Radicals: Portraits of a Destructive Passion


Reprinted and translated from the Russian magazine Nova Dextra.

To order Radicals: Portraits of a Destructive Passion, click here.

Completely disillusioned with the Left, author David Horowitz has long been one of its main critics. The experience he gained as a New Left leader in the ’60s has allowed Horowitz to analyze the rotten nature of the left from the inside out. This was brilliantly demonstrated in his books “Radical Son” and “Unholy Alliance.” In 2012, Horowitz published a collection of essays, “The Radicals: Portraits of a Destructive Passion,” which has no doubt caused a stir.

In the Preface, the author states that this is his latest research on the topic. Alas, the left-wing radicals and their sympathizers do not disappear — and, therefore, the need for constant reminders of their danger does not disappear either.

The essays in “Radicals” are devoted to leading figures in left-wing radicalism found in academia, journalism, and those directly involved in political activities. But Horowitz is not content with an analysis of the biographies of such unpleasant characters. The story of the far left allows the writer to show how radicalism has implanted itself into modern society, becoming a virus for which an antidote has not yet been found. Moreover, we see how society allows this virus to spread without making serious attempts to protect itself.

The main text in the book is “A Radical Machiavelli.” The story of Saul Alinsky and his book “Rules for Radicals” allows Horowitz to explain the essence of left-wing radicalism, and simultaneously compare the right-wing conservative and radical leftist establishments:

Conservative principles are about limits, and what the respect for limits makes possible. … Progressive principles are based on ideas about a world that does not exist. … [Radicalism] is a declaration of war on a democracy whose individual freedoms are rooted in the institutions of private property, due process, and limited government. … Moreover, who are the “people” in whose name the revolution would act? History tells us that once the revolution is set in motion, the “people” is whomever the revolutionary elite designates, which is invariably itself. This was nonsense when Marx wrote it — and worse, when one considers the tens of millions of individuals slaughtered by those who believed it. … The idea that the world is divided into Haves and Have-Nots, exploiters and exploited, oppressors and oppressed, leads directly to the conclusion that liberation lies in the elimination of the former. … According to the radicals, this will lead to the liberation of mankind. In fact, it led to the murders of 100 million people in the last century, and state-induced economic deprivation on a scale never witnessed before. … What revolutionaries like Lenin and Alinsky offer is not salvation but chaos – a chaos designed to produce a totalitarian state.

Horowitz recalls the past and Alinsky, as well as his teachers. I think it is no wonder that Alinsky’s teachers were Chicago gangsters of the ’30s, especially Al Capone and Frank Nitti. It is organized crime that the leftist movement is particularly closely related to in its methods and operations.

On the example of Alinsky and his followers, Horowitz also demonstrates how radicalism rises to power by adopting a “civilized” look that allows for its destructive policies to take hold and penetrate into the system. This is supposed to replace open confrontation and establish the values and ideals of their transformation through glib pretexts and slogans. “Alinsky urged radicals to infiltrate the Democratic Party and the traditional institutions with the goal of subverting them.”

The essay “Pardoned Bombers” is devoted to pardoned leftist terrorists (such as Kathy Boudin and Susan Rosenberg). But, while Horowitz describes their crimes (in particular the “fighters against racist America” who killed a black cop and a black teacher), it is more important for him to note that the amnesty of the killers was greeted with approval in the left-liberal media (that is, in the vast majority of publications and television programs) and in academia. Journalists and academics, who to this day denounce anti-communism and McCarthyism (which did not result in mass repression and the killing of innocent people), welcomed the release of those who killed ordinary Americans. They did so because the killers were confused “idealists” who “claimed they had made ‘mistakes’ because of their passion for social justice for African-Americans. But if that had been their interest rather than a self-aggrandizing quest for revolutionary authenticity and national notoriety, they would have invested their talents and time in supporting honest, law-abiding, productive African-Americans who by the 1980s were making enormous strides towards equality with others through the democratic process and the economic marketplace.”

In “Cultural Decline,” Horowitz writes about Cornell West, a black racist and Marxist who concerns himself with alleviating “capitalism and militarism.” Horowitz does not take him to be a serious scholar:

He is the archetype of American radicalism, aimed at the destruction of the American experiment. Measured by the strength of his undeserved triumph and ridiculous career.

We see how far academic culture has fallen when a person who has made a name for himself lamenting constant harassment by the white capitalist elite is worshiped and believed to be an intellectual genius. It’s not just the fact that the success of West nullifies his ideas about the horrors of American racism and capitalism. The fact is that anything he does (such as recording a rap album) becomes a great achievement, and when conflict arises because of his neglect of teaching duties at Harvard, it is presented as persecution for his views. The academic success of West epitomizes the current university elite as having completely abandoned educational objectives in favor of dubious left-wing activism.

Incidentally, one of the signs of the crisis in the educational system was the planting of programs like “Women’s Studies” or “African-American Studies.” Perhaps there was some genuine academic benefit from these courses that one might have had the desire to learn, but left in the hands of radical professors, they were turned into tools of political indoctrination, and not as a way to raise the intellectual level of students.

In “Radicals,” Horowitz writes about just such a teacher, Bettina Aptheker (“Feminist-prosecutrix”). A communist activist in the past, through her leftist views she moved to teaching, turning courses into stages of political activism. Talking about Aptheker, Horowitz relies heavily on her autobiography. And the portrait proves not very pleasant, reminiscent of Reagan’s remark: “Scratch the Hollywood communist – especially ‘intellectual’ – and you will find a neurotic.” Aptheker appears hysterical, destroying the lives of people around her, while sermoning to her students about how they are to behave and treat minorities. Interestingly, one of the causes of her neuroses, tearing the radical from within, was sexual trauma in childhood and harassment by her father. Additionally, Bettina’s father is not just a pedophile, but a prominent Marxist historian and active leader of the Communist Party USA, Herbert Aptheker. An ideal family of leftist intellectuals, is not it? The result is that the sum total of the work of Bettina Aptheker was “[v]enting her personal rage on external forces and serving America’s enemies[.]”

