Sunday, September 12, 2004

Why is the Left Embracing Islamic Fascism?

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks Christopher Hitchins wrote in the following in The Nation:

"The bombers of Manhattan represent fascism with an Islamic face, and there's no point in any euphemism about it. What they abominate about "the West," to put it in a phrase, is not what Western liberals don't like and can't defend about their own system, but what they do like about it and must defend: its emancipated women, its scientific inquiry, its separation of religion from the state."

I really, really, really hate to quote Hitchens. Oh, he's intelligent and has a good pen. I saw him interviewed on Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered on PBS You the other night and he speaks well. His years as a defender of the Palestinian cause and his chronic misrepresentations of Israel and it's seemingly never ending fight against Palestinian terrorism has made me more than a bit ill on a number of occasions. Mr. Hitchens also happens to have, more correctly than anyone I have heard, identified the enemies of the United States as Islamic fascists. He has been doing so consistently for three years.

Mr. Hitchens also decries the left, with whom he once so strongly identified, for it's support of Islamic fascism. We have seen freedom, democracy, and pretty much all civil rights and civil liberties extinguished in any place the Islamists have taken power. Simply look at Sudan, the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, or Iran for examples. This all seems so obvious. Yet the left turns around and makes excuses for the 9/11 terrorists and al-Qaida, for Palestinian terrorism, and indeed for many such movements around the world. The left talks of hopelessness, poverty, oppression, and so on as if it's some sort of excuse for the mass murder of innocents. Can anyone justify what happened in Beslan, Russia last week? Is the deliberate and cold blooded murder of children ever justified? I think not.

We saw people who see themselves as great liberals offer themselves up as human shields for Saddam Hussein. Now they endlessly protest American human rights violations, no matter how isolated, in Iraq and Afghanistan while ignoring the often brutal actions of insurgents in Iraq or the still dangerous Taliban. They continually bemoan wrongness of the U.S. led invasions. They do this despite the fact that Saddam Hussein had the blood of a million people on his hands or the oppression suffered by so many under the Taliban. The mass graves found in Iraq do not lie and are there for all to see. Whether or not the U.S. invasion was justified is neither here nor there. To me it seems clear that defending Saddam Hussein or the Taliban and ignoring their extreme abuse of human rights while chastising the United States in the worst kind of hypocrisy.

In Israel these similarly "high minded" leftists claim to be "peace activists" while aiding and abetting Palestinian terrorism. Those who join the International Solidarity Movement and groups like it are welcomed by Yasser Arafat, by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and all the other Palestinian terrorists who are more than happy to see these often young would-be peaceniks die so that their "martyrdom" can be used as a public relations weapon against Israel. Rachel Corrie was no hero. She was an ignorant young woman who was duped into getting herself killed.

Christoper Hitchens wrote in the same 2001 article:

"Does anyone suppose that an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza would have forestalled the slaughter in Manhattan? It would take a moral cretin to suggest anything of the sort; the cadres of the new jihad make it very apparent that their quarrel is with Judaism and secularism on principle, not with (or not just with) Zionism."

Three years later Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, a man the left loves to demonize, is indeed preparing a withdrawal from Gaza. In doing so he has alienated much of his own party and his base of support and turned his large ruling coalition into a minority government. Even many of Prime Minister Sharon's long time critics have been eloquent in their praise of the Prime Minister's plan. U.N. envoy Terje Roed-Larsen called it "a bold step that should be welcomed by all the United Nations" and went on to say of Sharon: "no Israeli Prime Minister had previously had the vision to say he would remove settlers, as long called for by the international community, and initiate a plan for its implementation." Despite this the far left still casts the Prime Minister, and Israel as a whole, as the villain and continues to support those who continue to perpetrate relentless terror attacks upon innocent people.

I am forced to conclude that some on the left are so brainwashed to oppose anything from what they perceive as the right, so dedicated to their opposition, so desperately searching for a revolution to embrace that they sooner support fascism, even when the jihadist speaks openly of genocide on a scale not seen since Nazism fell. The far left has lost it's moral compass and it's collective soul. It is reduced to supporting a morass of totalitarianism, intolerance, and brutality.

Someone who truly believes in and espouses liberal values cannot help but stand against Islamic fascism as Hitchens now does. Indeed, I would argue that an impassioned defense of Israel, which cherishes freedom, democracy, justice, and ultimately human rights to a greater degree than most nations, should be well within the realm of liberal thought. For some, ranging from Alan Dershowitz to John Kerry, it clearly is. 9/11 forced many of us to reassess our positions in order to remain true to our values.

Those old leftists who fail to do so find themselves supporting the unsupportable and in doing so render themselves irrelevant. They sadly still manage to pass their ideas onto impressionable and ignorant young people who have never seen Israel or the Palestinians and who have no idea what the "Islamic paradise" of the Taliban really meant. They protest for peace by supporting those who only truly offer the peace of the grave. The result is that most Americans and Israelis alike recognize this and reject the left.


Joanne said...

I also have very mixed feelings about Hitchens, although my admiration for him is still less than for others. I still find him intellectually shallow, but with a great wit and debating skill. I also agonize over his continuing to be such a great opponent of Israel. Some of his points are, sadly, very true, but truths pressed into the service of a broader lie can be especially dangerous.

I cringed when I read an interview with him printed on the Frontpage site. Just a couple of examples: He refers to Israel Shahak as "a tremendously brave Israeli humanist." And another one of his comments struck me as subconsciously racist: "Never mind the silly idea of turning Jewish watchmakers from Hungary into farmers: now it turns Jewish bullies from Brooklyn into vigilantes."

He was probably very brave for going against his colleagues on the left, but he still leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Caitlyn said...

Interesting to see a comment on this almost a year after I wrote it. I can't disagree with a single word you said hence my distaste at quoting Mr. Hitchins.

I would point out that in making my case for defending Israel and Zionism I often choose to link or quote Arab or Islamic sites, not because I agree with them, but because they, with their own statements, make the case for Israel very powerfully with their own words. The recent genocidal call by the Iranian President Ahmedinejad to "wipe Israel off the map" are a wonderful example. He makes the case for military action against Iran quite eloquently.

I obviously don't put Mr. Hitchens in the same category, but I would point out that sometimes Israel's enemies make our points for us very well. When it comes to the war on terrorism he happens to be right.