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Ron Radosh

The American Left: Friends of Our Country’s Enemies

August 9th, 2014 - 8:23 am

The American Left used to be patriotic. In its heyday, Eugene V. Debs never attacked America, and the socialist vision he advocated was in his eyes a way to realize the promise of America. As for the American Communist Party, in reality the tool of Stalin’s USSR, it pretended in the 1940s to be pro-American, and its chairman, Earl Browder, coined the slogan “Communism is 20th century Americanism.” This pretense came to an end during the Cold War, when the Left supported the Soviet bloc and all of its policies, and argued that America was in the process of becoming a nascent fascist state.

The remnants of the ’60s New Left identified with America’s new enemies, especially North Vietnam, Communist Cuba, the PLO, and, in the ’80s, Sandinista Nicaragua. After 9/11, many of its adherents took the position that the United States had the terror attack coming to it, since the perpetrators had taken 3000 lives in protest against America’s imperial ambitions and control.

This led Michael Walzer, the social-democratic intellectual, to pen an article called “Can There Be a Decent Left?” Walzer courageously took on many of those on his side of the spectrum, hitting them for accepting the “blame America first” doctrine to explain foreign policy defeats; for not criticizing any peoples or nations in the Third World; for believing in what he called “rag-tag Marxism”; for failing to oppose dangerous jihadists and Islamist states; and for refusing to blame anyone else for the world’s wrong except the United States.

I wonder what Walzer would write today if he examined his article anew. If one looks around at the Left’s response to Hamas’ actions in Gaza and its attacks on Israel, and its view of Islamist fascism in countries like Iran, Syria and among the ISIS forces seeking to take over Iraq, it is clearer than ever that the Left has one function — to support the enemies of democracy. Operating in the United States, Britain and France, the Western Left takes the opportunity to speak freely in the democracies in which they live, to openly support and express their solidarity with democracy’s most fervent enemies.

Some would question why this Left, perhaps numerically small in terms of the entire population of the Western nations, is so important. Aren’t they really marginal? The answer is that in the United States, as well as in Great Britain, the positions of the far left have now become mainstream, and influence those in political power. So it is with the Democratic Party.

On these questions, the answer of the left-liberal wing of the Democratic Party, and the even further far left-wing base, makes the Democrats as an entire group unable to take any steps that endanger their electoral chances, unless the party’s leaders continually kowtow to the leftist base. They fear that if they took tough interventionist positions that would offend them, it might lead the Left to opt out of voting in the coming November elections, as well as not rallying behind whomever the Democrats pick as their candidate for the 2016 presidential race. There are, of course, some exceptions. Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey is one Democrat who has continually called for tough measures against Iran, much to the consternation of others in his own party.

Obama, as the New York Times’ Peter Baker explains, has spent his entire time as president doing everything to end any military action by the U.S. in Iraq, not even leaving a residual force that could be used should it become necessary. And yet, the force of events has led him to intervene with air strikes against the ISIS (or ISIL) in the very country he thought he’d never have to use the American military in any capacity. Now he has to contend with the possibility that should ISIS manage to move to take over Irbil and move closer to Baghdad, he very well might have to consider extending the range of his current action.

The left-wing of the Democratic Party is not happy. Baker interviewed Phyllis Bennis, who works at the far-left Institute for Policy Studies (not, as Baker describes it,“a research organization for peace activists”). The NYT does not let its readers know that Bennis herself is a person who believes that Israel’s very creation was illegitimate, and who supports “the right of return” and has previously criticized moves taken by Israel against Hamas. As for the IPS, as one can find at Discover the Networks, during the Cold War it was a major group disseminating Soviet disinformation and working to push the United States to the far left.

It is not surprising to find that Bennis told Baker that Obama’s action “is a slippery slope if I ever saw one,” and that “whatever else we may have learned from the President’s ‘dumb war,’ it should be entirely clear that we cannot bomb Islamist extremists into submission or disappearance.” Bennis does not suggest what course she thinks the U.S. should take to deal with its dangerous enemies, perhaps because what worries her is not their goals, but America responding to the danger at all.

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Top Rated Comments   
Liberalism in America has collapsed into moral idiocy. The views of the left you are describing here are cowardice masquerading as stupidity.

ISIS is a threat to the United States. If they continue to conquer territory, they will win adherents to their cause. The notion that we can't fight them because it will simply create more enemies is absurd. Crushing ISIS militarily will marginalize them . Empowering them will draw people to their side out of both fear and the desire to be on the winning side.

The Palestinian leadership and even more the greater Islamic world has always based its policies on the eventual destruction of Israel. There is essentially no evidence that any accommodation the Arabs made with the Jewish state was meant to be anything but a temporary truce in a protracted war of annihilation; the elimination of the state if not also the liquidation of its people. The charter of Hamas actually calls for the elimination of all Jews.

Furthermore, it is clear that what would replace the state of Israel is a brutal society that would oppress women, eliminate gays and allow no religious freedom. In fact, this is what is happening in Iraq and what will happen in Afghanistan after we leave.

There is a powerful evil at work in the world. Liberals want to pretend that if we dleave them alone and pretend that they are not really evil but just responding to all of the bad things we have done to them, then they will become a force for good. The motivation for such a belief is cowardice. If we stick our heads in the sand, we won't have to fight. This position is absurd. It is COWARDICE MASQUERADING AS STUPIDITY. With respect to Israel, it is the view that if we let them kill the Jews, they will like us and leave us alone. That is MORAL IDIOCY.



