[sixties-l] HOROWITZ GOES HAYWIRE (fwd)

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Date: Mon Dec 10 2001 - 18:17:47 EST

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    Date: Thu, 06 Dec 2001 14:27:18 -0800
    From: radtimes <resist@best.com>

    Behind the Headlines
    by Justin Raimondo
    December 5, 2001

    Pro-war 'Think Twice' speaking tour starts on a weird note
    David Horowitz, the ex-Communist and former Black Panther groupie turned
    stereotypical right-winger, has kicked off his pro-war "Think Twice"
    speaking tour of college campuses on a rather bizarre note. The "red diaper
    baby" who morphed into a neoconservative went to the University of North
    Carolina at Chapel Hill and gave a strangely disjointed and vehement rant -
    directed not only at the antiwar movement but at the Chancellor of the
    University, James Moeser, and the school itself: "I can't find words to
    express my contempt for the chancellor and this University for supporting
    these views." Pretty gracious, eh?

    Without citing anyone in particular, Horowitz went on to characterize the
    views of unnamed antiwar professors and students at UNC as "jumping up and
    down" in glee as the World Trade Center burned. As usual, the implication
    that the "treasonous" activities of antiwar student groups and professors
    ought to be shut down was implicit in his complaint that antiwar teach-ins
    took place at a taxpayer-supported institution. Apparently, only "patriotic"
    activities - such as his "Think Twice" tour - ought to be permitted. Even
    the moniker he has attached to his campus blitz is shot through with ominous
    overtones: students had better "think twice" before they openly oppose the
    war - and get their name on a list.

    Horowitz was always a dubious character, but, post-9/11, he has become
    positively sinister - and also somewhat out of it. According to reports, his
    tirade against UNC-Chapel Hill included a denunciation of Moeser

    "for considering a proposal to establish a UNC-CH campus with an
    undergraduate business program in the Persian Gulf emirate of Qatar, which
    he said is led by 'an Islamic radical.'

    "'There are no human rights [in Qatar] - not only for homosexuals and for
    women but for anybody who disagrees with the sheik,' Horowitz said."

    Gee, that's funny, but I could've sworn that was an American military base
    being hosted by the "Islamic radical" ruler of Qatar - reputedly the largest
    American base and arms depot outside the United States. When a lone gunman
    opened fire outside the Al-Adid air base, near the capital city of Doha, he
    was shot and killed by Qatari soldiers. Qatar has long been in the American
    camp, cravenly praising the presence of US and British troops for
    "protecting the Arabs from each other," as Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin
    Jasem al-Thani put it in an interview with al-Jazeera television. Qatar was
    good enough for the World Trade Organization to host a summit there in
    November of this year: why isn't it good enough for UNC-Chapel Hill?

    Horowitz paints a grim picture indeed of life in Qatar, but the US
    government tells a different story altogether in its official human rights
    report card. While not exactly a Western-style democracy, Qatar, alone among
    the Gulf states, does have elections to a consultative body in which women
    are allowed to vote: as Thomas Friedman points out in the New York Times,
    Qatar, like other small states on the periphery of the Arab world, is among
    the most modern and socially progressive of the Muslim countries. Another
    Qatari idiosyncrasy is a media relatively free of censorship and government
    control. Extra-judicial killings, torture, disappearances of political
    dissidents - these routine features of life in many Middle Eastern countries
    (including Israel) are entirely absent from Qatar.

    The US State Department 1999 Country Report demonstrates that life in Qatar
    is not much different from life in these United States, at least in certain
    respects: "The law prohibits arbitrary arrest," we are told, "however, the
    police have the discretion to arrest persons based on a low level of
    suspicion, and arbitrary detention in security cases remains a problem."
    Sound familiar? Perhaps John Ashcroft is modeling some of his own methods on
    the Qatari example. "Suspects who are detained in security cases generally
    are afforded access to counsel; however, they may be detained indefinitely
    while under investigation. There were no known recent cases of incommunicado
    detention." Unlike John Ashcroft, at least the Qataris release the names of
    their detainees.

