By Andrew Walden, May 18th, 2007
Without the internet skills and the service of hundreds of Western writers and intellectuals, the Islamists would have much greater difficulty spreading their propaganda to gain the submission of American and European leftist audiences. How important is the Left’s servitude to radical Islam?
Jihad vs. McWorld is the name of a March, 1992 essay and a 1996 book published by Benjamin Barber. Barber, a social democratic “third-roader,” argues that both tribal warfare “jihad,” and what he sees as the “threat” of globalism, equally endanger democracy in the post-cold war world. Now, nearly a decade and a half after Barber’s essay appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, it appears that leading anti-globalization activists worldwide have stopped equivocating and decided that globalism is the greater threat. They have teamed up with jihad.
Unlike visits to 1980s Sandinista Nicaragua, in-person displays of “solidarity” with Islamists are problematic. As the cases of Nick Berg and Danny Pearl show, Americans who fall into militant Islamist hands are routinely tortured and beheaded. But in the internet age liberals can proffer their rhetorical services to the logos-challenged Islamists online without ever getting close enough for a scimitar swipe. Dozens of Islamist websites and newspapers now feature a harem of western liberals eagerly displaying their rhetorical skills on behalf of their Muslim masters.
Saudi-owned, Lebanese-based Dar al-Hayat is an Arabic newspaper of record. Due to the Arab world’s massive illiteracy and dictatorial regimes, its circulation is only about 110,000. In an August 14 article, writer Jihad el-Khazen explains how they make up for the Islamic world’s literary failings, “. . . we are not lacking in friends. Our friends around the world have better personal and intellectual reputations than the Israeli 'gang of evil.' I would like to introduce the reader to some names, such as Tariq Ali, John Berger, Noam Chomsky, Eduardo Galeano, Naomi Klein, Harold Pinter, Arundhati Roy, José Saramago and Howard Zinn.” For readers unfamiliar, these are the leading intellectual lights of the international anti-globalization Left.
Jihad continues, “Chomsky and his colleagues issued a statement called: 'Israel, Lebanon and Palestine,' in which they held Israel fully responsible for the fighting and killings in Palestinian territories. They said that the recent conflict began after Israeli forces abducted two civilians . . .”
Chomsky’s statement in support of Iran’s ally Hezbollah came in an interview with Kaveh Afrasiabi, a former political science professor at Tehran University and a Harvard PhD who serves as the Iranian Shia interlocutor to western liberals and leftists. As such Afrasiabi has been given column space in numerous western publications and a position at the UN. Afrasiabi founded a Massachusetts-based organization called “Global Interfaith Peace” which in 2002 encouraged useful idiots to serve as human shields in Iraq. CNN describes Afrasiabi as, “. . . a specialist in Iran's foreign affairs, having done research all over the world, including Harvard and the Center for Strategic Research in Tehran. He is also a friend of (former Iranian) President Khatami.”
At the bottom of the column is a link to Jihad’s blogsite where he explains the interrelationship between action and propaganda: “Following the publication of the Prophet Mohammed cartoons in Denmark, I embarked on an effort, parallel to my daily work, to collect additional information about Israel’s cabal in the US.”
According to the list of articles posted on his website, www.Chomsky.info, Chomsky now writes for Dubai’s Khaleej Times, and Cairo’s al-Ahram Weekly and al-Adab. Since August, 2004, more than half of the Chomsky articles posted on his website were published in Arab newspapers or magazines. Chomsky in 2005 was named “the world’s leading living intellectual” after a poll conducted by the British magazine Prospect. He serves Islam.
A leading pro-jihad site, Jihad US, (US supposedly stands for “UnSpun”) features predictable jihadi “dispatches from the front” informing readers that, “Every Inch Of Iraq Will Be Covered With US Bodies,” but also the ramblings of Cindy Sheehan and the “informed comment” of Juan Cole, both of which require purchase of a $29.95 Jihad US subscription to read. Asked about the column, Cole replied, “(This is the) first I heard of it. I prefer that sites ask me before mirroring material.” He did not seem particularly upset to find his writings being used to raise money for a pro-decapitation website nor did he indicate he would be taking any steps to have the column removed. Sheehan’s publicist did not respond to a reporter’s emailed query.
