Mikhail L. Gershteyn: Victory with Bush or Defeat with Kerry? (EN)
Unholy Alliance (Part I & II)
By Jamie Glazov
Frontpage Interview is joined today by Frontpage’s founder and editor-in-chief David Horowitz to discuss his new book Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left. One of the founders of the New Left movement in the 1960s, he is a best-selling author, a lifelong civil rights activist, and today the president of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture.
FP: Welcome Mr. Horowitz. First let me congratulate you that Unholy Alliance has, at this moment, reached to 20 on the Amazon list -- out of several million books. What do you think accounts for this remarkable success?
Horowitz: Well, let's not get carried away here. The key here will be sustaining the success before concluding that it is remarkable. Nonetheless this book has started out with greater velocity than my previous books, which I suspect has to do with its subject matter. Everyone knows there is something strange going on when large numbers of individuals are protesting a war that liberated 25 million people from a sadistic monster, and when the Democratic Party has opted out of a war that we are winning and that we have to win.
FP: Ok, let’s begin. What inspired you to write this book?
Horowitz: In some ways, this is a book I was born to write. It distills more than fifty years of experience in the left or studying the left. I was struck by the audacity of radicals I had known in volunteering to be frontier guards first for the Taliban and then for Saddam Hussein. It was one thing to work as overt or surrogate allies of the Communist enemy. After all the Communists claimed to stand for social justice and other radical fantasies. But here were regimes and enemies who were Islamic and fascist fanatics and would as soon saw the heads of Medea Benjamin and Leslie Cagan -- two of the leftist organizers of the protect Saddam movement -- as give them the time of day. Why would people who thought of themselves as "progressives" and champions of human rights -- and these include many of my former friends -- volunteer so readily to put their bodies on the line to defend the forces of such primitive evil? That was one of the questions I set out to answer with this book. Another was how the hard left had managed to take so much of the "soft" left with it.
FP: Unholy Alliance touches on a trulybizarre contemporary phenomenon: the Left’s partnership with militant Islam. Islamism is a totalitarian ideology that extinguishes women’s rights, gay rights, democratic rights, and numerous other rights that are supposedly at the core of leftist ideology. Yet the Left has enthusiastically embraced this fascist despotism. Illuminate for us a bit the ingredients of this leftwing mindset.
Horowitz: In a long section called "The Mind of the Left" I attempt to describe its evolution from the Communist heyday to the present. I deliberately did not pick an easy (because mindless) target like Michael Moore, but selected figures like Eric Hobsbawm, Gerda Lerner, Noam Chomsky, Eric Foner and even Todd Gitlin, a leftist despised by the radicals themselves for his decent instincts, to show how a broad and in many ways intelligent cross-section of the left could be of a common mind-set. This common mind-set is a view of their own (democratic) homeland in terms that allow them to lend their support to Saddam Hussein by obstructing America's war to overthrow him. Allow me to say here, before I go any further, that I do not put all critics of the war in this category. It is possible to criticize the war as tactically unwise, as risky over-reach and so forth. What the above named individuals have in common is a view of America that is so negative that it approximates the image of the Great Satan that motivates the terrorist savages who want to kill us.
In describing the evolution of the left from Communist progressivism to contemporary anti-war progressivism I come to two conclusions. First that there hasn't been much of an evolution. The analysis of America that drives the left today -- even leftists as otherwise sensible and "democratic" as Todd Gitlin -- is remarkably similar to the views of America held by Stalinists fifty years ago (and of Hamas and al-Qaeda as expressed in their manifestos) . Of course they don't use quite the same language as the Stalinists or the Islamo-fascists. But the bottomline differences are really quite small. In all of their analyses of American history, there is the "genocide" of the Indians, the rape of the Africans, the oppression of the workers, and the imperialist crusade waged by evil corporations in quest of world domination -- in short the same mythology that one finds in Lenin and Stalin and Mao and Fidel and Osama bin Laden in their indictments of America and the West. And if this doesn't lead them to fly hostage filled planes into tall building, it does prompt them to find excuses for those who do, and for attempting to disarm the victims instead of defending them.
