Behold, David Horowitz, former Marxist gone neoconservative in his autumn years. In the world Horowitz occupies all of the clocks have lurched backward to a more paranoid and suspicious time, let us say somewhere mid-stride of the McCarthy inquisition. In the world Horowitz inhabits there are communists under beds and Grand Conspiracies on the tapis. For instance, last weekend’s march in Washington against the proposed madness of war is simply and conclusively explained away by Horowitz as “a regrouping of the Communist left, the same left that supported Stalin and Mao and Ho.” Granted, in the 60s — an era David is apparently unable to escape — there was much talk of Mao and Ho, yet very little of Stalin beyond the blather of discredited old school Communists which Horowitz inexplicably adds to his toxic brew of condemnation. Nonetheless, any serious talk of Ho and Mao was generally limited to strict Marxist ideologues, of which Mr. Horowitz was one (he remains a strident ideologue, though no longer Marxist). Most folks in opposition to the Vietnam war didn’t buy into Mao, Ho, Che, or Stalin. Of course, as Horowitz likely remembers it, anybody opposed to the Vietnam war was marching around spewing irrelevancies from Mao’s Little Red Book — a text, it must be remembered, essentially introduced by the Black Panthers as a way to make a quick buck. No doubt David, back in the day, helped the BP sell more than a few copies.
The Horowitz glass is distorted, blackened. When he ganders therein, David observes Ramsey Clark lending a helping hand to Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein. It does not matter, of course, that Clark has denounced Saddam Hussein; what irks David is the fact Clark has called the sanctions against Iraq immoral and barbaric, not the stuff of a civilized people. Or maybe Horowitz is angered by Clark’s insistence that Bush Senior is a war criminal for bombing helpless Iraqi innocents into pre-industrial hellishness over a decade ago. David, in his devious way, makes no mention of these things, preferring instead stark generalities. David Horowitz cannot be bothered with particulars or fair play. There is no time, or luxury, because the Clarks of the world dream of a “Communist revolution in America,” the “immediate agenda” of which is to “force America’s defeat in the war with terror we are now in.” Clark and the “100,000 Communists” in Washington last weekend “are not pacifists and they are not peaceniks,” they are “a movement of by and for America’s enemies within.” You, who are now reading this, and who may disagree with Bush’s cataclysmic plans for Iraq — you are seditious fellow travelers on the move with Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.
David Horowitz has also revealed a fondness for historical revisionism, or possibly historical omission. “The Communist left,” explains neocon guru David, “also opposed ‘American militarism’ in the 1930s to prevent the West from stopping Hitler.” Never mind that well before the US even pondered going to war with Germany (which, prior to Pearl Harbor, most Americans did not support) — back when Henry Ford was accepting awards from the Nazis and happy as a clam to have slave laborers toiling in his German factories — more than a few American communists and plain folk of principle were sailing off for Spain to fight the Franco version of fascism. Moreover, David may wish to tell us about the Nazi ?migr?s who assumed prominent positions in the Republican Party after the war. I wonder, does the name Reinhard Gehlen ring a bell with David Horowitz? Or possibly Laszlo Pasztor, a convicted Nazi war collaborator, who served as adviser to Republican Paul Weyrich? David should exercise more caution when he decides to become a history teacher.
Here’s another historical doozie from Horowitz: “The success of the anti-Vietnam left resulted in the deaths of two and a half million people in Indo-China who were slaughtered by the Marxists after the ‘peace movement’ forced America’s withdrawal.” No doubt Horowitz read the flawed study authored by Jacqueline Desbarats and Karl Jackson, which attempted to demonstrate how a major bloodbath went down in South Vietnam following the Communist victory of 1975. This myth was pretty much put to rest by Gareth Porter and James Roberts in “Creating a Bloodbath by Statistical Manipulation.” At any rate, if David is sincerely interested in learning about murder in Southeast Asia, he may begin with Zbigniew Brzezinski. “I encouraged the Chinese to support Pol Pot. I encouraged the Thai to help the [Khmer Rouge],” Brzezinski has proudly admitted. In November 1980, Ray Cline, former Deputy Director of the CIA, visited a Khmer Rouge enclave inside Cambodia in his capacity as senior foreign-policy adviser to President-elect Ronald Reagan. Good old Reagan, undoubtedly a hero for Horowitz and like-minded far right demagogues, made sure Pol Pot and his genocidal and obsequious followers received $85 million from 1980 to 1986. All of this was revealed years later in correspondence between congressional lawyer Jonathan Winer, then counsel to Sen. John Kerry of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation. Horowitz, to his discredit, is careless with the facts — but then, as a propagandist, he is not in the business of truth or accuracy. David is after the “internal threat,” those who would “weaken America’s defenses from within,” which is to say anybody who disagrees with him or US foreign policy, anybody who may elect to exercise his or her constitutional right to petition the government.
David Horowitz believes the “size of [the Washington] demonstrations is a reflection of the growth of a treacherous anti-American radicalism in this country that has no Communist Party per se, but is just as dedicated to America’s destruction… [America is] the Great Satan and we deserve to be attacked. This is the real message of the so-called peace movement, often covertly and disingenuously expressed… Their agenda is to weaken America’s defenses from within. The question is: will we let them?” If anybody is disingenuous here, it is Horowitz. As a former antiwar leftist he knows damn well the vast majority of the people who oppose Bush’s impending war do not want to destroy America — or are they dedicated to aiding and abetting al-Qaeda — but rather they are sincerely interested in preventing an unnecessary and potentially disastrous war. Because David Horowitz wanted to destroy his country when he was a Marxist some thirty odd years ago does not mean all progressives desire to do the same now. Chances are very few of them are Marxists or conniving black flag anarchists bent on throwing bombs, as Horowitz would likely have it. Chances are, as well, they are unanimous in their disapproval and loathing of the mass murder perpetuated on September 11. Horowitz simply reveals his cynical, paranoid, and — yes, unfortunately — misanthropic nature by churning out such sweeping and absurd comments about the good intentions of people he knows absolutely nothing about. Like a many former Marxists gone to neocon seed, he is a master at shuffling people off into neat red pencil categories of disapprobation.
Finally, Horowitz is with John Ashcroft, the son of a preacher who agrees wholeheartedly about the “internal threat” (i.e., those with the temerity to dissent insane and destructive policies) and a man bestowed with the power to do something about it. “The hatred of John Ashcroft reflects the demonstrators’ hatred for the American government and for the ordinary Americans whom our government protects,” opines David. How, exactly, this protection will arrive in the guise of the Patriot Act — with its draconian provisions for internet snooping, roving wiretaps, domestic detours around FISA limitations, and “sneak-and-peek” warrants — is not explained. Obviously, Horowitz agrees with Ashcroft and Bush that good old fashion government, as envisioned by the founders of this nation, is no longer relevant, desirable, or applicable. If Thomas Jefferson were around today, no doubt he would have something to say about Bush’s wholesale trashing of governmental checks and balances, the creation of a secret and unanswerable executive branch, throwing habeas corpus out the window, snooping on the reading habits of library patrons, holding American citizens incommunicado, and eventual military tribunals for the same conducted in secret star chambers. But then, I imagine, Horowitz would characterize Jefferson as an America-hating communist as well, mostly because he sincerely believed in the “eternal and unremitting force of the habeas corpus laws, and trials by jury,” which Ashcroft and his apologist Horowitz, in their eminent arrogance and contempt for those who disagree with them, believe is no longer necessary.
KURT NIMMO is a photographer and multimedia developer in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He can be reached at: email@example.com