Since Sept. 11, Daniel Pipes has appeared as a Middle East expert on Crossfire, Greenfield at Large, Hardball, Nightline,and Special Report With Brit Hume. Who is he? Is he related to Richard Pipes, the historian of Russia?
Second question first: They’re son and father. Familial resemblances include: They’re both historians, they both worked in the Reagan administration, and they both take a hard line against their subjects of study.
Daniel Pipesis the director of the Middle East Forum, a Philadelphia-based think tank that “works to define and promote American interests in the Middle East.” He is pro-Israel—he has said that the democracies of Israel, India, and Turkey are the only U.S. allies in the Middle East and Central Asia—and a fierce critic of U.S. policy toward Saudi Arabia (which he says consists of “obsequiousness, of giving them what they want and demanding very little in return”). National Journal calls him one of the three most prominent critics of the three main Muslim political groups in Washington, D.C.—the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and the American Muslim Council.
Pipes is a unilateralist with respect to the war on terrorism (“You’re invited to join us, but we don’t need you”) and a proponent of expanding the war to such countries as Sudan, Iran, and Iraq. He worked for a year in Reagan’s State Department, and he has undergraduate and doctoral degrees in history from Harvard. In the November issue of Commentary, he argues that “a substantial body” of Muslims in the United States wants to transform the country into an Islamic theocracy.
His father, Richard Pipes, is professor emeritus of history at Harvard. His most recent book is Communism: A History. A Democrat who joined Ronald Reagan’s transition team, he became Reagan’s top Soviet adviser when he served as director of East European and Soviet affairs for the National Security Council from 1981 to 1982. David Remnick says Richard Pipes articulated the belief, accepted by Reagan, that the Soviet Union faced severe economic problems that would grow worse if it diverted its resources into an arms race.
Richard Pipes made waves in the early years of the administration when he told Reuters that the Russians had to choose between communism and peace and when he told the Washington Post that the probability of nuclear war was 40 percent. He helped to end the policy of détente with the Soviet Union when he headed “Team B” in 1976, a group of outside experts commissioned by then-CIA Director George Bush to second-guess the CIA’s internal Soviet analysts. Team B concluded that the Soviets were preparing a first-strike nuclear capability against the United States and that the United States should be prepared to fight a winnable nuclear war.
DanielPipes.org vs. DanielPipes.com: The anti-Pipes Web site DanielPipes.com links to a lengthy attack on Daniel Pipes by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which maintains that Pipes “has exhibited a troubling bigotry toward Muslims and Islam” throughout his career. Pipes responds on his own Web site, DanielPipes.org. CAIR asserts that Pipes has “history of hostility toward Muslims in general and to the American Muslim community in particular.” Pipes gives as good as he gets, comparing CAIR to David Duke in an interview with Salon: “David Duke looks nice, presents himself well, but as soon as he opens his mouth, you see he’s a wild-eyed maniac. Well, so are these people.”
Previously in the “Yes Related” series, Explainer tackled the Negropontes and the Eskews. Explainer has also handled in “No Relation” Josh Bolten and John Bolton; Robert Kagan, Lawrence F. Kaplan, and Robert D. Kaplan; Lawrence Kudlow, Robert Kuttner, Paul Krugman, and Robert Krulwich; Linda Chavez and Linda Chavez-Thompson; Marty Peretz and the Meretz Party; the McCulloughs and Macaulays;the Gessens, Glennys, and Kaczynskis; the Cohens (three Stephens, four Richards); the Rays(two Elizabeths); the Hirschfelds(Abe and Al); the Strausses (Robert and R. Peter); the Broders (Jonathan, John M., and David); the Moores (three Michaels); and the Samuelsons (Paul, Robert, and Larry).
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