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There was one thing more than any other that turned this New York, liberal, Jewish, Columbia University graduate student from modern liberalism. It was its use of moral equivalence to avoid confronting evil during the Cold War.
There was a time when liberalism was identified with anti-Communism; the liberal-led Korean and Vietnam Wars were examples. But the Vietnam War led liberals into the arms of the left, which had been morally confused about communism since its inception and had become essentially pacifist following the carnage of World War I.
After the Vietnam War, even liberals who continued to describe communism as evil were labeled “right-wingers” and “Cold Warriors.” And the United States, with its moral flaws, was often likened to the Soviet Union. I recall asking the pre-eminent liberal historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., in a public forum in Los Angeles in the late 1970s, if he would say that the United States was a morally superior society to that of the Soviet Union. He would not.
Little has changed regarding the Left’s inability to identify and confront evil. And its moral equation of good guys and bad guys was made evident again in recent weeks by hosts on three major liberal networks — ABC, NPR and PBS.
First, on May 25, PBS host Tavis Smiley interviewed Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the ex-Muslim Somali writer and activist for human, especially women’s, rights in Islamic countries. After mentioning American Muslim terrorists Maj. Nidal Hasan (who murdered 13 and injured 30 fellow soldiers at Fort Hood) and Faisal Shahzad (who attempted to murder hundreds in Times Square), this dialogue ensued:
Ali: “Somehow, the idea got into their (Hasan’s and Shahzad’s) minds that to kill other people is a great thing to do and that they would be rewarded in the hereafter.”
Smiley: “But Christians do that every single day in this country.”
Ali: “Do they blow people up?”
Smiley: “Yes. Oh, Christians, every day, people walk into post offices, they walk into schools, that’s what Columbine is — I could do this all day long. There are so many more examples of Christians — and I happen to be a Christian.
“There are so many more examples, Ayaan, of Christians who do that than you could ever give me examples of Muslims who have done that inside this country, where you live and work.”
Then, on Aug. 22, Michel Martin, host of NPR’s “Tell Me More,” in discussing whether the Islamic Center and mosque planned for near ground zero should be moved, said this on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” with Howard Kurtz:
“Should anybody move a Catholic church? Did anybody move a Christian church after Timothy McVeigh, who adhered to a cultic white supremacist cultic version of Christianity, bombed (the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City)?”
And third, on Aug. 26, ABC “20/20″ anchor Chris Cuomo tweeted this to his nearly one million followers:
“To all my christian brothers and sisters, especially catholics — before u condemn muslims for violence, remember the crusades….study them.”
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