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United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror

Posted By Jonathan Schanzer On January 25, 2010 @ 12:10 am In FrontPage | 17 Comments

[This review is reprinted from Middle East Quarterly]

Dr. Jamie Glazov, editor of FrontPageMag.com, exposes the hypocrisy of leftists and liberals who claim to champion the principles of freedom, democracy, liberalism, and feminism yet support both communist and Islamist dictatorships, which implement none of these principles.

David Horowitz, Glazov’s boss, also wrote a book in 2004, Unholy Alliance, on this subject, but Glazov digs deeper. The author, who fled the Soviet Union as a child and earned a PhD from York Univeristy in Toronto in Soviet studies, points in the first 100 pages of the book to a nucleus of American apologists in the 1930s who heaped praise on communist strongman Joseph Stalin, including Walter Duranty of The New York Times and author Upton Sinclair. In the generation that followed, intellectuals including novelist Normal Mailer and feminist activist Simone de Beauvoir continued to apologize for communist regimes in Cuba, China, Nicaragua, and Vietnam.

With the decline of communism, the Left began to support Islamism. Whereas journalists, novelists and activists led the charge in the first wave, Glazov explains in the second half of the book, the most vociferous defenders of Islamism now come from the Ivory Tower.

After the Iranian revolution in 1979, French philosopher Michel Foucalt, who enjoyed stints at the University of Buffalo and University of California Berkeley, lauded Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as a “saint.” The late English professor Edward Said, famous for his anti-Western philosophy, Orientalism, became a popular apologist for Palestinian Islamist violence in the 1990s. In 2001, Rutgers University English professor, Barbara Foley, called the 9-11 attacks a legitimate response to the “fascism” of U.S. foreign policy. In 2006, Noam Chomsky, an M.I.T. linguistics professor, lauded Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, whose group calls for the destruction of America and Israel.

What Glazov does not explicitly note is that the foremost apologists for Islamism in the universities are the specialists in Middle Eastern Studies. From Columbia’s Rashid Khalidi to Georgetown’s John Esposito, the field has become overwrought with professor-activists who now rationalize Islamism to new generations of students.

But, Glazov provides ample proof that the professors are not alone. Filmmaker Michael Moore likened Iraqi terrorists to “minutemen.” Media mogul Ted Turner reported lauded the 9/11 hijackers as “brave.” And, of course, former U.S. president Jimmy Carter met Hamas leader Khaled Meshal, against the wishes of the U.S. State Department, and now seeks to engage in diplomacy with the group best known for suicide bombing.

Glazov’s lucid and compelling book would be strengthened by distinguishing more clearly between liberal-Left and far-Left. Indeed, not everyone who identifies with the former supports the ideals of the latter. Still, United in Hate highlights an important and disturbing trend that has made the battle of ideas against Islamists and despots that much harder to win.

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