Editor’s note: As we observe – in horror – Hamas’ recent barbaric terror attack on Israelis, so too we witness the Left’s haunting cheering for the jihad terror group and its diabolical acts. The examples are unending: Harvard student organizations are rallying round Hamas, Black Lives Matter is endorsing Hamas’ murder of Israeli babies, and leftist groups and individuals everywhere are vociferously supporting the Hamas massacres.
This is nothing new, of course. Frontpage Editor Jamie Glazov has documented the Left’s long traditional dance with Islamic jihad in his critically-acclaimed and best-selling book, United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror. Because of Hamas’ current horrifying attack against Israel, Frontpage Editors have deemed it vital to run a chapter from Jamie’s book, titled “Cheering for Al-Qaeda.”
Make sure to read the eye-opening chapter below and to order United in Hate, which reveals the shocking truth of what really lies behind the Left’s dark love affair with Hamas’ bloodthirsty jihad against Israelis.
Chapter 14: Cheering for Al-Qaeda
The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not “insurgents” or “terrorists” or “The Enemy.” They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow—and they will win.
—Michael Moore, April 14, 2004
When former U.S. President Jimmy Carter embarked on his Hamas odyssey, in April 2008, to embrace the leaders of that Palestinian version of the Nazi Party, he brought the Left’s—and his own—long tradition of romancing America’s totalitarian adversaries to its most obvious fulfillment. Indeed, what could have symbolized the Left’s yearnings any better than Carter embracing an organization whose life-purpose was to annihilate Jews and to destroy every possible tenet connected to Western values—including secular freedom and the individual pursuit of happiness?[i]
Noam Chomsky had set the tone well for Carter’s Hamas romance two years earlier—when he traveled to Lebanon in May 2006 to pay homage to Hezbollah, the world’s largest terrorist army. In this personal feat, Chomsky, like Carter, was merely continuing his own dark tradition of reaching out to America’s vicious, sadistic, and despotic enemies. Meeting with the secretary general, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, Chomsky echoed Nasrallah’s recent declaration that President Bush was the world’s top “terrorist,” and called the United States one of the “leading terrorist states.”[ii] Two prominent political observers characterized this rendezvous between Chomsky and Nasrallah as “a meeting of murderous radical minds.”[iii]
It is obvious why Chomsky and the political Left he represents reach out to Hezbollah in the present-day terror war. Hezbollah has done all the right things to earn leftist veneration: Hezbollah calls for a Final Solution in the Middle East, while Nasrallah continues to reiterate that “Death to America” remains another of Hezbollah’s top goals.[iv]
On January 25, 2006, four months before Chomsky’s pilgrimage, Hamas had defeated the Fatah Party in the Palestinian parliamentary elections. To be sure, the distinction between Hamas and Fatah is not all that great. Fatah was the creation of terrorist godfather Yasser Arafat, and although Fatah gives lip service to its professed desire to live peacefully alongside the Jews, it privately strives each day to bring about their extermination. Hamas, by contrast, has never made an effort to conceal its guiding purpose: the annihilation of Israel and the slaughter of Jews everywhere. In its voracious lust for the blood of Jews, Hamas openly promotes suicide terrorism for its own children on its website.[v]
With the victory of Hamas, the Western Left’s adulation for it rose correspondingly—and Carter’s pilgrimage to meet Hamas leaders in Cairo and Damascus two years later served as the fitting culmination. The first sign of believers’ excitement about Hamas’s rise to power appeared in the determined attempt to avert any blockage of funds to the Palestinians’ new governing party. When several pieces of legislation (e.g., the Ros-Lehtinen–Lantos Bill, HR 4681) were introduced in the U.S. Congress calling for a termination of aid to the Islamofascist party until it had renounced its commitment to destroying Israel and exterminating all Jews,[vi] the Left immediately opposed them. The Jewish Left led by example. The behavior of the Brit Tzedek v’Shalom (Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace) was typical. It published the names of 387 rabbis who had signed a petition demanding that the U.S. government not withhold aid to the new Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority (PA) government.[vii] These rabbis were completely aware that they were abetting the murder of their fellow Jews.
The Christian Left in Europe and in the United States likewise backed Hamas. The World Council of Churches (WCC), for instance, put pressure on the Council of the European Union to continue funding for a PA government led by Hamas, which the council was seriously considering terminating. Like the rabbis of the Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, the WCC was entirely aware of the potential deadly consequences.[viii] And when a suicide bomber killed nine people and wounded more than sixty in Tel Aviv on April 17, 2006, the Hamas government gave the attack its full blessing.[ix] The Brit Tzedek v’Shalom and the WCC condemned neither the attack nor Hamas’s support of it.
