FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

So Much for Islamo-Fascism Awareness

In America awareness never sleeps and has been on particularly active duty this October, designated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month (proclamation of President George Bush); as Domestic Violence Awareness Month (proclamation of President George Bush); as Energy Awareness Month (proclamation of President George Bush and the Environmental Protection Agency); and–we speak here specifically of October 22-29 — Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week (proclamation of David Horowitz, a fat and hairy ex-Trot living in Los Angeles).

Cautionary interpolation: Horowitz was certainly fat last time I clapped eyes on him and he sports a beard which waxes and wanes in outreach depending on which Google image you look at. And yes, Christopher Hitchens is also a fat and hairy ex-Trot, is also a known associate of the man Horowitz, and also thunders against Islamo-Fascism. Nonetheless we speak here of Horowitz.

When I first saw Horowitz he was neither fat nor hairy nor apparently aware of Islamo-Fascism. This was in the late 1960s in London and he was working for the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, studying at the feet of Isaac Deutscher and Ralph Miliband. About a decade later I saw him again, this time in Washington DC presiding over a well-publicized “Second Thoughts” conference, announcing his departure from the Left. He spoke harshly of his parents’ decision to make him watch uplifting features about the Soviet Union and forbade any Doris Day movies, a common blunder in child-brain-washing techniques among the comrades at that time.

Since then, like other Trotskyist vets, such as the above-mentioned Hitchens, Horowitz has thrown his energies into crusading on behalf of the American right, fuelled in his efforts by copious annual disbursements from the richer denizens of that well populated sector. Richard Mellon Scaife–apex demon in the “vast right-wing conspiracy” identified by Hillary Clinton amid the Lewinsky scandal–has poured millions into Horowitz’s organizations, as have other well-heeled conservative foundations. Every now and again Horowitz will raise some spectacularly nutty alarum, like the Los Angeles Times being taken over by pinkoes, and I always assume that Horowitz must be filling out his annual grant applications, and reminding Scaife that others may snooze and idle, but he, Horowitz, is unceasing in his vigilance against sedition.

In Horowitz’s bestiary, sedition comes in all the traditional forms, from commies on campus to commies in the press and he’s churned out endless bulletins charting their insidious reach. Some of his specific accusations have no doubt been useful to fearful school administrations eager to harry and expel the few radical teachers able to find employment in these bleak times.

But the problem for Horowitz is one of supply. The left in America is really in very poor shape: near zero Commies, and really only a sprinkling of radical black profs, militant Lesbians and kindred antinomians to beat up on. The notion of pinkoes in the media is laughable to all except the fearful imaginations of millionaires like Scaife. Hence the spotlight on Islamo-Fascism, a gloriously vague term whose origin is the topic of a tussle between Malise Ruthven, who used the term in 1980 to describe all authoritarian Islamic governments, and Stephen Schwartz, yet another fat, bearded former Trotskyist who says he was the first to use it in its specific application in 2000, eventually receiving a tap on the shoulder for so doing from Christopher Hitchens and John Sullivan. Arise, Sir Stephen!

Islamo-Fascism Awareness week has been featuring Horowitz and big-name ranters of the right like Anne Coulter and Fox’s Sean Hannity, plus former US Senator Rick Santorum, and noted Islamophobe Daniel Pipes. They descended on various college campuses to be received by Christian-Fascists and the curious while they hurled imprecations at the left for being soft on sons of the Prophet stoning women to death for adultery.

The reaction of the left has been mixed. In some ways it always takes Horowitz’s antics far too seriously, though the latter’s effect on timid college administrations cannot be entirely gainsaid. On the other hand, Awareness week is having a galvanizing effect. Coalitions have formed to combat Horowitz’s version of Awareness with superior Progressive Awareness about what is good or not so good about Islam. Since Santorum and others have ripe records of intolerance for women, the air is usefully thick with shouts of “hypocrite”. Horowitz is probably the best organizer the left has these days. He’s an Energizer, apt to the beseechings of Energy Awareness Week, though the target in that instance was probably that other insidious element in the American way of life, the incandescent light bulb.

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

Alexander Cockburn’s Guillotined! and A Colossal Wreck are available from CounterPunch.

December 12, 2018
Arshad Khan
War, Anniversaries and Lessons Never Learned
Paul Street
Blacking Out the Yellow Vests on Cable News: Corporate Media Doing its Job
Kenneth Surin
The Brexit Shambles Rambles On
David Schultz
Stacking the Deck Against Democracy in Wisconsin
Steve Early
The Housing Affordability Crisis and What Millennials Can do About It
George Ochenski
Collaboration Failure: Trump Trashes Sage Grouse Protections
Rob Seimetz
Bringing a Life Into a Dying World: A Letter From a Father to His Unborn Son
Michael Howard
PETA and the ‘S’-Word
John Kendall Hawkins
Good Panopt, Bad Panopt: Does It Make A Difference?
Kim C. Domenico
Redeeming Utopia: a Meditation On An Essay by Ursula LeGuin
Binoy Kampmark
Exhuming Franco: Spain’s Immemorial Divisions
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
Democratizing Money
Laura Finley
Congress Must Reauthorize VAWA
December 11, 2018
Eric Draitser
AFRICOM: A Neocolonial Occupation Force?
Sheldon Richman
War Over Ukraine?
Louis Proyect
Why World War II, Not the New Deal, Ended the Great Depression
Howard Lisnoff
Police Violence and Mass Policing in the U.S.
Mark Ashwill
A “Patriotic” Education Study Abroad Program in Viet Nam: God Bless America, Right or Wrong!
Laura Flanders
HUD Official to Move into Public Housing?
Nino Pagliccia
Resistance is Not Terrorism
Matthew Johnson
See No Evil, See No Good: The Truth Is Not Black and White
Maria Paez Victor
How Reuters Slandered Venezuela’s Social Benefits Card
December 10, 2018
Jacques R. Pauwels
Foreign Interventions in Revolutionary Russia
Richard Klin
The Disasters of War
Katie Fite
Rebranding Bundy
Gary Olson
A Few Thoughts on Politics and Personal Identity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit Britain’s Crisis of Self-Confidence Will Only End in Tears and Rising Nationalism
Andrew Moss
Undocumented Citizen
Dean Baker
Trump and China: Going With Patent Holders Against Workers
Lawrence Wittner
Reviving the Nuclear Disarmament Movement: a Practical Proposal
Dan Siegel
Thoughts on the 2018 Elections and Beyond
Thomas Knapp
Election 2020: I Can Smell the Dumpster Fires Already
Weekend Edition
December 07, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Steve Hendricks
What If We Just Buy Off Big Fossil Fuel? A Novel Plan to Mitigate the Climate Calamity
Jeffrey St. Clair
Cancer as Weapon: Poppy Bush’s Radioactive War on Iraq
Paul Street
The McCain and Bush Death Tours: Establishment Rituals in How to be a Proper Ruler
Jason Hirthler
Laws of the Jungle: The Free Market and the Continuity of Change
Ajamu Baraka
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70: Time to De-Colonize Human Rights!
Andrew Levine
Thoughts on Strategy for a Left Opposition
Jennifer Matsui
Dead of Night Redux: A Zombie Rises, A Spook Falls
Rob Urie
Degrowth: Toward a Green Revolution
Binoy Kampmark
The Bomb that Did Not Detonate: Julian Assange, Manafort and The Guardian
Robert Hunziker
The Deathly Insect Dilemma
Robert Fisk
Spare Me the American Tears for the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi
Joseph Natoli
Tribal Justice
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail