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Showdown With Evil
Posted By Richard Perle On November 30, 2010 @ 12:38 am In FrontPage | 20 Comments
[Below is Richard Perle's foreword to Jamie Glazov's just released new book, Showdown With Evil: Our Struggle With Tyranny and Terror.]
In this extraordinary collection of interviews, Jamie Glazov demonstrates that consistent, searching questions can both enrich and impart coherence to disparate answers: for what emerges from 29 interviews conducted over eight years is an illuminating and important commentary on the largest issues facing America and the West.
It is a commentary whose preoccupation reflects history—Jamie’s Glazov’s history, rich in the issues of identity, freedom, truth telling and courage. Jamie, it may be said, has had rather more history than he needed—as a man whose parents were dissidents in the Soviet Union and who was taught the values of freedom and the courage to fight for it from the beginning. It is no wonder that he is so wholly absorbed in understanding and opposing, radical, political Islam and its apologists. Today’s “useful idiots,” like those who preceded them, are drawn almost entirely from the Left. Indeed, many of the individuals are the same, as is the intellectual foundation of their obsessive disdain for the liberal values of an open society. In one way or another nearly all the interviews in this book touch on the readiness of the Left, in an often ludicrous pursuit of political correctness, to accept, and even to advance, the Islamist agenda that has replaced communism as the principal threat to western values and civilization.
Part I, “Obama’s Destructive Path,” certainly deals with the destructive qualities of a number of policies—but, sadly, support for these policies goes well beyond Obama and his administration. The refusal to recognize that we are gravely threatened by Islamist terror—by deeply ideological extremists who are prepared, even eager, to die in the act of killing infidels (that is, all of us including “moderate Muslims”)—is neither original with President Obama nor limited to his administration. Ranging along a spectrum from myopic to willfully blind, the community of academics, journalists, politicians, clerics, establishment lawyers, non-governmental organizations and others who believe we are confronted only by a small number of miscreants who can be effectively dealt with by our criminal justice system (after being Mirandized, of course) is alarmingly large. The idea that those who hate and wish to kill us have been given reason and cause by failures of our own making—aggression against Saddam’s murderous regime or the Taliban or support for democratic Israel or the failure to censor blasphemous words or drawings or the use of harsh methods of interrogation, and the like—goes well beyond the current administration (and is likely to outlast it).
Like Bush before him, Obama has done nothing to recognize publicly the Islamist nature of the terrorist threat. But, unlike Bush, his apologetic tone when addressing the Muslim world implies that we are somehow responsible for Islamist extremism. Victor Davis Hanson knows what the President should, but will never say: “Dear radical Muslims, you, not us, created your present misery through religious intolerance, gender apartheid, statism, corruption, tribalism, anti-scientific fundamentalism, and autocracy, and we have neither regrets about our own success nor responsibilities for your own self-induced miseries, unfortunate as they are.”
No one, least of all Jamie Glazov, would be surprised at the Media and liberal Left’s misplaced sympathy for Islamist militancy, sympathy that obscures the underlying Islamist motives in even such obvious cases as the Fort Hood massacre. As Robert Spencer sagely observes: “They reflexively deny and ignore these conclusions because they are completely sold out to the idea that Muslims, as non-white, non-Christian, non-Westerners, cannot possibly be anything but victims.”
Steven Emerson has been relentless in exposing seemingly moderate Muslim organizations that are, in reality, working to “… infiltrate the corridors of power (Congress and the government), the media, Hollywood, the intelligentsia and even law enforcement, an agenda Emerson sums up as secretly aspiring to a “civilizational-jihadist process “. More than anyone, Emerson has exposed one such organization, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), for what it truly is: a Muslim Brotherhood associated political/propaganda organization with a concealed history of support for Hamas, posing as a civil rights group interested only in protecting Muslims from alleged discrimination. Emerson exposes CAIR’s collaboration with other radical groups including J Street, an organization that feigns sympathy for Israel while working with CAIR against it. Congresswoman Sue Myrick’s interview is a reminder that there are intelligent, diligent members of congress—though not as many as a majority driven institution requires. Her patient, sustained criticism of CAIR stands in sharp contrast to the uncritical acceptance it has gained in some parts of the Congress and the media. Taken together, Emerson and Myrick demonstrate that serious analysis and reporting can have a real impact when members of Congress are armed with facts.
