "Just as we had the opportunity to learn what the Nazis were going to do, from Hitler's word in 'Mein Kampf,"'Abizaid said, "we need to learn what these people intend to do from their own words."
****UPDATE 4: You just have to love this. Where did this crazy idea of a caliphate in Egypt come from? Hmmmmm...
The term "caliphate" has been used internally by policy hawks in the Pentagon since the planning stages for the war in Iraq, but the administration's public use of the word has increased this summer and fall, around the time that American forces obtained a letter from Ayman al-Zawahiri, the No. 2 leader in Al Qaeda, to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. The 6,000-word letter, dated early in July, called for the establishment of a militant Islamic caliphate across Iraq before Al Qaeda's moving on to Syria, Lebanon and Egypt and then a battle against Israel.
*****UPDATE 5: Here is the translation of the letter from Ayman al-Zawahiri referenced in update 4. Just for fun I have linked to the translation given on the website of Bill Kristol's magazine.
It has always been my belief that the victory of Islam will never take place until a Muslim state is established in the manner of the Prophet in the heart of the Islamic world, specifically in the Levant, Egypt, and the neighboring states of the Peninsula and Iraq; however, the center would be in the Levant and Egypt.