A speech, “Our Founders and the unbalance of power,” delivered in 2004 by Democrat Vice-President Al Gore to an audience at Georgetown University, can also be found buried below links to an article by Osama bin-Laden, a fluff piece honoring “Prominent Martyrs of Iraq” and an interview with Cheryfa Jamal, wife of a “Toronto 17” terror suspect. Gore’s publicist also did not respond to a reporter’s emailed query.
Under the Jihad US masthead, one side contains “mainstream news” consisting of Western media reports and opinion useful to the jihadi cause. On the other side is “uncensored news” consisting of reports such as, “The Islamic State Of Iraq News Report For The City Of Baghdad” — fifty after-action reports on operations allegedly carried out against US forces and Shia civilians in Iraq. Other jihadi after-action reports come from Afghanistan, Palestine, Pakistan and Chechnya. A report titled, “Al-Qaeda Fighters Versus The Soldiers Of 'Freedom And Democracy'” features New Yorker magazine writer Seymour Hersh claiming Iraqi prisoners were sodomized at Abu-Ghraib. An article condemns Hamas for considering the possibility of peace talks with Israel. Jihad US also promulgates the false story of “Fatima,” an imaginary female Iraqi prisoner at Abu-Ghraib. Her fake story is a key propaganda device in recruiting assistance for foreign jihadis in Iraq.
American leftists including Cindy Sheehan in August met in Jordan with Iraqi leaders of minor parties, some affiliated with the armed resistance. This was their second such meeting.
It is not only left-wing pro-surrender activists who are featured stars of the Islamist propaganda war on the West. Former Reform Party presidential candidate and current CNN commentator Pat Buchanan’s article, “Whose War?” (his answer: the Jews’) is front and center, setting the tone on the anti-Semitic, pro-terror website www.NoWarForIsrael.com. There it fits perfectly alongside links to articles from the Holocaust-deniers of the mis-named Institute of Historical Review, and propaganda pieces from “electronic intifada,” JihadUS, the Iranian Islamic Republic News Agency, and numerous articles asserting that Israeli agents conducted the 9-11 attacks, not those poor misunderstood Muslims from al-Qaeda.
Another site, Islam Daily, is almost entirely constructed of articles by non-Muslim westerners making the arguments which serve the current needs of Islamism. Islam Daily features dozens of western media commentaries including:
• Bush as Bad as bin Laden? In Some Ways, Worse;
• the latest anti-Semitic ramblings of Justin Raimondo (Israel is more dangerous than Iran) from anti-war.com;
• analysis of the “Angus Reid World Poll” which announces that “People in 13 countries believe the United States is the greatest threat to global stability, and residents of eight countries consider American foreign policy as the most menacing issue to the world. . .”
• An article by Kay Guinane of “OMB Watch” who shares this piece of genius: “Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, U.S.-based (Muslim) charities have become targets in the government’s war on terror financing. This development makes little sense. U.S. charities support efforts to stop the violence of terrorism, and financing terror is contrary to the sector’s mission of promoting the public good, providing humanitarian relief, protecting human rights and assisting with conflict resolution around the world.”
The pro-terror website www.albasrah.net, in between articles celebrating the terrorist ‘resistance’ in Fallujah, features photo essays from “Information Clearing House,” an AP article on an alleged US attack on a wedding, an article from the UK Sun and another photo essay by “The March for Justice.” Al Basra dedicates an entire page to “GI Special” propaganda aimed at demoralizing American soldiers and sailors. Most of the propaganda consists of carefully selected news clippings from the American media.
