In an article for National Review Online, anti-Muslim activist David Horowitz described the benefits to conservatives of the recent beheadings carried out by the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS). The October 9 article is headlined "Thank You, ISIS" and bears the subhead, "The beheadings have achieved what all the warnings from conservatives never could":
Beheadings of innocent human beings are unspeakable acts reflecting the barbaric savagery of the Islamic "holy war" against the West -- against us. Yet despite the intentions of their perpetrators, they have had an unexpected utility. Their gruesome images have entered the living rooms and consciousness of ordinary Americans and waked them up.
For more than a decade, a handful of conservatives, of whom I was one, tried to sound the alarm about the Islamist threat. For our efforts, we were ridiculed, smeared as bigots, and marginalized as Islamophobes.
And then came ISIS. The horrific images of the beheadings, the reports of mass slaughters, and the threats to the American homeland have accomplished what our small contingent of beleaguered conservatives could never have achieved by ourselves. They brought images of these Islamic fanatics and savages into the living rooms of the American public, and suddenly the acceptable language for describing the enemy began to change. "Savages" and "barbarians" began to roll off the tongues of evening-news anchors and commentators who never would have dreamed of crossing that line before, for fear of offending the politically correct.
This strange sentiment is made stranger by the fact that a writer for NRO previously accused President Obama of advising ISIS.
Horowitz is a former member of the New Left who, since his political conversion, has made a career out of alleging liberal bias on college campuses and accusing anyone who is not overtly Islamophobic of being in league with terrorists. The Southern Poverty Law Center described Horowitz as "the godfather of the modern anti-Muslim movement."
The website of Horowitz's organization, the David Horowitz Freedom Center, says it "combats the efforts of the radical left and its Islamist allies to destroy American values and disarm this country as it attempts to defend itself in a time of terror."
Radio host and Fox personality Sean Hannity hosted TruthRevolt.com founder David Horowitz to engage in an unimpeded rant that described President Obama as a "menace to American security" and accused Democrats and the "American left" of pushing the nation toward a modern day Holocaust. Hannity's promotion of the extreme figure may have completed his transition from conservative mouth piece to right-wing fringe promoter.
On the April 22 edition of his radio show, Hannity discussed the alleged growth of anti-Semitism around the world, comparing the phenomenon with Obama's purported support of the Muslim Brotherhood. Hannity asked his guests, Horowitz and writer Joel Rosenberg, whether anti-Semitism in recent news stories had the potential of turning into a "modern day Holocaust." Horowitz replied (emphasis added):
HOROWITZ: I think that's exactly accurate. There's normal anti-Semitism which has been going on for thousands of years. And this Kansas City shooter, I mean he's a Klu Klux Klaner, he's a Democrat -- lifelong Democrat, Klu Klux Klan racist and anti-Semite. But he's obviously been encouraged. The irony of course is that he killed three Christians. Um, obviously encouraged by the American left. Max Blumenthal, who is the misbegotten son of Sidney Blumenthal who worked for the Clintons in the Clinton White House, has written a book filled with Jew hatred about Israel, which this guy read and cited as one of his inspirations. I actually pointed this out in a book I wrote about ten years ago. The alliance between the American left and the Islamo - I don't call them Islamo-Fascists anymore, they're Nazis. They preach the same doctrine that the Nazis did, they were allied with the Nazis during the second World War. The destruction of Israel, which is welcomed by you know, like I say normal anti-Semites. But after the Second World War, there was a certain intolerance towards these types of attitudes thanks to the American left which goes right into the White House. Obama is also responsible for this - attacking Israel.
After Rosenberg disagreed with Horowitz' claim of the growth of anti-Semitism in the American left, Horowitz retorted, "On the campuses across this country the American left is calling for the destruction of Israel. How can you say there's no anti-Semitism? The American left is the fountainhead of anti-Semitism now," concluding that it is only a matter of time before the left commits violence against Jews.
