President Bush’s post-9/11 pledge to “win the hearts and minds” of Muslims has hit another sour note with his nomination of Middle East hawk Daniel Pipes to a taxpayer-funded federal think tank.

The core mission of the United States Institute of Peace is supposed to be, as its name implies, the peaceful resolution of conflicts. But the Council on American Islamic Relations regards Pipes, the director of the Middle East Forum, as a leading “Islamophobe.” Pipes says peace is possible only when one side overtakes the other with military force, and seldom through compromise.

It might just be that his appointment sends the wrong message as “America seeks to convince Muslims worldwide that the war on terrorism and the war against Iraq are not attacks on Islam,” the Islamic council said.

In the past, Pipes has rambled on about how Islamic extremists are plotting to take over the U.S. and that some 15 percent of Muslims are “potential killers.” In a 2001 Salon article, he said he could identify those eager to create a Muslim state in America. He also has accused anti-war scholars like Noam Chomsky of being terrorist sympathizers.

Last year, Pipes called upon students to become informants and report cases of anti-Semitic activity at their schools, and then posted the writings of 22 U.S. university professors “who fan the flames of disinformation, incitement and ignorance” on his Campus Watch Web site.

Perhaps a name change is in order for the United States Institute of Peace.

LA Weekly