Skip to comments.Moment of Truth (For the Anti-American Left)(Horowitz on the Aftermath of the De Genova Remarks)
Posted on 03/30/2003 10:01:03 PM PST by Pyro7480
Every movement has its moment of truth. At an "anti-war" teach-in at Columbia last week, Anthropology professor Nicholas De Genova told 3,000 students and faculty, "Peace is not patriotic. Peace is subversive, because peace anticipates a very different world than the one in which we live--a world where the U.S. would have no place."
De Genova continued: "The only true heroes are those who find ways that help defeat the U.S. military. I personally would like to see a million Mogadishus."1 This was a reference to the ambush of U.S. forces by an al-Qaeda warlord in Somalia in 1993. The Americans were there on a humanitarian mission to feed starving Somali Muslims. The al-Qaeda warlord was stealing the food and selling it on the black market. His forces killed 18 American soldiers and dragged their bodies through the streets in an act designed to humiliate their country. In short, America can do no good, and nothing that is done to America can be worse than it deserves.
The best that could be said of the crowd of Columbia faculty and students is that they did not react to Mogadishu remark (perhaps they did not know what "Mogadishu" referred to). But they "applauded loudly," when the same professor said, "If we really [believe] that this war is criminal ... then we have to believe in the victory of the Iraqi people and the defeat of the U.S. war machine."2
In other words, the American left as represented by faculty and students at one of the nations most elite universities wants America to lose the war with the terrorist and fascist regime in Baghdad. In shorts, the crowd might just have well applauded the professors first statement as well.
The phrase "a million Mogadishus," has a resonance for those of us who participated in an earlier leftist "peace" movement, during the war in Indochina. In 1967, at the height of the conflict, the Cuban Communist leader, Che Guevara (still an icon among radicals today) called on revolutionaries all over the world "to create two, three, many Vietnams," to defeat the American enemy. It was the Sixties version of a call for jihad.
In the late Sixties, I was the editor of Ramparts, the largest magazine of the New Left and I edited a book of anti-American essays with the same title, Two, Three, Many Vietnams. Tom Hayden a leader of the New Left (later a Democratic State Senator and activist against the war in Iraq) used the same slogan as he called for armed uprisings inside the United States. In 1962, as a Marxist radical, I myself had helped to organize the first protest against the war in Vietnam at the University of California, Berkeley. At the time, America had only 300 "advisers" in Vietnam, who were seeking to prevent the Communist gulag that was to come. John F. Kennedy was President and had been invited to speak on the campus. We picketed his appearance. Our slogan was, "Kennedys Three Rs: Radiation, Reaction and Repression." We didnt want peace in Vietnam. We wanted a revolution in America.
But we were clever. Or rather, we got smarter. We realized we couldnt attract large numbers of people by revealing our deranged fantasies about America (although that of course is not how we would have looked at them). We realized that we needed the support of a lot of Americans who would never agree with our real agendas if we were going to influence the course of the war. So we changed our slogan to "Bring the Troops Home." That seemed to express care for Americans while accomplishing the same goal. If America brought her troops home in the middle of the war, the Communists would win. Which is exactly what happened.
The nature of the movement that revealed itself at Columbia is the same. When the Mogadishu remark was made, it was as if the devil had inadvertently exposed his horns, and someone needed to put a hat over them before others realized it. That someone was the demonstration organizer, Professor Eric Foner, the prestigious head of Columbias history department. Actually, when Foner spoke after De Genova at the teach-in, he failed to find the Mogadishu remark offensive. Instead Foner dissociated himself from another De Genova comment to the effect that all Americans who described themselves as "patriotic," were actually "white supremacists."
But the next day when a reporter from New York NewsDay called Foner, the professor realized that the Mogadishu remark had caused some trouble. When asked now about the statement he said it was "idiotic." He told the reporter, "I thought that was completely uncalled for. We do not desire the deaths of American soldiers." Foner did not say (and was not asked) how he thought organizing an anti-American demonstration to protest Americas war in Iraq and express the hope that we lose would not encourage the enemy and possibly lead to American deaths.