The pro-Saddam Baathist website www.uruknet.info is operated by Italian Orientalist professor Claudio Moffa. It features a series of articles condemning the “lynching of Saddam” (an American term perhaps learned from Saddam’s Democrat attorney, Ramsey Clark, formerly the US Attorney General to President Lyndon Johnson). While most of Saddam’s semi-literate followers could barely put two words together, Italian “documentary” filmmaker Gabriele Zamparini created the eight-part series from his postings on his delicately-named blogsite www.thecatsdream.com. Does he think the head-choppers are going to be interested in feline dream interpretation?
Explaining Zamparini’s movie and related book, American Voices of Dissent, British left Laborite leader Tony Benn says, “. . . the American Left gets no coverage in the press yet remains the hope for America and the world.” Another Saddam lawyer is dual US-Dutch citizen and alleged pacifist Curtis Doebbler, whose website announces a course in “Human Rights Law” he is teaching this January at An-Najah National University in the West Bank town of Nablus.
The Chechen Kavkaz Center, when not employing the services of Boris Stomakhin, editor of the monthly Russian newspaper Radikalnaya Politika (Radical Politics), to come up with excuses for the Beslan baby killers, makes room for articles from the UK Guardian (“Victory still Bush’s Iraq Goal” featuring a photo of President Bush sending an appropriate message to the Islamists) and an article on Israeli plans to cleanse Iran of nuclear facilities by UK journalist Jonathan Cook. Kavkaz also features articles by:
• Ousted Democrat Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney;
• Kevin Zeese, director of Democracy Rising and a failed Green-Libertarian-Populist candidate for US Senate from Maryland;
• Ted Rall, a political cartoonist and columnist who is infamous for calling Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice a “house niggah,” referring to US troops in Iraq as “An Army of Scum” and calling Army Ranger Pat Tillman “idiot” and “sap” after he was killed in Afghanistan. Rall is also a contributor to www.DailyMuslims.com. In an article, “Why America needs Hezbollah,” he praises Hezbollah’s clean-up efforts after the latest upsurge in Israeli-Hezbollah fighting, writing, "The citizens of New Orleans desperately need Hezbollah's can-do terrorist spirit."
• Noam Chomsky, in an interesting choice for an Islamist baby-killer website, is given space to (falsely) denounce the UK Guardian for (accurately) reporting that Chomsky asserted that the 1995 Serbian massacre of Muslims at Srebrenica Bosnia was “overstated.” Another article praises Chomsky’s assertion that the US is “the world’s leading terrorist state.” It is lifted from www.Islam-online.net, a site which is in turn littered with more western leftist servants of Islam.
Embarrassing themselves with their eagerness for union with the Islamists, www.CounterPunch.org on August 17, 2006 published an English translation of a Turkish newspaper interview with Hezbollah chieftain Hassan Nasrallah. When controversy flared regarding the authenticity of the interview, Editor Alexander Cockburn explained, “Of interest to us was the very radical timbre of Nasrallah's language and his remarks about the world struggle against imperialism . . . Nasrallah is a very smart fellow, and knew perfectly well he was addressing a left Turkish audience.”
Quoted by Cockburn, Professor Idris Samawi Hamid, who teaches at the Department of Philosophy at Colorado State University, expands on the alliance between leftists and head-chopping Islamic bus bombers: “There is nothing in it (the interview) that conflicts with the revolutionary Shi`i ideology of the Hawzah. A close reading shows that Sayyid Hassan [Nasrallah] is subtly but clearly critical of socialist movements and is trying to bring/return them into a common platform.” Borrowing a phrase from the so-called Christian “liberation theology” of the Latin American Left, Hamid continues, “Unfortunately academic leftists in the West (and that apparently includes Khalil) have for the most part refused to truly study Islamic liberation theology . . .. Instead of shouting "fake!" we should be encouraging the kind of broad anti-imperialist front that this interview encapsulates.”
As it turns out, the interview was ultimately acknowledged to be a fake by its original publisher, the Turkish Labor Party newspaper Evrensel. Apparently leftist forgers want the alliance with the Islamists so badly they invent a Nasrallah who is proposing political marriage to the socialists. But the third road is still an illusion. Islamists give socialists a simple choice: convert or die.
