Robert Wright on the Ground Zero Mosque (UPDATE)

I’m a little late on this, but, if you’re interested in the some of the polemics and politics around the Ground Zero Mosque, it’s well worth reading the piece published earlier this week on the New York Times website by the author and writer, Robert Wright, who is also associated with the New America Foundation.

One of the main characters in this episode is Stephen Schwartz whose ties to Daniel Pipes I wrote about in 2004 and again in 2005 when Pipes was seeking funding for Schwartz to head a new “Islamic” Institute. I guess the exposure didn’t help the funding effort, because Schwartz subsequently sent me probably the most profane and abusive emails I’ve ever received. Fortunately, it’s in an old hard drive that’s gone irretrievably bad.

In the meantime, check out Newt Gingrich’s utterly bizarre contribution to the debate. Gingrich is giving a speech next Thursday at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) with the (appropriately) pompous title, “America at Risk: Camus, National Security, and Afghanistan.”

UPDATE: Arabist blogger and Egypt-based journalist Issandr El Amrani posted a nice take down of Gingrich on his blog. He also speculates as to the motivations of anti-mosque campaign leader Pam Gellar’s Muslim-bashing — as evidenced by her, well, whole career — but he might be giving too much credit to her ability to synthesize information and trends.

Jim Lobe

Jim Lobe served for some 30 years as the Washington DC bureau chief for Inter Press Service and is best known for his coverage of U.S. foreign policy and the influence of the neoconservative movement.



  1. Gingrich the Newt is a newt that puts all other newts to shame; and to recount the moral sins of this man would take more effort than I care to expend. But, for this Mother #V(%@( to slander Camus is beyond the pale. There could be no greater dichotomy than that between Camus and Gingrich.

  2. Vile:

    “About This Event

    Almost nine years after the 9/11 attacks, the United States has yet to confront the threat posed by the extremist and irreconcilable wing of Islam. Former Speaker of the House and AEI senior fellow Newt Gingrich will warn that now is the time to awaken from self-deception about the nature of our enemies and rebuild a bipartisan commitment, in Afghanistan and elsewhere, to defend America. Drawing on the lessons of Camus and Orwell, Gingrich will describe the dangers of a wartime government that uses language and misleading labels to obscure reality. He will explain why we need a debate about this larger war against the irreconcilable wing of Islam—which mortally threatens America’s way of life, freedom, and rule of law—and how it relates to the nuclear threat from Iran and the various other risks posed to America’s very existence. Most importantly, Gingrich will argue that America will remain at risk until it confronts this willful blindness about the nature of its enemies and the nature of the war in which it is engaged.”

  3. “America at Risk: Camus, National Security, and Afghanistan.” Newt does have a PhD in history, I believe. Piled higher and deeper, as they say.

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