Right Web

Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Islamofascist What?

Right-wing pundit David Horowitz was in rare form during a tightly controlled "public speech" at the George Washington...

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Right-wing pundit David Horowitz was in rare form during a tightly controlled "public speech" at the George Washington University last Thursday night, decrying the U.S. academic Left as a hateful "lynch mob" who act as apologists for the impending threat of the "Islamo-fascist" jihad.

As bodyguards and police loomed on stage and in the aisles, Horowitz launched into an unscripted two-hour tirade that meandered between selective (and dubious) readings of Middle East history and pointed attacks against those who criticized his efforts.

It was the latest permutation of Horowitz’s long march as the harbinger of revolutionary knowledge in the face of public opprobrium. And as usual, he offered up a sensational and bizarre spectacle that appeared better suited for the U.S. tabloid talk show circuit than a forum of legitimate public debate.

During his speech, sponsored by the conservative student group Young America Foundation, Horowitz condemned the "oppression of women in Islam," and what he perceived as the endemic "genocidal Jew hatred" throughout the Middle East. He took aim at the "juvenile delinquents"—GWU students—who had satirized his efforts, and said that Palestinians, through their actions, showed that they did not want a state of their own. Horowitz also alleged that the Muslim Students Association, which has chapters at universities across the nation, is a creation of the "Islamo-fascist jihad."

He called Lebanese Hezbollah a "Nazi party," and warned that Turkey was teetering on the edge of becoming an Islamo-fascist state. And he described Iran as the archetype of this phenomenon.

"There is an intellectual terror in this country, which you have all seen. The president [George W. Bush] is intimidated from using the term Islamo-fascism because it is supposed to be racist," he told an audience of students, a majority of whom applauded his words.

"Why the term fascism? The analytical reason is simple," he said. "Probably Islamo-Nazism is a more appropriate term."

Horowitz’s conservative Freedom Center designated last week as the first "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week"—a time to refute "the two big lies of the political Left: that George Bush created the war on terror and that global warming is a greater danger to Americans than the terrorist threat."

The program consisted of more than 30 events at 26 universities across the nation. Conservative pundits, politicians, and academic and think-tank experts—including former Sen. Rick Santorum, conservative icon Ann Coulter, and Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum—delivered speeches and spoke on panels.

Pipes is among a small group of neoconservatives who advise Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani on Middle East affairs.

College students were urged to stage sit-ins outside women’s studies departments, and to distribute pamphlets, including titles such as "Jimmy Carter’s War Against the Jews." Films screened included Islam: What the West Needs to Know. According to its description, the film "reveals the violent, expansionary ideology of the so-called ‘religion of peace’ that seeks the destruction or subjugation of other faiths, cultures, and systems of government."

But Horowitz’s speech last Thursday did not reflect a coherent policy toward the perceived threat. Instead, it overflowed with insults, sweeping generalizations, and hyperboles that were aimed at smearing his political enemies—mostly liberals, whom he described as "leftists"—giving him ammunition for his fundraising drives.

Horowitz focused much of his speech on the personal attacks he had received, repeatedly alluding to violent threats, and describing the fiasco as a "national hate campaign" against him, as if a "target had been placed on" his back.

The day earlier, he said, he was shouted down and was unable to finish a planned speech at Emory University in Georgia. Horowitz’s website, FrontPageMag.com, called the students "brownshirts," an allusion to a Nazi paramilitary group in fascist Germany.

Horowitz sent a solicitation email to Freedom Center supporters in anticipation of the week asking for additional contributions "toward the expenses of providing security" for speakers. Donors of $50 or more receive two booklets—"What Americans Need to Know About Jihad," by Robert Spencer, and "The Violent Oppression of Women in Islam," by Robert Spencer and Phyllis Chesler.

On Thursday, he appeared on stage with a large bodyguard constantly scanning the crowd. Journalists were barred from asking any questions.

One protestor who had sneaked a banner into the theater was removed quickly by security as soon as he stood up and unfurled it. Several heated discussions occurred in the lobby and outside the building shortly after the event ended.

The publicity provided by the extreme rhetoric and protest incidents gets the attention of a cabal of wealthy and powerful conservatives who in turn fund Horowitz’s activities through foundations.

The Freedom Center has received more than $15 million in grants from conservative donors, according a report from Media Transparency, an organization that monitors contributions to conservative media. Major contributors include the John M. Olin Foundation, a New York-based think-tank that closed its doors in 2005, and which funded major right-wing think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation, and the Hoover Institution.