The second conclusion I come to is that the driving force of this leftism is a nihilistic assault on America rather than a positive agenda of socialist construction as was evident in the past. There is no unifying agenda or theme that solidifies the current leftist movement, a fact that often causes people on the left to claim that there is no left, absurd as that may sound. What actually unifies them is their hatred for the United States as it exists in the present. It is much like the election: they don't much like Kerry, but they passionately want to get rid of Bush. In the same way, they may not like the Islamic fascists (although many of them actually do), but they passionately want to get rid of the corporations whom they see as predators but who in fact organize what is the most prosperous, the most democratic, the most egalitarian societies that have ever existed.
FP: In your book, you demonstrate how the Left turned the Democratic Party presidential campaign around and reshaped its views on the War on Terror. Why do you think the Left has such a stranglehold on the Democratic Party? What do you think is the future of this party?
Horowitz: I describe in the book how this happened and I won't spoil the story by telling it here. However, I will say that the left has been taking control of the Democratic Party apparatus for more than thirty years ever since the McGovern campaign. The catastrophe of the Communist dream acted as a check on their arrogance for awhile. (And don't kid yourself, every progressive in one way or another thought of the Soviet Union as a progressive state that would evolve into a worthy future no matter how flawed they might have thought it. They did not disown "actually existing socialism" until it disowned itself. Up to the fall of the Berlin Wall they were prepared to defend it against the real villain, the United States. They were anti-anti-Communists; in other words, they knew who the enemy was, and it was us.) But a decade of low profile organizing in the Clinton era, and then the assault of 9/11 which they saw as the revenge of the Third World and the Iraq War (and which they as an Imperialist strike) and the fact that they then got away with attacking their own country under attack has emboldened and inspired them. Maybe it was the fantasy of the return of Vietnam that did it. In any case, they have openly revealed their power -- in the streets, in the media, and in the Democratic Party electoral apparatus -- and I hope my book has documented it enough for all to see. As to their future, I am sure a reckoning is coming at the polls. It may not be this election and it may be this election. But it will come. The Democratic Party are too far removed from reality for this reckoning to be delayed much longer.
FP: Like it does now, the Left sided with a totalitarian entity throughout the 20 th century: Soviet communism. All historical evidence and empirical reality has completely delegitimized the Left’s position in the Cold War – which entailed siding with genocidal, despotic, sadistic and vicious enemies. And yet, as you point out, the Left remains completely unchastened and simply continues its same behavior. All that has changed is that Islamism has filled the void of communism. Why do you think the Left is so incapable of reflecting on its own record and mistakes?
Horowitz: As I have pointed out in all of my works, the left is really a crypto-religion; it is a collective delusion. It is based on the inability of its adherents to come to terms with the real world, the actually existing world, with their own mortality, with human limits. Leftists -- as I show in this book through analyses of the self-revealing memoirs of Eric Hobsbawm and Gerda Lerner -- leftists who are honest with themselves-- admit that they cannot live without the illusion of a social redemption, even if it is not anchored in any reality. They need to believe in a future redemption that will bring socialist world (or a world of social justice) to pass. This fantasy is as necessary to them as the air they breathe. But it is this fantasy of a redeemed world that also creates their hatred for the one they live in.
FP: You have stated that we “have to win” in Iraq. Hypothetically, let’s say that the Vietnam process is replayed all over again and we cave in to the anti-war movement, lose our backbone, withdraw and lose. The consequences?
Horowitz: The consequences will parallel those in Indo-china but for us will be much worse. In Indo-china when Kennedy, Kerry, Dean and the other antiwar activists (myself included) were able to prevail in the political argument, and America cut and ran, the result was a bloodbath in Southeast Asia in which the Communists slaughtered two and a half million people. If we were to lose in Iraq and be forced to withdraw, there would be a bloodbath of all those who fought with us, and who resisted the terrorists, and then all those in the terrorists’ path. It would not probably reach the proportions of the Vietnam and Cambodian catastrophes immediately, but it would spread to other Muslim states whose governments the radicals are seeking to overthrow and eventually come home to the United States, something that did not happen in the Cold War with Communism.
