The death of Osama bin Laden has driven a stake into the heart of the Left, causing progressives to bleed and moan as their unholy alliance with radical Islam absorbs the devastating May 2 blow.
The radical Islamic half of the romance is in agony as it sheds bitter tears for the mass murderer. Indeed, Hamas, Hezbollah, the armed wing of Fatah, and tens of thousands of radical Muslims around the world have prominently displayed their sorrow and anger for the world to see.
The alliance’s leftist half is, meanwhile, also deeply grieving. The guru of the leftist political faith, Noam Chomsky, is responsibly leading the way. Having distinguished himself, among other intriguing ways, as a Jew who has traveled to Lebanon to embrace personally the leaders of Hezbollah, whose stated top priority is to rid the world of Jews, the M.I.T. professor emeritus has not disappointed the faithful, progressive flock. Furiously responding to the assassination of the Left’s idol, Chomsky fumed in his recent article: “We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic.”
The al-Qaeda leader’s killing is an outrage, in Chomsky’s mind, because Bush’s “crimes vastly exceed bin Laden’s.” Chomsky is outraged not only that the operation was clearly “a planned assassination, multiply violating elementary norms of international law,” but also that its victim had never been legally proven to be the perpetrator of 9⁄11. Undoubtedly, Chomsky’s Gulag Denial mindset continues unabated, for having shamelessly attempted to deny the Khmer Rouge’s Holocaust in Cambodia was clearly not enough to satiate Chomsky’s totalitarian odyssey.
Following in the leftist guru’s tracks, Glenn Greenwald fumed over at Salon.com that Americans were cheering and feeling patriotic that “someone just got two bullets put in their skull.” This is terrible in leftist eyes because that “someone” is not George W. Bush but rather America’s most wanted enemy-terrorist. Greenwald is also very upset that a question lingers over whether bin Laden really had to be killed and not taken prisoner instead.
Heaven forbid! A targeted assassination of the leader of al-Qaeda, a jihadist terrorist organization that has killed thousands of innocent American citizens. Oh, the unjustness of it all! One wonders whether Greenwald will be able to soldier on.
Meanwhile, Curtis Doebbler, a leftist “human rights” lawyer who teaches at a Palestinian university, grieves that the “West is now celebrating the death of someone who, however misled and wrong-minded, was a person who was willing to fight for the poorest and the most vulnerable people in the world to the very end of his life.” He continues: “That the US had to kill him in violation of international law makes all the more believable Osama Bin Laden’s claims of Western hypocrisy and the need for a better alternative.”
The “alternative” that Doebbler is dreaming of and that Osama had in mind? Well, it’s not that complicated: it’s what Islamists are offering leftists – and that which leftists are salivating over – in their unholy alliance: Sharia law.
Let’s also not be too confused over why “progressive” feminist Naomi Klein called out for bringing “Najaf to New York” in her infamous 2004 column in The Nation, in which she reached her hand out in solidarity to Muqtada al-Sadr and his Islamo-fascist Mahdi Army in the Iraqi Shi’ite stronghold of Najaf. Klein understands very well what bringing Najaf to New York means: the Shi’ite stronghold, where Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army at one time ran their torture chambers and sowed their terror, replicated on America’s shores.
The list of leftists weeping over the death of Osama is endless: Dan Rodricks at the Baltimore Sun complaining that killing Osama is “not justice”; Laura Flanders at The Nation condemning the raid as “Americans seeking sense and getting vengeance”; former West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt denouncing Osama’s death as “clearly a violation of international law”; and the terrorist-loving Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin unable to disguise her agony over at the Huffington Post, counseling us not to sink “into a false sense of triumphalism in the wake of Bin Laden’s passing.”
It is no surprise that members of the political faith are mourning over the death of Osama. The context for their grief is perfectly explained, as I have documented in United in Hate, by how much they celebrated 9⁄11. Let’s take a trip down memory lane to regain the picture. It is important to understand the Left’s sadness right now by briefly recreating the chilling scene of a decade ago.
September 11, 2001, clearly represented a personal vindication for leftists everywhere. The images of the innocent people jumping to their deaths from the Twin Towers evoked glee from them – as they clearly saw only poetic justice in American commercial airplanes plunging into American buildings packed with American citizens. For leftist believers, the jihadist terror war now promised to succeed where Communism had failed: to obliterate the capitalist system itself.
In the blink of an eye after the Twin Towers went down, leftists were beating their breasts with repentance for their own government’s supposed crimes and characterizing the tragedy that their nation had just suffered to be some form of karmic justice.
Immediately following the 9⁄11 attack, leftist academics led with a drum roll. The very next day after the terrorist strike, Chomsky exonerated the terrorists, stating that the Clinton administration’s bombing of the pharmaceutical plant in Sudan constituted a far more serious terrorist act and warning that 9⁄11 would be exploited by the United States as an excuse to destroy Afghanistan.