Not all of Horowitz’s essays take an accusatory tone. In the case of such a complex person as the recently deceased writer Christopher Hitchens, the embodiment of all possible conflicts, the right intonation is generally very difficult to find. But Horowitz find it in “The Two Christophers” (due to their acquaintance and mutual hostility that crossed in friendship). The British Hitchens had always stressed his keenness for Marxism-Leninism and links to anti-American and anti-Israeli circles. However, constant communication with the aggressive left in public life in the United States forced Hitchens to take a serious look at his views. When Hitchens denounced attempts by the left-liberal media to discredit the prosecution of the immoral behavior of President Clinton, and when he found himself on the side of supporters of the war against Islamofascism after 9/11, hate from erstwhile comrades erupted. Those such as Cockburn, Gitlin and Healy (prominent left-wing figures) minced no words. Hitchens was called “Snitchens,” and threats and insults were regularly left on his answering machine. In general, this is a normal way for the left to deal with dissidents. Hitchens took up the challenge (his middle finger in the air at the leftist Bill Maher deserves nothing but respect), but perhaps the rapid deterioration of his health in the 2000′s was due to just such persecution.

Horowitz notes this was not primarily a political change of heart, but the desire to constantly shock and create controversy. Hitchens liked to be the center of attention, and sophisticated writing seemed more important with political overtones. But when talent is put in the service of narcissism and an obviously intolerant and aggressive ideology, which is the ideology of the left, everything ends with creative crisis; of the conversion into a mediocre scribbler-agitator. Hitchens was trying to escape a similar fate, and he tried to hide from personal problems in a pile of work (suicide of his mother, his own half-forgotten children, a difficult relationship with his brother, Peter – who by the way, is a conservative, but is opposed to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq). Hitchens gave readers a lot of interesting texts, but did they understand the author himself? It seems not.

The most poignant essay in “Radicals,” “Liberated Woman,” is devoted to Susan Lydon. Lydon gained notoriety in radical circles with the essay “The Politics of the Orgasm.” Once a becoming a “radical feminists,” the young married woman with a child tried to fit the image of a rebel. She became a drug addict, a prostitute, had lost family, and only after collecting a bunch of dangerous diseases could she realize the mediocre life she lived and somehow tried to rescue her last years. Simple occupations and relations with her daughter helped Lydon get rid of the yoke of radicalism. Therefore Horowitz concludes the essay with the words: “What she achieved in her life was a modest liberation, but an authentic one.”

At the end of the review we return to “A Radical Machiavelli.” Horowitz cites the dedication of “Rules for Radicals,” which Alinsky gave to Lucifer, “the first man who rebelled against the establishment and received the kingdom as a reward.” Horowitz recalls – the kingdom of Lucifer is called hell. And we are being dragged there by leftists tormented by their own demons of all kinds, as demonstrated by the history of the world. Therefore, Horowitz’s “Radicals” can be seen as a collection of well-written essays, the analysis of left-wing radicalism, but also as a warning. A warning that is worth considering.

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  • Tim N

    "…. (his middle finger in the air at the leftist Bill Maher deserves nothing but respect),…."

    Here's the link
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PW4dYG9VjgA

  • pierce

    Today we, here in this country, are experiencing a form of radical democracy. It seems like we the people really have no say in what is good for us.

  • Glennd1

    Just to be clear, Horowitz isn't fit to lick the spittle off Christopher Hitchens' boots wrt intellectual horsepower and moral consistency. To speculate that his rejection by the left led to the downturn of his health is also absurd, he got esophogeal cancer after a lifetime of heavy smoking or drinking.

    Moreover, he took up the challenge with real brio and never seemed to feel sorry for himself or regret leaving the like of Cockburn or Galoway behind. Go listen to what he has to say about this himself, it's quite revealing and he's nothing like the portrait Horowitz tries to make of him. Last, to somehow claim his change of heart was calculated to be a commercial success for Hitch, to keep him 'fresh' or something, is ludicrous. Hitchens was always willing to go where his moral and intellectual concerns took him, and while was in his own way a relentless self-promoter, I never, ever got a whiff of contrivance from him. To assert so cheapens Horowitz, not Hitchens as Hitchens standing as a towering public intellectual of our time is cemented for him – no matter what a back-bencher like Horowitz has to say.

    • Mike in VA

      While Christopher Hitchens was certainly one of the finest writers and polemicists of our time, he had nothing on David Horowitz when it came to intellectual firepower and moral consistency.

      • Glennd1

        You guys are just funny now. It's like you live in a rhetorical reality, just like Obama, thinking if you say something emphatically it makes it true. I'll take one point of proof here. What teaching roles and literary critic roles has Horowitz played? Hitchens was a top shelf reviewer of real literature in numerous legitimate literary periodicals. He was also a visiting professor at several universities. You don't even know that he established himself as a 'man of letters' completely distinct from his political and polemical work. Do the world a favor – don't reproduce or vote, okay?

    • ApolloSpeaks

      When it comes to wisdom (the knowledge of truth) in politics and morality, Hitchen's is the backbencher to David Horowitz, the intellectually maturer of the two.

  • Western Spirit

    The word Satan means the accuser. He accuses God’s people and certainly we all are culpable. Accusing Satan’s own and those caught up in delusions is pointless. Because he wants to catch God's people all out as sinners worthy of God’s punishment instead of God’s grace.

    Alinsky dedicated his book to Lucifer, the proper name of the fallen angel whose pride had cost him heaven and who then became Satan, the accuser of those following the truth all the way to God.

    Therefore in a way Alinsky validated the religion he was teaching his followers to reject and established an a delusional one in its place.

  • Sally

    Why is it that so many of us see our decline into leftist totalitarianism but can't seem to be able to do anything to stop it? Voting doesn't work. Exposing the lying media doesn't work. Talking to our friends doesn't work. Living our individual lives in honor of our principles doesn't work. I am fed up with the destruction of our country but I don't know what to do about it anymore.

    • Jim Dandy

      Yes. If someone could give us a little advice on how to fight back, I for one would appreciate it.

  • Ghostwriter

    Well,Glennd1. It seems that Christopher Hitchens had his own mind and he spoke it. You,on the other hand,just regurgitate inanities in hopes that it will stick.

