Fascinating, informative interviews with Brigitte Gabriel, Mohammad Ashgar and Abul Kasem shed light on Muslim ideology as reflected in the Koran and propagated by extremist clerics, charitable organizations, educational institutions and states purporting to be friends and allies of the United States. As one learns of the venomous intolerance of Muslim extremism—towards women, homosexuals, Jews and other infidels—the Left’s romance with Islam and its opposition to combating the menace it has become is almost inexplicable. But Jamie Glazov and his mentor David Horowitz understand the Left and are keenly aware of the parallels between the Left’s indifference to Soviet totalitarianism then and Islamic fundamentalism now. They understand that the “peace” movement of the Cold War threatened our security in much the way that civil libertarian opposition to dealing effectively with Islamist terror threatens us today.
Norman Podhoretz understands that we are at war with, as he rightly calls it, Islamofascism, “…as precise a characterization as I could find of the religio-political totalitarian force that we are up against. “His defense of the Bush doctrine as our strategy in this war is clearer and more compelling than the case made by Bush himself.
Natan Sharansky is Jamie Glazov’s hero. Jamie is not alone in this. Anyone who followed Sharansky’s struggle for human rights before, during and after his 11 years in the Gulag was certain to become an admirer of his personal courage, his dedication to individual liberty and, in recent years, his deep insight into the nature of democracy and the human dimension of life under totalitarian rule. As I look back at 11 years on the staff of Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, the task I found most gratifying was drafting speeches for Scoop supporting Sharansky’s struggle and demanding his release from prison. Sharansky captured George W. Bush’s imagination with his book, “The Case for Democracy,” but the hapless Bush was never able to mobilize his own administration to develop policies reflecting Sharansky’s astute analysis, the essence of which is contained in his interview in this book. Ironically, Bush’s decision to support elections among the Palestinians, which led to the rise of Hamas, flew in the face of Sharansky’s argument that elections in the absence of a civil society cannot be expected to promote democracy. It didn’t.
The three essays in Part V, “The Evil Empire,” shed fascinating light on the operations of the KGB during the Cold War and since. It is not surprising that the operational code of the KGB under the Soviet Union continues in Vladimir Putin’s Russia. How could it be otherwise? Putin is a man of, by and for the KGB even if it is now called the FSB. That the continuing oppressive role of the KGB/FSB is so little appreciated in the United States—and most especially among policy makers and bureaucrats eager to “reset” American-Russian relations—is at least partly the result of the failure of mainstream media in the U.S. to pay attention. Klehr, Haynes, Preobrazhenskiy and Kengor, who all have interesting things to say in their books and in their interviews in this volume, have received almost no coverage. This reflects a troubling trend evident in the way the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the major networks increasingly ignore—blackout might be the better term—books and viewpoints that differ from their own. There’s a world out there that we would learn little of were it not for FOX and volumes like this one.
Andrew Klavan, like David Horowitz, has changed sides. So have Charles Winecoff and Walid Shoebat: four personal histories that bring an immensely valuable depth to their understanding of the mind-sets and ideologies they have abandoned. Klavan, once on their side, now says this of the Left: “So desperate are they to display their tolerance, to claim virtue and open-mindedness for themselves, so secretly ashamed and guilt-ridden and self-hating are they, I guess, that they will give aid and comfort to a philosophy that turns everything they’re supposed to stand for on its head. Anti-female, anti-gay, anti-religious liberty, anti-humanity, radical Islam is a cancer on the face of the earth. Ignoring it, pretending it isn’t there, moral equivalence, relativism – all the various forms of false piety in which the Left specializes – are as helpful with radical Islam as they are with other cancers.”
Buckley, Hitchens, Coulter, Pipes and Dalrymple are always a pleasure to read. There is no point commenting on their commentary: read and enjoy.
Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Reagan administration, now a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
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