Leftist academics across the country echoed Chomsky’s themes, cheering the 9⁄11 terrorist acts, which they deemed a just retribution for America’s transgressions. History professor Robin Kelley of New York University stated: “We need a civil war, class war, whatever to put an end to U.S. policies that endanger all of us.” History professor Gerald Horne of the University of North Carolina asserted that “the bill has come due, the time of easy credit is up. It is time to pay.” Professor Eric Foner of Columbia University, the renowned Marxist historian, expressed his personal confusion about “which is more frightening: the horror that engulfed New York City or the apocalyptic rhetoric emanating daily from the White House.” Barbara Foley, a professor of English at Rutgers University, felt 9⁄11 was a justified response to the “fascism” of U.S. foreign policy. Mark Lewis Taylor, a professor of theology and culture at Princeton Seminary, thought the WTC buildings were justifiable targets because they were a “symbol of today’s wealth and trade.” Robert Paul Churchill, a professor of philosophy at George Washington University, rationalized that the terrorist attack was justified. “What the terrorists despised and sought to defeat was our arrogance, our gluttonous way of life, our miserliness toward the poor and its starving; the expression of a soulless pop culture … and a domineering attitude that insists on having our own way no matter what the cost to others.”
Of course, the infamous Ward Churchill, as we know, outdid all the others, blaming not only Bush and America but the “little Eichmanns” themselves for the attacks.
Churchill, Chomsky, and their kin on the academic Left were joined by prominent figures in the progressive culture at large. Norman Mailer stepped forward to opine that the suicide hijackers were “brilliant.” In his view, the attack was completely understandable, since “Everything wrong with America led to the point where the country built that tower of Babel which consequently had to be destroyed.”
Oliver Stone affirmed that he saw 9⁄11 as a “revolt” and compared the ensuing Palestinian celebrations with those that had attended the French and Russian Revolutions, while Susan Sontag held that the terrorist attack was the result of “specific American alliances and actions.” From the religious camp, Tony Campolo, a leading Christian evangelist who served as one of former President Clinton’s “spiritual advisers,” believed that 9⁄11 was a legitimate response to the Crusades.
The American flag, a hated symbol to the Left, also became a target. Novelist Barbara Kingsolver was incredulous that her daughter’s kindergarten teacher instructed the students to come to school the next day dressed in red, white, and blue. Nation columnist Katha Pollitt had the same reaction regarding her teenage daughter’s impulse to fly an American flag outside the family home. Pollitt told her that she could “buy a flag with her own money and fly it out her bedroom window, because that’s hers, but the living room is off-limits.” This was, Pollitt explained, because the American flag stands for “jingoism and vengeance and war.”
Similar sentiments were heard throughout Europe as well. The German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen described 9⁄11 as “the greatest work of art for the whole cosmos.” Dario Fo, the Italian Marxist who won the 1997 Nobel Prize for literature, observed: “The great [Wall Street] speculators wallow in an economy that every year kills tens of millions of people with poverty, so what is 20,000 dead in New York?” 
Thus, leftists joined in solidarity with the Muslims who danced in the streets after 9⁄11 — a Kodak moment for the Left everywhere.
So now we gain a telling context to help us grasp why leftists cried when Osama died. They cheered on 9⁄11 – and they did so because to be a member of the political faith, you must revile your own host society and lust for its destruction. Thus, leftists venerate the enemy tyrants of their own society. And beneath this veneration lies one of the leftist’s most powerful yearnings: to submit his whole being to a totalist entity. This psychological dynamic involves negative identification, whereby a person who has failed to identify positively with his own environment subjugates his individuality to a powerful, authoritarian entity, through which he vicariously experiences a feeling of power and purpose. The historian David Potter has succinctly crystallized this phenomenon:
… most of us, if not all of us, fulfill ourselves and realize our own identities as persons through our relations with others; we are, in a sense, what our community, or as some sociologists would say, more precisely, what our reference group, recognizes us as being. If it does not recognize us, or if we do not feel that it does, or if we are confused as to what the recognition is, then we become not only lonely, but even lost, and profoundly unsure of our identity. We are driven by this uncertainty into a somewhat obsessive effort to discover our identity and to make certain of it. If this quest proves too long or too difficult, the need for identity becomes psychically very burdensome and the individual may be driven to escape this need by renouncing his own identity and surrendering himself to some seemingly greater cause outside himself. 
This surrender to the totality involves the believer’s craving to relinquish his individuality to a greater whole. He lusts for his own self-extinction and thereby launches himself on a totalitarian odyssey to shed himself of his own unwanted self. To add to this, the leftist is desperately searching for the feeling of power to help him counteract the powerlessness he feels in his own life. This explains, as Potter notes, the progressives’ cult around tyrants like Mao Tse-tung and “the compulsive expressions of adoration for a Hitler or a Stalin.” He writes,
Negative identification is itself a highly motivated, compensation-seeking form of societal estrangement. Sometimes when identification with a person fails, a great psychological void remains, and to fill this void people incapable of genuine interpersonal relationships will identify with an abstraction. An important historical instance of identification with abstract power has been the zealous support of totalitarian regimes by faceless multitudes of people. The totalitarian display of power for its own sake satisfies the impulse to identify with strength. 
