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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 6/1/18

Hate Speech Advocate, who got Roseanne Barr Fired, Running Trump Mideast Policy

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From Informed Comment

Fred Fleitz
Fred Fleitz
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In the brouhaha about Roseanne Barr being fired by ABC/Disney for a racist tweet, the actual origins of her weird outburst against Obama aide Valerie Jarrett were most often passed over.

In her tweet, Barr said "Muslim Brotherhood & Planet of the Apes = VJ." She later apologized to Jarrett for the gibe.

But where in the world did this identification of Ms. Jarrett with the Muslim Brotherhood and with alien-ness come from? The use of ape imagery to demean African-Americans has a long and disgusting history. But the Muslim Brotherhood?

Responsibility lies with the kooky-yet-sinister-and-powerful Center for Security Policy, run by the High Wingnut of All Wingnuts, Frank Gaffney. Designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, this "think tank" (affiliated to the Zionist far right) has pushed wild conspiracy theories for years about covert members of the Muslim Brotherhood infiltrating the United States government as moles. (Muslims in the United States account for 1% of the population. Only a tiny number of them has any affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood, which since the 1970s has been a peaceful civil society organization).

The senior vice president of this certified insane organization was Fred Fleitz.

Why do I say "was"? Because the unstable and bellicose John Bolton, Trump's national security advisor, just made Fleitz the chief of staff for the National Security Agency.

The Washington Post details Fleitz's history of promoting discredited ideas like that there are Muslim "no-go" zones in European cities or that a quarter of Muslims want to kill non-Muslims.

The Center for Security Policy (so-called) has been after Valerie Jarrett. They have hosted the right wing historian Paul Kengor, who finds Communists under every bed and tries to connect Valerie Jarrett to Communism through the Marshall Plan. Since Kengor thinks Barack Obama is a Communist, as well, it is not entirely clear why he needed to create Valerie Jarrett as Obama's Communist Rasputin; surely she is redundant in this conspiracy theory? Ms. Jarrett is a businesswoman who serves on the boards of Lyft and Ariel Capital Management Holdings.

Gaffney, Fleitz's boss with whom he worked closely, pushed the theory on his CSP podcast that Valerie Jarrett who was born in Iran while her American parents were expatriates there for six years (her father was a physician and ran the Pathology Department at Shiraz University when Iran was a pro-American monarchy), is "Persian" and influenced Obama's Iran policy. (Jarrett, an African-American and not a Muslim at all, had portfolios that were domestic, including improving the situation of women and girls). This discussion segued into Gaffney's obsession with Muslim Brotherhood moles in the US government.

It is Gaffney and Fleitz's Center for Security Policy who singled out Jarrett as a baleful influence on Obama and who connected her to Iran, and then implicitly to the Muslim Brotherhood. (Only, the Muslim Brotherhood is a Sunni Muslim organization and Iran is Shiite).

Roseanne picked these memes up either directly or indirectly from the Gaffney-Fleitz shop and their acolytes.

Barr says she did not know Jarrett is African-American. Given the Gaffney-Fleitz line that she is "Persian," that may even be true. If so, it would be a great irony that she probably could have gotten away with what she thought she was doing -- attacking a Muslim-American public servant -- but tripped over the racist implications of using the word "ape" about an African-American.

And now the senior vice president of Gaffney's Neo-Goebbels Idea Factory is the chief of staff of the United States National Security Council.

That is, ABC/ Disney won't let Roseanne Barr tell jokes on their network because she went after Valerie Jarrett as a Muslim Brotherhood "ape."

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Juan Cole is an American academic and commentator on the modern Middle East and South Asia.  He is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. Since 2002, he has written a weblog, Informed Comment (more...)

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