Taha A. Lemkhir
Taha A. Lemkhir
A voice from Morocco

Tamim’s intellectual slaughterhouses

“ I am surprised, quite frankly, at how explicit the relationship is between money paid, papers published and policy makers and politicians influenced.” Amos Jones, a Washington lawyer specialized in the foreign agents act.

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When you’re on the payroll of a certain ideological entity in eager pursuit of a model of governance based on a totalitarian pan-Islamist theory under the pretense of a multipolar world vision (as was the slogan of 2019 Doha Forum: “Reimagining Governance in a Multipolar World”), even if one weren’t initially pro-Islamism, he would soon be. Over the passage of time, one is always tempted to adopt some of their patrons’ features and adapt to the general mood. That process starts by convincing the self —through a racked mental training and control—of the truthfulness of the enterprise and decency of purposes. To that end the foreign patrons should accommodate the agent with all the necessary material and psychological tools to feel good (even patriotic) when doing the wrong. And this to some extent what is happening in the profit-oriented Western academia’s circles immersed in profitable multimillion transactions with notorious Islamist governments.

An example of that delirium can be glimpsed in this abstract [here] by David B. Roberts, a lecturer at King’s college, where the support of Islamism and fundamentalism is absurdly interpreted as mere ambitious pragmatism of a small state that is eager to play a major role in world politics, and maximize its influence. Then the term “Qatar’s soft power” was born and magically transformed into something called “geopolitics of religious soft power” to make it more digestible. And to those who actually do not buy into this “make it sound” nonsense, shall paraphrase it frankly as: “kill people, get famous.” 

And while those individuals and the institutions that operate them are staunchly liberal and anti-nationalism in their Western democratic powerhouses, enjoying the luxuries of liberty and the fruits of reason—they’re somehow not much of liberals when those principles are troubled in the other part of the hemisphere. A duplicity not unlike the typical colonial attitude. In the old days, what a “collabo” meant in France under Nazi Germany, meant simultaneously different thing for an “indigenous collabo” in the French colonies of the Maghreb.

Curiously enough, while they feel completely free to barbarize the political climate in their warfare against Trump and act as the owners of the public opinion under their strict tutelage, and gauging the president as a white nationalist extremist—something one cannot completely dismiss as a lie, but one cannot at once fail to ignore how the ongoing campaign turned out to be in many cases not so much of fact-based issues as fault-finding hunts—simultaneously they’re branding all deemed-inconvenient appraisals of Islamic fundamentalism as bigotry and Islamophobic—a neologism Islamists themselves coined to shelter their ideological bedrocks from objective criticisms.

One thing those in the rank and file of Western intelligentsia seem to fail to grasp—is that right-wing nationalism and white supremacy in a postwar liberal order only rose to prominence when illiberal Islamists was bestowed on them an extraordinary cachet as to be able to promote unquestionably their doctrines in a liberal environment and have been granted an enormous space to grow and flourish.

Only (specially after the 2008 financial crisis) when tremendous machines splashing greenbacks made it to the cash-starved campuses and think tank centers—which are supposed to act as sensitive antennae and alarm bells for policymakers—that Bush-era “War on Terror” slogan started sounding more like a bombastic ceremonial 21-gun salute than a solid strategy.

Foreign Agents, as they are called, holders of membership cards in the prestigious “white-collar panelists terro-cosmetic club” as opposed to the “battlefield Jihadists club”—or more accurately (to use an old forsaken term from the Cold War era), fellow travelers. But unfortunately they have been traveling alongside the same ideological minds who had once hijacked (only two decades ago) two civilian planes that crashed right into the World Trade Centers.

“More than a dozen prominent Washington research groups have received tens of millions of dollars from foreign governments in recent years while pushing United States government officials to adopt policies that often reflect the donors’ priorities,” according to an investigation conducted in 2014 by The New York Times. Adding that “the money is increasingly transforming the once-staid think-tank world into a muscular arm of foreign governments’ lobbying in Washington. And it has set off troubling questions about intellectual freedom: Some scholars say they have been pressured to reach conclusions friendly to the government financing the research.”