    • Glennd1

      That's it? That's what you've got? I didn't deign to criticize a giant intellectual like Christopher Hitchens as is being done here, and don't suggest any comparison between Horowitz or Hitchens and myself. Horowitz opens himself to such criticism when he does so. The entire idea of even mentioning a minstrel con man like Cornel West in the same breath as Hitchens is ludicrous, and unthinkable. The funny part for me is trying to criticize him for his evolution away from the left – which is exactly what Horowitz did. Horowitz's real problem with Hitchens has to be his writing on the topic of the Palestinians in the '80s, against the backdrop of the 'New Historians; who were starting to emerge. Hitchens is no Zionist and in Horowitz's book, this is unforgivable.

      Hitchens was what any thinking person should be – anti-Zionist and anti-Islamist. Folks here seem incapable of understanding that one can be dead set against the Islamist agenda and also see Israel as an occupier and Zionism as immoral. There is nothing inconsistent about it morally. Supporting Israel's Zionist cause is unrelated. Hitchens was a giant.

      • Ghostwriter

        Well,Glennd1. Here's a comeback for you. The "Zionists" as you call them don't threaten me with death because I exist as a non-Muslim. The Islamists do. How's that?

      • ApolloSpeaks

        Zionsim is immoral? If Islamism were "immoral" like Zionism the Middle East would be a shinning city on a hill. Equating the two is moral confusion. For Hitchens this was a gigantic blunder.

        • Glennd1

          Another person living in a fantasyworld. You seem shocked that someone would call Zionism immoral, which informed the cleansing of 650,000 Arab Muslims from their homes between '47-'49. Don't listen to me, listen to Albert Einstein. He wrote an open letter to the New York Times in 1948, signed by him and numerous other prominent American Jews at the time. Einstein compared the actions of Zionists in Palestine at the time to the Nazis. He called Begin's entire enterprise Fascist. Do you realize how disconnected from reality you are? And how absurd that makes you?

          • ApolloSpeaks

            Shocked? Why would I be shocked when Zionism has been called worse? What moral principle governed the decision of the Arab world to reject the partition of Palestine into a Jewish and Arab state when Zionists fought a war of liberation against British imperialism so that both peoples could be free? What moral principle governed the decision of the Arab League to launch a war of annihilation against the new Jewish state which resulted in the flight of Arab refugees? And what kind of "criminal" Zionist enterprise ethnically cleanses Israel of Arabs while having a substantial Arab population? What kind of ethnic cleansing is that? And waht kind of "Fascist" is Begin who made peace with Egypt and returned the Sinai? What a strange kind of fascism that is.

          • Glennd1

            Why don't you ask Albert Einstein or Hannah Arendt? Or Benny Morris or Shlomo Ben Ami. The latter two admit that Zionism was a campaign of invasion, occupation and de-population. Guys like you are so stupid, it's hard to take seriously. Back before Israel was established, this was a topic of huge debate in Zionist circles. Many Jews thought and still think Zionism is immoral. For you to ignore all this and go on like you do boggles the minds.

            As for the morality of the Arab's, you freaking dipstick, I'm under no obligation to defend a thing they do. Although I will say that I would believe the Palestinians have an innate right to fight back. However, their cause is so fused with Islamism now, and I think Islamism is immoral as well, so I could never support them.But I won't sit here and say, "Poor Zionists, they ethnically cleansed 650,000 people, and now their victims want to fight back! The nerve of them." That's where you are at. You reserve special privileges for Jews that you won't grant others. That's religious supremacism. That's your bigotry.

            The worst part? Many Israelis agree with me now. It's you who is the kuckle dragging thug who refuses to acknowledge the clear historical record. As for Fascist, you moron, I was saying Albert Einstein said that. You can go argue with him.

          • ApolloSpeaks

            Your anger shows weakness of argument. But I'll get back to you tomorrow with my answer. It's late and I'm off to sleep.

          • Glennd1

            Silly. Anger doesn't weaken, in fact, when in a fight with an enemy, the side with the most rage – focused properly – usually wins. And I'm focused properly on a schmuck like you, no worries.

            You do realize you aren't even in a debate or argument, yes? Your half-clever, weak sniping reveals a brutish and under-developed intellect that suffers from the defect of not knowing its own limits, so you end up commenting on things you aren't even informed about. Do yourself a favor. Stop posting. Go read just Einstein's open letter. Or go watch Shlomo Ben Ami, recent foreign minister under Barak, admit openly that Zionism was a campaign of invasion, occupation, colonization and de-population. Here is the link on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzptCFV9mtU&fe

            If you comment without Googling Einstein's letter (very easy to find) and watching the video, you must have no interest in actual truth. Most likely you are just another Zionist, and really just want that land for the Jews, no matter what. You probably, if you are honest with yourself, have no problem with the Zionists chasing off 650,000 Arab Muslims using shelling, murder and terrorism (all factually proven by IDF docs, Begin's own memoirs and Benny Morris in 1948). You just don't care.

            That's okay with me. If 6 million Jews want to fight it out with hundreds of millions of Arabs and other Muslims in the mideast over a strip of land that is utterly insignificant geo-politically to the U.S., have at it. Just don't tell me Zionists are morally superior. Or that the Palestinians don't have the moral right to fight back. Or that the U.S. should back Zionism. And do yourself a favor, wake the eff up.

          • ApolloSpeaks

            !I don't need Einstein or Hanna Arendt to do my thinking for me about the Arab/ Israeli conflict (and the plight of Arab war refugees). I'm convinced that I'm wiser and more enlightened on the subject. When I look at the history of the Middle East (beginning with the Napoleonic invasion of Egypt in the late 18th century) I see a slow and torturous process of modernization where Israel is playing a vital role in the evolution of the region. Israel's existence as a modern, liberal, democratic state is a necessary moral, intellectual and historic challenge to Arab/Islamic supremacism, the two primitive, regressive forces trapping the region in the medieval past and underlying the burning, insane annihilating hatred of Jewish Israel. The 64 year jihad against the Jewish State is driven by racism, cultural imperialism and religious intolerance-not a dispute over certain territories or ethnic cleansing myths.

            continued

          • ApolloSpeaks

            if you doubt this then ask yourself this question: If the Jewish State were to convert to Islam would Arab/Moslem hostilities continue? Of course not. Why? Because it would validate the Islamic faith which is in crisis due to human progress and modernity. Indeed, the Moslem world would embrace Israel for joining the umma and there would be peace.

            continued

            continued

          • ApolloSpeaks

            Israel's existence as a prosperous, thriving, highly productive non-Islamic state on land once conquered and controlled by Moslems is a painful and humiliating refutation of Islamic supremacism: the Koronic belief that Islam is God's chosen religion for mankind and the end of human history. Moslems are taught by Allah in the Koran that Jews are the vilest, basest, most corrupt and sinister infidels on earth. Yet this vile hateful God forsaken people have their own land on the Arabian Peninsula where Mohammed received his divine revelations and was promised to him by God-the entire peninsula that is.

            con't

          • ApolloSpeaks

            Whether it was the Arab-Israeli war of 1948, or more recent conflicts with Islamist Hamas, Islam has been the greatest factor driving Arab opposition to Israel's existence. This is proved by the fact that the Arab League from the start described its cause against Israel in Islamic terms as JIHAD: a holy war demanded by Allah and his Prophet for the honor of the faith. Unless you can get inside the Arab mind and see the conflict from their perspective you are lost.