It may or may not happen immediately. But if the tide of radical Islam is not stopped in Iraq it will spread to other states, which are much larger and even nuclear -- Pakistan comes immediately to mind -- and then we will reap the whirlwind. Iraq as someone has said is not Vietnam, it is Guadalcanal. We are in a war with radical Islam which is seeking first of all to control the lives and resources of one and a half billion Muslims, and then to take on the “Crusader” west. The threat to us can decrease only if we stay on the offensive and keep winning and thus keep them losing and off balance and on the defensive. This is why the efforts of Kennedy and Al Gore and Jimmy Carter to repeat the disaster of Vietnam are infinitely more dangerous than what John Kerry and Ted Kennedy did in Vietnam. Communism, as we didn't fully realize at the time of Vietnam, was already a dying system and an unraveling creed. Radical Islam is not. Radical Islam is a far more fanatical religion than Communism (I never thought I would be saying this!) and – in the short run -- does not depend on the success of an actually existing utopian Mecca to sustain it as Communism did.
FP: You ask why people who think of themselves as "progressives" and champions of human rights would risk their lives to defend despotism – the “human shields” for Saddam, the Taliban etc. Mr. Horowitz, haven’t we seen this all before – i.e. the Western progressives who went to help build socialism in Russia after the Bolshevik revolution, only to be slaughtered by the Stalinist terror etc?
Not to get too heavy or deep here, but isn’t this all the same death wish, the yearning to sacrifice one’s life for a utopian idea? What else can explain leftist feminists going to anti-war rallies in the nude wearing Saudi headgear, when they know they would be extinguished within 30 seconds if they even showed an ankle under the regimes with whom they now side? Could you comment on this yearning for self-extinction on the part of the Left, or do you disagree with this interpretation?
Horowitz: Well I have drawn the parallels in Unholy Alliance and applied the same term that Trotsky used to describe the international progressive movement when he said they were "frontier guards" for the Soviet state. Since 9/11 the progressive left and its "international solidarity" units have acted as frontier guards for the terrorists and the terrorist states. They are once again a radical "fifth column" as they were for our Communist enemies in the Cold War, this time for Islam. As for the radical death cult, this parallel was noted before me, and quite eloquently by Paul Berman, a leftist himself, in his book Liberalism and Terror.
Progressives are best viewed as social redeemers, people deluded into thinking they can change the world and usher in a future in which there are no fanatics, Islamic or otherwise. On day one of the revolution in their unhappy minds, the Islamic lion will lie down with the Jewish, Christian and feminist lambs. People who believe that Palestinian suicide bombers are reasonable individuals acting out of political desperation and not sick enthusiasts of a religious death cult, are themselves partial believers in that cult. Their dementia is to believe that if only enough Israelis/Christians/neo-conservatives are eliminated, the world will become a livable and just place. This is the group psychosis that afflicts our time, just as the group psychoses of Communism and Nazism afflicted previous generations.
FP: As a former believer in the progressive faith, what advantages do you think you have to dissect the leftist mindset? Also, if you had remained a leftist you might have today been marching in an anti-Bush rally, cheering for the victory of our Islamist enemies. But that is not the case. What do you think it was in your character and outlook that made it impossible for you to continue along a journey in which you would have ended up doing what I just hypothetically described?
Horowitz: In Unholy Alliance I have shown the parallels between the thinking of secular radicals and Islamic radicals. Sayyid Qutb, the theoretical inspiration for Islamic Jihad has even written a book called Social Justice in Islam. The idea of "Social Justice," which is really a code for communism and a religious concept is the political left's sha'ria -- the divine law instituted on earth. The Islamic radicals want to impose sha'ria or God's law on the world as a way to redeem it from the corruption into which it has fallen and make it holy. Since God obviously is not going to have a say in this and what they are imposing is their own rule, and a rule that will be comprehensive and all pervasive, they are totalitarians in exactly the sense that Communists and Nazis were in the past. The revolutionary agenda of progressive leftists is to impose or bring about the similarly universal and all inclusive rule of "social justice," whose only practical meaning is to impose their will through the power of the state on the rest of us. This is the same totalitarian agenda (although some of the words they use to describe it have changed) that they supported in the century just past, and that cost 100 million innocent lives. Like the Bourbons, they never learn and they never forget.