Eric Foner is the scion of a family of American Communists (and American Communist leaders) at that. In the Sixties he was an anti-American Stalinist. After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, he wrote a piece in the London Review of Books saying, "Im not sure which is more frightening: the horror that engulfed New York City or the apocalyptic rhetoric emanating daily from the White House." After receiving much adverse reaction, he wrote a self-exculpatory piece for The New York Times explaining that his uncertainty was actually patriotic.
Eric Foners cover-up reflects a powerful tactical current in the movement to derail Americas war in Iraq. Until now, the largest organization behind this movement has been "International ANSWER," which thanks in part to the efforts of the War Room and www.frontpagemag.com has been revealed as front for a Marxist-Leninist party with ties to the Communist regime in North Korea. According to a comprehensive (but partisan and sympathetic) report in The New York Times,3 some factions of the left became disturbed that the overtly radical slogans of the International ANSWER protests were "counter-productive." Last fall, they met in the offices of People For The American Way to create a new umbrella organization called United for Peace and Justice that would present a more palatable face to the American public.
As it happens, the name of the new organization was similar to that of one of the two main groups behind the national protests of the anti-Vietnam movement. It was called the Peoples Coalition for Peace and Justice and it was a run by the American Communist Party. (As it happens, the other organizer of the national demonstrations was the MOBE, which was run by the Trotskyist Communist Party.)
The groups that People for the American Way assembled to create the new Iraq protest organization picked Leslie Cagan to be its leader. Cagan is a veteran of the old Vietnam left -- a pro-Castro radical who was still a member of the Communist Party after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Ms. Cagans politics were no less radical and anti-American than International ANSWER's. But Leslie Cagan understood the problem of too much candor. "If were going to be a force that needs to be listened to by our elected officials, by the media," Ms. Cagan told the Times, "our movement needs to reflect the population." In other words, we have to keep our horns hidden. According to the Times, since that meeting, the left has been hiring Madison Avenue firms to shape its messages and has been putting up billboards with the slogan "Peace Is Patriotic" to make its point.
At the Columbia teach-in, Professor Foner had this to say about patriotism. "I refuse to cede the definition of American patriotism to George W. Bush," Foner said, drawing a cheer from the audience. "I have a different definition of patriotism, which comes from Paul Robeson: The patriot is the person who is never satisfied with his country." Its true that Paul Robeson was never satisfied with his country. He was an icon (and member) of the American Communist Party, who received a Stalin Peace Prize from the dictator himself. 4
Plus ca change, plus cest la meme chose.
The war in Americas streets is not about "peace" or "more time for inspections." It is about which side should lose the war we are now in. The left has made crystal clear its desire that the loser should be us. Even if the left had not made this explicit, a "peace" movement directed at one side makes sense only as an effort to force that side to retreat from the battle and lose the war. Which is exactly what the Columbia professor said. If this is patriotism, what is treason?
1. Ron Howell, "Radicals Speak Out At Columbia Teach-In," NewsDay, March 27, 2003.
3. Kate Zernike and Dean E. Murphy, "Antiwar Movement Morphs From Wild-Eyed to Civil," NYT, March 29, 2003, B1.
4. Columbis Spectator article.
I noticed De Genova is not yet a full professor. Is there any chance he will be denied tenure? I really don't understand how someone like De Genova is attracted to Columbia University given the high proportion of Jewish students and alumni there. How do students react to professors like De Genova? What do alumni say about professors like De Genova, Edward Said, etc. Is the University even further to the left now than it was twenty years ago?
My concern is wholly non-partisan. We're at war, and our president is leading us through a difficult time.
Some may oppose Bush and his cabinet on the grounds that his direction is risky, but he's our elected president, he has bi-partisan support in congress, he has full support of our military. Anyone not in agreement should pursue non-violent civil-disobedience -- with the full understanding that such efforts make our troops and their families suffer at the mere thought that their efforts could be undone by future changes of power.
Calls for violent opposition to our war of homeland defense is more dangerous than 1000 foreign terrorists.
Isn't it only Alec Baldwin who can get away with that sort of thing?
I believe you would be surprised and embarrassed to learn that most Americans DO support the idea of "benevolent global hegemony." Especially when considered as a choice between that and the UN Thug/Dictator Social Club.
As for me, I believe we should IMPOSE the Bill of Rights on every nation onm the face of the globe.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it...