            BTW, doesn't Chris Hitchins somewhere say that conflict in history is necessary for progress?

          • Glennd1

            And now you cite Christopher Hitchens to support your barely sentient, dishonest and ultimately, laughable rhetoric? But since you do, I'll humor you. Yes, he was indeed a materialist and saw history through unromantic eyes. He also evaluated the world via a moral prism that place him in solidarity with all of humanity While he was also a vocal opponent of Islam, he was very clear about the vicious nature of Zionism and how loathsome cretins like you are.

            I get the sense you aren't just some commenter lowlife I'm dealing with. Who are you? Do you work for FP magazine? Why are you lurking about me so? Btw, you should go get some more help because with each comment you lose more and more ground, and only reveal your ugly, brutish nature.

          • ApolloSpeaks

            You're all heat and no light mister. Hitchen's wrote: "In life we make progress by conflict and in mental life by argument and disputation…. There MUST be confrontation and opposition, in order that sparks must be kindled." So is it in the life of nations: conflict and opposition, argument and disputation, the clashing of cultures and civilizations are a MUST for human progress. If Hitchens had applied this principle of conflict and progress to the Arab/Israeli conflict he would have seen it for what it truly is: an historically necessary evolutionary process for breaking the Middle East out of the Middle Ages.

            continued

          • ApolloSpeaks

            Just as Hitchens got to be the superb writer that he was from conflict and confrontation so is Israel's challenge to the primitives and savages around them slowly improving and civilizing them. The Napoleonic invasion of Egypt; the rise of Arab nationalism and collapse of the Ottoman caliphate; the rebirth of Israel; the 67 War; the Iraq War, the Arab Spring, etc; history is dragging the region kicking and screaming into the 21st century. It's a rite of passage through blood, terror and hell and it's going to tragically continue with Israel playing its magnificent role until the region is transformed.

          • Glennd1

            What an idiot you are. Hitch's comment in now way gives license to the Zionist campaign. You are such a typical Zionist, flailing about for any semi-plausible excuse in the moment that suits your argument. And if you weren't such a douche, you would have realized that I agreed with you already by characterizing Hitchens as a materialist, which is what he's saying in the quote.

          • Glennd1

            Wiser then Shlomo Ben Ami? Israel playing a vital role in the region since the 18th century? You assert a state where none existed, what a baldfaced lie, you must think we are all stupid. And now you position Israel as a necessary bulwark against Islamism? That wasn't the case the Zionists made, at all. It was based on the Jews wanting to establish a Jewish homeland on the ancient lands they claimed biblical right to. It was also a result of the horrific pogroms of eastern europe that provided the urgency to this cause.

            But Zionism was not sold on the basis of civilizing a savage land. And even it if was, then you admit my entire case. On what basis did the West, in the form of the U.N. have for partitioning the territory in the first place? Who are we to try and civilize anyone? My goodness your rhetoric is so absurd and divorced from any kind of moral standard or principle but you cannot even see it. Wow. Just wow. You are bigoted thug. Period.

          • ApolloSpeaks

            History will have its way no matter what men do or say. You don't like the way the state of Israel came into being? You say it's not a legitimate state because of how that happened? Fine. There shouldn't be a state of Israel. That it exists at all is dumbfounding. The seven Arab states that warred on her with superior numbers should have killed her in the cradle. But Israel rose miraculously to the challenge and survived earning the respect of her enemies and mankind. She has earned her right to exist as she wants to- A ZIONIST STATE-over and over and over again. When you and I are dead Israel will live continuing its mission to civilize its neighbors who, like Sadat and King Hussein, will accept her existence in the end.

          • Glennd1

            So let's see if we can keep score here, because you just seem to make up arguments on the fly, with no regard to consistency.

            1. So, my contention that Zionism was a campaign of invasion, colonization, de-population and occupation is fine. You don't argue with that. Good, because nobody who really knows the history does.

            But you do realize that conceding this point means you utterly disagree with the moral defense of Israel offered every day on these pages, and elsewhere in the Zionist propaganda machine? That it's not true that the poor Zionist lambs were set up on by Arab armies and only acted in defense. That they did indeed engage in murder, torture, rape, shelling of innocents and drove 650,000 Arab Muslims from their homes. The entire predicate for U.S. support of Israel by so many in the U.S. is based on the fiction of Zionists as victims. So, we agree, Zionist was a campaign of conquest – got it. Therefore they do not hold the moral higher ground, and are in fact the original offending party the conflict.

            2. "Right to exist" – You do realize that this language is never used with states, yes? People have rights. States exist or don't based on their ability to defend themselves and exist peacefully with their neighbors. Israel would not exist were it not for the U.S. security guarantee, and the over 100 billion in funding for weapons that we've provided over the years. States do not have "rights". And the Zionist experiment has no special imprimatur that demands it must exist. But please, don't dare say Israel is "civilizing its neighbors" – to euphemize Israel's crimes against the Palestinians in that way is unforgivable. You just don't get to ignore the crimes that the IDF, Israeli govt and many Israelis acknowledge were committed so blithely.

            Your argument ultimately comes down to force. You say Zionism should exist because it can. Okay, have at it. But the U.S. has no business supporting it. It's not a moral cause, nor is it a "civilizing influence" on the region. It's just a bunch of Jews who want the land God gave them back, after 2000 years (last Jewish state there was 135 ce).