Cockburn claims his website is not anti-Semitic, but “former” Ku Klux Klan leader (and recent guest at Iran’s latest holocaust-denial confab) David Duke isn’t fooled. The leftist Cockburn is so beloved by Duke that his articles appear on Duke’s website. A more clear statement of the nature of Islamic-Leftist relations comes from the al-Qaeda statement celebrating the victory of their Democrat allies in the November 7 US Congressional elections. Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, head of al-Qaeda in Iraq, explains in a tape-recorded message, "The victory day has come faster than we expected. Here is the Islamic nation in Iraq victorious against the tyrant. The enemy is incapable of fighting on and has no choice but to run away." He added, “We will not rest from our Jihad before blowing up the filthy Black house (White House)." Convert or die.
Lebanese scholar Walid Phares, after listening to al-Muhajir’s entire message in the original Arabic, writes on Counter Terrorism Blog of, “al Qaeda's penetration of American politics.” Says Phares, “Interestingly, the message asks (American) politicians if they will implement their electoral promises to withdraw from Iraq. Al-Muhajir (who is also known as Abu Ayyub al-Masri) praises the choices by the voters of the enemy to ‘defeat Bush.’ More interestingly, he uses an American vocabulary by calling the War ‘stupid.’ Usually Jihadists call it evil or infidel and rarely qualify it in secular ‘electoral’ terms. But the most striking words used by a Jihadi commander is ‘lame duck.’ When I heard him uttering the words ‘al-batta al arjaa’ I realized he was off the classical Jihadi speech.” The Islamic website www.al-Qaria.net features UK Respect Party politician and al-Jazeera correspondent Yvonne Ridley warning Muslims to, “Beware of the Happy Clappies (who) . . . promote an Islam devoid of jihad, shari'ah and khilafah.” The British ex-wife of a PLO Colonel, Ridley was captured by the Taliban while covering the Afghan war in September 2001. She was released days later after promising to read the Koran. She converted to Islam in 2003 and now says, "I was horrible to (my) captors. I spat at them and was rude and refused to eat.”
Another Muslim convert, Seattle-based Al-Muhajabah, the former Laura Poyneer who converted in the late 1990s, operates the website Muslims for Kucinich and the “Clark Blog;” she also posts the quaint and formerly de-rigueur statement: “Muslims condemn terrorism.” This makes her propaganda efforts on behalf of surrender-minded Democrats all the more effective, but many Islamic websites have moved beyond that fig-leaf.
Ridley and Poyneer are not the only leftists who have converted to Islam in the wake of terror attacks. Jihad US is operated by Khadija Abdul Qahaar, who in a lengthy personal statement describes herself as, “the former Bev Giesbrecht, Canadian publishing entrepreneur and in later years, also web developer . . .” Her response to the 9-11 attacks was to convert in early 2002 from being a leftist Canadian Bush-hater to Islam. Her website celebrates al-Qaeda and violent jihadists worldwide.
Without the internet skills and the service of hundreds of Western writers and intellectuals, the Islamists would have much greater difficulty spreading their propaganda to gain the submission of American and European leftist audiences. How important is the Left’s servitude to radical Islam? Osama bin-Laden explains it best in an intercepted letter to Taliban chief Mullah Omar: “It is obvious that the media war in this century is one of the strongest methods (of struggle). In fact, its ratio may reach 90% of the total preparation for battles.”
While these left-wing writers and intellectuals now openly serve the jihadis, Benjamin Barber confines himself to arguing for American paralysis. In his most recent 2003 book, Fear’s Empire: War, Terrorism and Democracy in an age of Interdependence, Barber, still the third-roader, strikes the familiar liberal refrain: fighting terrorists creates terrorism. Wisely he confines himself to normal Democrat Party surrender rhetoric. This keeps him clean enough to serve in a future Democrat Presidential administration while others more completely follow the logic of his positions.