Unflinching and heartfelt support for America against her enemies hasn't been non-partisan since around 1972 (by the time the "New Left" became a force to be reckoned with in the Democratic Party). I wish it weren't that way, but it is.
I saw an interview with Gebhardt this morning. He was waving the flag and saying we all support the troops and have to win the war and ....
That's how. He's counting on the short memories of many Americans.
These folks at San Francisco Indy-Media are terrorist supporters . . .
Oh, the lurkers on FR from SF-IMC CANNOT change that picture (above) now since it is hosted by FR friendly sources ! Take that, FOOLS !! . . .
Thanks, Nicmarlo ! . . .
That's the party of "tolerance" for you...
We'll get our chance...Afghanistan and Iraq will work for now. It may take several hundred years...
Don't you agree that "all humans were created equal, with certain inalienable rights?"
You need to give it up. The administration has never said this was about al Qaeda, they have stated it is more about the nexus of Saddam's generalized terrorist ties and his penchant for pursuing and using WMD that is the concern. What's more, since one of the root causes of terrorism is the tyrannical nature of Middle Eastern governments, to attempt a sea change in those governments by planting the seeds of democracy in Iraq once the war is over does indeed have much to do with the War on Terrorism. But the latter is not something the administration can articulate publicly, as it would alarm Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, et al.
Now please dispense with the nitwitery. Something tells me that not only do you not understand the meaning of the word 'hegemony,' you also do not understand much about Trotsky and the nature of communism and the New Left.
In the future, I would suggest you not construct a rhetorical house of cards around an emotional position. The well-informed can see through this sort of B.S. in a matter of microseconds.
However, during the VN war, the chants first started with "Stop the war" then "Stop the bombing" then "Bring the troops home".
Of course by stopping the bombing of North VN, it tended to tie our hands, then the pictures and stories of "innocent" civilians/children being killed etc. Eventually, it changed the mood of the country and the war became unpopular, that young men were being drafted help to sour the mood of the populace.
I see the same kind of tactics being played in this war with Iraq. Be looking for stop the bombing signs and demonstrations, comming to a neighborhood near you.
There is nobody who could give that mandate, and we need not set ourselves above the rest of mankind, but merely recognize the moral truth. All men deserve inalienable rights, due process, and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, among others. These things are withheld from the Iraqi people by Saddam.
The moral course is to remove the dictator, and restore natural rights for the Iraqi people.
You would use "equality" as a bludgeon with which to smash morality and say that good is equivalent to evil. I reject that worldview.
I reassert that the goal must be to foster the Bill of Rights for all the people of the world. That is the only just and moral course.
Even Chinese people yearn for freedom. Just because the Chinese government is presently powerful enough to hold its' citizenry in check is no argument for withholding from that which we know is right.
Someday the people of China will also be free. It is the nature of humananity.
Union dues ....
As a socialist nation and a supporter of Islamofascist terrorism, Iraq is a MUCH bigger threat than Vietnam ever was. It represents the lynchpin between the socialist states and the Islamic states.
As the world's second largest oil producer, it also fuels the economies of its' fellow socialist nations, Russia, China, France, and others.
The elimination of the Baathist government will strike a huge blow to the spread of Eur-asian Socialism and represents a geopolitical victory of historic proportion.
(Some) Black people don't like asians for some unfathomable reason. I've seen it as well and it baffles me.
That would wipe out the population of Iraq.
Not completely. The real lessons of Nam have never been completely learned. At least not by the public at large. The people in charge of the pentagon appear to understand them for the most part, thank God.
The most major lesson of Nam is that you cannot draft the boy next door and try to tell him that it is somehow or other his patriotic duty to risk death or maiming in a political game which congress does not even have the decency to declare to be a war.
Not that president's don't have to have the ability to play games at times, but you don't play games with hundreds of thousands of draftees and large sums of treasure; you play games with a handful of soldiers of fortune and petty cash. Ronald Reagan understood this perfectly and his presidency will go into the books as a resounding success. LBJ and Nixon did not comprehend this, and their presidencies will always be viewed as abysmal failures.
The Vietnam war all but destroyed the US military as an institution. The academies went for ten years taking the bottom of the barrel because that was all they could get, and the enlisted ranks became one gigantic drug problem. The most remarkable thing in the whole picture is that Reaean was able to bring it back as quickly as he did.