The rabbis and the WCC were merely following the party line of the Left in the terror war. The Hamas election victory came just six weeks after the Iraqi parliamentary elections, which, as we have seen, enraged the Left. The Western Left actually outdid the terrorists in Iraq, since even many of the Sunni terrorists cast their ballots and encouraged their neighbors to do so.
This makes perfect sense in the context of the Left’s long dalliance with tyranny. Just as the Left yearned for America and the forces of freedom to lose the Cold War, and just as it worked for an American defeat by the forces of tyranny in Southeast Asia, so, with a loyal commitment to its most cherished principles, it reaches out to the Islamist death cult that America is confronting today. The stakes are particularly high in Iraq, since bin Laden and other terrorist leaders have consistently made it clear that Iraq is the main battleground in the global terror war.[x]
The Left’s romance with Islamism reached a high point, of course, in the tragedy of 9/11. But it had shown itself much earlier, in response to Khomeini’s massacres and Palestinian celebrations over pools of Jewish blood.
As we saw in chapter 9, once Khomeini’s regime proved itself to be a death cult that could perpetrate slaughter and destruction on a massive scale, believers around the world, led by progressive heroes such as Michel Foucault, heaped praise on the mullahs’ reign of terror.
For precisely the same reason, believers flocked to the Palestinian cause at exactly the point when its bloody excesses reached their climax. Once Arafat declared the al-Aqsa Intifada, the Palestinians became the Left’s cause célèbre. The more mass death and suicide the Palestinians perpetrated, the more guilty Israel became in leftist eyes, and the greater the heroism the Left ascribed to the Palestinian cause.
The story of leftist reaction to 9/11 has been recounted in various works.[xi] It would be well, however, for our purposes to briefly recreate the chilling scene.
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.[xii]
Leftist academics across the country echoed Chomsky’s themes, lamenting the tragedy while cheering the 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.”[xiii] 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 because
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.[xiv]
Of course, the infamous Ward Churchill, as we have seen, outdid all the others, blaming not only Bush and America but the “little Eichmanns” themselves for the attacks.[xv]
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.”[xvi] 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.”[xvii] 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.[xviii] Susan Sontag held that the terrorist attack was the result of “specific American alliances and actions.”[xix] 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.[xx] 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.[xxi] 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.”[xxii]
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.”[xxiii] 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?”[xxiv]
As the Twin Towers lay in ruins and America tried to come to grips with an unspeakable act of evil, the Left’s glee mutated into a desperate feeling of compassion and protectiveness for the entity that had harbored the hijackers and facilitated their crime—the Islamofascist Taliban regime in Afghanistan. There were some two hundred “antiwar” demonstrations in the United States and around the world before the end of September. On October 18, eleven days after U.S. forces invaded Afghanistan, Chomsky informed an MIT audience that the United States was the “greatest terrorist state” and was planning “a silent genocide” against the Afghans.[xxv] Leftists took their guru’s lead and staged “peace vigils” and “teach-ins” on campuses across the country.[xxvi]
The goal of America’s action against the Taliban was to remove a regime that had hosted al-Qaeda, and thus to lessen the terrorists’ ability to carry out a similar strike in the future. The Left was traumatized not only by its failure to prevent America from realizing this objective, but also by the fact that America’s military success was achieved with minimal Afghan casualties—making a mockery of Chomsky’s forecast of a U.S.-directed genocide. To make the developments even more excruciating, the United States succeeded in laying the groundwork for Afghanistan’s democratization.
While the Left gnashed its teeth over this nightmare scenario in Afghanistan, it turned its sights toward Iraq, the next scene of confrontation in the terror war. As it had just done in Afghanistan, the Left reached out with affection to forces dedicated to the totalitarian tradition—in this case Saddam Hussein, whose brutality equaled Hitler’s, Stalin’s, and Pol Pot’s. Saddam had also made his country a harbor for Islamist terrorists, to whom, the U.S. government feared, he might eventually transfer weapons of mass destruction.[xxvii]
As the United States prepared its military objectives vis-à-vis Saddam, the Left gathered its forces. Mass “antiwar” demonstrations again broke out across America and Western Europe, organized and led by veteran activists who had rooted for the Communists during the Cold War. This coalition welcomed all factions of the Left; it was composed of organizations that ranged from the Communist Party to the National Council of Churches to Muslim supporters of the terrorist jihad. The mobilizations were organized by radical groups including International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), a front group for the Workers World Party, a Marxist-Leninist sect aligned with Communist North Korea; Not in Our Name, a front created by the Revolutionary Communist Party, a Marxist-Leninist sect aligned with Communist China; United for Peace and Justice, an organization led by Leslie Cagan, a veteran 1960s leftist and a member of the Communist Party until after the fall of the Berlin Wall; and Code Pink, run by Medea Benjamin, head of the radical group Global Exchange.[xxviii]