A case in point, is the 7000-word exhaustive article published in the Washington Post, on Sept. 12, 2019, titled “Israel and the decline of the liberal world,” where the author, Robert Kagan, summarized from his point of view the nature of the 70-year-old relationship between Israel and the U.S. After reading it one could only gain the impression that Israel was indeed a pure American SIN, striving at every turn, with swift haughty statements, to discredit any notion that Israel had been of any real use to U.S. interests at any point in time. Simply put, in Robert Kagan’s “truth,” the nature of relationship between the U.S. and the Jewish state boils down to: “the human spirit of liberalism” and the “guilt about the United States’ inaction during much of the Holocaust.”

As the article flows in the form of an historical account it was only safe then to cite some decontextualized but carefully chosen arguments and quotes such as one from Anthony Hartley’s in which Kagan quoted him as saying: “as a simple matter of power politics the United States had ‘every reason for wishing that Israel had never come into existence,’ while the Soviets had ‘every reason for wishing it to remain as an obstacle to reconciliation between America and the Arabs.’”

However, in the same article Hartley published at Commentary magazine in 1970 he intimated that “support of Israel insures the existence of at least one Middle Eastern country friendly to the United States—a country endowed with a stable and efficient system of democratic government, with a high level of technological capability, and with considerable military strength. From the point of view of power politics, this is not an asset to be despised, especially when the general deterioration of the American position in the Mediterranean is taken into consideration.” Adding that “support of Israel is essentially an “offshore” operation, one not likely to require the commitment of American troops on Middle Eastern soil. 

“Given the availability of weapons, the Israelis are quite capable of looking after themselves.” And noting that  he “ have already argued that firm American support of Israel, far from increasing international instability, is more likely to lessen it by preserving a local balance which depends essentially on everyone’s actions being predictable.” It might be added that, he said, “in dangerous international situations, the status quo is often preferable to movement. America, in particular, as a status quo power, has more to lose than to gain from a fluid international situation, and the Middle East crisis provides no exception to this rule. It was sound political instinct that led President Johnson, in his speech of June 19, 1967, to emphasize the need for ‘recognized and secure frontiers’ rather than to raise the question of an Israeli withdrawal from the conquered territories…Even an unsatisfactory and unjust status quo gives statesmen more to work with than a totally mobile environment.”

Besides the historical “soundtrack,” Kagan’s article was mined with bias and faulty assertions, suppressing what ought to be highlighted, and descending into a jeremiad of puritan liberal profession.

But most importantly is that that wily liberal tirade coming from someone—as I threw a glance at the brief biography of the author at the tail end of the write-up—though of Lithuanian Jewish descent—who works as an employee at Brookings Institute. A remainder of the curious case of Joseph Allaham. Yes sir, the very same center of studies with deep compromising financial relations with an avowed totalitarian illiberal sheikhdom of Qatar which has been evidently and deeply involved in fermenting Islamic radicalism, anti-Semitism, funding terrorist groups of all manners from al-Qaida to ISIL, and being a hotbed for Islamist hardliners of all sorts. Even the illustration on the top of the article remarkably depicted all the “bad guys” but only failed to add the notorious figure of the untouchable emir of Qatar.

Yes, that’s how doublethink works nowadays in the BIG BROTHERS’ DEPARTMENT OF TRUTH, and how those circles while they claim they serve the values of the much cherished liberal world, and strive for individual freedoms and the free speech they do worse in undermining those very values by advancing the theoretical debate in favor of political Islam.

Something that evokes to the mind the last scene in Orwell’s Animal Farm: “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

About the Author
Taha Lemkhir is a Moroccan writer and photographer. Degree in Arabic literature and Islamic studies. Critic of Islamism. languages: Arabic, English and Spanish. He Lived part of his life as an Islamist— until enlightenment flashed through his heart.
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