Revisiting Party of Defeat on Kindle for $4.99

The books that David Horowitz has written as a conservative fall into three general categories.

The first is analytical. It focuses on the radicalism of the Left, its effects and how to oppose the Left’s agendas. In this category are The Politics of Bad Faith, Left Illusions, and Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left, and several co-authored books, including Destructive Generation (with Peter Collier), Deconstructing the Left (with Peter Collier), The Shadow Party (with Richard Poe) and Party of Defeat (with Ben Johnson). Also in this analytical category are four compilations of articles: Sex, Lies and Vast Conspiracies, Hating Whitey and Other Progressive Causes, The Art of Political War and Other Radical Pursuits and How to Beat the Democrats and Other Subversive Ideas.

The second category is also analytical, but its subject is a very specific dominion of the Left: American universities. There are five books in this category, which represent a comprehensive critique of the radicalized academic campus and its curriculum: Uncivil Wars, The Professors, Indoctrination U., One-Party Classroom (with Jacob Laksin) and the forthcoming Reforming Our Universities: The Campaign for an Academic Bill of Rights, which will be published by Regnery in fall 2010.

The third category is biographical and philosophical. These are Horowitz’s most lyrical writings: Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey (1997), The End of Time (2005) and A Cracking of the Heart (2009).

Party of Defeat, co-written with Ben Johnson and published in 2008, is tightly argued, carefully focused, and precisely documented. It is 164 pages of argumentation with more than 20 pages in footnotes. Party of Defeat makes its case in two parts each divided into two chapters.

Part 1 is titled “The War Against America and the West.” The first chapter describes the Path to 9/11. The disastrous Jimmy Carter presidency, Ted Kennedy’s attempts to undermine Ronald Reagan’s successful Cold War strategy, and Bill Clinton’s head-in-the-sand syndrome are all examined. The second chapter focuses on 9/11 itself and the Left’s response. We see a distinction here between the radical, anti-American Left of Tom Hayden and Michael Moore and the more sane liberal Left of mainstream Democrats in congress and the Senate. One group rabidly opposed the Afghanistan war; the other did not. It would not be long before this distinction vaporized.

Part 2 examines Operation Iraqi Freedom specifically. Chapter 3 lays out the justifications for the mission. This is a particularly important segment because Horowitz and Johnson explain the difference between the actual justifications for removing Saddam Hussein and the political task of selling the war to the American public. Understanding this distinction is critical and is something leftists and Democrats completely miss even today in their tunnel vision of WMDs. Chapter 4, the heart of the book, then shows how the Left and the Democrats sought to sabotage that task once America began it. Horowitz and Johnson hit all the bases: Ambassador Joe Wilson, yellowcake uranium, Valerie Plame, the influential slander of “Zionist neo-cons” “distorting” intelligence, Democrats claiming they were misled, Al Gore’s The Assault on Reason, the New York Times printing classified information, “Mother” Cindy Sheehan, and finally MoveOn.Org’s disgusting General “Betray-Us.”

Party of Defeat thus serves as a conclusive defense of the legitimacy of the Bush administration’s push to implement regime change in Iraq — a policy initially proposed by a Democratic president. Further, Horowitz and Johnson meticulously establish that not long after initially supporting the war the Democratic Party adopted the positions of the anti-American Left — while America’s troops were in harm’s way. Considered in the context of the historical information from the first chapter, it’s clear that this shift to the Left is not an aberration but a consistent march that’s proceeded over the last 35 years. (See The Shadow Party by Horowitz and Richard Poe for more on this.)

And how can the Left and Democratic Party apologists respond?

The book itself is only the first part of the Party of Defeat intellectual experience. After Party of Defeat was published Horowitz and Johnson set up the $500 FrontPage Challenge. Noted foreign policy analysts and journalists could debate Horowitz and Johnson’s thesis at FrontPage. These debates are in many ways as enlightening as the book itself. The Left’s attempt to defend itself from the charges is at times stunning, predictable, and ultimately sad. Read all of these debates here:

To read Ethan Porter’s exchange with the authors, click here.
To read Lawrence Korb’s exchange with the authors, click here.
To read Andrew Grotto’s exchange with the authors, click here.
To read Jordan Smith’s exchange with the authors, click here.
To read Robert Farley’s exchange with the authors, click here.
To read Michael Isikoff’s exchange with the authors, click here.
To read Ben Johnson’s exchange with William Blum, click here.
See also Nick Cohen’s, Jeffrey Herf’s and Bruce Thornton’s critiques of the book.

  • eerie Steve

    Apologists can only state Saddam did not have WMDs. Saddam did in fact had WMDs. Udai and Qusai had WMDs. The only thing that was stopping them was literally Hans Blix's red tape.

    When it is all said and done, W. will easily rank in the top ten of US Presidents.

  • Steve from Texas

    I agree with you eerie Steve, President Bush will have a legacy that will indure in the hearts and minds of not only the Pro-War with Terror Americans but with the liberated Iraqis.

