Monday, November 22, 2004

Islamic Lions and Liberal Lambs

NR's Managing Editor Jay Nordlinger recently reviewed David Horowitz's latest work, called Radical Islam and the American Left. I haven't read the book, but the review suggests the left believes the impossible: that the Jihad-ist Lion can lie down with the Liberal Lamb.
[T]he most explosive suggestion you can make today [is] that the Left has joined hands with radical Islam. That it is fellow-traveling with it. Such a suggestion will get you branded a McCarthyite, immediately. But is it true (the suggestion, that is)? Afraid so. And this case is powerfully, sickeningly made in David Horowitz's new book.

At first blush, it may seem an odd alliance: the leftists and the Islamists. After all, Islamists are premodern "conservatives." Reflecting on a big anti-war rally in London, Mark Steyn pointed out that militant lesbians were marching alongside militant Muslims. Did the former care that the latter would have them dead? Not really. . .
But, according to Nordlinger, the gay and feminist rights movements have led the tentative alliance, united by a preeminent cause:
Opposition to the War on Terror shades with alarming ease into apologetics for Islamism. In June 2003, National Review published a signal essay by David Pryce-Jones, "The New Fellow-Traveling." He wrote that, while there are differences between Islamist fellow-traveling and the old Soviet kind, "the cast of mind is the same."

The common premise that Western society is responsible for the world's ills generates . . . guilt for the present as well as fear for what is to come. The conviction then develops that whatever "we" do must be wrong, and whatever "they" do is justified. Fellow-travelers in both cases come to apologize for those hostile to Western society, even to identify with them. I suggest the following: One moment you're calling terrorists "insurgents" or "rebels"; a moment later, you may be rationalizing their actions, and if you're really far gone, thrilling to them. In sad truth, many liberals are simply repulsed at the idea that America can accomplish some good in the world, particularly with military force. This is why they're unable to take pleasure in the toppling of obscene dictatorships, even theocratic ones. An odd mixture of self-blame and misdirected sympathy kicks in.
Nordlinger provides frightening anecdotal evidence:
Last summer, I attended a conference, which featured another prominent liberal Democratic politician. During a panel discussion, someone mentioned the good that could flow from America's liberation of Iraq, including greater opportunities for women. Our politician was aghast at the suggestion, and moved quickly to put it down. Women, she declared, had enjoyed full rights under Saddam Hussein, but now those rights were in question, thanks to this new, U.S.-imposed regime. Members of the audience burst into applause — almost a desperate, inordinately grateful applause. No good could come from a George W. Bush-led effort.
These attitudes prompted many American liberals to slither from urging peace to wishing for America's defeat. Horowitz writes that the "decision to oppose the war in Afghanistan was a defining moment for the American Left, analogous to its response to the signing of the Nazi-Soviet Pact in 1939." Horowitz concludes the leftists are the new McCarthyism and "the language of the Islamists and that of the leftists can be indistinguishable."

Horowitz (and Nordlinger) surely are on to something. As shown by Ann Coulter and Charles Johnson, much of the left is terrified of Christianity, indifferent to Judaism--but staunch defenders of Islam. The left loathes mixing religion and politics--but Muslims get a "pass." Invoking Christ is forbidden, but the student commencement address at Harvard is titled "American Jihad." Though Islam may, technically, qualify as a religion, liberals apparently are willing to cooperate with any group seeking America's destruction. And they soft-pedal criticism of Islamic terrorism, even though core liberal rights and values would be the first casualty of Muslim Shari`ah law.

That's why many lefties supported Yassir Arafat and Fallujah thugs. That's why many in the media call terrorism a myth and America a menace. That's why academics rush to blame America first, eliding criticism of radical Islam. They forget that lambs that sleep with lions risk vanishing before break of day.

The late Michael Kelly—"devoted husband, adoring father and one hellacious journalist"—detested Americans who retained their socialist ideology long after the Soviet Union crumbled:
At some point it becomes a seriously immoral act to refuse to acknowledge the truth. At some point, you have to ask whether it is morally acceptable to regard those who yet refuse to come to terms with communism other than as people who have chosen to adhere to known evil. And that point has been long passed.
Three-thousand vaporized victims wasn't enough to teach the left to recognize, much less confront, evil. "Oh when will they ever learn?" Probably not before these sheep are devoured by Islamic lions.


Thivai Abhor said...

Must see new BBC Documentary:

The Power of Nightmares

Carl said...

Though I didn't see that "documentary," I followed the reports about it closely--and was appalled. As one example, the show derided the threat of "dirty bombs":

"[It] is a fantasy that has been exaggerated and distorted by politicians. It is a dark illusion that has spread unquestioned through governments around the world, the security services, and the international media."

I guess pigs can fly--and the deranged can comment.

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