Machlokes / Controversy

Jewish World Review Nov. 13, 2001 / 27 Mar-Cheshvan, 5762

J'accuse 2001

By Henry M. Holzer -- IN the late 1880s, Capt. Alfred Dreyfus, a French Jew, was railroaded to Devils Island by military and other anti-Semites as the scapegoat in a notorious espionage case. One of his champions was Emile Zola, the French writer. Zola's pamphlet, "J'accuse," attacking the government, loudly proclaimed what many had only whispered, and helped turn the tide in Dreyfus' favor.

Zola, however, was imprisoned. Happily, unlike 19th-century France, in America my own accusations against some of those who have contributed to today's terrorist threat are protected by the First Amendment.

I accuse former Sen. Frank Church, D-Idaho, of having been the first to demonize the U.S. intelligence community. I further accuse the House Democratic Party leadership of having installed Ron Dellums, D-Calif., as chairman of the Armed Services Committee -- he who swore to dismantle every one of our intelligence services.

I accuse President Jimmy Carter and his CIA director, Stansfield Turner, of having begun the gutting of that agency. I accuse Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., and his liberal congressional cronies of having opened our borders not only to many aliens who aspired to become good Americans but also to those who would corrupt and attack this great land.

I accuse those New York cops who botched the investigation of Rabbi Meir Kahane's murder by two terrorists, who possessed bomb-building plans and photos of targets -- including the Trade Center -- several years before the first attack.

I accuse George Bush the First, Colin Powell and Brent Scowcroft of having snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in the Iraqi desert. I accuse William Jefferson Clinton, and his weak-sister character, of encouraging terrorism by ignoring terrorist atrocities against the World Trade Center, the Khobar Towers, the Kenya and Tanzania embassies, and the USS Cole. I further accuse the Clintonistas of folly in Somalia, getting 18 American soldiers killed there, and turning tail in an ignominiously hasty exit.

I accuse the Saudi oligarchy of being double-dealing and cowardly, and no friend to the United States, let alone an ally upon whom we can count in the crunch.

I accuse the Egyptian leadership of having signed the peace accords with Israel, while having their fingers crossed behind their backs.

I accuse Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Iran, Syria, Yemen and North Korea of being terrorist states, no matter that some are seen as now being needed for our so-called coalition. I accuse the peaceniks, at best, as being out of touch with reality, and, at worse, of being the same kind of America-haters that we suffered during the Vietnam War.

I accuse the environmentalists of exalting sometimes-legitimate concern for our natural world over our real-world problem of dependence upon foreign energy sources. I accuse liberals generally, and congressional liberals in particular, of a pathological antipathy to even legitimate military preparedness and appropriately self-defensive intelligence activities.

I accuse those Muslim leaders in America who have maintained an unconscionable silence in the face of their co-religionists' mass murder of our countrymen and desecration of our national symbols.

I accuse bleeding hearts worldwide of trying to turn a military campaign into a walk-in-the-park, by their insistence that in a war there be no collateral damage -- conveniently forgetting Pearl Harbor, Bataan, the Chosin Reservoir and Hue -- let alone what the allies were forced to do at Hiroshima and Dresden.

I accuse the left-wing media of undermining our military efforts by constantly reinforcing the "no collateral damage" theme, and wringing their hands when American aircraft or missiles inadvertently hit civilians.

I accuse the turf-protecting intelligence agencies that have refused to share information with their colleagues, even though all are supposed to be on the same side.

I close with perhaps the worst accusation of all, because it explains why all the others are possible. I accuse philosophers through the ages of neither understanding nor teaching a morality of rational self-interest, whose political corollary is freedom and capitalism. Until that system of thought becomes the norm, until it is absorbed at least by America's intellectual leaders, we can expect to continue down the road we now travel. A road, where it is possible -- and justified -- to say "J'accuse."

Henry M. Holzer is professor-emeritus at Brooklyn Law School and a 2000 First Amendment Fellow of the National Press Club of Washington. Comment by clicking here.


© 2001, Henry M. Holzer<