The following is from a round-table discussion held by Frontpage Magazine, in which the panelists were asked about the relationship between Communists and terrorism-supporters.
The panelists are : 1) Vladimir Bukovsky , a former Soviet dissident who spent twelve years in Soviet prisons, labor camps and psychiatric hospitals for his fight for freedom, and whose works include To Build a Castle and Judgement in Moscow; 2) Daniel Pipes, Director of the Middle East Forum and author of a new book, Islam in America, which will be available in the frontpage bookstore; 3) Paul Hollander, professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and author of Political Pilgrims, Anti-Americanism and most recently Discontents: Postmodern and Postcommunist; and 4) Michael Ledeen, Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute author of Machiavelli on Modern Leadership and Tocqueville on American Character, and a forthcoming title, The War Against the Terror Masters, to be published by St Martinâ€™s Press.
Q: How would you comment on the fifth column supporters of Communism vs. the fifth column abettors of and apologists for the terrorists?
Pipes: The same people (i.e. George McGovern) are saying roughly the same things. (Editors note: In his NR article, Pipes argues that the cause lies in the fact that "The Left, in keeping with its materialist outlook, sees communist or fundamentalist Islamic ideology as a cover for some other motivation, probably an economic one. . . .The Left sees Western hostility as a leading cause for things having gone wrong. . . .It's the old liberal "blame America first" attitude.")
Bukovsky: Those are usually the same people with the same reaction.
Hollander: People who hate the West, the U.S. and capitalism are eager to embrace any movement that is anti-Western, hence the current support or benefit of doubt regarding Islamic fanatics, Palestinian guerillas
etc. These people do put a brake on efforts to fight them (e.g. the great solicitousness toward the civil rights of accused terrorists) but they donâ€™t stop the efforts.
Ledeen: Nothing to add except "amen."
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Q: Yes, the fifth column supporters of Communism and the fifth column abettors of the terrorists are the same people. If we dig deeper, what do we find here? Why does the liberal-left fall in love with America's enemies? Is it a self-hatred? A hatred of life? A death wish?
Pipes: Fifth-column supporters is too strong a term for the liberals; they are appeasers who sincerely believe that (1) showing good will go very far, (2) the West is to blame for the world's ills, and (3) all men have good in their hearts.
Bukovsky: Intellectuals are the most power-hungry stratum of any society. They crave total power. That is what explains their embrace of totalitarianism and, particularly, of the Left ideologies which, if you look closer, give them a unique and privileged position in the utopian society. They hate anyone else who might be viewed as being in power.
Hollander: I agree with Pipes; "5th column" is too strong a term.
Ledeen: Vladimir has it right. They hate America because America gives them low status. They want to play the consigliere to a powerful Prince, and Americans give little glory to intellectuals. Only Arthur Schlesinger Jr. fulfilled the intellectualsâ€™ dream, which is why he was so happy for so long.
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Any thoughts on the anti-Western connection?