            As for your prediction, you are delusional. What you are missing is that the Arabs and Muslims are on the rise. They have not given up the fight with Israel one bit, and are building to the point where they will destroy Israel. 6 million Jews against the hundreds of millions of Arabs and other Muslims that surround them? Typical arrogance of the Zionist. In the long run, the Zionists have no chance. Israel will be wiped from the sand, and I can only say that the Zionists have earned it,and have had plenty of time to see it coming.

            But I don't want the U.S. involved at all. What I want is for the U.S. to stop all aid to Israel, Egypt and all our "work" with other nations in the region. I want to leave the mideast to its residents. If Zionists can work something out with their neighbors, fine. But really, all side's hands are covered in blood.

            Any non-Zionist Jew who wants out should be welcomed here as Jews are an asset to U.S. society and are safe here. I don't think we should offer the same to Muslims, fyi. I despise Islamism. I think Jews and Muslims should have to swear off Zionism and Islamism if they want to be U.S. citizens. If so, great, welcome. But if you want what God gave "the chosen people" then go fight it out in the desert on your own. If you die doing so, that's your choice. If you move your family to land you are occupying that belongs to others and your family is killed by those you've dispossessed, it's your fault. There is no reason for the U.S. to come to your aid. And no American should be allowed to either, we cannot be dragged into this conflict any more.

          • ApolloSpeaks

            When the prophet Mohammed was born Palestine was a province of the Byzantine Empire. Shortly after his death Palestine belonged to Islam. How did that happen? Through invasion, colonization, occupation and expulsion of enemies.

            When the prophet Theodor Herzl was born Palestine was a province of the Ottoman Empire; and shortly after his death there was no Zionist army invading Palestine and challenging Ottoman rule. What there was were peaceful Jewish settlers purchasing land from bankrupt Turks then defending their legal settlements against a hostile, Jew hating, xenophobic population. Why? Because the Turkish authorities were either unwilling or unable to protect them. Militant Zionism (the Haganah and Irgun) was rooted in the unwillingness or inability of Turkish and British authorities to protect Zionist settlers, and not from any premeditated plan of military conquest. Early Haganah lacked a central command and was composed of poorly armed units spread out over Palestine to protect Jews. Latter from necessity it was organized into a potent fighting force to meet the rising tide of Arab militancy and aggression.

            cont.

          • ApolloSpeaks

            How you get from this to an "invading, colonizing, occupying army" like the aggressive murdering Moslem hordes that invaded Palestine, Syria, Egypt, North Africa, etc I'll never know. The Arab-Israeli conflict is rooted in early Arab hostility to Jewish settlers. That's where it began; not by Zionist aggression and imperialism. Arabs poisoned by their culture and the supremacist teachings of the Koran this conflict was inevitable and would inevitably be fought in the most gruesome manner with both sides committing atrocities and crimes as is normal in war.

          • ApolloSpeaks

            It is the Jewishness of the state of Israel that is the primary cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Actually, Israel's right to exist as a "Jewish State" perhaps would be better understood by saying it has a right to exist on the Arabian Peninsula as a "non-Moslem state" contrary to the teachings of the Koran and Islamic law.

            Keep in mind that Israel's conversion to Islam would immediately end the Arab-Israeli conflict.

            I'm for cutting off all US aid to Israel as long as we end aid to all other nations-except in humanitarian crises.

            My argument boils down to "moral force" not "brut force" as Israel is a force for good and peace in the Middle East and world community.

            cont.

          • ApolloSpeaks

            As for Israel's inevitable demise and annhilating conquest by Arabs that I think is less likely today or in the future than it was in the past due to Israel's on and off shore nuclear arsenal. If threatened with extinction within minutes Israel could turn the Middle East (its holy places and large cities) into a radioactive wasteland where the Arab living would envy the Arab dead. Puff! Mecca is gone. Puff! Medina is gone. Puff! Damascus, Cairo, Ammon, Tehran and Baghdad are gone. When we Jews say "NEVER AGAIN" we effen mean it.

          • ApolloSpeaks

            Even the materialist Marx saw progress, design and order in the conflicts of history. Why then is it farfetched to believe that much good could spring from the Arab-Israeli conflict for the backward, despotic, dysfunctional, illiterate, squalid Middle East? And isn't this in a very crude and horrific way happening before our eyes in the democratic Arab-Islamist Spring? Just 64 years ago Israel was the region's first and only democracy foreshadowing the terrible, murderous, deadly progress that the region is making today. That Euro-centered Zionism with its faults, flaws and liberal values was the political movement that created the region's first parliamentary democracy was a victorious and necessary big bang event for the region (called by Arabs "the catastrophe").. In achieving the narrower goal of a homeland for Jews Zionism was serving (unintentionally) the larger interests of the Middle East in the scheme of things: its long terrible struggle toward modernity. Zionism should be praised not condemned for its odds defying, long lasting achievement, and its unintended civilizing impact on the region. And as a lover of freedom I choose to praise her.

          • Zalman

            Glennd is a blind leftist hater of Israel who believes the world would be better off if there were no Israel. But Israel is here to stay. It's strong economy, superb military and nuclear arsenal ensures its existence. I agree with you on ending US aid to Israel conditional on the US ending its foreign aid program.

          • Glennd1

            Not a leftist – this is what's wrong with all of your thinking here, btw. You have boxes you put people, in you act politically instead of out of principle and hence end up defending the indefensible. I operate on principle and reason, and here's what I found.

            After 9/11 I became much more interested in the mideast. I'd been a non-conservative Republican for my entire life, and was an avid reader of news and publications on the topic but felt like I still didn't really understand what was happening there(half of Republicans are like me, but you wouldn't know that listening to the Tea Party). I began to read all kinds of accounts of Al Qaeda and other issues in the region, much more in depth than I had done in the past. Up until that point I'd been subjected to the same tropes about Israel that are on display here. "Best ally", "only democracy in the region", "they deserved it after the holocaust" , "the Arabs attacked and the Palestinians ran away".

            When I got past the agit prop and started reading real history books I discovered that there was real disagreement about these issues. And that in fact the most trusted historians on the subject conceded all kinds of things that I thought were wrong. I heard folks like Benny Morris admitting that the Zionist campaign between '47-'49 "amounted to ethnic cleansing" and only defended Israel by saying "they didn't intend to".

