Jewish World Review March 24, 2003 / 20 Adar II 5763
The Second Front
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Before the fighting started, one of the fears expressed by critics of the war to liberate Iraq was the prospect of terrorist attacks that al-Qaeda and other jihadist organizations might launch against Americans at home and abroad. A war on Iraq would distract us from the war on terror. The Democratic Party, which did not want to go to war against Iraq in 1991 or 2003, made this its principal point of criticism of Administration policy. It was the pre-war theme of Democrats like Joe Biden, ranking member on the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Tom Daschle, Senate Minority Leader, Ted Kennedy and ex-President Bill Clinton.
(There have been honorable and worthy exceptions like Senator Joe Lieberman and Representative Dick Gephardt. But the majority of elected Democrats, and the party itself have steadfastly sounded this theme.)
Indeed, on the eve of the war, a call was issued in the name of the (probably dead) Osama bin Laden to launch such an assault on Americans as a "second front" to support the regime of Saddam Hussein.
But the war came and the terror did not. In the days leading up to the conflict, the American-led anti-terror coalition was even able to apprehend the number three Al-Qaeda leader and chief of its operations. It is a remarkable fact, often overlooked by critics that whatever may have happened to Osama bin Laden there have been no successful terror attacks by al-Qaeda on Americans at home since 9/11. This is the strongest tribute possible to the aggressive strategy of the Bush Administration, which has kept the terrorist enemy off balance and in disarray, and which is built on the perception that the war against terror and the war against regimes that harbor terrorists are one and the same.
But there is another front in the war against America, which has not been so quiet. This is the war orchestrated by the anti-American left at home and abroad. While U.S. and British troops risk their lives to conduct a war of liberation remarkable in its effort to prevent civilian casualties on the other side, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators blocked traffic on American streets and tied up police endangering civilian lives on our own. In New York, Washington, San Francisco, Los Angeles and cities across the country, activists are breaking the law in a manner calculated to cause economic disruption and urban chaos. In accord with the plans of the organizers, thousands of police who are an integral element of Homeland Security defense have been tied up attempting to prevent the activists from escalating their war at home to a level of serious violence.
This violence is coming. Molotov cocktails were confiscated in San Francisco, where an activist also took his own life in a fall from the Golden Gate Bridge. Thousands of law-breaking activists have been arrested. Abroad, where police are not so solicitous of rioters, several activists were killed.
It would be unwise not to take the threat posed by this organized attack on American policy and American security seriously. The misnamed "anti-war" movement is led and organized by leftist vanguards who proclaim their solidarity with terrorist states, including North Korea and Cuba, and terrorist organizations in the Middle East. One banner raised by activists in San Francisco read: "We Support Our Troops When They Shoot Their Officers."
A photo of this banner is proudly portrayed on a leftist website that has played a key role in organizing the demonstrations (and is funded in part by a foundation headed by PBS commentator Bill Moyers) at: http://sf.indymedia.org/uploads/1_shoot_officers.jpg
It took the anti-Vietnam movement five years to reach the levels of these anti-American demonstrations and another two to initiate real violence. When that line was crossed, there were more than a thousand domestic bombings, and at least one terrorist cult was launched. The current movement is potentially far more dangerous. Unlike its anti-Vietnam predecessor, it is allied with terrorist solidarity groups and radical Muslim organizations active on college campuses. This increases the likelihood that its violent tendencies will intensify as the war against terror abroad continues. The prospect that it will develop its own terrorist offshoots is real.
Unlike the anti-Vietnam efforts, the current movement is driven almost entirely by hate for American institutions policies and purposes ("Washington Is The Axis Of Evil," "America Is The Greatest Terrorist State," "No Blood For Oil"). It is not inspired by any hope - however illusory - in a utopian future in Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Socialism has been dead as a serious goal for the most of the left for decades. In its core, the left has always been a nihilistic and reactionary revolt against the modern world (capitalism, individualism, liberty), which is why it can ally itself so easily now with Islamo-fascists.
This means that the present leftist revival will not be deterred by an American victory in the current war. Its ranks are likely to grow and its tactics become more radical as the general war on terror proceeds, or should the war trigger problems in other Muslim countries. It will feed on the problems of the Iraqi peace - particularly if it is a troublesome peace, and it will continue its "anti-globalism" attacks on efforts to establish a prosperous and tranquil international order.
In its potential to disrupt American post-war policy and to limit the options of the American military lie the greatest dangers of this leftist revival, especially because of its deep resonances in the Democratic Party, half of whose constituents (and many of whose leaders) are opposed to the war. The President has already warned that the effort to rebuilt Iraq, stabilize the region and carry on the war against terror "will require our sustained commitment." In order to sustain their security and foreign policy commitments, democracies require broad bi-partisan support from their parties and from their publics. It is this support that is threatened by the anti-American left, and it this test that our nation must meet.
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JWR contributor David Horowitz is editor of Front Page Magazine and the author of several books, including, The Art of Political War and Other Radical Pursuits, Hating Whitey, Art of Political War, Radical Son : A Generational Odyssey . To comment, please click here.
03/17/03: The Fifth Column Left Declares War
03/17/03: The Fifth Column Left Declares War