Friday, June 11, 2010

Unholy Alliance: Andy McCarthy's New Book

Andy McCarthy's new book The Grand Jihad posits the theory that there is an alliance of convenience between Muslim Jihadists and the western Left. This might be a startling thesis for many Americans to absorb (and was first proposed by David Horowitz in his great book, Unholy Alliance), as they mostly see the Left as idealistic social justice types, rather than warriors against western civilization. McCarthy sat down for an illuminating interview with Front Page's Jamie Glazov: The Grand Jihad

FP: So, in your view, why exactly do they collaborate?

McCarthy: Well, it’s mostly about the common enemy. But I argue that, their significant differences notwithstanding, they are in harmony on a few big-picture matters. Both ideologies are authoritarian, in the sense that they want a powerful central government to impose their alternative utopias. Both are totalitarian, in the sense that each of those alternative utopias involves controlling life down to its granular details. And, again, neither can tolerate a freedom culture: if individuals are free, Leftists and Islamists must fail. As I demonstrate in the book, Rousseau, who is the father of all modern radical movements and despised the notion of individual liberty, was an admirer of Islam – especially its holding that the spiritual and secular realms are indivisible. And when one compares Rousseau’s thought with that of Qutb (who, along with Banna, is the most important Brotherhood thinker), the similarities are startling.

FP: In describing the Obama Left, you invoke David Horowitz’s notion of “neocommunism.” Tell us why.

McCarthy: I am obviously very influenced by David’s insights about the radical Left, and, with respect to the themes in this book, by his Unholy Alliance, which I think is one of the most important – and too often overlooked – books of the last several years. David’s description of neocommunism seems to me a perfect analysis of the phenomenon we’re seeing. When the Soviet Union collapsed, many on the Right heaved a sigh of relief and though, “Thank God that’s over.” But it wasn’t the end of communism at all. Indeed, it turned out, as David points out, to be a boon for Leftists. In arguing for their utopia, they no longer had to explain away a huge, execrable, concrete example of what happens when their lofty ideas get applied in the real world. Now it’s all “social justice” – and who doesn’t want social justice, right? – without the inconvenience of the gulags, the purges, the mass-murders, the collapsed economy, the resulting degradation and hopelessness.

As McCarthy says elsewhere in the interview, this is an alliance (often unspoken), and not a merger. And it has happened before: the socialist Nasser and the jihadist Muslim Brotherhood worked in concert to topple the government of Egypt at which point Nasser brutally suppressed the Brotherhood. The communist Left in Iran worked with the mullahs to topple the Shah, at which point the mullahs suppressed the communists. I know, you're heartbroken, I'm sure. I didn't know tears could taste like chocolate.

And contemporary leftists have gone to extraordinary lengths to assist today's jihad. McCarthy notes the collaboration between CAIR and the ACLU to challenge post-9/11 security measures. There's the white shoe law firms that fell all over themselves to provide pro bono legal services to GITMO inmates; Eric Holder's famous reluctance to declare radical Muslims to be behind terrorist attacks on the US; the eagerness among the progressive left to cheer on last week's blockade runners. And so on. To me, the paradigmatic example is Lynn Stewart, who committed a crime in order to facilitate communication between the "Blind Sheik" and his Egyptian followers, something she had never done for any of her radical clients in the past.

In this alliance, it would seem the jihadists have the upper hand, since they are so much more willing to kill to achieve their ends. So are many leftists, but the majority are too naive or willfully blind to understand the forces that would destroy them along with the rest of the West.

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