Why am I no longer part of the totalitarian cult (even though I never for a second would have conceded that I was a part of it at the time)? Ultimately, I don't really know. What broke my faith, however, is that I could not close my eyes to the practical results of our efforts. We -- the anti-Vietnam left -- helped to kill two and a half million people in Indo-China. We supported (however "critically") a bankrupt socialist system or an impossible socialist future without regard for the consequences of the destructive acts we committed to make it possible. I don't know why it disturbed me that our efforts led to a slaughter in Southeast Asia and did not disturb others -- John Kerry for example. Tom Hayden seems to have been disturbed for a nanosecond while writing his memoir, before quickly shifting the “real” blame for the genocide in Cambodia to Nixon and Kissinger who tried to prevent it,while exonerating himself and Jane Fonda and John Kerry and Vietnam Veterans against the War who were so instrumental in bringing it about. I do not know why all those progressives (who are in fact reactionaries and who number in the millions) continue to go about their work of attacking and undermining the corporate order and the capitalist system when they haven't a clue as to the future that might replace it, but they do. The archetype of this casual insanity is probably Ralph Nader who has spent a lifetime railing against corporations without having the foggiest idea of how they work or what they do or how any other entities could do better.
FP: One of the greatest gifts you have given this country in its battle, internally and externally, against despotism is your knowledge of how to fight political war – as well as your own personal willingness and determination to do it. As you have shown in your work, Conservatives are extremely weak in fighting political war. Now we have someone from the other side who effectively uses leftist weapons right back against the leftists themselves.
So my question: if we are going to win this war against the Unholy Alliance, what tactics must we employ?
Horowitz: The most important element in defeating the left is understanding it -- who it is and what its agendas are. The assault on the war effort would never have gotten as far as it has if our political leaders had gone on the offensive early and not given the saboteurs of the war effort such a wide latitude. Ted Kennedy thinks nothing of implying that if and when there is a dirty bomb set off by the terrorists in this country, George Bush will be responsible. Ted Kennedy is already responsible for the deaths of Americans and freedom loving Iraqis in Iraq. The path on which Al Gore and Jimmy Carter have led the Democratic Party is a treacherous one and they should have been made to pay a political price early on in their sabotage effort.
A year and a half ago the Democratic Leadership began undermining the credibility of the commander-in-chief by calling him a liar over 16 perfectly true and relatively unimportant (if untrue) words in the State of the Union address. This assault was unconscionable and unjustified and has cost many American lives. It was a political war declared that the Democratic Party leaders on the President in the midst of a war, and it should have been fought as such. Instead, the White House apologized for the innocent words thinking that this would discourage the saboteurs. Since their agenda was to derail the war effort and unseat the President it did not discourage them. In fact it inflamed them. And we are paying the price with an election that should not have been this close and with a commander-in-chief gravely weakened in handling the threats not only in Iraq but from Iran and Syria as well.
Democrats pretend to be appalled that patriotism would be an issue. But of course patriotism -- understood as rallying to the defense of America's security -- is an issue. Al Gore understands that -- which is why he attacked the President as unpatriotic -- as betraying Americans. So does John Kerry and the Democratic political apparatus which is accusing Bush of encouraging the terrorists and making the world a more dangerous place. There is no way to avoid this issue. The task is to put the shoe on the foot that it fits.
We have not begun to fight the war at home properly. The coalition of so called civil liberties groups that is conducting a full-out assault on the Patriot Act is a coalition that includes terrorists like Lynne Stewart and Sami al-Arian and their political sympathizers. It is spearheaded by the same organizations and individuals who defended our Communist enemies for the same reasons during the Cold War and whose motivation is not the defense of the Constitution -- a worthy cause -- but the exploitation of the Constitution for their radical agendas (not a worthy cause).