The antiwar demonstrations not only opposed American involvement in Iraq but also promoted Saddam’s dictatorship and the Islamist terrorists. The behavior of Leslie Cagan and Medea Benjamin told the story best. These two “peace” leaders, joining forces, created a group called Occupation Watch and established a center in Baghdad. Pressing for an American defeat, the group encouraged American soldiers to defect, tried to discredit any American company attempting to rebuild Iraq, emphasized reports of American casualties (loyal to the leftist tradition of obsessing over body bags), and accused U.S. troops of committing horrific atrocities against Iraqis.[xxix]
The demonstrations themselves took on eerie and horrid manifestations. Leftists didn’t schmooze just with the Islamofascists who supported the Ba’athists in Iraq, but also with Nazis who hated Jews and dreamed of future Final Solutions. Leftists marched side by side with Islamist fanatics who despised democracy, modernity, and individual freedom, practiced misogyny and homophobia, and supported theocracy and dictatorship. American “peace” protesters waved placards with pro-Islamist slogans and chanted “Allahu Akbar.” It was typical of them that the only religious term these leftists would utter is the one cried out by Islamist suicide bombers before they blow themselves up alongside innocent people.[xxx]
Nicholas De Genova, a professor of anthropology at Columbia University, exemplifies this mentality perfectly. At a Columbia teach-in, he expressed the hope that America would lose in Iraq, arguing that the world’s true heroes were those who would defeat the American military. He added that he yearned for “a million Mogadishus,” referring to the grotesque 1993 incident in Somalia, in which eighteen American soldiers were murdered in an ambush by an associate of al-Qaeda and one soldier was dragged through the streets in front of cheering crowds.[xxxi]
Osama bin Laden himself understood very well what was happening. On February 12, 2003, just before the U.S. and British troops liberated Iraq, Al Jazeera TV aired a videotape in which the terror master declared: “The interests of Muslims and the interests of the socialists coincide in the war against the crusaders.”
The Left did not disappoint bin Laden. As outlined in the introduction to this book, leftists like Tom Hayden, Naomi Klein, and “peace mom” Cindy Sheehan rushed to oppose President Bush and demand the evacuation of American forces from Iraq, knowing full well that such an evacuation would lead to a massive bloodbath, reminiscent of the carnage that the Left spawned in Southeast Asia a generation earlier.
Hayden, Klein, and Sheehan are, of course, just a small fraction of the number of believers who came out in full-fledged support of the terrorists in Iraq. Michael Moore, as we have seen, had also pronounced his desire for the victory of jihad in Iraq. He produced his infamous propaganda film Fahrenheit-9-11 which demonized the Bush administration by twisting every real fact about Iraq. Though authors such as Christopher Hitchens exposed the myriad of lies upon which the film was based,[xxxii] the Left congratulated Moore from every corner.[xxxiii] Former President Jimmy Carter even honoured Moore by inviting the propagandist to sit beside him at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004. Osama bin Laden also showed his appreciation, releasing a taped message shortly before the 2004 election clearly utilizing the main themes of Moore’s film.[xxxiv]
Robert Jensen, meanwhile, a professor of journalism at the University of Texas, celebrated America’s “defeat” in Iraq. As American Marines engaged Sunni terrorists in a fierce battle in Fallujah on December 3, 2004, the professor wrote:
The United States has lost the war in Iraq, and that’s a good thing. . . . I welcome the U.S. defeat, for a simple reason: It isn’t the defeat of the United States—its people or their ideals—but of that empire. And it’s essential the American empire be defeated and dismantled.[xxxv]
Unfortunately for Jensen and for all believers, American would go on to achieve its primary goals in Iraq. Part of the U.S. success included the Sunni tribes aligning themselves with coalition forces to flush out al Qaeda (in what became known as the Anbar Awakening in 2006) and the new American-trained Iraqi army forcing Muqtada al Sadr’s Mahdi Army to step down in Basra, Baghdad and other major cities. By the summer of 2008, the success of Gen. David Petraeus-led surge—which Bush had implemented in 2007 and the Democrats had vehemently opposed—was clearly evident. The American military along with Iraqi forces had routed al-Qaeda, significantly lowered sectarian violence, and strengthened the democratic institutions of Iraq with the immediate effect of improving Iraqis’ lives.[xxxvi]
The Left mourned these developments. The Democratic Party—whose leadership tiled more than ever to the radical Left—began to realize that its war against the war had failed.[xxxvii] The two Democratic leaders of Congress, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, who had proclaimed the Iraq War “lost,” now had to temper and dodge the fallout of their hasty and presumptuous dismissal of General Petraeus’ strategy. Barack Obama, the party’s presidential candidate, who had, in large part, based his campaign during the Democratic primaries and caucuses on his opposition to the Iraq War and the surge found himself in even more dire straits, for he had now to explain his failed position to the American people.
