[sixties-l] Matters of Treason: Reply to Roger Clegg

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: Wed Jun 06 2001 - 15:23:06 EDT

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    Matters of Treason: Reply to Roger Clegg


    By David Horowitz

    IN HIS REVIEW of Ronald Radosh's important new book, Commies, Roger Clegg
    raises a provocative question: Are conservatives too forgiving of the
    crimes committed by the left against America, specifically the crime of
    treason? Here are some ways to think about an answer.

    It is certainly the case that the "progressive" left, which has never
    really looked back with second thoughts about its radical commitments,
    which is still dedicated to its small "c" communist agendas, which still
    defends its old subversive heroes, is an anti-American left that is ready
    to aid and abet virtually any enemy of the United States, including
    apparently Saddam Hussein. It is a near certainty that thousands of
    so-called new leftists actively worked with the intelligence agencies of
    Communist governments whose objectives were to weaken, injure and if
    possible destroy the United States. The most obvious cases of this kind of
    treason were the radio broadcasts from Hanoi of Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden and
    others accusing America of war crimes and urging American troops to defect
    during the Vietnam conflict, and the collusion with Cuban intelligence
    operatives during the 1980s in the setting up of "solidarity committees"
    as part of Castro's plan to destabilize and overthrow central American
    governments. At one point, a Salvadoran operative working for Cuban
    intelligence actually set up shop in the congressional offices of Ron
    Dellums, with the conniving of the Congressman himself.

    Roger Clegg is right that these and other crimes should not be regarded
    lightly, and that a double-standard governs attitudes towards former Nazis
    and neo-Nazis on the one hand and former Communists and neo-Communists
    among whom I would include Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden, and Carlottia Scott,
    the current political issues director of the Democratic Party. This
    nation's democracy would be in much healthier shape (and I would probably
    retire from political activity) if there was no such double standard and
    if all Americans, and conservatives in particular, took the assaults on
    this nation's institutions and ideals more seriously than they do.

    Where I differ with Clegg is that his interrogation of this question is
    directed almost exclusively at the left. He notes that conservatives are
    forgiving, and properly so since it is a conservative insight that we are
    all sinners, and it is pragmatically wise to "encourage people to break
    with a wrong-headed past." The conservative movement, for its part, has
    benefited tremendously from its generosity to ex-Communists and
    ex-radicals. The shaping intellectual forces of the magazine in which
    Clegg makes his observations were recruited from the ranks of the
    Communist movement by its founder William. F. Buckley. I, myself, am
    deeply grateful to the conservative movement for the warmth with which
    they have accepted an ex-radical like myself, and for the generosity of
    their support despite what I did for my attempts to repay my country
    for the damage I was responsible for.

    That said, the problem that Clegg overlooks, and the problem that has
    continued to puzzle me, has been the failure of nerve by those who love
    this country, and who should be leading the efforts to defend it, in
    fighting the left. If leftists do not take seriously their acts of
    treason, it is partly because nobody else does either. When is the last
    time the United States government executed a spy? Aldrich Ames to name
    only one convicted traitor among many not only worked for the enemy, he
    caused the death of Americans the government has identified. If the United
    States Government doesn't regard spying and murder as such a big deal, why
    should anyone else?

    Turning to the Fonda problem, we encounter the same message. Fonda
    committed treason during the Nixon and Ford Administrations but was never
    prosecuted. Perhaps that is because the United States never declared
    itself at war. The decision of Lyndon Johnson to put Americans in harm's
    way without a formal declaration of war and the fact that this provoked
    no great congressional revolt probably tells us more about the nature of
    the problem that Roger Clegg has raised than anything else. It is just
    part of a syndrome.

    Why weren't the student radicals who occupied university buildings in the
    1960s (and who then went on to run the universities themselves) expelled
    or jailed? Why was Bernadine Dohrn, a terrorist in the Seventies and now a
    prominent and unrepentant figure high up in the American Bar Association
    never prosecuted for her crimes? Why did Republicans not protest (or even
    notice) the appointment of Carlottia Scott, mistress of the Marxist
    dictator of Grenada and colluder in his anti-American schemes? How was
    Defense Secretary William Cohen able to give Ron Dellums the highest medal
    the Pentagon can bestow on a civilian without a peep of protest from the
    right? How come the present Republican Justice Department has not launched
    an investigation of the collusion between the Clinton Administration, the
    Democratic Party and the Chinese Communist dictatorship in transferring
    previously protected military technologies to America's number one
    potential adversary?

    These are the questions that conservatives should be asking.

    I would like to end this note with a personal request to my conservative
    comrades-in-arms. When you go into your next battle with our opponents,
    would you please stop referring to leftists who despise America, who have
    waged a forty-year war against its foundations, whose agendas are a
    socialist and even fascist utopia (redistribution by racial preferences)
    as "liberals." These are not liberals. They are leftists. The only thing
    they are liberal about is hard drugs and sex. In every other respect, they
    want to control your lives. Their traditions are of the left, their ideas
    are of the left, their agendas are of the left. You can't really complain
    about the double standards for the past, if you continue to apply those
    double standards to the present.
      David Horowitz is editor-in-chief of FrontPageMagazine.com and president
    of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture.

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