Not surprisingly, Livestro’s views skew to the right. He helped to found the Edmund Burke Foundation, a right-wing Dutch think tank created to push back against progressive politics in the Netherlands. In one manifesto, citing the number of Muslims in the Netherlands, the foundation warned of ethnic conflict and said the country’s borders should be closed. In the Dutch magazine Vrij Nederland, Livestro once wrote that the gruesome photos depicting detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib resembled little more than an out-of-control frat party; he complained that Abu Ghraib critics were “cry-babies” exaggerating the episode’s signficiance. On his blog, Livestro similarly quipped that the CIA’s torture techniques—with the exception of waterboarding—were milder than the hazing methods of fraternities.
Livestro founded the Edmund Burke Foundation along with a fellow Dutch journalist named Bart Jan Spruyt, who went on to advise the virulently Islamophobic Dutch politician Geert Wilders. Spruyt accompanied Wilders on a trip to the United States in 2005, the purpose being for Wilders to publicize here “what is happening to his country because of the rise of radical Islam and why he is promoting a moratorium on non-western immigration.” (Spruyt has now distanced himself from Wilders.)
It’s no surprise that Palin would be tied to an anti-Muslim Dutch writer. Palin has stoked bigotry against Muslims herself, from referring to the president as Barack Hussein Obama to calling on “peaceful Muslims” to “refudiate” the “Ground Zero mosque” to defending Franklin Graham, who once called Islam a “very evil and wicked religion.” She’s also the hero of the Tea Party, a right-wing movement that’s no stranger to anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment.
Race and religion-baiting of President Obama and Muslims will be par for the course if/when Palin runs for president in 2012.