The Strange case of Al Gore, Paul Wolfowitz and their joint defense of Malaysian Anti-Semite named Anwar Ibrahim
By Roy Thinnes
People in glass houses should not throw stones. Especially when they are a couple of discredited has-beens, one a former Democrat vice-president with an inconvenient truth about his marriage and divorce who has just escaped being charged with sexual assault; and the other a one-time neo-con who mightily embarrassed the Republican Party by getting himself fired from the World Bank over salary shenanigans involving his Libyan-born girlfriend Shaha Riza.
The fact is that Al Gore and Paul Wolfowitz have crossed the partisan divide to defend an anti-American, anti-Semitic foreign politician.
As if they did not create enough trouble for themselves, Al Gore and Paul Wolfowitz have now been brought together by a very strange friend. They recently penned a joint defense in The Wall Street Journal of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, a well-known anti-Semite and anti-American Muslim demagogue. Anwar is on trial for sodomy, a crime in Malaysia, but the real accusation is sexual assault, the intricacies of which Mr. Gore has had to read up on recently after narrowly escaping charges made by a masseuse in Portland, Oregon.
Anwar, the man Al Gore is defending, recently attacked the prime minister of his own country, a conservative and pragmatic ally of the United States in the war against terrorism, for joining the U.S. in imposing sanctions against the crazies in Tehran. And he attacked President Obama for not condemning Israel enough, calling him a weak president.
But it is Anwar’s line about how the Jews control everything, including the Government of Malaysia, that has raised alarm bells in Washington.
Anwar’s inflammatory rhetoric at home in Malaysia was so odious that it recently triggered a request from B’nai B’rith, the leading Jewish group, that the United States Government sever all ties with him.
In light of the role that Ibrahim has played in the resurgence of anti-Semitic polemics in Malaysian politics, wrote B’nai B’rith President Dennis Glick in a letter to House and Senate leaders two months ago, we ask that U.S. officials suspend their ties with Anwar Ibrahim. A purveyor of anti-Jewish hatred such as Ibrahim should not enjoy the measure of legitimacy that a positive relationship with the United States would confer upon him.
Both Al Gore and Paul Wolfowitz should have known better. Gore, in particular, is the bigger hypocrite, if only because he has cultivated a Mister Clean (or should we say Mister Green?) aura of self-aggrandizing perfection.
As for Wolfowitz, a recent whistle-blower’s report in Washington documented how his girlfriend Shaha Riza, was paid a salary higher than that of Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice by a foundation set up with $20 million of U.S. taxpayers’ money. Riza’s activities in this role were in apparent violation of conflict of interest regulations at the World Bank, as well as the national security, tax and visa regulations of the U.S. government.
But even more egregiously Riza then helped get Anwar Ibrahim, a close friend of Wolfowitz, named as chairman of the obscure State Department-funded Foundation for the Future.
The Wall Street Journal article was not Wolfowitz’s first defense of Anwar Ibrahim. In 2009 he wrote an article promoting Anwar as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people. And his reaction to the B’nai B’rith censure was to tell the Washington Post in June that Washington should cut [Anwar] some slack.
The complete absence of any mention of Anwar’s anti-Semitism or anti-American rhetoric in the Gore-Wolfowitz article is astonishing.
Gore and Wolfowitz behave as though Anwar is Nelson Mandela, rather than an opportunist whom conservative commentator Marco Vicenzino, in The Daily Caller, recently called another Chalabi and a chameleon who is expert at the art of deceiving D.C.
But one thing seems accurate. Gore and Wolfowitz wrote in the article that: Our views have been formed completely independently of each other.Well, that much is true because Anwar and his network of friends, media advisers and lobbyists in Washington have been working overtime to try and limit the damage caused by his recent series of anti-American and anti-Semitic rants. They even dispatched Anwar on a recent apology tour of Washington, trying to gloss over his militant Muslim rhetoric.
So the question emerges: When Al Gore and Paul Wolfowitz unite for the first time in history to defend a discredited Malaysian firebrand, are they ignorant and snookered, or just venal?