By Vasko KohlmayerAmerican Thinker | Friday, March 13, 2009
United in Hate: The Left's Romance with Tyranny and Terror (WND Books, 2009), 239 pages.
Ever since 9/11, patriotic Americans of all stripes watched in bewilderment as the political Left defended, rationalized and praised the very people and ideology responsible for the atrocities of that fateful day.
Not long after the attacks, the prominent novelist and author Norman Mailer described the hijackers as "brilliant." Director Oliver Stone compared 9/11 to the French and Russian revolutions. "America's chickens are coming home to roost," thundered Jeremiah Wright, the spiritual father of our current president. Tony Campolo, one of President Clinton's spiritual advisors, thought that the attacks were a legitimate response to the Crusades. Robert Paul Churchill, a professor of philosophy at George Washington University, said:
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.
It soon became obvious that while regular Americans were horrified by the tragedy, 9/11 had an electrifying effect for those on the Left. Commenting on their demeanor in the days and weeks after those terrible events, Jamie Glazov writes in his new book United in Hate: "Almost overnight, these individuals underwent a miraculous transformation. A bright sparkle could once again be detected in their eyes, as their souls came out of a deep slumber."
Leftist office holders had to exercise greater self-control and verbal restraint than their unelected counterparts. Understandably so. But even though they had to act in an ostensibly more restrained manner, they have ultimately proven to be the Islamists' most valuable allies. They earned this distinction by mounting a campaign from within our government to undermine this country's ability to act against those bent on our destruction. Especially egregious was their behavior in the US Congress where the Democrats - the party that has been taken over by leftists - acted with such zeal that they at times forgot to mask their true sympathies. Their outrageous acts were many. Congressional Democrats, for instance, declared America's defeat in Iraq, sought to extend constitutional rights to terrorists, outed and cancelled crucial-intelligence gathering programs, publicly ridiculed America's commanders, and consistently impugned our military.
The degree of their culpability becomes obvious when we ask ourselves this question: If the terrorists were represented by a political party in America, how would their program substantially differ from that of present-day Democrats? Is it possible to think of more terrorist-friendly policies than those the Democrats have already come up with? President Obama's executive order to shut down the prison at Guantanamo Bay and close down interrogation centers across the globe are only the latest in the Left's drive to tip the scales in the Islamists' favor. We should never forget that it was in these facilities that we gained actionable intelligence that helped to prevent terrorist attacks on America and break up murderous schemes that were even more ambitious than that of 9/11. Today we are systematically and voluntarily depriving ourselves of this life-saving capability thus giving the terrorists the space to plan and hatch their homicidal plots.
The Left's conduct has come as a shock to many. Many thoughtful commentators have sought to come to grips with it, but satisfactory and coherent explanations were few. Not surprisingly, given the ostensibly contradictory nature of the behavior in question. Why, for example, would those on the Left praise and defend those whose ideology is so completely at odds with everything they claim to stand for? As most people have long realized, Islamists are misogynistic homophobes who abhor any form of dissent, individual freedom or free expression. To put it another way, Islamists' program is anathema to the Left's professed agenda. Why, then, are leftists so supportive and protective of these genocidal fanatics given that they would be the first ones to be eliminated under Islamist rule?
What, in short, are the motives that lead to such apparently inconsistent behavior? Confronted with this question, many observers have thrown up their hands in frustration concluding that leftists are simply irrational or even mentally ill. But ascribing the leftist state of mind to mental sickness or some unexplainable irrationality will not do, for one senses that there indeed is a method to their seeming madness. Jamie Glazov has brought it to light with chilling clarity in his book titled United in Hate: The Left's Romance with Tyranny and Terror.
As Glazov notes at the outset, leftists' dalliance with Islamists is not the first time they have embraced a murderous ideology and its brutal executioners. On the contrary, this is what they have always done. Glazov documents this with painstaking thoroughness and to a great effect. A few examples will suffice as an illustration. Joseph E. Davies who served as the American ambassador to the Soviet Union before the Second World War was a life-long admirer of Joseph Stalin, one of the most infamous mass murderers in all of history. This is how Davies described his idol: "[Stalin's] brown eye is exceedingly wise and gentle. A child would sidle up to him." In one of his final memos from Moscow to Washington, Davies wrote, "Communism holds no serious threat to the United States. Friendly relations in the future may be of great general value."
Father Daniel Berrigan claimed that Hanoi's Prime Minister Pham Van Dong, a man who was involved in numerous purges and massacres, was a person "in whom complexity dwells, in whom daily issues of life and death resound; a face of great intelligence, and yet also of great reserves of compassion... he had dared to be a humanist in an inhuman time."
Leo Huberman and Paul Sweezy, two leftist authors and scholars, had this to say about Fidel Castro after visiting with him in Havana in the 1960s:
Fidel is a passionate humanitarian, not in the fraudulent sense that he loves all humanity but in the meaningful sense that he feels compassion for human suffering, hates injustice because it causes unnecessary suffering, and is totally committed to building in Cuba a society in which the poor and the unprivileged shall be able to hold up their heads and enjoy a fair share of the good things of life.
This raises the question of what psychological impulses give rise to such perverted worship of mass murderers. It is when shedding light on the underlying mental and emotional pathologies that United in Hate is at its best, for Glazov produces psychological analysis of the highest order. Although we cannot reiterate all his insights here, we can at least touch briefly on some of the main points.
The psychological progression that culminates in the blind glorification of tyrants and the inhuman regimes over which they preside starts with the estrangement of the worshiper from his own environment. As Glazov puts it, "The believer's totalitarian journey begins with an acute sense of alienation form his own society - an alienation to which he is, himself, completely blind."
This alienation occurs because the "believer" fails to rise to the challenges of secular modernist culture. The leftist's ultimate problem is thus the inability to find meaning in life. Seeking misguidedly to fill this spiritual void with material things, which are so readily attainable under capitalism, only further exacerbates his predicament. Desperate to make sense of his condition, he comes to blame - through a sequence of mistaken mental steps - his own society for the painful quandary in which he finds himself:
Convinced that it is incumbent upon society, and not him, to imbue his life with purpose, the believer becomes indignant; he scapegoats his society - and ends up despising and rejecting it.
It is at this point in his personal journey that totalitarian regimes and ideologies begin to seem so appealing. To start with, they are all natural enemies of the United States, the very society the leftist abhors. Secondly, they offer a putative alternative to the system he finds so unfulfilling. Thirdly and most chillingly, their invariably murderous nature appeals to the leftist's lust for death. Arising from an amalgam of psychological dysfunctions, this craving is enhanced by the misguided assumption that the "ground" must be cleared,
in order to build the perfect world. And upon that ground stand flawed human beings who must be perfected or destroyed. As a result, human salvation on earth, orchestrated by human beings alone, necessarily requires the damnation of those who do not want to be saved.
As Glazov extensively documents and points out, leftists' "adulation always reached its highest level at exactly the time when the regimes reached their apex of genocide and terror." In other words, the leftist's enthusiasm for totalitarian regimes is positively correlated with its brutality. Once a regime ceases to be brutal, it holds little appeal.
Although Glazov's starting objective is to explain the Left's seemingly contradictory enthusiasm for radical Islam his work ultimately accomplishes far more - it uncovers the elemental pathological processes that actuate the leftist psyche. To put it another way, it answers the question that has for so long baffled so many: Why do people become leftists?
For those who do not follow politics too closely, this book would make a good introduction to the challenges before us. To begin with, they would come to understand that the Left does not stand for freedom, compassion, and love. The impression that it does is a result of the most egregious deception foisted on public consciousness in modern times, mostly by the left-controlled media and academia. The Left is in its very nature vicious, insidious and bloodthirsty and if given the opportunity it would wreck a murderous havoc across this land.
Lest you may think that the above is an exaggeration consider more than forty million babies aborted with such nonchalance in the last four decades. Many of them were killed by a technique called partial birth abortion, a brutal procedure during which the skull of a viable baby is crushed after the body has already been birthed. Each of us would do well to survey in our mind's eye the mountains of little corpses, far more than were left behind in Hitler's wake. Since abortion is one of the Left's most important issues, think of it as a sneak preview of the things they would do if given full chance.
A tour de force of psychological analysis, United in Hate will satisfy everyone who has ever asked himself why leftists speak and act the way they do. But even though the book stands as a searing indictment of the Left's perfidy, its tone is not angry. Glazov does not seek to vilify or humiliate, but earnestly seeks after truth and his pursuit yields eye-opening results. He possesses the wisdom of a mature writer who does not get stumped or sidetracked by the treachery of those he tries to understand.
No doubt much of Glazov's poise and insight derive from his personal experiences. Born in the Soviet Union to parents who were dissidents, he had an opportunity to observe first-hand the tragic impact of the leftist dogma on the psyches of affected individuals. And among them must have been some he loved. In the acknowledgments section, Glazov speaks about his grandfather who died defending the totalitarian Soviet Union from the Nazi aggressors. It is a heart-rending, thought-provoking personal story that sets the right tone for this sobering work.
The noted author Steve Emerson wrote this about United in Hate: "In years to come, this book will become a classic, not just for conservatives but for all Americans interested in the truth and how to combat a perfidious alliance." Emerson is not the only distinguished thinker who has good things to say about this skillfully executed work. The list of endorsers offering their praise reads almost like "Who is Who" in the American intellectual pantheon.
A must-read for everyone interested in the political and cultural wars of our time, United in Hate marks the arrival of Jamie Glazov as one of the most perceptive observers of the contemporary scene.