After Obama’s trip to Iraq in July 2008—a trip that would have been impossible if Obama had had his way in preventing the surge—Obama conceded that progress had been made in Iraq and that the surge had succeeded in bringing down the level of violence. Here, one would have expected Obama to give some credit to the Bush administration for the stunning turnaround in Iraq. But Obama argued that the success of the surge was only incidental, that the Iraqis themselves, especially those involved in the Anbar Awakening, were the real cause of victory in Iraq. Iraqis, of course, were flattered, although many patently admitted that Obama’s position was disingenuous and that U.S. forces had, indeed, achieved a major victory. Upon such shaky ground, moreover, Obama went as far as to affirm that if could take time back, he would still oppose the surge.[xxxviii] In other words, if he had been president in 2007 knowing beforehand that the surge would be successful, Obama would still have abandoned the Iraqi theatre of war, leaving the Iraqi government and people at the mercy of a ruthless and pitiless terrorist enemy.
Strange as it might seem, Obama’s about-face on Iraq is not very surprising or original. He is an individual who spent decades engaging in either political alliance or personal friendship with individuals who loathe this country. He has held close company with the radical Left throughout his political career, including terrorist figures in the Weather Underground such as Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.[xxxix] He sat for twenty years in the church of the socialist Reverend Wright whose antipathy towards the United States has become famous. These relationships and associations provide a window into Obama’s politics – how he is perfectly at ease in the company of the hate-America Left and why even when confronted with the utter failure of his own world vision, such as in Iraq, he chooses nonetheless to equivocate and avoid affirming America’s ongoing struggle for democracy in the heart of the Middle East.
While Obama seemingly flip-flops on issues like Iraq, public campaign financing, FISA, attempting to minimize his leftist inclinations with a move to the center, much of the radical Left is much more brazen, not only hoping for an American defeat in Iraq, but also a solid Islamist-leftist alliance that will vanquish the forces of American democracy and capitalism. British leftist George Galloway is one of the prominent leftists who have frequently called for this alliance:
Not only do I think it’s possible [a Muslim-leftist alliance] but I think it is vitally necessary and I think it is happening already. It is possible because the progressive movement around the world and the Muslims have the same enemies. Their enemies are the Zionist occupation, American occupation, British occupation of poor countries, mainly Muslim countries. They have the same interest in opposing savage capitalist globalization, which is intent upon homogenizing the entire world, turning us basically into factory chickens which can be force fed the American diet of everything from food to Coca-Cola to movies and TV culture. And whose only role in life is to consume the things produced endlessly by the multinational corporations. And the progressive organizations and movements agree on that with the Muslims.[xl]
While believers have continued to praise America’s adversaries and to call for an alliance with the enemy, they have also faithfully engaged in their long tradition of fellow traveling. As has been shown, individuals such as Chomsky have led the way in this department. Foreshadowing his later Hezbollah political pilgrimage, for instance, he made sure, in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, to get as close as he could geographically to the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. Horowitz and Radosh describe Chomsky’s bizarre odyssey:
So, shortly after delivering his MIT remarks, and as the war in Afghanistan approached its climactic battles, he went off on a two-week tour of the Indian subcontinent, adjacent to the war zone, and in particular to Islamabad—the capital city of Pakistan, a Muslim country and a nuclear power that was also the most dangerously volatile state in America’s coalition to defeat the Taliban, and one that could easily tip the other way.[xli]
Horowitz and Radosh explore the impulse behind Chomsky’s new bout of fellow traveling: “The purpose of Chomsky’s tour was to pursue what he thought was the best remedy: giving aid and comfort to America’s terrorist enemies in the hope that they will win the war against us.”[xlii]
On this tour, Chomsky spread his lies to millions of Muslims and Hindus. He talked about America’s alleged aim to kill three to four million Afghans through starvation, called America the greatest terrorist state, and alleged that the United States was involved in something far worse than what the terrorists had perpetrated on 9/11.[xliii] But nothing that Chomsky said bore even the barest resemblance to reality. As Horowitz and Radosh have demonstrated, for instance, the Bush administration acted “to prevent the starvation of Afghan civilians at the very moment Noam Chomsky was claiming that it had begun a silent genocide.” U.S. forces tried to bring in food and other needed items via truck convoys; it was the Taliban that attacked those convoys and stole the goods. But the United States persevered, and in the end, more food reached Afghans after the U.S. bombing than before it. Thus, the “U.S.-led military action in fact led to the restoration of food relief and lessened the danger of the mass starvation that might have followed under Taliban rule; that is, it may have saved millions of Afghan lives.”[xliv] Chomsky refused to admit his errors when confronted about them, and even denied having ever articulated them.[xlv]