    If there is any really brutal political repression in Qatar, it is directed
    primarily against Islamic hard-liners, such as Abdulrahman Al-Nuaimi, a
    Ministry of Education official who distributed a letter to the press
    critical of the Amir's decision to allow women to vote and run for office in
    the Municipal Council elections. This is a "radical Islamic state"?

    Horowitz, as usual, is running off at the mouth and demonstrating his
    complete ignorance of the facts. But facts don't matter to a demagogue whose
    frenetic posturing has turned him into a caricature, a living parody of his
    own invented persona.

    But there is, in this caricature, a lot that is revealing. In his "The Art
    of Political War," a pamphlet devoted to strategic questions, Horowitz urges
    conservatives to lay off the complex arguents that make them sound like
    debaters at the Oxford Student Union and appeal directly to people's

    "But the audience of politics is not made up of Oxford dons, and the rules
    are entirely different.... You have only thirty seconds to make your point.
    Even if you had time to develop an argument, the audience you need to reach
    (the undecided and those in the middle who are not paying much attention)
    would not get it. Your words would go over some of their heads and the rest
    would not even hear them (or quickly forget) amidst the bustle and pressure
    of daily life. You will never have time for real arguments or proper
    analyses. Images - symbols and sound bites - will always prevail."

    In other words, emotionalism will always prevail over reason - and the
    latter is not a Horowitz ally, in any case. Doggedly pursuing this
    emotionalist strategy, Horowitz seeks to channel and manipulate the inchoate
    anger of potential recruits by blatant appeals to racial prejudice,
    hopped-up rhetoric that is always in a white heat, really over-the-top abuse
    of his political opponents (he has lately been using obscenities in his
    editorial replies to letter-writers) - and mindless computer games that
    resemble an Orwellian Two-Minute Hate. His last one, "SlapHillary.com," gave
    players an opportunity to smack around a favorite hate-object, and now
    SlapOsama.com has been set up along the same lines. You can slap Osama with
    a pile of camel dung, target him with a missile, subject him to airstrikes,
    or go all the way and nuke him. Just about what one might expect of someone
    who disdains "real arguments or proper analyses" in favor of "images,
    symbols, and sound-bites."

    But as even one sympathetic visitor to the site pointed out in a posted
    letter, "Although I love being able to exercise my emotions on the head of
    OBL repeatedly, I somehow am not too fond of the idea of the 'unending'
    game, that the head pops back every time." But that is precisely what
    excites Horowitz and his fellow neoconservatives - the idea (or hope) that
    the "war on terrorism" is unending. Perpetual war means endless government
    subsidies to their big business patrons, as well as the unlimited
    opportunity to demonize, spy on, and purge their enemies from public life,
    with a little assist from various law enforcement agencies. It means perks,
    privileges, and prestige for the laptop bombardiers, and full coffers for
    the merchants of death; enormous profits for certain business interests, and
    a continuous flow of tax-exempt contributions for Horowitz's "Center for the
    Study of Popular Culture." If ever a law is passed against war profiteering,
    Horowitz should be the first one carted off to jail.

    As this clown takes his road-show from campus to campus, reveling in his
    self-generated notoriety as a shrieker and would-be "treason"-hunter, he is
    clearly looking to the authorities to take action against campus-based
    antiwar organizations. While calling for "free speech" against the
    intellectual conformity of left-wing political correctness, he berates
    UNC-Chapel Hill for "allowing" antiwar teach-ins at a state-subsidized
    institution. Clearly, in his view, such activities ought to be banned.

    We must defend to the death this idiot's right to make a fool out of himself
    in public, and not only on general principles of free speech, but as a
    strategic move: The more he speaks, the more he discredits himself. If the
    sinister "Think Twice" tour gets to your campus, what you need to do is let
    this jerk expose himself for what he is - with a little help from you and
    Antiwar.com. You can assemble your own "David Horowitz Truth Kit" by
    downloading the following printer-friendly files and distributing them to
    interested parties. Get the lowdown on Horowitz here:


    Neocons and Neo-Nazis: Horowitz's Unholy Alliance with the Racialist Right
    Horowitz's Bizarre Anti-Muslim Campaign: The Pornography of Hate
    The Strange World of David Horowitz - Where the Cold War Never Ended
    Horowitz: Vietnam War Revisionist
    Please Support Antiwar.com

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