Jamie Glazov: Hello, David. We are both guests of The American Spectator today. As the interviewer I will welcome you to the Spectator.
David Horowitz: Thank you, Jamie.
Glazov: We’re going to touch on your new book today but first I would like to discuss some of the dire developments in our terror war. What do you make of the recent political developments here at home in terms of the pressure on our troops to withdraw from Iraq?
David Horowitz: The Democratic Party is the party now of appeasement and retreat and absolute political disgrace. In pressing the President to surrender Iraq, the congressional leaders of the Democratic Party have betrayed our troops, our Muslim allies, our country and the cause of peace, in that order.
Glazov: What are the consequences if we fail in Iraq?
David Horowitz: If we fail in Iraq, there will be a bloodbath, and an even larger war in the Middle East. The idea that we can “end the war in Iraq,” as Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats put it, is insane. It is based on the assumption that the only reason there is fighting going on in Iraq is because we’re there. This is the Chomsky view of the world and it seems to be the conventional wisdom of the Democratic Party these days — which is drunk on its dreams of re-taking the White House whatever the human cost in dead Iraqis and Americans. Sorry to be so blunt.
Glazov: What are your thoughts on Hamas taking over Gaza and the international reaction? What must Israeli and U.S. policy be? What do you think of the Left’s disposition to the events?
David Horowitz: Gaza is now a terrorist state as completely and irrevocably as the Taliban regime we overthrew in Afghanistan. They are allied with Hezbollah and armed by Iran. Hamas was spawned by the Muslim Brotherhood and is an army of the enemy in the so-called war on terror as surely as al-Qaeda. Its agendas are genocidal — the extermination of the Jewish state — and its adherents have been accurately called Nazis by Mahmoud Abbas, himself the leader of a terrorist state in the West Bank, that is also corrupt and a current client of the United States and the appeasers in the West. Hamas of course is being defended by the Left in this country and elsewhere, whose moral integrity is even lower these days than it was in the era of Stalin and Mao. Gaza should be isolated and at an appropriate moment occupied and subdued.
Glazov: Your thoughts on Iran?
David Horowitz: We are at war with Iran, or rather Iran is at war with us — in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Lebanon and in Gaza. The war in Iraq now is about this Crescent of Evil stretching across the Middle East.
Glazov: What do you see as the policy options the U.S. and Israel have with Iran?
David Horowitz: We are at war with Iran — or, rather, as I have said, Iran is at war with us. We have all the policy options available to a country at war — provided we have the will to use them.
Glazov: Where do you stand on the immigration battle confronting the nation now?
David Horowitz: The issue is first the integrity and security of the nation, which is threatened by the open borders we now have, and second the credibility of government when it says it is going to protect the American people by securing our borders. Nobody who cares about the security of our borders believes that the government of George Bush or possible future governments headed by any Democrat is going to protect our borders. Personally, I have lost all confidence that America’s political leaders on either side of the aisle will rise to the challenge posed by the Islamic jihad or by our porous borders until there is another, more terrible, 9/11 type attack.
Glazov: OK, let’s turn to your new book now, Indoctrination U: The Left’s War Against Academic Freedom. Tell us what it is about and the journey that led to it.
David Horowitz: First it’s about how our universities are being turned into training camps for the anti-American, anti-capitalist left, and what can be done about it. Second, it’s about what happens to someone who attempts to get professors to present more than one side of a controversial argument which they consider important to their political agendas. Such a person is turned into a demon who needs to be tarred and feathered, driven from decent society and just plain eliminated from any discussion. This is a book that demonstrates that people whom conservatives insist on calling “liberals” are actually totalitarians who cannot abide a dissenting voice in the room.
Glazov: Why are the totalitarians on campus and within the Left in general able to label themselves as “progressives” with such success? And what are the seeds of totalitarianism when it comes to the leftist vision — and to the monstrosities of its earthly incarnations?
David Horowitz: The Left controls the labeling machines in our culture — universities, virtually the entire press, network broadcasting, the schools. Conservatives — anti-totalitarians — are not only out-gunned they are delusionally tolerant and well-meaning. I want to scream every time one of my conservative friends uses the term “liberal” or “progressive” to describe totalitarian reactionaries who would send them all to gulags if they had chance. An Alan Colmes is struggling to be a liberal. A Noam Chomsky, a Howard Zinn, an Ibrahim Hooper — these are Nazis, or fellow-travelers of Nazis. (I would call them “Communists” but that would make me a McCarthyite, right?)
Glazov: Tell us about the Academic Bill of Rights that you devised.