Defending a democracy is always problematic. We must protect our Constitutional rights and democratic processes as vigilantly as possible. We must distinguish between earnest and loyal critics of our war policies and defense measures, and treacherous critics; and we must distinguish between treacherous critics and treacherous criticisms which are not always the same thing. I don't pretend to know what Ted Kennedy's motivation is when he makes remarks that are obscene and disloyal. I don’t know whether he's merely getting senile and allowing the bitterness of his personal failures and political defeats to run away with his judgment. But I do know how to assess their political impact. Analyzing the sources of Al Gore's bizarre outbursts would be a challenge for a professional. On the other hand, Michael Moore is a transparent and self-proclaimed member of the enemy camp.
Those who embrace and praise Michael Moore’s anti-American, jihadist propaganda undoubtedly do so from a multitude of inspirations, among them the ordinary mean spiritedness of partisan politics and the normal stupidities of the species (particularly its Hollywood genus). But the effects of these efforts to divide us internally in the face of our enemies and sabotage our efforts to defend ourselves are not so easily dismissed and should not be so readily forgiven. First we need to win the war; then we can forgive. The left likes to confuse the political argument with a legal proceeding. No one in the United States has been charged with treason (let alone convicted) since the Second World War. So take a deep breath and calm down. I am not suggesting anyone should be charged with treason now (though John Walker Lindh and Lynne Stewart would surely qualify). But this does not mean that we should not spell out the implications of political arguments and positions or assess the recommendations of those who oppose our war efforts. The Constitution is a sacred covenant, not a suicide pact.
FP: Thank you Mr. Horowitz, we are out of time. It was a pleasure to speak with you.
Horowitz: My pleasure as well. Thank you.
Victory with Bush or Defeat with Kerry?
Today each one of us has to decide: which candidate deserves our vote? We gain a great moral responsibility for the future of our country. Therefore, I would like to express my views on this election.
The Muslim terrorist is the sworn enemy of the United States. This enemy finds increasing support and popularity throughout the Muslim world as the outside world retaliates with decreasing vigilance and force to acts of terror. The countries of Western Europe are generally as docile in the “fight” against the terrorist Muslim front as they were in the “fight” against the Nazi front in the Second World War.
So, which country has the capability to stop this imminent danger of world terror?
Only the United States. Moreover only the United States with George Bush's leadership. His administration does fight it indeed.
Under the command of Bush we destroyed the terrorist training camps of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. This is a huge accomplishment. A large country, which became a safe haven and base of operations for anti-American terrorism, has been subdued. The majority of Al-Qaeda militants have been jailed or eliminated.
With Bush in power America has overthrown the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and this is no less of an achievement than our victory in Afghanistan. Saddam Hussein, during the Clinton era, expelled international inspectors from Iraq. Thus he violated the Peace treaty signed after the first Gulf War. President Clinton tried to force Saddam to comply, but failed.
After that, every day Saddam remained in power sent the message that America is weak. It has been quickly recognized by the World and the authority of Saddam began to gain momentum as ours dropped. This in turn inspired Hussein to lose any inhibition. In spite of International sanctions he became a partner of hidden trade. He mustered the audacity to declare a $25,000 reward to the families of successful suicide bombers in Israel. After September the 11th of 2001, Saddam Hussein enthusiastically proclaimed “God is punishing America!”
Bin Laden formulated the most important message that together with Saddam he preached across the entire Islamic World: “ America is not that strong, we can defeat it!”
The Democrats policy of half-measures and fear of real military actions have clearly conveyed image of a weak America to the terrorists.
In fact Clinton supported some of the same campaigns as did George W. Bush, but Clinton executed them poorly. Clinton fought with Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, but America lost, under Clinton, on both fronts: Bin Laden kept his bases in Afghanistan, and Saddam Hussein expelled the inspectors and remained the dictator of Iraq. Precisely at the point when Clinton failed to destroy Al-Qaeda camps in Iraq, Bin Laden spoke of America's weakness and vulnerability.
