Profile in Folly

 

I came across this opinion piece in the Houston Chronicle, which grants John McCain a profile in courage for his opposition to an investigation of Huma Abedin, a Deputy Chief of Staff for Hilary Clinton who may have some links to the Muslim Brotherhood.

In the 1950s, Sen. Joe McCarthy and other paranoid anti-communists saw Reds under the bed – and in the State Department. Today a fringe group of conservatives believes similarly that Islamic fundamentalists have infiltrated the deepest recesses of the American government.

In refuting such an aspersion made by Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., against a State Department official, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has struck a profile in courage that should encourage other conservatives to distance themselves from crackpot conspiracy theories.

On Wednesday McCain defended Huma Abedin, a Muslim-American who serves as deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. In a letter to the inspector general of the State Department, Bachmann and four other Republican representatives had warned that Abedin, a longtime Clinton aide, “has three family members – her late father, her mother and her brother – connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations.” The letter was one of five sent to inspectors general of various agencies citing “serious security concerns” about Muslim Brotherhood penetration.

Now, as it happens, those paranoid anti-Communists were absolutely correct. There really were Communists in the State Department who really were spying for the Soviet Union and really were trying to influence policy. Joe McCarthy was right. The problem with Sen McCarthy was that he was something of a bully and a buffoon who brought discredit on a very important cause. After fall of the Soviet Union, the KGB archives were briefly opened for inspection and McCarthy and others have been vindicated. If anything, US counter-intelligence agencies were not paranoid enough.

The Soviet Union is gone and China is trying to become, well whatever China is trying to become, not doctrinaire Communist at any rate. We have nothing to fear from Communism anymore. This does not mean we have no enemies. As incredible as it may seem, there really are people in the world who hate America and seek to do us harm. Where would I get such a crazy idea?

 

I can’t imagine.

The Muslim Brotherhood is an organization dedicated to setting up Sharia Islamic rule wherever they can. They are close to gaining power in Egypt, and other Middle-Eastern nations, and they do not like the United States. They are smarter than al-Qaeda, though, and while they are willing to use violent terrorism when necessary, they are aware that violence is often counter-productive, especially in Western countries. Therefore, many members of the Muslim Brother prefer to use what they call “stealth jihad”, that is slowly and quietly gaining control of a country’s institutions with the ultimate aim of imposing Shariah.

It might be easy to dismiss this, and the Muslim Brother does not have the resources or sophistication that the Communists had. Fewer well educated Westerners are likely to become enamored with an Islamist organisation than they were with various Communist Parties. Still, it would be foolish to ignore the very real threat that the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists pose. Perhaps as foolish as pretending that the Soviets were no threat.

Numa Abedin apparently has relatives who are members of the Muslim Brotherhood. It is likely that she herself has no Islamist sympathies but it is not paranoid or foolish to investigate the matter, nor is it being an islamophobe (whatever that is exactly) to suggest that anyone with connections with an organization hostile to the United States not be permitted access to any classified material. John McCain is not being courageous here. he is being a fool.
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