Conservatives have launched TruthRevolt, a website which aims to "unmask leftists in the media for who they are, destroy their credibility with the American public, and devastate their funding bases." The history of two main TruthRevolt figures, Ben Shapiro and David Horowitz, suggests the site won't prioritize accuracy or refrain from smears.
David Horowitz and Jacob Laksin's book The New Leviathan promises "thoroughly researched and amply documented" evidence proving how progressive foundations and organizations are destroying America's future. In reality, Horowitz and Laksin only add more proof that conservative smear artists traffic in lazy falsehoods and easily disproved assertions. Here are ten of them.
David Horowitz appeared on Fox News' Your World to complain about a grant given by the National Endowment for the Humanities to the University of Massachusetts-Boston's Center for Civil Discourse to hold a forum on Civility and American Democracy. During the segment, Horowitz called on University of Massachusetts administrators to "expel or suspend students that ... go around screaming racist, homophobe, Islamophobe to anybody who disagrees with them in the speech."
While speakers invited to a campus should be allowed to give their views, it's a bit unreal for Horowitz to attack his opponents for being uncivil.
Here is how Horowitz treats people who disagree with him:
And why would anyone shout "Islamophobe" at someone like Horowitz? Just a couple of examples should suffice:
From the November 2 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show:
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In a blog post for National Review Online, Robert Spencer defended himself against charges by the Anti-Defamation League that his organization engages in anti-Muslim activism by saying that it is reasonable to lump the ADL in with other supposed "jihadist apologists."
Spencer's colleague David Horowitz similarly attacked the ADL, saying that ADL president Abe Foxman is "a notorious panderer to left-wing causes" and that the "American Left has joined in what I have elsewhere referred to as an 'unholy alliance,' making itself a valuable ally of the Muslim Brotherhood."
This attack on the ADL can be traced back to a National Review article Spencer and Horowitz wrote claiming that they espouse "a rational fear of Islamism" based on "the misogyny, bigotry, and terrorism promoted by many (but not all) Islamic institutions and religious texts." In doing so, they labeled the Southern Poverty Law Center as "jihadist apologists" and also attacked the Center for American Progress and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Center for American Progress policy analyst Matt Duss responded in a letter to the editor published by National Review by pointing out that, while Spencer and Horowitz attacked other groups in their article, they had not attacked the ADL even though it released a backgrounder earlier this year "declaring that Spencer's group, Stop Islamization of America, 'promotes a conspiratorial anti-Muslim agenda under the guise of fighting radical Islam.' " Duss asked, "Should the Anti-Defamation League also be lumped with the 'jihadist apologists'?"
That led Spencer and Horowitz to do what they had avoided doing in their article: lump ADL in with other groups who are either part of the conspiracy to Islamize America or are unwitting dupes of the conspiracy.
Glenn Beck was talking revolution today. Specifically, he was concerned with the "socialist radical" raised-fist kind of revolution.
Discussing his general bogeyman of socialists, communists, and whatever other kinds of revolutionaries he never-endingly rants about with David Horowitz, Beck showed logos of two separate organizations that have one thing in common: the image of a raised fist in its promotional materials.
Beck and Horowitz explained the connection:
BECK: David, I know you don't have - I don't think Fox doesn't go to LA, they don't let it in - LA. You can't see these, but I'm holding them up. And one is the International Socialist Organization logo, and the other is the AFL-CIO Stand With Wisconsin logo. They're identical. Would you guys agree they're identical? Yeah, they're identical.
HOROWITZ: Well of course. The socialist radical left took over the AFL-CIO years ago.
Well of course. If an organization promotes the image of a raised fist, it must be a "socialist radical left" organization.
(h/t Charles Johnson)
From the March 4 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:
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Speaking at CPAC today, conservative commentator David Horowitz attacked conservative activists Suhail Khan and Grover Norquist, claiming that Khan, with Norquist's aid, "infiltrat[ed]" CPAC, the Bush White House and the conservative movement on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood.