            I discovered that most Israelis and Zionists in Israel don't bother claiming that Zionists were victims any more, but rather just believe Jews have a right to the land and they simply want to take it and hold it via any means possible. I discovered that IDF documents and the memoirs and diaries of folks like Begin and Dyan made very clear that the campaign of cleansing Arab Muslims from their homes in enough numbers to created a majority Jewish state was explicitly supported.

            I discovered that Zionism was an aggressive political campaign, overtaken in fact at a certain point by Russian communists, and that its adherents had discussed the idea of "transfer" for decades. I also found out that the Israelis engaged in horrific acts that they claimed were defensive, but often Israel was actually provocative, when I was being told the exact opposite in the news.

            I also came to understand Islam and Islamism much more profoundly. The U.S. has been incredibly provocative to the residents of the mideast, in many ways picking up right where the Brits left off. While I don't sympathize with Islamism, it's very clear to anyone who knows the facts that our support of Israel is incredibly provocative.

            Americans are so blithe about such horrific acts we undertake. We think we can overthrow Mousadegh and not set the Iranian people against us permanently. We think we can support the bigoted, religious supremacy of Zionists and ignore the sins visited on Arab Muslims and then claim they are victims when they are attacked in return. We think we can base troops in Saudi Arabia and not incur the wrath of Islamists. We think we can keep thuggish, repressive dictators on the payroll and not be hated by the hundreds of millions of people they oppress.

            I'm not longer under those illusions. Our best move would be to leave the region utterly. We are less secure than ever – or haven't you folks noticed that? Our misadventures there have cost us over 2 trillion dollars since 9/11 – you morons wonder why we are in such deep debt, but you never talk about the costs of our ham-handed interventions. And guess what? I've never voted for a Dem for POTUS in my life. I loathe Progressive-Marxists like Obama. But I see the world as it is. You folks here should try it sometime.

          • Zalman

            Yes you are a lefist. In foreign policy. A moronic Ron Paul nutcase leftist. Hey, schmuck, the Iranian revolution had nothing to do with Mousadegh. FYI the Ayatollah Khomeine backed his overthrow because he was a secularist. US troops stationed in Saudi Arabia had nothing to do with 9/11. FYI Al Qaeda, like all Islamists, aim at reestablishing the caliphate as a means to world conquest, and America is in its way. FYI Al Qaeda's wrath covers all infidels with the highest degree reserved for the most powerful. As for our terrible debt FYI it's caused mostly by entitlement programs, not wars or foreign misadventures. FYI America loves Israel. FYI our bond is eternal. Good luck trying to break it.

          • Glennd1

            Really? You are going to tell me what my political views are now? Do you realize how utterly arrogant and presumptuous that is? And you are completely wrong, of course. But now your angry, I can see it, the fangs are out for all to see.

            Anyone else watching, read what he writes. Iranian revolution had nothing to do with Mousadegh. Of course not directly, 25 or so years later. But if you don't think that aggravated Iranian and Islamist sentiment against the U.S., well one wonders what it is you understand about anything? And as far as Khomeni supporting the overthrow of Mousadegh, what happened is that the U.S. paid a bunch of Islamists to fight against him because Mousadegh was an opponent of the Islamists. You see, as Zionists do so often, he just twists and twists the truth, hoping you won't know the arcane details he throws out are technically "true" but don't actually support his point.

            Much like Dershowitz does in his weak polemic, The Case for Israel. In broad themes, it's a rehash of Joan Peters From Time Immemorial – already substantively debunked in many regards by subsequent academic work, but he uses a technique much like you do here. He pulls many, many quotes from Benny Morris's 1948, a huge pct of the cites in the book are from that text. But he often edits the quotes and if you go look up the actual quote, most times, it actually means the opposite of what Dersh is using it for. He often also supports conclusions that are the polar opposite of Morris with Morris quotes.

            Which is what you do here, making you a lowlife. As for why Al Qaeda attacked on 9/11, there isn't a serious student of Al Qaeda in our own national security establishment or in most academia who doesn't understand that Bin Laden found our basing troops in Saudi Arabia for Desert Storm provocative. He'd just returned from fighting the Soviets and when Saddam attacked Kuwait, he volunteered to lead his Mujahideen into battle against Iraq and in defense of the Kingdom. He pleaded with the Saudi Royals to not ally with the U.S. as in Islamic law, it's an act of war to place foreign troops on holy Islamic land such as Saudi Arabia.

            He was so angry over it that he broke ties with Saudi Arabia utterly and moved to Sudan. But you suggest that none of this informed his increasing campaign against us, you ignorant simpleton. You should know the account of these events is available in every book written on Bin Laden – it's non-controversial. I know, it's hard for you to accept that Bin Laden didn't return home and just start killing Americans out of bloodlust, but really, that was not his plan.

            What a numbnutz you like can't understand is that none of this makes me a supporter of Islamists. I wouldn't even allow immigration from Islamic countries if I was king for a day. But you see, to just reduce everything the crazy Islamists is to not understand what's going on there at all.

          • Glennd1

            (cont'd)
            I'll leave with a few thoughts, perhaps your fervid mind could amp down for a second and try some original thought. Why did Bin Laden attack us on 9/11? I mean not generally – as all his attacks were aimed at getting the U.S. out of the mideast for good – but that escalation, that target? Do you even know? He wrote about it and spoke about it enough that you should know. He did so to draw the U.S. into land war so Muslims would unify and be energized,

            One of the topics Bin Laden lamented frequently was the downtrodden, defeated mentality of the Muslim. He saw the energy of the victory in Afghanistan die off and realized that only a strategic shift would give Islamists a chance. He knew that pan-Arab and pan-Islamic sentiment would be aroused by an increase in our presence in the region and fighting an open war with Muslims.

            The result was so much greater than anything he ever hoped for, btw. And the result? Al Qaeda is 7 times larger today than it was on 9/11. It's much more distributed, has several countries and territories in which it can live and operate in openly, and enjoys the support of more states than ever. My point? In order to beat your enemy you need to understand your enemy. But you refuse to, because doing so might reveal that we actually have been provocative – omigosh, can you imagine? The U.S. actually doing something that was oppressive to other peoples and their homelands?

