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Book Review, Jamie Glazov

Review of Jamie Glazov’s “United In Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terr


By Ryan Mauro—— Bio and Archives--April 15, 2009

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I have spent many lonely, ibuprofen-consuming nights trying to find an exit from the desert wilderness I call my search for a political identity. As an independent who votes strictly on national security and calls for a principle-based foreign policy that supports our oppressed allies overseas, liberalism is my ideological home. My favoring of policies that proactively support freedom and confront tyranny puts me squarely at odds with the non-interventionist roots of the right. Yet the left has largely been silent on the need to press for freedom abroad.

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It’s a struggle that Jamie Glazov, the son of Soviet dissidents, knows all too well. Glazov’s new book,  United In Hate: The Left’s Romance With Tyranny and Terror, is an attempt to provide a psychoanalysis of the segments of the left that remain silent when the values they trump are trashed overseas, sometimes even going so far as to embrace these enemies as common adversaries of the foreign policy they oppose. To say such segments exist is politically incorrect, but Glazov provides a plethora of examples in chronological order to prove this trend has become a fact of history and current political discourse.

Glazov offers numerous reasons as to why this segment of the left exists, helping me to take a step into the minds and emotion of my lost brethren. Glazov doesn’t offer proof this is how the minds of these leftists evolved, as it’s impossible to look into the brain of today’s tyrant coddlers (and if we could, we’d only see a miniature bra-burning, acid-tripping hippy screaming about America’s evils in the small gap where a brain should be). However, his observations are key to diagnosing the disorder that these so-called liberals who reflexively attack America and embrace our enemies possess.

The very essence of progressivism is that society needs to be fixed. As Glazov notes, the primary agent of change is viewed by these leftists as government. A flawed population and society won’t change their immoral ways without some level of force. Flowing from this indignation comes moral relativism, the philosophy I most detest and believe is responsible for more deaths than any other. From moral relativity, comes a non-judgmental attitude, seeking to not become an intellectual imperialist by asserting our flawed values are superior to others.

With this frame of mind, “the believer,” as Glazov describes them, comes to assume that there is a rational line of thought guiding all action, as detestable as that action may be. The terrorists, although they are fervent religious believers, are motivated by politics, a rational disgust from the suffering caused by U.S. policy. This is essentially a Marxist view, seeing inequality and class struggle as the catalysts for all conflict.

America is at the top of this world class, and is therefore the bourgeoisie dominating the world, causing these “believers” to feel guilt at the “victimization” their country’s success has caused. The end goal they seek, Glazov persuasively argues, is a utopia of peace and security, free of the competition, gross inequality, uncertainty, and injustices that define capitalism. It also explains why some scoff at the idea of promoting American values and democracy, viewing them as not worth exporting or not being so great as to be universally desired.

There is also an element of intellectual snobbery on the part of these “believers.” To criticize one’s own country is an act of objectivity and open-mindedness. And if you find some common ground with those we describe as irreconcilable enemies, then you’re really objective. It’s a refrain of academia I’ve personally recently witnessed. Any valid intellectual stance must find wrong with the conventional right, and right with the conventional wrong.

Perhaps the greatest example is the question Chris Matthews posed to Jane Fonda about her days as an activist against the Vietnam War, going so far as to have herself photographed alongside an enemy anti-aircraft gun .When asked if she thought the enemy side were the “good guys,” she replied, “[if someone] divided us in half at the Mississippi River. ... We would understand why people were fighting and why people from both sides of the Mississippi were trying to get rid of the invaders.”

Matthews’ reply was blatant praise. He said some Americans “can’t imagine slipping out of their American skin, their American soul, and becoming so objective, as you just were a minute ago.” There it is. Objective.

There are other elements to Glazov’s theses of why some Americans pathologically find sympathy with our enemies, but there are a few points of criticism I must make of my good friend Jamie Glazov’s provocative book. The first is that the confrontational style of writing he poses will not win many converts on the left. With lines like the Iraqi elections “enraged the Left” or “privately he [the leftist] approves of the carnage; indeed, that is what attracts him in the first place,” or “when the death cult is in full gear, the believer supports it most strongly” the book will turn off some of the leftist activists that may be eager to take up the calling of some of their favorite activists, like Gandhi or Mandela, or presidents, like Truman and JFK. An offended minority, however, may seek to dispel this generalization through demonstrable action.

The other area of disagreement I have is that I don’t believe this unfortunate trend can be identified as solely being on the left.

The right has its own “believers,” who have sought to portray tyrants as flawed but acceptable allies, dismiss the atrocities of Milosevic, or blame 9/11 on our moral and spiritual failings. There are those who have fought hard against a pro-active policy to help today’s Martin Luther Kings and Minutemen, sometimes arguing that the solution is non-action or accommodation. The Ron Pauls, Pat Buchanans, or the many who engage in their own form of intellectual snobbery by looking down upon Muslims and especially Arabs as near sub-human beings existing only to oppress and kill. If such people aren’t worth helping, then we can excuse ourselves from supporting those who fight the extremism we seek to combat in our own home.

The lip service given to those fighting for freedom is a bi-partisan sport. Governor Bill Richardson, once one of my favorite politicians, opposed the war in Iraq yet did not dismiss supporting democratic values as a strategic and moral imperative. In March 2005, as Syrian soldiers withdrew from Lebanon in the face of a popular revolution and successful Iraqi elections, Richardson had the political marbles to say “The president, in talking about freedom and democracy, is sparking a wave of very positive democratic sentiment that might help us override both Islamic fundamentalism that has formed in that region and also some of the hatred for our policy of invading Iraq.” He even continued to say that this policy “was working, whether it’s by design or accident.”

Years later when he ran for president, he changed his tone and began advocating a withdrawal of all American soldiers, combat or non-combat, over six months, one of the most extreme plans of all the Democratic candidates running for president in 2008. And he never made supporting democracy or human rights part of his proposed foreign policy.

Senator John McCain, in his first presidential campaign, called for a new policy of “rogue state rollback” with supporting democratic opposition forces at its core. In 2008, he did not even mentioned as an option with regard to the debate over Iran, where it could have been presented as a third alternative between the unpopular options of appeasement and war. No other Republican presidential candidate except Fred Thompson even mentioned this idea.

While I admire President Bush for liberating the people of Afghanistan and Iraq (no matter how egregiously) and bringing about a belated victory in Iraq, supporting freedom and democracy requires more than military support. In fact other methods can supplant the need for military action. President Bush spoke words that brought excitement to the oppressed people of the region, especially in Iran, yet failed to make comprehensive support for such forces a key component of his strategy at any point in his eight years.

To be sure, President Obama hasn’t even offered lip service to the cause, but the greater point still stands. The phenomena of those who use their freedom to embrace those who reject it exist on both sides of the political aisle, and Glazov does an excellent job documenting this trend on the left. The left needs an intellectual equivalent of the Anbar Awakening to remind them of the roots they hold dear and should fight for—not just at home, but abroad; and not just for themselves, but for everyone.

Ryan Mauro is the founder of WorldThreats.com, the national security analyst for the Christian Action Network, an analyst with Wikistrat and is a frequent contributor to Fox News. He can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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