Guy DeWhitney on Government by Heretics Crusaders

My ideal of government:
Un-self-consciously, individual humans that are raised to feel a profound duty to protect all aspects of seldom/individuality that neither “picks someone’s pocket nor breaks someone’s leg” and a profound respect for the notion that we are all one and what goes around not only comes around, it DIRECTLY affects us; i.e. “successful” assholery damages a psyche’s ability to make ‘good’ choices in the future.Guy DeWhitneys Heretics Crusade

Why are so many on the Left enamored with Islamism?

Romancing the Jihad
Why are so many on the Left enamored with Islamism?

By Clifford D. May

Ask those on the Left what values they champion, and they will say equality, tolerance, women’s rights, gay rights, workers’ rights, and human rights. Militant Islamists oppose all that, not infrequently through the application of lethal force. So how does one explain the burgeoning Left-Islamist alliance?

I know: There are principled individuals on the Left who do not condone terrorism or minimize the Islamist threat. The author Paul Berman, unambiguously and unashamedly a man of the Left, has been more incisive on these issues than just about anyone else. Left-of-center publications such as The New Republic have not been apologists for radical jihadists.

But The Nation has been soft on Islamism for decades. Back in 1979, editorial-board member Richard Falk welcomed the Iranian revolution, saying it “may yet provide us with a desperately-needed model of humane governance for a third-world country.” Immediately after Sept. 11, 2001, longtime Nation contributor Robert Fisk complained that “terrorism” is a “racist” term.

It is no exaggeration to call groups such as MoveOn.org pro-appeasement. Further left on the political spectrum, the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition sympathizes with both Islamists and the Stalinist regime in North Korea — which is in league with Islamist Iran and its client state, Syria. Meanwhile, Hugo Chávez, the Bolivarian-socialist Venezuelan strongman, is developing a strategic alliance with Iran’s ruling mullahs and with Hezbollah, Iran’s terrorist proxy.

In a new book, United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror, Jamie Glazov takes a hard look at this unholy alliance. A historian by training, Glazov is the son of dissidents who fled the Soviet Union only to find that, on American campuses, they were not welcomed by the liberal/Left lumpen professoriate.

Glazov’s book indicts artists and intellectuals of the Left — e.g. George Bernard Shaw, Bertolt Brecht, and Susan Sontag — for having “venerated mass murderers such as Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, and Ho Chi Minh, habitually excusing their atrocities while blaming Americans and even the victims for their crimes.”

Following the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Left spent several years wandering in the wilderness. Many of them, Glazov suggests, looked upon the terrorist attacks of 9/11 less as an atrocity than as an opportunity to revive a moribund revolutionary movement.

Jimmy Carter, Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, Ramsey Clark, Lynne Stewart, and Stanley Cohen are among the luminaries of the Left Glazov accuses of having found common ground with Islamists.

He notes that the novelist Norman Mailer called the 9/11 hijackers “brilliant” and their terrorism “understandable” because “everything wrong with America led to the point where the country built that tower of Babel which consequently had to be destroyed.”

And then there is Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, a.k.a. Carlos the Jackal, who in 2003, from his prison cell, published a book called Revolutionary Islam that urged “all revolutionaries, including those of the left, even atheists,” to accept the leadership of militant jihadists, Osama bin Laden key among them. His reasoning: “Only a coalition of Marxists and Islamists can destroy the United States.”

Glazov quotes the British lawmaker, George Galloway, elaborating on the rationale for this coalition. “Not only do I think [a Muslim-leftist alliance is] possible, but I think it is vitally necessary and I think it is happening already,” Galloway said. “It is possible because the progressive movement around the world and the Muslims have the same enemies. Their enemies are the Zionist occupation, American occupation, British occupation of poor countries, mainly Muslim countries. They have the same interest in opposing savage capitalist globalization, which is intent upon homogenizing the entire world, turning us basically into factory chickens which can be force-fed the American diet of everything from food to Coca-Cola to movies and TV culture and whose only role in life is to consume the things produced endlessly by the multinational corporations.”

And in 1979, the success of the Islamist Revolution in Iran depended, in large measure, on the support given by the Iranian Left to the Ayatollah Khomeini. Once firmly in power, the clerical regime repaid its leftist enablers with executions, assassinations, and prison sentences. Evidently, no lessons were learned.