            That's how you come off, like a babe in the woods, utterly ignorant of reality. As for Israel, a great tipping point is just about to be reached. Smart observers of the scene already see opinions shifting as the strategic landscape does. And if you think Obama is going to go to war with Iran over Israel, you just haven't been paying attention. They are going to try and force a deal down Netanyahus throat on '67 boarders, settlements and right of return. But Netanyahu can't accept that deal, and so the stalemate will continue.

            It will end someday. Likely with all the invading Zionists dead in the sand. You do realize that the recognition of Palestine gives them access to the world court now, yes? Wait till you see what is coming Israel's way from the U.N. over the next couple of years. You won't be nearly as bold in 24 months. It's also entirely possible that full-scale war will break out, drawing in Muslim nations to defend the Palestinians. Or one of them may just attack Israel.

            But any way you cut it, Zionists are losing ground, not gaining it. Again, your lack of engagement with facts and reality are showing.

          • Zalman

            On top of being a Paulist schmuck you're a conspiratorial nut. A man of rigid principle like Khomeine was bought off by the CIA? HA! He opposed Mousadegh for the same reason he opposed the shah later on: he was a secularist hostile to Islam. He preferred the Shah over Mousadegh because he was believed to be the descendent of Muhammed. When the shah proved to be another secularist reformer like Mousedegh Khomeine went nuts and called for his overthrow.

            see below

          • Zalman

            US troops stationed in Saudi Arabia was the excuse not the cause of 9/11. Bin Ladin mentioned everything from the fall of the Ottoman Caliphate to the US simply being a Christian-infidel power hated by Allah. After the fall of the Soviet Union America became the next target of jihadist wrath. If the US wasn't the hyper-power it is, if that distinction belonged to England or some other country, that country would have had our 9/11. The US was attacked on 9/11 for the same reason that subsequent to Muhammed's death Islam overran the Middle East, North Africa and the like conquering every nation in sight. Muhammed's Islam is at war with unbelievers and won't rest until they're conquered.

            Why should Israel fear a a weak, impotent, corrupt organization like the UN? Israel will fart in the face of any World Court judgment against its leaders.

          • ApolloSpeaks

            Ouch! Got third degree burns reading your post. Jihadists have one overarching goal: a one world Moslem state as promised by Allah through Mohammad. US troops stationed in SA was no more the underlying reason for 9/11 than was Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount the reason for the 2nd Intifada.

          • Glennd1

            This kind of pseudo-intellectual BS is really impossible to take seriously. The entire Zionist case for American support is based on them as morally righteous victims of the Arabs. It was never based on smarmy and insipid aspersions about the nature of history and civilizational progress. You folks do realize that by doing so. Apollo admits everything I say is so, yes? He is like many defenders of Israel who are actually informed – they won't dare claim Israel wasn't and isn't he aggressor.

            So now he claims that Zionism is part of some unseen hand of progress, crunching along, and that the civilizing aspects of Zionism on the region outweigh any other concerns. Absurd. I wonder if anyone here is smart enough to realize that this half-smart commenter is actually using the idea of Hegelian dialectic to support his cause now? Nothing could be more Marxist than this kind of argument, fyi. So, here it is. Right-wingers justifying the unjustifiable based on Marxist ideology. What low will your half-wits sink to next?

          • ApolloSpeaks

            Though I believe in Divine Providence one doesn't need a belief in or theory of an invisible hand guiding the chaotic events of the Middle East to see the concrete progress that's been made toward democracy and modernity since Israel's miraculous resurrection and continued odds defying existence.

            Zionism didn't begin as a call to arms but as a prophetic call to European Jews, not based on Hebrew Scripture (Herzl was an atheist) but on the profane, secular, mundane necessity to escape anti-semiticism in a secure ethnic sovereign Jewish state. Herzl the atheist (he despised religious Jews) cared less about the location of the Jewish State so long as Jews had one. Africa, South America, the moon as long as Jews had a state of there own like other peoples where they need not fear oppression and persecution is all that mattered to Herzl. As the land of Palestine was the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people (and by coincidence to Zionism's founding Palestine's hard up Turkish rulers were selling real estate there) settling in Palestine became the logical and easiest choice.

            continued

          • ApolloSpeaks

            The aggressiveness of Zionists to settle in Palestine was driven by the need for security and not to take land away from Arabs. There was nothing immoral or unjust in its methods and aims. If it weren't for Arab hostility to the perfectly legal Jewish settlers (who just wanted to make good lives for themselves (like settlers in the old west)) there would have been no Jewish army, IDF or Jewish State. Arabs were against sharing land with people their prophet taught them to hate as the worst, lowest, most degenerate of God's creatures. Unjust, immoral Arab/Islamic supremacy is what made the Haganah, Irgun, IDF then the state of Israel.

            BTW my defense of Israel against its primitive, morally inferior, intolerant Moslem enemies is principally the same as my defense of democratic Europe against Soviet Communism during the Cold War. I hate all forms of totalitarian tyranny, and that includes Islam.

          • ApolloSpeaks

            Where did I say that Napoleon invaded Egypt with a Jewish army? If he had succeeded in defeating the Turks Jews would have had their own state in Palestine in the early 19th century.

  • Chanameel

    "LEST WE FORGET AN OVER THE SHOULDER ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO THE VERY FIRST RADICAL…. THE FIRST RADICAL KNOWN TO MAN WHO REBELLED AGAINST THE ESTABLISHMENT AND DID SO, SO EFFECTIVELY THAT HE AT LEAST WON HIS OWN KINGDOM.'

    - LUCIFER."

    (Dedication) RULES FOR RADICALS BY SAUL ALINSKY

    • Jim Dandy

      Excuse me if I don't follow Satan. I think in the long run I'm better off.

  • ApolloSpeaks

    GLENND

    I'm a bit puzzled by waht you said above about Hitchens. You say that he was a materialist……who evaluated the world via a moral prism that placed him in solidarity with all of humanity. How is that possible when most human beings aren't materialists?

    As for the "vicious nature of Zionism." If that were true there wouldn't be any poor, oppressed, victimized Palestinians for you to empathize with and weep over. The "vicious" Zionists would have done to the Palis what the Palis in their diabolical dreams see themselves doing to the Zionists.

