Stalinism is Alive and Well and Living in the United States

by Lorna Salzman

American Liberals and the Left: The New Face of Treason...

The recent debate over the Danish cartoons (which nearly all American publications refused to print), and the deplorably widespread refusal of "liberals" and members of the US Green Party and the left in general to tolerate statements critical of Islamism and Muslim oppression of women, indicate a serious weakening of America's dedication to freedom of expression.

Worse, the alignment of many American leftists and Jews against Israel, in a blind defense of Palestinians, combined with an amazing acceptance of suicide bombings, radical Islamic anti-semitism, violence and authoritarianism, is actually repeating the post=-World War II situation, where western leftists and communist sympathizers ignored the crimes of Stalin and the totalitarianism of the Soviet Union out of hatred for the faults of the United States.

Now, the American left accuses its government of being the biggest criminal in the world and averts its gaze away from the dictators and murderous killers in Sudan, Congo, Rwanda, Serbia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt and Syria who kill literally millions of their own people with impunity, either in religious and ethnic wars or in their own communities and families in a blind acceptance of what they believe is ordered by the Koran and their prophet Muhammad.

Press reports about the possible expulsion by the Netherlands of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somalian-born critic of Islamic mistreatment of women and a former Dutch parliamentarian, have met with little comment much less disapproval in this country. Similarly, a statement against the "totalitarianism" of Islam, signed by twelve prominent writers and intellectuals (including Salman Rushdie) which was published in a French weekly in March, was completely ignored in the United States. And reportedly, that purported bastion of liberalism, The Nation, attacked Hirsi Ali as a "reactionary" who has, in her attacks on Islamism, has not sufficiently attacked the United States for its crimes.

More regrettably, American liberals and leftists - who are unremitting in their attacks on the American government and have reproached it for its association with repressive regimes such as Saudi Arabia -continue to withhold any criticism of Islamic countries, including the Palestinian West Bank and even secular Turkey, where women and teen-age females continue to be murdered by fathers, husbands and brothers for supposedly tainting the family honor. These crimes are also committed routinely among the Islamic immigrant communities in Germany, Netherlands, France and the UK.

Hirsi Ali will no doubt be criticized for accepting a job with the conservative American Enterprise Institute. But she had no alternative; just as no centrist or liberal publication will publish anything critical of Islam or about the oppression of women in the Muslim world, no liberal or leftist organization, much less university, will recruit a critic of Islamism. Those like Ali and feminist Phyllis Chesler, who have personally witnessed such oppression and dared to speak out, have been banished to conservative groups, publications and on=line media, and attacked as "racist" and "neo-cons" (as indeed I have been in the US Green Party).

Meanwhile, fanatic Muslims hold public rallies vilifying Israel and disseminating their hatred of Jews and other infidels, practicing their American-defended right of free speech...but then rioting and killing when anyone dares to criticize Islamist violence and repression. No liberal publication has take notice of, much less written about, the incessant verbal atrocities committed by Islamists in this country; instead, they accuse those who dare to take notice, such as Hirsi Ali, of being "insensitive" and "racist". Stalinism lives, indeed.

While right-wing individuals and publications are accused of trying to suppress freedom in academia, the left takes the prize. Staff at Harvard tried to prevent Israeli science professors from attending a conference there a year ago, and in the UK an association of teachers of higher education are trying to enact a similar ban. Who is restricting freedom here? The left, not the Right.

Hirsi Ali commented on this in her book, "The Caged Virgin", where she said that her hopes of finding liberals and left/secularists to support her cause have been in vain, and likened their behavior to that of American leftist "fellow travellers" who studiously ignored Stalin's crimes and the totalitarianism of the Soviet Union. Her cause, and her case, raise serious concerns and underscore the tenuousness of the Bill of Rights and our civil liberties.

So who is minding the store? Whom can we rely on to speak and act for our basic freedoms? Who will have the courage and integrity to defend principles instead of ideology and fanaticism? Who will defend our right to dissent, criticize and inquire? Thanks to the American and western left, it seems that we have nowhere to turn except to the neo-conservatives and when we do so, we are cursed for being racist and reactionary.

We are living in threatening times, on one side threats emanating from the promised jihadic violence of Islamists against all infidels, and on the other from the subversion within our own society: those who explicitly and implicitly accept the SAME modes of behavior and objectives as those who want to exterminate western civilization and bring it under a pan-Islamic caliphate not seen since pre-medieval times. Many American leftists will deny this, but their actions speak otherwise. American liberals and the left have capitulated to the most rabid regressive intolerant and authoritarian forces extant. By failing to excoriate Islamist violence and intolerance, they are complicit in Islamist terrorism. They are, in effect, no different from the blind pro-Soviet left of the 1940s and 1950s, nor from the "good Germans" who meekly accepted Nazism as long as it protected them, and damn their friends and neighbors.

The Jewish slogan of "Never Again!" has not changed things. AGAIN, we are facing a global onslaught of hate, violence and repression and the "good Germans" and leftist Fellow Travellers are saying not one word. What is at stake is not just Israel, which many deluded leftists think is the root of anti-Americanism and Islamist violence, but the very freedoms for which our founders fought and died. The values of the American Revolution are in mortal danger of being overturned not by foreign enemies but from within our own country, as the American liberals and left, deploring the Patriot Act, do their utmost to undermine everything that is most admirable about our country. Indeed, this is the new definition of Treason.

© 2002 Lorna Salzman. All rights reserved. Material may be quoted with permission.