We've seen the conservatives fall into disarray over the recent events in Egypt with some conservatives hopeful about the fall of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak while others, led by Glenn Beck, engaging in bizarre conspiracy theories such as that the protests in Egypt are tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, progressives, Marxists, and others.
But this is a whole new level.
Khan spoke at two CPAC 2011 events. Khan is also a board member of the American Conservative Union, the group that organizes CPAC each year. Furthermore, according to his biography, Khan has "served as a senior political appointee with the Bush administration" and as "Policy Director and Press Secretary for U.S. Congressman Tom Campbell (R-CA)."
Horowitz claimed that Khan "used his offices in the Bush White House with Grover [Norquist's] support to carry water for the terrorist Sami Al-Arian." Horowitz added that "over the last 10 years, the influence of the [Muslim] Brotherhood has spread throughout our government." More about the charges against Khan can be found here.
The conservative crack-up appears to be gaining momentum.
UPDATE: Dave Weigel reports on Khan's response to Horowitz:
"These are old, tired, baseless attacks that have been debunked by reputable sources," said Khan. "This is baseless, and they're coming from people who are becoming more and more marginalized."
On Horowitz in particular: "I'm not surprised. This is a former communist who's still using Saul Alinsky tactics. A few years ago, I was supposed to be part of al Qaeda. Now it's the Muslim Brotherhood. It's whatever's in the news."
From February 12 coverage of CPAC 2011:
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Last week, Glenn Beck unfurled an elaborate, nonsensical conspiracy theory purporting to explain the uprisings in Egypt.
As we documented, over the course of the week, he connected the events in Egypt to the AFL-CIO, Code Pink, the Tides Foundation's Drummond Pike, Frances Fox Piven, Marxist communists (not to be confused with Islamic socialists, who are also involved), ACORN co-founder Wade Rathke, the Muslim Brotherhood, food prices, and Bill Ayers. (Last night, Beck confirmed that our description of his theory was accurate, though he protested that it's "not a conspiracy.")
Much of his theory revolved around how people on the left are supposedly working with Islamists who want to install a caliphate in the Middle East.
For a brief sampling, here's a segment from Beck's show from last Monday, where he laid out part of his caliphate theory.
In response to Beck's attempt to explain what's going on in Egypt, Fox News contributor and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol wrote that Beck has been "marginalizing himself" through his "hysteria," and said that his rantings recall Robert Welch and the John Birch Society.:
Now, people are more than entitled to their own opinions of how best to accomplish that democratic end. And it's a sign of health that a political and intellectual movement does not respond to a complicated set of developments with one voice.
But hysteria is not a sign of health. When Glenn Beck rants about the caliphate taking over the Middle East from Morocco to the Philippines, and lists (invents?) the connections between caliphate-promoters and the American left, he brings to mind no one so much as Robert Welch and the John Birch Society. He's marginalizing himself, just as his predecessors did back in the early 1960s. [The Weekly Standard, 2/14/11]
Unsurprisingly, Beck and his co-hosts responded by lashing out at Kristol, suggesting that he hasn't done "a minute of research" into the issue and joking about "dumbing it down" for Kristol's benefit.
As their feud continues, several conservative commentators are picking sides. Salon's Alex Pareene got the ball rolling on trying to separate commentators into "Team Beck" and "Team Kristol" - or, as he put it, the "crazy right-wingers against merely nutty."
Here's how things are shaping up so far.
As journalist John Hamilton reported, alleged California highway shooter Byron Williams -- who reportedly told investigators that "his intention was to start a revolution by traveling to San Francisco and killing people of importance at the Tides Foundation and the ACLU" -- recommended David Horowitz's conservative website DiscoverTheNetworks.org (DTN) as a source of information about financier George Soros and Tides. DTN has attacked Soros and accused the Tides Foundation of wanting "America destroyed" and of laundering money to radical leftist causes.
From the September 3 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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