    • Glennd1

      Are you really that obtuse? One can be a materialist without the cooperation of others. As well, the solidarity and comradeship he developed came from his support of the ComIntern (the communist international), which explicitly forwarded the idea of socialist solidarity for all people of all nations. While I disagree with most of that, those are the facts.

      On to your truly idiotic statement that Zionists could not be vicious if they haven't killed all the Palestinians. Zionism has a plenty vicious record. Just go read Benny Morris's 1948 and get back to me. He's the most respected, Jewish, Israeli, Zionist historian on the topic and what you find is that Zionism has been incredibly vicious. For specifics see the Lydda Death March, or the shelling of Jaffa and the siege, or the crimes committed at Haifa. These accounts come out of places like the IDF and Menachem Begin's memoirs – so they facts are unassailable – the Zionists you defend have already conceded what I say is true, soyou are just ignorant of reality.

      And then last, you try to paint me as a supporter of the Palestinians. At one point, back in the late 40s and 50s I would have been an unabashed supporter. But over time, their compaign has become intertwined with Islamism and they have also committed to many terrorist atrocities that I could never side with them. However, I absolutely grant that they have a moral right to fight the Zionists, as they are the one's invaded and occupied. I say let all you religious nutjobs fight it out in the desert, far from the U.S. The more of you who kill each other, the better off the rest of the humanity will be as a result.

      Your undeveloped mind seems to have fallen into a Manichean dyad of me only having two choices. Support for Palestinian terrorism or Zionist atrocities. I say screw the lot of you, and truly, that is the only moral position and thinking person can ever come to on this topic.

      • ApolloSpeaks

        War is hell, an orgy of violence and blood, and full of vicious atrocities and crimes; and Arab-Israeli wars have been no exception with vicious deeds and crimes on both sides. But it's during peacetime that a people prove its moral worth and humanity. And peacetime has proved repeatedly that Zionism is the greatest force for good, justice, progress and peace in the Middle East. You can't show me a more enlightened, humane and civilized nation in the region. Show me the Moslem country that treated its Jewish minority more consistently with dignity, humanity and justice than Israel treats its hostile, Jew hating Arab citizens? The Copts of Egypt, Christians of Iraq and Sudan, Shiites of Saudi Arabia, BahaIs and Zoroastrians of Iran-and other infidels and heretics living in Moslem lands-look at Arab Israelis with envy. Copts are fleeing Egypt, Christians Sudan, Bahais Iran, but Israel's Arabs stay put. Why? Because they have it so good. My God! If the rest of the ME were as "vicious" as Israel, or half its moral size, the region would be at peace, and we wouldn't be having this debate.

        continued

        • ApolloSpeaks

          BTW If there hadn't been a Zionist Movement and mass Jewish immigration to Palestine do you really think that whatever entity would be there now could equal Israel on any level: moral, intellectual, social, economic, technological, scientific? Not on your life.

          • ApolloSpeaks

            CORRECTION: War is hell, an orgy of violence and blood full of vicious atrocities and crimes; and Arab-Israeli wars have been no exception with vicious deeds and crimes committed on both sides…….

            I don't have a black and white view of you. To me you're just a vicious, unhinged unredeemable, dime a dozen Israel hater on a mission from hell that's doomed to fail. And your punishment till the day you die is to live in a country too sensible and good to share your perverse views.

          • Zalman

            "Oppressed and persecuted infidels in Muslim lands envy Israeli-Arabs." Indeed they do.

            The schmuck is a "dime a dozen Israel hater." Indeed he is.

            If Israel was nonexistent what would be in its place? Another poor miserable unjust backward savage Arab state.

            The schmuck praises Benny Morris for writing about the small number of Jewish atrocities that ocurred in the 1948 War, while stating they were justified for preventing an Arab 5th column inside Israel. Too bad. If there had been more of these atrocities they'd be fewer Jew hating Israeli Arabs threatening Israel from within.

  • ApolloSpeaks

    One other thing Glennd. Explain to me how Hitchens could be in solidarity with all humanity and not be in solidarity with some human beings like Zionists and Islamists or people of religious faith? Explain to me how that is done?

  • Zalman

    Realistically Hitchens was in solidarity with materialistic atheists, anti-Islamists, anti-Zionists and pro-Iraq War people. That falls why short of all humankind.

    • ApolloSpeaks

      Quite true, Zal. Humanity is divided into different nations, races, peoples, tribes, religions, philosophies, political parties, ideologies etc. divided by differing aims, values, ideas. hatreds, grievances, etc.-clashing here agreeing there opposing this loving that making war making peace. Only a hypocritical loon who aspires to be all things to all men could claim to be in solidarity with everyone (all humanity). Solidarity with humanity is up there with "world citizen" as being nothing more than childish, leftist, feel good, emotional "we are the world" drivel.

      • Zalman

        Good point. I'm a Jew, a Modern Orthodox American Jew, and I can't credibily claim, as no Jew can, to be in solidarity with all Jews when my people are plagued with so much division, conflict and strife over religion, politics and other matters. If it's impossible for me to be in solidarity with every Jew (or all Americans) how could I be in solidarity with mankind? Simply put the idea is poppycock.

        Also poppycock is Glennd's contention that Zionists ethnically cleansed Israel of 650,000 Arabs turned refugees. The evidence is overwhelming that this is a big lie; that most of them (not all) voluntarily fled Israel to avoid the war started by Arabs. This Glennd is either a liar or a fool.

        • ApolloSpeaks

          Glennd is both liar and fool. He cites Benny Morris to justify his venimous rage against Israel that 64 years ago it forcibly expelled 650,000 Palestinians in a grand act of ethnic cleansing. Benny Morris takes a middle path in this: as you say, some Palis were evicted and some left voluntarily at the behest of the Arab League because of the war. As for me I couldn't give a fig if Glennd is right. These exiled Arabs sided with the unjustified jihad to exterminate Israel and deserved their fate, and deserve it still in the hell holes they live in. If they believe they have a right of return to Israel then they'll have to take up arms and fight their way in. There's no other way for them.

  • Zalman

    Don't agree that the refugees deserve what they have. What they deserve is citizenship in Arab countries. Especially Jordon, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Lebenon, Kuwait, Yeman the countries that participated in the war.

    • ApolloSpeaks

      You're right not to agree. I was wrong. Yes, they deserve citizenship in Arab countries-I'll give them that.