Fascinating, informative interviews with Brigitte Gabriel, Mohammad Ashgar and Abul Kasem shed light on Muslim ideology as reflected in the Koran and propagated by extremist clerics, charitable organizations, educational institutions and states purporting to be friends and allies of the United States. As one learns of the venomous intolerance of Muslim extremism—towards women, homosexuals, Jews and other infidels—the Left’s romance with Islam and its opposition to combating the menace it has become is almost inexplicable. But Jamie Glazov and his mentor David Horowitz understand the Left and are keenly aware of the parallels between the Left’s indifference to Soviet totalitarianism then and Islamic fundamentalism now. They understand that the “peace” movement of the Cold War threatened our security in much the way that civil libertarian opposition to dealing effectively with Islamist terror threatens us today.
Norman Podhoretz understands that we are at war with, as he rightly calls it, Islamofascism, “…as precise a characterization as I could find of the religio-political totalitarian force that we are up against. “His defense of the Bush doctrine as our strategy in this war is clearer and more compelling than the case made by Bush himself.
Natan Sharansky is Jamie Glazov’s hero. Jamie is not alone in this. Anyone who followed Sharansky’s struggle for human rights before, during and after his 11 years in the Gulag was certain to become an admirer of his personal courage, his dedication to individual liberty and, in recent years, his deep insight into the nature of democracy and the human dimension of life under totalitarian rule. As I look back at 11 years on the staff of Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, the task I found most gratifying was drafting speeches for Scoop supporting Sharansky’s struggle and demanding his release from prison. Sharansky captured George W. Bush’s imagination with his book, “The Case for Democracy,” but the hapless Bush was never able to mobilize his own administration to develop policies reflecting Sharansky’s astute analysis, the essence of which is contained in his interview in this book. Ironically, Bush’s decision to support elections among the Palestinians, which led to the rise of Hamas, flew in the face of Sharansky’s argument that elections in the absence of a civil society cannot be expected to promote democracy. It didn’t.
The three essays in Part V, “The Evil Empire,” shed fascinating light on the operations of the KGB during the Cold War and since. It is not surprising that the operational code of the KGB under the Soviet Union continues in Vladimir Putin’s Russia. How could it be otherwise? Putin is a man of, by and for the KGB even if it is now called the FSB. That the continuing oppressive role of the KGB/FSB is so little appreciated in the United States—and most especially among policy makers and bureaucrats eager to “reset” American-Russian relations—is at least partly the result of the failure of mainstream media in the U.S. to pay attention. Klehr, Haynes, Preobrazhenskiy and Kengor, who all have interesting things to say in their books and in their interviews in this volume, have received almost no coverage. This reflects a troubling trend evident in the way the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the major networks increasingly ignore—blackout might be the better term—books and viewpoints that differ from their own. There’s a world out there that we would learn little of were it not for FOX and volumes like this one.
Andrew Klavan, like David Horowitz, has changed sides. So have Charles Winecoff and Walid Shoebat: four personal histories that bring an immensely valuable depth to their understanding of the mind-sets and ideologies they have abandoned. Klavan, once on their side, now says this of the Left: “So desperate are they to display their tolerance, to claim virtue and open-mindedness for themselves, so secretly ashamed and guilt-ridden and self-hating are they, I guess, that they will give aid and comfort to a philosophy that turns everything they’re supposed to stand for on its head. Anti-female, anti-gay, anti-religious liberty, anti-humanity, radical Islam is a cancer on the face of the earth. Ignoring it, pretending it isn’t there, moral equivalence, relativism – all the various forms of false piety in which the Left specializes – are as helpful with radical Islam as they are with other cancers.”
Buckley, Hitchens, Coulter, Pipes and Dalrymple are always a pleasure to read. There is no point commenting on their commentary: read and enjoy.
Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Reagan administration, now a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
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