David Horowitz: It’s a liberal bill that asks liberals (and there are actually liberals around) to stand up for simple liberal principles such as that there should be two sides at least to any controversial issue, teachers should teach and not indoctrinate. Unfortunately real liberals — at least the ones out there today — are with few exceptions spineless and will not stand up to the progressive totalitarians of the reactionary left. Among the gutsy liberals who will stand up for liberal principles I would count Alan Dershowitz and Joe Lieberman, and my oldest daughter, Sarah.
Glazov: How much personal abuse have you suffered for your efforts? Why does the Left always attack the opponent as a human being, rather than simply just debate the opponent with dehumanizing and demonizing him?
David Horowitz: Because the Left is based on a fantasy of redemption — which requires that its opponents are damned. It is also a reactionary force that has learned nothing from its crimes, and therefore cannot handle a debate on the issues or over the facts. Therefore it really has only one weapon, which is slander, defamation, which it will resort to at the least provocation. I have been buried under a mountain of progressive sludge for defending the civil rights principles of Martin Luther King (“racist”) and for supporting equity, fairness and intellectual diversity on college campuses (“McCarthyite” “witch-hunter” “loose with the facts”). My literary career has been destroyed by these gutter tactics. I once was reviewed on the front pages of the Sunday New York Times Book Review. Today, my books, including Indoctrination U, are no longer reviewed in the Times or anywhere in the mainstream press.
The End of Time, which is one of the best books I have written, and which is not political, and was praised in blurbs by decent liberals (Stanley Fish and Walter Isaacson) as “a poignant and powerful rumination on the meaning of life” was sunk with barely a trace. Not a single review of it appeared in the print media (with the exception of World Magazine) and it was viciously attacked in the Jerusalem Post because I had the temerity to write that the ambition to save the world was the source of the greatest catastrophes and atrocities of our time (I guess this was a bit political). I can’t really complain however because there are hundreds of thousands of conservatives who in larger or smaller ways are targets of the same hydrophobic hate — which is the only way progressives know how to relate to those who disagree with them — and who support me in my efforts.
Glazov: So what have you achieved with your efforts? What are your short-term and long-term goals?
David Horowitz: Well, in a few short years, we have put the issue of the destruction of our schools and the abuse of students by academic progressives on the national radar. We have achieved overt changes at major universities like Penn State and Temple and a lot of behind-the-scenes adjustments shall we say in the direction of greater fairness and tolerance on our campuses.
Glazov: You refer to a “purification ritual” that academic radicals engage in. What exactly is it and what does it signify?
David Horowitz: It’s not just academic radicals. The Left is a religious movement. It is not about improving institutions or society. It’s about a fantasy of an earthly redemption. Allow me the indulgence of quoting myself. The religious character of the left is determined by the fact that its adherents conceive their projects as revolutionary or “transformative,” secular terms for what in effect would be a religious “redemption,” albeit an earthly one. Looked at from this vantage, the radical goal is a secular redemption of society from its vale of “oppression.” The redemption is accomplished by creating a world without “racism,” “sexism,” or “classism,” the current term of art for which is “social justice” — a secular version of heaven on earth. The extravagant goal of redeeming humanity justifies uncompromising means. Social redeemers regard themselves as an “army of the saints,” and their opponents as belonging to the party of Satan. They do not view their conservative opponents as supporters of alternative means for improving the lot of women, minorities and the poor, but as enemies of women, minorities and the poor.
Progressive agendas cannot be opposed, therefore, on grounds that are principled or practical or compassionate. Opponents of “progressives” are defined as “reactionaries” — advocates of racism and sexism, practitioners of “McCarthyism,” and other incarnations of social evil. To be demonized by progressives, then, is not a personal matter, but is an ineluctable consequence of opposing their agendas. These agendas are of necessity uncompromising. Since theirs is always a battle between good and evil they have to be constantly on guard against contamination by the reality they are seeking to overcome. Consequently they are always on the hunt for the impure among them, for witches and others who have danced with the devil.
Glazov: You have also started the Terrorism Awareness Project. What is this all about and how does it fit with your efforts to liberate the American campus from the Left’s chokehold on it?
David Horowitz: This October 22-26 I am declaring Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week (information at terrorismawareness.org). I will hold demonstrations and protests, teach-ins and sit-ins on more than 100 college campuses. Our theme will be the Oppression of Women in Islam and the threat posed by the Islamic crusade against the West.
Glazov: David, thank you for joining The American Spectator.
David Horowitz: Thank you Jamie — and also thank you, Bob Tyrrell, for this opportunity.