Osama, therefore, represents the totalitarian display of power within which leftists can vicariously express their sadistic urges and lose themselves. His death, therefore, represents the annihilation of all that is so sacredly dear to the leftist partner in this toxic and codependent marriage.
Thus, even if it’s proven beyond reasonable doubt that Osama and his terror organization represent something evil, leftists cannot accept it. To recognize the evil of Osama and the wonderful aspects of his death is, for the leftist, to concede that there are societies, cultures, and systems that are much more unjust than ours.
This is an untenable step for leftists to take, because it means acknowledging that there is something superior about our civilization that’s worth saving and defending. Such a move is also anathema for the leftist because he has intoxicated himself with the delusion that his own society is evil and unjust. Diabolical capitalists trample on the poor, the oppressed, and the downtrodden – and the leftist has appointed himself to rescue these victims.
The progressive, therefore, is a self-appointed social redeemer, leading a movement to destroy his own society and liberate the masses. This political mission provides him with immense moral indignation and, therefore, moral superiority, dispositions from which, in turn, he derives tremendous emotional gratification. His whole belief system provides him with a sense of belonging, since he has joined other social redeemers, as well as victims, real or imagined, who wait for him to break their chains.
Thus, the leftist’s political disposition is a faith that reinforces his personal identity and sense of belonging. Admitting that Osama bin Laden is evil and deserved his death would completely undermine the leftist’s faith and result in his excommunication from his social community and the death of his self-image. Seeing Osama as a secular deity, meanwhile, reinforces the leftist’s faith, identity and social life. This is why we see leftists weeping for Osama and why they will continue to weep for the mass murderer.
In a previous generation we beheld the same phenomenon: leftists crying at the death of communist monsters – or from their physical separation with them. Shirley MacLaine powerfully exhibited this pathetic pathology, when she had to leave communist China after her political pilgrimage there in 1972.
Visiting one of the most evil tyrannies in history, which exterminated at least 70 million of its own people, and knowing full well that she was inside a death camp, MacLaine was in ecstasy in the presence of communist mass murder Mao Tse-tung. But then, alas, she had to return to the free society that she despised. And so she stoically held back her tears until she had left China, only beginning to sob the moment she arrived in Hong Kong. As she proudly recited her own agony upon leaving the Chinese death camp, it was during her first capitalist meal at the Hilton, when she had cut into a piece of meat, that tears began to splash on her butter and she excused herself to go to the ladies’ room:
As soon as I closed the door of the cubicle, I knew it would take a while. And then I started to cry. I didn’t really know why, but it had something to do with all those people in a place called America, all those faces I had seen in crowds and in the living rooms, all the betrayed and insulted people I had seen… . It had something to do with them, and the women on my delegation and their confusing hang-ups, and it had something to do with George McGovern coming across those two hard years, to see it all go wrong at the end. It was about him, and about the cookie jar in my mother’s kitchen, and the white pigeons in the yard, and the people who were going to jail because they were forced to be criminals, and the families who couldn’t make the payments that month on their cars and their mortgages… .
MacLaine’s tears had nothing to do with a cookie jar or white pigeons, of course, but everything to do with her agony over separating herself from the killing machine in which she wanted to lose her own unwanted inner self. And the leftist tears pouring out on the pages of leftist presses today are part of that dark narrative, as progressives must now deal with the horrifying reality of saying goodbye to their own contemporary Mao Tse-tung in jihadist clothing.
And so we come to understand why leftists were so ecstatic at the images of Americans leaping to their deaths while holding hands jumping from the Towers on 9⁄11 to avoid the burning flames.
We come to understand why they celebrated when, on that tragic day, more than 3,000 Americans died.
And we understand why, almost ten years later, they cried at the death of the mass murderer who engendered that massacre on American shores.
 All these statements are now on the public record. Paul Hollander has an excellent sampling of them in his Understanding Anti-Americanism: Its Origins and Impact at Home and Abroad, pp. 24–27. For a wide selection of academics who verbalized praise of the 9⁄11 attacks, see David Horowitz, The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America . Horowitz’s Unholy Alliance also contains a large sampling of leftists’ reactions to 9⁄11 and remains the best work on this subject.
 David Potter, History and American Society, p.307.
 Ibid., p.381.
 Shirley MacLaine, You Can Get There, p.228.
To get the whole story on why leftists cry when Islamo-fascists die, read Jamie Glazov’s United in Hate: The Left’s Romance With Tyranny and Terror.
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