Al-Qaeda, meanwhile, showed its gratitude to the Left for its efforts. George Galloway was particularly singled out for his years of faithful support. In August 2006, the American al-Qaeda operative Adam Yahiye Gadahn gave a broadcast in which he warned: “To Americans and the rest of Christendom we say, either repent [your] misguided ways and enter into the light of truth or keep your poison to yourself and suffer the consequences in this world and the next . . .”[xlvi] In this broadcast, bin Laden’s lieutenant thanked Galloway for his “admiration and respect for Islam” and specifically encouraged him to convert.[xlvii]
The Islamist enemy would also show its appreciation to Hollywood’s leftist elite, which has continued its long tradition of reaching out to America’s despotic enemies. Few Hollywood stars represent liberal Hollywood better in this context than actor and director Sean Penn. A member of leftist anti-war organizations Not In Our Name and Artists United to Win Without War, and an avid supporter of MoveOn.org, Penn has been an outspoken critic of the Iraq war, a leader in fellow traveling and a champion of jihadi terrorists.[xlviii]
In December 2002, just prior to the U.S. liberation of Iraq, Penn embarked on a political pilgrimage to Baghdad with Medea Benjamin, a trip that was publicized as a “fact-finding” visit. It remains a mystery what “facts” Penn was looking for or even found, since the trip basically entailed him denouncing the approaching U.S. invasion and serving as a propaganda tool for Saddam.[xlix] Penn would continue his anti-war activism throughout the war and after, which included another trip he took to Iraq in late 2003, during which he demonized U.S. efforts to defeat the jihadists and bring stability to the country.[l] During that trip, Penn had to be saved by U.S. soldiers while conducting interviews in unsafe places.[li] He did not reflect, naturally, on whether he owed any gratitude to the U.S. — or on why he was being attacked in the first place and by whom. In other words, moral clarity eluded him even when he himself was saved by his own nation from those who hated him and wanted him dead.
Penn’s anti-war activism continued unabated throughout the Iraq war, as the actor/director consistently called for an immediate U.S. withdrawal — despite the fact that such a premature withdrawal would lead to a terrorist victory in Iraq, embolden Islamofascists everywhere and lead to a genocide.[lii] In 2006, he joined Congresswomen Cynthia McKinney and Lynn Woolsey, Willie Nelson, Susan Sarandon, Danny Glover and Ed Asner in staging a “Troops Home Fast” hunger strike to protest the Iraq War. The effort was organized by Gold Star Families for Peace founder Cindy Sheehan and endorsed by Code Pink.[liii]
Iraq was not the only target of Penn’s totalitarian yearnings. Iran’s despotism also served as a romantic attraction. And so in 2005, three years after his Iraq pilgrimage, Penn once again took on the role of fellow traveler, but this time traveling to Iran, acting as a correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle. He attended Islamic prayer ceremonies in Tehran and interviewed Iranian political leaders. In his reporting for the Chronicle, he praised the mullahs for standing brave in the face of Bush calling Tehran a member of the “Axis of Evil.” He commended Iran for not (in his mind) pursuing uranium enrichment and he denounced the U.S. and Israeli positions, as well as any possible “reckless action” toward Iran that those countries might take. He did this despite the fact that the evidence had already confirmed that Iran was pursing nuclear ambitions, a reality that subsequently forced the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution ordering Iran to suspend its nuclear pursuits.[liv]
Iran’s mullahs and the jihadists fighting in Iraq weren’t the only objects of Penn’s affections. The Hollywood star has come to the defence of Castro’s despotism while also nurturing a friendship with Venezuela’s communist President Hugo Chavez, who has quoted from Penn’s writings in some of his televised speeches. Penn embarked on a political pilgrimage in August 2007 to embrace Chavez in person in Caracas, Venezuela. Not much interested in Chavez’s tyrannical brutality, Penn called Chavez “a fascinating guy” who is “much more positive for Venezuela than he is negative.” Chavez, in turn, praised Penn for advocating the impeachment of President Bush.[lv]
Like Chavez, Islamists have shown their gratitude to Penn, cheering on the Hollywood star’s statements about Iran, the Iraq war and the war on terror and stressing that U.S. citizens should hearken his message. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group, which engages in suicide attacks, and has carried out hundreds of shootings and rocket attacks against Israeli citizens, including women and children, has expressed particular admiration for Penn. Ala Senakreh, the terror group’s West Bank chief, affirmed that he had “deep respect” for Penn. Abu Hamed, northern Gaza Strip commander of the organization, invited Penn to officially represent his group’s cause to the world media. Ramadan Adassi, the group’s chief in the northern West Bank Anskar refugee camp, stated that Penn’s words “express dignity” and a “deep humanitarian sense.”[lvi]
Like Penn, CNN founder and media mogul Ted Turner is another of myriad prominent leftist U.S. figures who has made his contribution to supporting the enemies of the United States – and received their affection in return. Having given millions of dollars to leftist causes and political figures, he refers to himself as “a socialist at heart.”[lvii] An admirer of Cuba’s dictator Fidel Castro, Turner has called the communist despot “one hell of a guy.” He told a class at Harvard Law School, “You’d like him. He has been the leader of Cuba for 40 years. He’s the most senior leader in the world, and most of the people that are still in Cuba like him.” Turner has also affirmed that it was Castro who inspired him to make CNN international, an inspiration that took place during Turner’s political pilgrimage to Cuba in 1982, during which the media mogul embraced the dictator and drank alcohol and smoke cigars with him.[lviii]