Glazov concludes that the Left’s “romance with Islamism is just a logical continuation of the long leftist tradition of worshipping America’s foes. . . . The Left clearly continues to be inspired by its undying Marxist conviction that capitalism is evil and that forces of revolution are rising to overthrow it — and must be supported.” On that basis, militant Islamism is regarded as a “valiant form of ‘resistance’ against American imperialism and oppression.”

If such values as equality, tolerance, and human rights are crushed in the process, that’s a price many on the Left are willing to pay. Those on the Left who disagree should perhaps speak up more loudly and more often.

— Clifford D. May, a former New York Times foreign correspondent, is the president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on terrorism.

© Scripps Howard News Service

The proliferation chain that links North Korea and Iran


AP
THE final frontier is being assaulted by a couple of troubling pioneers. North Korean officials are boasting that they will soon launch a rocket that will lift a communications satellite into space. With this defiant spectacular, they seem to be cocking a snook at America, South Korea, Japan, China and Russia, who have been trying through six-party talks to curb North Korea’s equally vaunted nuclear-weapons efforts. Meanwhile, earlier in February, Iran—suspected of harbouring similar nuclear ambitions to North Korea’s, though it denies this—lifted its own small, supposedly home-made satellite into orbit too.

Both regimes trumpet their space prowess, and indeed such technological feats are not easy to achieve. But how do these “civilian” space efforts complement their terrestrial nuclear work? That is the question that deeply worries outsiders.

Quite simply, the technology needed to lift a satellite off the launch pad and shield it from damage on its way into space is indistinguishable from that needed to launch a far-flying nuclear-tipped ballistic missile.

… Kim Jong Il’s regime claims to have first embarked on its space adventures in 1998, when it launched a Taepodong-1 rocket over an alarmed Japan, across the Pacific towards a startled America. Mr Kim even issued a stamp to celebrate what was said to have been the successful launch of a satellite that had since been warbling patriotic tunes back from space. Oddly, no one else ever picked up its signal. A failed missile test, concluded America, after watching the rocket plop down in the Pacific.

Whether the satellite was a figment of Mr Kim’s imagination hardly matters. The latest promised test-launch will violate resolution 1718, which bans North Korea from all such activity. This was passed by the United Nations Security Council in 2006, unusually with China’s backing, after North Korea first tried (but failed) to launch a still more capable missile and then conducted what is thought to have been its first nuclear test. Its determination now to carry on launching regardless has led to speculation in some quarters that the missile, assuming it launches successfully, could even be shot down by the new ballistic-missile defences that Japan and America have been frantically cobbling together to protect Japan from North Korea’s missile threats.

…The North Korean media claim, not for the first time, that the two Koreas are at “the brink of war”, and that America is preparing a pre-emptive strike against the North.

Certainly Mr Kim is determined to look as threatening as possible. Writing in the Washington Post on February 19th, Selig Harrison, who is a frequent visitor to North Korea, said that the foreign-ministry and defence officials he talked to recently had left him with the impression that North Korea’s stash of plutonium (which is exhibit-A in the six-party talks, though there are lingering concerns that Mr Kim has also dabbled in enriched uranium, another possible bomb ingredient) had already been “weaponised”—that is, converted into missile warheads.

If that is the case, then North Korea’s “satellite” test will be doubly alarming. Although the 2006 nuclear test was thought to have fizzled, it may nonetheless have helped North Korea master a design for the sort of smaller warhead that a missile could carry.

Strutting its stuff
North Korea is evidently quite happy to brandish its bombs. It flounced out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty back in 2003 after evidence emerged that it had been cheating on an earlier denuclearisation deal with America. Iran, by contrast, claims to be an NPT member in good standing. It insists that it has no use for nuclear weapons, and that all its nuclear activities, including a uranium-enrichment effort that continues to expand in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions and sanctions, are entirely peaceful in intent; the uranium, it says, is simply intended to fuel a future fleet of power stations.

Nothing if not brazen, it claims backhanded vindication in a controversial National Intelligence Estimate by America’s spooks, which concluded a little over a year ago that Iran had indeed had a bomb programme, but that it had stopped in 2003 when its formerly secret uranium activities came to light. But what that report failed to explain clearly was that Iran was continuing work quite openly on the two other necessary components of a weapons programme: first, uranium enrichment (with a bit of time and redirection of piping, low-enriched uranium can easily be turned into the highly enriched sort needed for a bomb) and efforts to produce plutonium; and second, the efforts under way for the development of a missile that could carry a nuclear warhead.