Prominent conservative billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife has poured $4.2 million into Horowitz’s activities through the Sarah Scaife Foundation, the Carthage Foundation, and the Allegheny Foundation.

Horowitz also received $6.1 million from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, considered the country’s largest and most influential right-wing foundation.

By the end of the week, "Islamo-fascism awareness" had descended into a publicity circus.

According to independent journalist Max Blumenthal, who attended Horowitz’s talk on Friday at Columbia University, Horowitz was surrounded by a group of bodyguards who almost outnumbered the amount of people there to protest his speech. Columbia security subsequently removed the protesters from the campus.

Horowitz went on a bizarre rant—claiming that there "will never be social justice"—and launched into a tirade about the threats from the guests on the Jerry Springer Show. He also compared his own father, a Communist Queens schoolteacher, to Mohamed Atta, the operational leader of the 9/11 attacks.

"It was like listening to the ravings of a lunatic on a subway car," said Blumenthal. "The only difference was that on the subway the police are there to remove the lunatic and here they were there to protect the lunatic."

Khody Akhavi and Ali Gharib write for the Inter Press Service.

Citations

Khody Akhavi and Ali Gharib, "Islamofascist What?" Right Web Analysis (Somerville, MA: International Relations Center, October 29, 2007).

Share RightWeb

Featured Profiles

Rudolph Giuliani is a lawyer and Republican politician who was mayor of New York City from 1994-2001. A foreign policy hawk and vocal supporter of Donald Trump, Giuliani recently joined Trump’s legal team to add pressure on the special council to wrap up the investigation into alleged collusion with Russia in U.S. elections.


Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) is an outspoken promoter of aggressive U.S. foreign policies whose comments often combine right-wing Republican populism and neoconservativism.


I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, a key neoconservative figure and former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was convicted as part of the investigation into the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame’s and later pardoned by Donald Trump.


Since taking office Donald Trump has revealed an extremely hawkish approach to U.S. foreign affairs, which has been marked by controversial actions like dropping out of the Iran nuclear agreement that have raised tensions across much of the world and threatened relations with key allies.


Mira Ricardel, former weapons marketer for Boeing, is the deputy national security adviser under John Bolton. She is a well-known foreign policy hawk who has served in key positions in the administration of George W. Bush and, earlier, in the office of former Senator Robert Dole (R-KS).


Shmuley Boteach is a “celebrity rabbi” known for his controversial “pro-Israel” advocacy.


Gina Haspel is a CIA officer who was nominated to head the agency by President Donald Trump in March 2018. She first came to prominence because of accusations that she oversaw the torture of prisoners and later destroyed video evidence of that torture.


For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Significant numbers of military combat operations across the globe are being outsourced to the private sector with little accountability, including in Syria where both Russia and the United States have put contractors to war.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Among the many disturbing images from the ceremony redesignating a U.S. consulate building in Jerusalem as the new U.S. embassy was the participation of two bigoted American preachers, Robert Jeffress and John Hagee, which reveals just how far removed the issue has become from any presumed effort to provide succor or shelter to a historically persecuted religious minority. Only dogma and raw power remain.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The costs of America’s “war on terror,” still spreading in the Trump era, are incalculable. Just look at photos of the cities of Ramadi or Mosul in Iraq, Raqqa or Aleppo in Syria, Sirte in Libya, or Marawi in the southern Philippines, all in ruins in the wake of the conflicts Washington set off in the post–9/11 years, and try to put a price on them. That number is not included in the $5.6 trillion that the “Costs of War Project” at Brown University’s Watson Institute estimates has been spent since September 12, 2001.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

President Trump is a very powerful boat with no rudder. Unfortunately, John Bolton is now his rudder. Which effectively means, when it comes to foreign policy, that it’s Bolton’s administration now.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Given the chaotic policymaking process in the White House, Iran policy will likely be implemented in an ad hoc fashion subject to the interplay between President Trump’s continued incoherence and a drive toward confrontation pushed primarily by John Bolton.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Donald Trump and the GOP are deeply indebted to anti-Iran deal billionaires who aren’t afraid to advocate for policies that push the country closer to another war in the Middle East.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

  Lobelog   President Trump’s decision to violate and withdraw from the Iran anti-nuclear deal is one of the most dangerous foreign policy blunders in recent memory, setting the stage for a war that one analyst has noted could “make the Afghan and Iraqi conflicts look like a walk in the park.” The decision to go…


RightWeb
share