Turner’s passion for the War on Terror has motivated him to call the 9/11 terrorists “brave,” and to explain that “the reason that the World Trade Center got hit is because there are a lot of people living in abject poverty out there who don’t have any hope for a better life.”[lix] He has accused Israel of engaging in “terrorism” and excused Palestinian suicide bombers for their homicidal acts because, according to him, they live in “poverty” and “desperation.”[lx]
Turner’s philosophical worldview also involves Iran: despite the fact that the Mullahs have vowed to obliterate Israel from the face of the earth if they acquire nuclear weapons, Turner has defended Iran’s right to such weapons and has ridiculed President Bush for trying to stop Iran from doing so. Turner has also refused to label the Saddam Hussein regime as “evil” and he has vehemently opposed the U.S. liberation of Iraq.[lxi] While the U.S. was clearing achieving its objectives in Iraq by early 2008, Turner was gleefully boasting in April 2008 that “we can’t win in Iraq” and that “We’re being beaten by insurgents who don’t even have any tanks.” The terrorists in Iraq, in his view, are “patriots.”[lxii]
While believers like Turner and Penn have gone out of their way to weaken America abroad in the face of totalitarian enemies, so too they have been busy at home trying to make their own society vulnerable to attack—just as they had done during the Cold War. The usual suspects have been hard at work: the ACLU, the National Lawyers Guild, the Center for Constitutional Rights, United for Peace and Justice, MoveOn.org, and many others have been part of what David Horowitz has aptly termed the “unholy alliance” between the Left and radical Islam.
Particularly pernicious have been the efforts of the Legal Left—leftist lawyers who flock to defend terrorists. They have worked tirelessly to undermine America’s ability to protect itself against another terrorist strike. In addition to defending individual terrorists, the Legal Left has taken aim at the Patriot Act, passed by Congress shortly after 9/11 in order to enhance homeland security and protect the nation from terrorism.
The Legal Left knew exactly what it was doing, of course. It understood very well that, for example, in the pre–Patriot Act era, it had taken fully seven years for Safmi Al-Arian, a professor of computer sciences at the University of South Florida, to get arrested after the FBI began to investigate his work in funding terrorists. As we saw in the case of the FBI agents being denied permission to confiscate Zacarias Moussaoui’s computer, the wall between criminal and intelligence investigations erected by the Clinton administration—which the Patriot Act broke down—had devastating effects. If the FBI agents had been allowed to act against Moussaoui, 9/11 could well have been averted.[lxiii] This is precisely the scenario that the Left wants to avoid, and that is why it works for the destruction of the Patriot Act.[lxiv]
Thus, groups such as the National Lawyers Guild—which began as a Soviet front—have challenged every effort of the Department of Homeland Security to strengthen our borders.[lxv] The Legal Left’s most effective tactic has been the canard that a “violation of civil liberties” is being perpetrated. Indeed, the Left charges that America has entered a new era of “fascism” in its attempt to protect itself from further attacks.
The Center for Constitutional Rights and its president, Michael Ratner (a former president of the National Lawyers Guild), meanwhile, brought a lawsuit on behalf of two terrorist groups—the Kurdish Workers Party of Turkey and the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka—that had been responsible for mass murder. In early 2004, a federal judge in Los Angeles agreed with the plaintiffs and struck down one of the Patriot Act’s crucial provisions, which sought to block support for foreign terrorist groups. [lxvi]
Not content to support the enemy via legal tactics, many believers, in the Julius and Ethel Rosenberg tradition, cross the line and betray their nation. A notable case is that of Lynne Stewart, the attorney for the “Blind Sheikh,” Omar Abdel Rahman, the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Despite Stewart’s best efforts in court, Rahman was convicted in 1995 for his role in the bombing and sentenced to life in prison. But Stewart did not abandon her client. Indeed, while visiting him in prison, she assisted in conveying a message from the sheik to his followers in Egypt encouraging them to resume terrorist activities. It is particularly telling that it was only after her indictment for abetting his terrorist plans that she was inundated with invitations to speak at universities, law schools, and other academic institutions. Convicted in February 2005, she has become an intellectual and political icon for the Left.[lxvii]
Another notable case is that of Sami Al-Arian. A prominent figure on the American Left, Al-Arian helped to fund and organize the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. This is one of the main terrorist groups in the Middle East, involved in suicide bombings that have killed more than a hundred people, including two Americans. As mentioned above, the FBI had been greatly hindered in its efforts to investigate Al-Arian. But once the Patriot Act was passed, he ended up being arrested, indicted, and tried on terror-related charges. In December 2005, he was acquitted on eight of seventeen counts against him, but three months later he finally admitted his guilt in a deal with prosecutors, confessing, after years of denial, that he was in fact in league with the Islamic Jihad. He also agreed to accept deportation. The leftists who had defended him and maintained his innocence have never apologized.[lxviii]
And so the new generation of believers found their own idols in the terror war. The romance with Islamism is just a logical continuation of the long leftist tradition of worshipping America’s foes. In the next chapter we dig into the root causes of the new political romance with death.
