Confederacy of Dunces

I’ve been watching CNN today, and paid special attention to an interview with Egyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawy (who was jailed and sexually assaulted by Mubarak regime authorities during last year’s Cairo uprising), who was expressing sharp criticism of Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi for his failure to say anything condemning the attacks on the U.S. Embassy or the closely related attacks in Libya.

Discussing the relationship between the creators and promoters of anti-Islamic propaganda films in the U.S. and those “protesting” them in the Middle East, Eltahawy noted that an alliance of “the right-wing fringe” in both countries was creating these disturbing and destabilizing events. There’s not much question about the mutual support society that’s long operated between Muslim-haters and radical Islamists who share a vast stake in escalated hostilities.

That’s still another reason Mitt Romney’s attempted intervention in this crisis is so ill-considered and tone-deaf. He’s attacking the president for a Cairo embassy statement that sought to distance the United States from atavistic idiots like Terry Jones. As a man who has happily accepted the support of Islamophobes like Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, and a host of Christian Right figures (not to mention Sarah Palin, who used the occasion of the assassination to mock Obama for supporting the Arab Spring to begin with), I’d say Mitt has a special responsibility to make it plain his hammer-headed approach to foreign policy does not involve solidarity with anyone who hates Islam.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.