Clifford May remarks on the odd yet fond attraction some Western Leftists have for Islamic jihadists:
Ask those on the Left what values they champion, and they will say equality, tolerance, women's rights, gay rights, workers' rights, and human rights. Militant Islamists oppose all that, not infrequently through the application of lethal force. So how does one explain the burgeoning Left-Islamist alliance?
I know: There are principled individuals on the Left who do not condone terrorism or minimize the Islamist threat. The author Paul Berman, unambiguously and unashamedly a man of the Left, has been more incisive on these issues than just about anyone else. Left-of-center publications such as The New Republic have not been apologists for radical jihadists.
But The Nation has been soft on Islamism for decades. Back in 1979, editorial-board member Richard Falk welcomed the Iranian revolution, saying it "may yet provide us with a desperately-needed model of humane governance for a third-world country." Immediately after Sept. 11, 2001, longtime Nation contributor Robert Fisk complained that "terrorism" is a "racist" term.
It is no exaggeration to call groups such as MoveOn.org pro-appeasement. Further left on the political spectrum, the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition sympathizes with both Islamists and the Stalinist regime in North Korea - which is in league with Islamist Iran and its client state, Syria. Meanwhile, Hugo Ch�vez, the Bolivarian-socialist Venezuelan strongman, is developing a strategic alliance with Iran's ruling mullahs and with Hezbollah, Iran's terrorist proxy.
In a new book, United in Hate: The Left's Romance with Tyranny and Terror, Jamie Glazov takes a hard look at this unholy alliance. A historian by training, Glazov is the son of dissidents who fled the Soviet Union only to find that, on American campuses, they were not welcomed by the liberal/Left lumpen professoriate.
Glazov's book indicts artists and intellectuals of the Left - e.g. George Bernard Shaw, Bertolt Brecht, and Susan Sontag - for having "venerated mass murderers such as Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, and Ho Chi Minh, habitually excusing their atrocities while blaming Americans and even the victims for their crimes."
Following the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Left spent several years wandering in the wilderness. Many of them, Glazov suggests, looked upon the terrorist attacks of 9/11 less as an atrocity than as an opportunity to revive a moribund revolutionary movement.
Jimmy Carter, Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, Ramsey Clark, Lynne Stewart, and Stanley Cohen are among the luminaries of the Left Glazov accuses of having found common ground with Islamists.
Glazov concludes that the Left's "romance with Islamism is just a logical continuation of the long leftist tradition of worshipping America's foes. . . . The Left clearly continues to be inspired by its undying Marxist conviction that capitalism is evil and that forces of revolution are rising to overthrow it - and must be supported." On that basis, militant Islamism is regarded as a "valiant form of 'resistance' against American imperialism and oppression."
If such values as equality, tolerance, and human rights are crushed in the process, that's a price many on the Left are willing to pay. Those on the Left who disagree should perhaps speak up more loudly and more often.
There's more to May's essay at the link, but I might mention that another value of the Left that makes their alliance with Islamists even more bizarre is religious freedom. The Left is predominately secular and atheistic and they prize the freedom to remain that way. Surely they must realize, though, that if the Islamists were ever successful in toppling a Western country, the atheists would be the first to be relieved of their heads. Or, being hard Leftists, maybe they don't realize it.RLC