Wednesday, June 04, 2003

A book recommendation: Terror and Liberalism by Paul Berman. He's a writer for Dissent, which is the only Leftist journal I can read without retching, and this is a stunning excoriation of the anti-war movement, the Leftist intelligensia, and radical Islam. His thesis is basically that radical Islam is much closer to European-style totalitarianism then anything native to Islam. I think this is a bit of a stretch, as I wrote in my essay on Islam and the Left, Islam certainly has totalitarian aspects to it, but Berman's point certainly explains the seemingly bizarre sympathy and attraction towards radical Islam expressed by Leftist intellectuals in the wake of 9/11. Berman's reconstruction of the European Left's reaction to Israel's Operation Defensive Shield and the Jenin Blood Libel make for absolutely riveting and enraging reading. I know of no better depiction and indictment of the Left's descent in anti-semitism. In a brilliant rhetorical move, he relates it back to the Vichy era French Socialist party, which openly collaborated with the Nazis in deporting French Jews. As he puts it, they began as pacifists, they became collaborators, and they ended as anti-semites. A must read for anyone who wants to know where the neo-Nazi Left is coming from.


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