14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
To the human mind today's "liberalism" is an Ebola of the mind. Even a troop of baboons should be above it and despise it in any of it's members. I think Savage defined it quite well some time ago and in just 5 words, or as Joe Biden would say, 4 words, "Liberalism is a mental disorder".
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Recipe for the destruction of America:
1. 1 part old white livin'-in-the 60's radicals. Preferrably working in media.
Newsrooms, Or university classrooms.
2. Sautée with rancid Alinski rules for radicals.
3. Add 1 cup Democratic Party political expediency & teaspoon
'Bush Derangement syndrome .
4. Combine in large kettle adding 'lazy, complacent
Voters until properly stupefied .
5. Stir in the 'special sauce'; one arrogant finely chopped clove of
Dark Kenyan community organizin' anti-colonialist smooth talkin' dumbo with
Untraceable history and unsavory anti-American comrades.
6. Bake for 6 months as Junior senator voting 'present'.
7. Serve with sides of foreign policy failures, huge national debt, tax hike,
Large portion Big govt programs and income distribution.
8. Follow with dessert: disgust, buyers remorse, racial unrest, and
The end of American exceptionalism.
Bon Apetite. Chumps !
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (42)
All Comments   (42)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Does Radosh write all his articles chock-full of lazy generalizations? Does PJ Media always accept such lazy hack-writing?
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Democratic Party died when it ousted Joe Lieberman for his hawkish views on
The dangers of Islamo-fascism. Before that event I suspected the Left disliked
America but afterwards I realized they had joined with the Enemy forces.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Friends of our country's enemies?
More precisely, they are among our countries enemies.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Same song different verse. Today it's lefties, tomorrow it will be libertarians, goldbugs, Federal Reserve loathers and non-Cold Warriors are all 'enemies' of the State.

Watch for it. They've been testing this 'Ron Paul is a KGB asset' crap for years via @StopAgitprop and other fanatically pro-NSA, pro-Big Government cranks. Eventually they'll start pushing it on the mainline networks. With Ron Radosh's approval.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
The history of the Holy Land is not as important as the fact that Israel is an actual nation, and has contributed mightily to modern civilization. It's neighbors are a depraved, murderous rabble that even leads the world in habitual child rape, among its other depredations.
Anyone with a sense of decency and proportion would stand by Israel.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've contended for a decade or two that contemporary western liberalism, particularly the American strain, is nothing more than good old fashioned misanthropy gussied up with noble sounding causes. Far from trying to improve their fellow man's lot they actually really hate them along with most other humankind and giving their particular gripe a gloss of faux concern wrapped in a grandiose "cause" buys them a license to hate in good conscience. One proof is that all of their ideas and solutions are always, ALWAYS in opposition to their countrymen at the least such as environmentalism or anti-human in the extreme such as unrestricted abortion.

You see, any joe-sixpack can hate a seventh century woman enslaving, gay killing, jew murdering, infidel slaying weird-beard. But it takes quite an exquisite sensitivity and discernment to hate the 1,001 very fine degrees of separation between oneself and his family, neighbors and acquaintances. You name it, anything at all about American life there are libs who hate it and want to shame others at the least or ban it if they can and to that end they've cooked up some "cause" to legitimize their animus. Where they live, went to school, what they drive, their clothes, their speech, their politics, their religion, their diets, their habits, how they make a living, their diversions and on and on and on is all fodder for our homegrown haters. And so hating one's own is the sweetest of all hates but most of all there's a lot of it because it's SAFE to be a hate-your-own-first if you're blessed to be born in the modern west.

Their fevered dreams notwithstanding, no citizen in a western, liberal democracy truly fears a midnight knock at his door or baying mobs of enraged neighbors, especially Americans. Indeed, one can make a lucrative career and earn many plaudits hating one's own first, most and always in western societies. Just look at the faculty of most major universities.

To that end they will join forces with any who hate us as much or more, if that's possible. That's why they always side with our enemies and always, ALWAYS oppose the great mass of their countrymen on any issue, great or small foreign or domestic. And so our contemporary liberals now find themselves standing with those who are the deadly antithesis of everything every liberal ever said he believed in. Why? Because they still think they're safe and in their characteristic condescension don't believe the "other" means what he says or can ever achieve his goals if he does. But he does mean what he says and he aims to achieve his goals to convert all the world, kill all who resist or die in the trying and takes the long, long view in getting there.

The irony and rough justice of it is that it's precisely all the obsessions and bugaboos of contemporary western liberalism the weird-beards cite as our gravest transgressions. I'd wager that taken together with liberals' condescension and dismissal of their convictions they are enraged all the more- at libs. But our libs think they have an ally in these merciless men or at the least they're far away in the places on the map marked "there be monsters" but those places grow closer thanks to our libs blindness and foolish appeasement even as those places spawn more monsters and it's why I like to needle libs, "Hey Lib, they'll cut your throat first."
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm in my 40s. Never in my life has the left been on America's side.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
ISIS is burying women and children alive. If you think they're freedom fighters then you are as evil as they are.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's time for the Republicans/Conservatives to begin calling the Democratic Party the New Fascist Party, it will not only drive them crazy - which is fun to watch, but it is also true.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
A common political phenomenon is people developing a political inclination based on a limited number of issues, sometimes only one, and then knee-jerk absorbing the entire platform without really thinking it through. I think the majority on the left aren't anti-American, but they aren't intellectually honest, even with themselves.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
If they're not anti-American, why do they tolerate the continued existence of Code Pink, which provided money to al'Qaeda forces fighting US troops?
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Is it possible that many leftists either do not know or do not believe that Code Pink provided money to AQ? Most Americans are not very well informed and what little information they receive comes through the MSM, which almost certainly has never reported on allegations that Code Pink provided material support to AQ. I suspect the first question the average Democratic voter would ask upon hearing such an allegation would be "What is Code Pink?" followed by "Why was this never been reported on NBC, CBS, ABC or in my local paper?".
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
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