  • Joy

    All I know is that the American troops found 5 tons of yellow cake in Iraq 2 or 3 years after the invasion – and sold it to a private firm in Canada and had it shipped to Montreal! So, what was it doing in Iraq if that lying weasel, Amb. Joe Wilson, claimed that Saddam was NOT trying to obtain nuclear materials (yellow cake) in Africa?

  • logdon

    This is going to win me no popularity contests but we're in the mire still, both in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    The posting could reach book length, given the facts of not only the how's, why's and where fore's but the then and now's.

    My basic premise focuses on the now's with the benefit of that now's knowledge and hindsight.

    Ask, as US or UK taxpayers back here, how much we are paying in lives and treasure to support governments intent on Islamisation and who see this never ending fortune as the jizya?

    Iraq without Saddam, a minority Sunni, is now creating close ties with Iran, both Shia majority states. Iran, as we all know is prepared to self immolate if it can bring down the Great Satan US and the hated Zionist entity, Israel.

    Ahmedaejad has boasted and boasted of this fate, he believes in the Seventh Imam and that only catastrophe can bring about an Islamic Global umma. That means all of us, like it or not.

    Add sympathetic revitalised Shia Iraq to the equation and what was all the effort for? To create a vast West hating ME superstate with nukes?

    That's the way it's heading, especially with a never upset the Muslims Potus at the helm in Washington.

    In addition the country is fractured into Sunni, Shia and Kurd factions. As in most things Islamic, the feuds go back to the beginning. Forgive and forget is an alien concept and such is the power of Islam on poorly educated, semi illiterate and still tribal folk that to change anything takes not mere decades but centuries. And even then can leap back and forth as we see in the post Iranian Revolution Islamic revival which reversed modernisation and inculcated hatred against all but the believers.

    Back to square one sadly underestimates the situation. It's back to the Seventh century as fundamentalism takes root and Islam, not mortal governance is seen as solution to all the woes.

    That's how I see it in a nutshell.

    Next, Afghanistan. A just reaction but badly handled. After all the target, Bin Laden is still free, we’re still there and Pakistan, who let’s face it, enabled Bin Laden’s escape receives millions of dollars from the US, UN and EU.

    Too much trust in the ISI by Bush. A naive attitude which believed every pack of lies put forward and a belief that US and Western values with the wealth creating opportunities they offer could trump those old bearded mullahs and the salvation they espoused, is the problem.

    They are not like us, that's what we have to get into our skulls. Political correctness, cultural relativity, all the fancy post modern theories attempt to iron out the differences and cross the yawning chasm but anyone notice? They’re not budging one inch. It’s us, the eternally gullible or to be more correct our flaccid leaders who are beating the retreat. Time after time.

    My view? Get the hell out. Leave it to them to do with as they wish. That’s what they want? Give it to them.

    One caveat. No more Muslim immigration to either the US or Europe, especially Britain which has suffered enough.

    Next, deport all illegals. Deport the ones who spout sedition including foreign born CAIR members in the US and MCB in Britain. Enforce existing law. No more allowances for ‘cultural differences’. Ban the burka as they are doing in France, it has no place in our societies. If they want to wear it, fine. Wear it in Iraq or Afghanistan.

    In other words draw up the bridge, drop the portcullis, prepare the boiling oil. After all if they want us out of their lands we are entitled to the same view.

    Then forget overseas adventure. We have a cockney saying, (imagine the Dick Van Dyke accent here) leave it out mate, he’s not worth it.

    Never has so banal a phrase been more true.

    • Jim Douthit

      To Logdon: first-rate comments. I'm glad you have the courage to make them. Keep it up. I just read somewhre that we have troops in 148 countries and 11 other areas. This, when we're bankrupt. Drastic action is needed on entitlements: Soc. Sec. and Medicare both bankrupt to the tune of untold trillions.. –more later. jd

    • USMCSniper

      Cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war. Muslims are vermin like the Orcs of Middle Earth. Kill 'em all, wrap them in their prayer rugs, put 'em all in piles and burn 'em and let Allah sort 'em out. Allah will love us for this because we will keep heaven supplied with lots and lots of fresh raghead souls. And,…. there is nothing like smell of a pile of burning ragheads in the early morning – that is the smell of victory in the air!


    • Joy

      A very belated response to your interesting & thought-provoking post! I think you're right on all counts, but the old neo-con in me is hard to suppress. I think the main reservation I have is that we can't isolate the bastards geographically to their own little hell-hole countries; unfortunately, in today's world, their evil & mischief is not and cannot be contained within geographic boundaries. Their own turf is but a launching pad for the destruction intended for lands well beyond their borders that were once dominated by "enlightened" Western thought.

      As for total deportation of all illegals, as wonderful as that might be, it could never be enacted – at least not in MY lifetime! But pulling up national drawbridges still captures my imagination & a nascent fighting spirit….

  • lovesjeeves

    Well done and much appreciated….excellent post.

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