Birmingham, AL–At a press conference on Wednesday, the Grand Spellcaster of the Ku Klux Klan, William Gordon, strongly endorsed humanitarian intervention in Syria and “anywhere else.”
It was a strange move for the typically reclusive Gordon. Indeed, the press conference itself ended up being sparsely attended as most of the media organizations invited didn’t believe it was actually going to happen.
The reporters that did attend greeted the announcement with understandable skepticism, leading to an animated question-and-answer session after Gordon finished his prepared remarks.
A reporter from the local ABC affiliate asked whether the KKK’s new, but conventional foreign policy stance was compatible with its avowed hatred of all non-white and non-Protestant people.
Gordon made it clear that he did not see any inconsistencies between the policy of humanitarian intervention and the organization’s mission. Alluding to the deadly consequences of previous US interventions, Gordon told reporters “It gets results.” Seeing puzzled looks around the room, he then cited the recent intervention in Libya in 2011 to provide a specific example, applauding the racial attacks against black Africans that took place in the aftermath as well as the general chaos and lawlessness that persists to this day in the country.
Though these are generally considered unfortunate and unforeseeable side effects of the Libyan intervention, Gordon indicated his organization was broadly pleased with the outcome. He added that “the infidels got what they deserved,” using language strangely similar to that deployed by extremist organizations based in the Middle East.
When asked about the origin of the KKK’s pro-intervention leanings, Gordon said that former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had planted the initial seed in the 1990s. He placed particular emphasis on an interview Secretary Albright did on CBS’s 60 Minutes in 1996. In the interview, Secretary Albright controversially claimed the deaths of an estimated 500,000 Iraqi children under US economic sanctions were “worth it” in order to put pressure on Saddam Hussein’s regime.
In that case, Secretary Albright was defending the US’s policy based on geopolitical strategic considerations rather than humanitarian concerns, but it offered a valuable lesson about political messaging. Previously, Gordon explained, he would never have considered supporting policies that would directly lead to the starvation or violent demise of “inferior” groups for fear of being deemed too radical. But Secretary Albright’s comments were a revelation–“As long as our officially stated goal was something besides killing thousands of people, it seemed we could advocate for almost any policy without sacrificing our good name,” he told the group of reporters.
All of that was 20 years ago. Neither Gordon nor his organization have taken a strong stance on foreign policy in the intervening period, as they had been focusing on domestic policy priorities and “rebuilding the brand.”
So why is the KKK coming out on foreign policy now?
According to Gordon, it’s because of the sheer number and magnitude of the human rights crises going on in the world–from Syria to Yemen to Crimea and others. “Full-scale US-backed regime change is really the only chance to achieve peace and stability in these places, and every respectable organization knows that,” he said. “It’s very important, and we wanted to be on the right side of history for once.”
*Note that the individual and press conference cited in this piece are entirely fictional. However, the foreign policy events mentioned and the quote from Secretary Albright are quite real. The links within provide additional details on those items.