After defeat in Iraq the democrats rushed into the War in Kosovo siding with the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). This “Army” was and remains Islam’s Terror Organization and was treated as such by US State Department up until the military action began. By killing more than two thousand Serbian civilians and by weakening Serbia, the Democrats handed Kosovo over to Islamic terrorists and in effect created yet another base for the organization of Al-Qaeda.
The inconstancy and irresponsibility of the Democratic Party's actions is clearly linked to the absence of government-scale thinking and strategy within its leaders.
A most illustrious example of this is their current presidential nominee: Senator John Kerry.
Before the war on Iraq Kerry voiced his opinion that America has a problem with two regimes- Saddam Hussein’s and Bush's. To put America on the same platform as Saddam’s Iraq, at the time right before the war is clearly not good Government thinking. Imagine if any senator, in the time of Second World War, were to proclaim that America had issue with two regimes: Hitler's and Roosevelt's.
In this vein of irresponsible and brash politics does Kerry lead his campaign for election? He openly insulted the countries in the coalition with the United States against the regime of Saddam Hussein by calling them “Coalition of the bribed and coerced," and at the same time criticized Bush for the breadth of the coalition. Alas, hurling insults at allies does not lead to more of them.
But his election tactic does not rely on logic, instead he use several simple rhetoric tricks:
1. He is trying to avoid all mention of his twenty-year-long political career, instead he concentrates on blaming Bush.
2. He voices two diametrically opposing opinions on a single issue, thereby letting each voter choose what he likes to hear and in what combination to perfectly tailor to anybody's taste.
3. He swears to solve all the problems in America's economy at the expense of the wealthy. (He plays The Billionaire Robin-hood)
Bush has proven himself through action. He led us to eliminate the Taliban and Al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan, and to remove from power the anti-American government of Saddam Hussein. Due to his actions we now have bases in the center of the Muslim world and now are in a much more preferable strategic position.
America has shown its might and its’ enemies have felt its wrath:
Libya's leader, Col. Gadhafi, after witnessing the destruction of Hussein regime, admitted to the development of weapons of mass destruction, along with long-range rockets and willfully gave up these weapons to America for their destruction.
Pakistan, under pressure, stopped selling technologies for the development of atomic weapons.
Finally, Syria shut down official representation of terrorist groups.
Bush successfully cut off official sources of funds to terrorist groups internationally, and is actively pursuing unofficial sources.
Not a single government leader now dares to provide official commendation to any terrorist operative, as Hussein did.
Now, after the PATRIOT Act, numerous terrorists have been apprehended and their contacts investigated. Without such measures America would have been target to numerous terrorist attacks by now.
Yet it is not time to relax; terrorism still exists. If America once again shows weakness then their activity will escalate and increased many-fold. The fact that our country is weak under the Democrats is already ascertained by our enemies and therefore the question of this election should be stated such:
‘Win with Bush or lose with Kerry?’
PS It is my recommendation that you read what a great and respected patriot, firm retainer of values, and brave leader had to say - Rudy Giuliani:
Bush/Kerry Policy on Israel
President George Bush and Israel:
Senator John Kerry's Israel Policy:
from "Letter from Russian Jew to his Friend"
Bill Clinton and Israel:
First, he didn't veto UN resolution condemning Israel for so-called excessive use of force. (Running ahead, just to compare, Bush administration blocked all anti-Israel UN resolutions.)
Second, in December 2000, at the time of escalation of intifad , he stated that Israel wouldn't have a choice rather than share Jerusalem with Palestinians.
And the third, he morally betrayed Israel when he pardoned Mark Rich (millionaire tax evader and big time Hillary Clinton campaign contributor) and stated in some interview that he did it because Israel twisted his hands, which was a lie. The truth was that Israel was asking to pardons Johnatan Pollard, what Clinton really promised and never did.Jimmy Carter and Israel: