Delusions of David Horowitz
October 30, 2002
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 émigrés
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
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-fashioned
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.