[i] For an account of Carter’s Hamas romance, see pp. 7-9.
[ii] See MEMRI, “U.S. Linguist Noam Chomsky Meets with Hizbullah Leaders in Lebanon,” and Ali Hussein, “Chomsky needs to learn a lot more about Lebanon.”
[iii] Horowitz and Laksin, “Noam Chomsky’s Love Affair with Nazis.”
[iv] See MEMRI TV clips “Hizbullah Leader Hassan Nasrallah: Death to America,” and “Hizbullah Secretary-General Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah Threatens the U.S.”
[v] Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, “Suicide terror for children glorified on Hamas children’s web site,” Palestinian Media Watch (www.pmw.org), March 16, 2006.
[vi] David Meir-Levi, “My Brother’s Keeper?” FrontPageMag.com, March 13, 2006.
[viii] George Conger, “Christian Left Rejects Hamas Boycott,” Jerusalem Post, April 14, 2006.
[ix] “Hamas’ Defense of Terror,” HonestReporting.com, April 23, 2006.
[x] Typical of this theme is bin Laden’s audiotaped message released on Al Jazeera in late April 2006. See Stephen Dinan, “Bush: Iraq win is ‘blow’ to al Qaeda,” Washington Times, April 25, 2006.
[xi] David Horowitz’s Unholy Alliance remains the best work on the subject.
[xii] The Clinton administration suspected the pharmaceutical plant of being a factory which produced chemical weapons for terrorists. The attack on the plant was a response to the Islamist blowing up of two American embassies in Africa, which killed hundreds of people, most of them African civilians. While the terrorist attacks’ main objective was to kill as many people as possible, the Clinton administration’s attack tried to minimize the taking of human life, which is why it occurred at night, when the building would be unoccupied. (Horowitz, Unholy Alliance, p. 183.)
[xiii] Daniel Pipes, “The Left’s Dream,” CNSNews.com, March 18, 2003.
[xiv] 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 (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2004), pp. 24–27. For a wide selection of academics who verbalized similar praise of the 9/11 attacks, see David Horowitz, The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America (Washington, D.C.: Regnery, 2006).
[xv] Ward Churchill profile, DiscoverTheNetworks.org.
[xvi] Quoted in Pipes, “The Left’s Dream.”
[xvii] Norman Mailer profile, DiscoverTheNetworks.org.
[xviii] Hollander, ed., Understanding Anti-Americanism, p. 24.
[xix] Ibid., p. 25.
[xx] Ibid., p. 27.
[xxi] Horowitz, Unholy Alliance, p. 13.
[xxii] Katha Pollitt, “Put Out No Flags,” The Nation, September 20, 2001.
[xxiii] Quoted in Pipes, “The Left’s Dream.”
[xxv] For an account of Chomsky’s response to 9/11, see David Horowitz and Ronald Radosh, “Chomsky and 9/11,” in Collier and Horowitz, eds., The Anti-Chomsky Reader, pp. 161–181.
[xxvi] Horowitz, Unholy Alliance, p. 11.
[xxvii] Documents captured from the fallen Iraqi regime confirm Saddam’s links to al-Qaeda as well as the fact that he had WMDs. See Jamie Glazov, “Saddam and Osama: The New Revelations,” FrontPageMag.com, April 18, 2006. See also Stephen F. Hayes, The Connection: How al Qaeda’s Collaboration with Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America (New York: HarperCollins, 2004).
[xxviii] See the profiles on all these groups on DiscoverTheNetworks.org.
[xxix] Horowitz, Unholy Alliance, pp. 31–37 and 165–176.
[xxx] The Left’s double standard is embodied most clearly in its position on prayer in public school. The Left maintains its vehement opposition to such prayer when it is Christian. However, there is a deafening silence in leftist ranks in response to Muslim trainers teaching American public-school children about Islam. This Islamic education includes homework that has seventh-graders wear a Muslim robe, adopt a Muslim name, stage a personal “jihad,” memorize Koranic verses, pray aloud “in the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful,” and chant “Praise to Allah, Lord of Creation.” See “Brave New Schools: Islam Studies Required in California District Course Has 7th-Graders Memorizing Koran Verses, Praying to Allah,” WorldNetDaily.com, January 11, 2002.
[xxxi] David Horowitz, “Neo-Communism,” FrontPageMag.com, April 22, 2003.
[xxxii] Christopher Hitchens, “Unfairenheit 9/11 The lies of Michael Moore,” Slate.com, June 21, 2004.
[xxxiii] For a discussion of the Left’s and the Democratic Party’s enthusiasm for Moore’s film, see Horowitz and Johnson, pp. 109-110.
[xxxiv] Ibid., p. 110.
[xxxv] Robert Jensen, “A Defeat for an Empire,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, December 9, 2004.
[xxxvi] Amir Taheri, “O’s Tour De Farce,” New York Post, July 29, 2008. See also Kathy Shaidle, “Obama’s Surge Purge,” FrontPageMagazine.com, July 30, 2008.
[xxxvii] For the best account of the how the Democratic Party intentionally tried to undermine Bush’s war policy for the sake of destroying his presidency, see Horowitz and Johnson.
[xxxviii] Jacob Laksin, “Obama’s Muddle Over Iraq,” FrontPageMagazine.com, July 22, 2008 and John Dickerson, “What Did Obama Learn in Iraq?” Slate.com, July 25, 2008. See also Taheri and Shaidle.
[xxxix] For a discussion of Obama’s ties to extremist anti-American figures throughout his political career, see Jacob Laksin’s “Obama’s World,” FrontPageMagazine.com, Wednesday, May 07, 2008. See also the DiscovertheNetworks.org feature, “Barack’s World,” which explores more than 50 of Obama’s connections to radicals over the years. http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=800.
[xl] “Galloway Calls for Global Unity,” Iraq News Network.
[xli] Horowitz and Radosh, “Chomsky and 9/11,” pp. 179–180.
[xlii] Ibid., p. 180.
[xliii] Ibid., p. 162.
[xliv] Ibid., pp. 164–169.
[xlv] Collier, Introduction, The Anti-Chomsky Reader, p. xiv.
[xlvi] Quoted by Michelle Malkin at http://michellemalkin.com/2006/09/02/convert-or-die/.
[xlvii] See Walid Phares, “`Azzam’: The Domestic Jihad,” CounterTerrorismBlog.org, September 5, 2006.
[xlviii] Sean Penn Profile, DiscovertheNetworks.org, http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=1086
[l] Ben Johnson, “Sean Penn’s Baghdad Homecoming,” FrontPageMagazine.com, January 21, 2004.
[li] James Hirsen, “Fasting for Peace, Hollywood-Style,” DiscovertheNetworks.org,
July 5, 2006.
[lii] For an account of Islamist ethnic-cleansing in Iraq, and how a premature U.S. withdrawal would make religious minorities more vulnerable to genocide, see Jamie Glazov, “Islamist Ethnic-Cleansing of Assyrians in Iraq,” FrontPageMagazine.com, August 13, 2008.
[liv] Sean Penn Profile, DiscovertheNetworks.org. See also Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi and Elio Bonazzi, “Sean Penn: Our Man in Tehran,” FrontPageMagazine.com, June 16, 2005.
[lvi] Aaron Klein, Schmoozing With Terrorists (Los Angeles: WND Books, 2007), pp.96-98.
[lvii] Ted Turner Profile, DiscovertheNetowroks.org. http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2004.
[lviii] Jim Burns, “’Commie Dictator’ Castro Inspired CNN, Ted Turner Admits,”
CNSNews.com, Nov. 30, 2001.
[lix] Jim Burns, “Ted Turner Says September 11 Terrorists Were Brave Men,”
CNSNews.com, Feb. 12, 2002.
[lx] Ellis Shuman, “CNN founder accuses Israel of terror,” Israel Insider, June 18, 2002.
[lxi] Ted Turner Profile, DiscovertheNetowroks.org.
[lxii] Media Research Center, “Turner: Iraqi Insurgents ‘Patriots,’ Warming Inaction: Cannibalism,”April 2, 2008.
[lxiii] See pp. 18-19.
[lxiv] Horowitz, Unholy Alliance, pp. 177–204.
[lxv] Ibid., pp. 183–186.
[lxvi] Ibid., pp. 177–204.
[lxvii] For a succinct account of the campus promotion of Lynne Stewart, see David Horowitz and Ben Johnson, eds., Campus Support for Terrorism (Los Angeles: Center for the Study of Popular Culture, 2004).
[lxviii] Robert Spencer, “Guilty as Charged,” FrontPageMag.com, April 20, 2006. See also Horowitz’s discussion of Al-Arian in Unholy Alliance, pp. 188–199. Lynne Stewart profile, DiscoverTheNetworks.org.