By Alex Alexiev
January 4, 2010
Shortly after 9/11 a lively discussion ensued on the pages of a prominent green journal regarding the possibility and merit of an alliance between the Greens, the Left and radical Islam. The discussion identified the emergence of radical Islam as a “geopolitical opponent of the dominant West, equal or greater in magnitude to the specter of communism” with Osama bin Laden and the Taliban providing a “charismatic voice articulating the vision of an Islamic revolt against the West.” Moreover, the green theoreticians argued, radical Islam was a “movement of social revolution” that may be “moving towards some form of socialism…” It concluded hopefully that “Greens and Muslims might somehow collaborate as parallel, overlapping movements of liberation from the dominance of capital.”
Eight years later, the putative romance of the American Left with radical Islam appears to have become an affectionate embrace. Congressional hearings have revealed that no less than 500 leftist lawyers, many of them hired by Attorney General Eric Holder’s law firm, Covington & Burling, rushed to defend pro bono the 244 Islamic extremists and terrorists held at Guantanamo. At least a couple of these radicals, now working for Mr. Holder in top positions, have already had to recuse themselves from prosecuting detainees because of their previous advocacy for them and more such cases are certain to come out.
It is difficult to escape the impression that for many radical leftists in and outside the current administration, the Guantanamo terrorists are more than simply the innocent victims of American imperialism; these “gentle, thoughtful young men,” as one of these lawyers described them, are increasingly seen as valiant allies in the common struggle against the capitalist hegemon. Two of these cuddly young men, Said al-Shihri and Ibrahim Suleiman al-Rubaish, released from Guantanamo in 2007, promptly became leaders of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula which claimed credit for the attempted blow-up of Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas Day.
This startling dalliance – about which the American people know very little since it is never discussed in the mainstream media - is already having a dramatic effect on Washington’s willingness to confront the radical Islamist threat that is certain to get worse. If proof is needed, a quick look at the officially sanctioned White House speech code reveals that not only are ‘Islamic’ and ‘terrorism’ now considered completely unrelated, but “terrorism” itself has been declared non-existent by government fiat. And it is not just administration spinmeisters and the pinstripes at Foggy Bottom that have been infected by this reality-denying affliction; the very officials whose job it is to assess the terrorist threat are no longer willing to admit publicly that such a thing even exists.
A few days ago, the Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, writing about the new National Intelligence Strategy in a Washington Post op-ed, managed to avoid mentioning radical Islam or the terrorist threat a single time while waxing earnestly about imaginary problems such as “pandemic disease, climate events, failed states and scarce natural resources” and praising U.S. intelligence for “defusing threats” in “energy, trade, drug interdiction and public health.” Coming from the country’s top intelligence official at a time when the nation had just experienced the first act of suicide terrorism by a homegrown jihadist and two dozen other would-be terrorists were recently arrested for plotting the mass murder of fellow citizens, such prevarications come close to dereliction of duty and cannot but have a strongly demoralizing effect on the rank and file counter-terrorism personnel who have to deal with the reality of radical Islam on a daily basis. Indeed, Blair’s pathetic exercise in threat denial was exposed for what it is just days later by the disturbing revelations of systematic U.S. counterterrorism incompetence after Flight 253.
It behooves us all, therefore, to try to understand the dynamics of this disturbing trend and the motives driving it. On the surface, an alliance between Islamism and the radical American left makes grotesquely little sense. With their single-minded dedication to the destruction of Western civilization, imposing worldwide Islamic rule and strict obeisance to the barbaric prescriptions of Sharia doctrine, the Islamists are vehemently opposed to the left’s touted beliefs in equality, humanitarianism, anti-clericalism and socialist utopias. Moreover, it is the key constituent parts of the leftist coalition, such as homosexuals, feminists, atheists and Jews, that are marked to become the first victims of an Islamist dictatorship, as experience has already shown in Iran.
Yet, a closer look points to a number of compelling reasons driving these strangest of bedfellows into each other’s arms. For the left there is just one overpowering consideration. After the collapse of communism, radical Islam appears to be the only power capable of defeating capitalism and the hated United States as the last obstacle on the road to socialist utopia. Irrational as this may be, it is no less real than the Nazis hatred for the Jews or that of the communists for the class enemy.
For the Islamists, on the other hand, the rationale is clear-cut and fully congruent with their long-term objectives. To them, the radical leftists, though infidels, are valuable, if temporary, allies in that they hate the West and their own societies with equal passion and could be productively exploited as fellow-travelers or useful idiots, as the communists once exploited assorted Western dupes. The utility, indeed, imperative of such a tactical alliance has long been recognized by Islamist ideologues from the Muslim Brotherhood to prominent Jihad theoreticians like Abu Musab Al-Suri. An early Ikhwan programmatic document on its strategy in the West, known as “The Project,” for instance, advised “temporary cooperation” with movements opposed to colonialism and the Jewish state and working with “various influential institutions and using them in the service of Islam,” while Al-Suri listed parties with “anti-American and anti-imperialist ideology” as key potential allies for the jihadists in his influential book “Global Islamic Resistance Call.”
In most of these theoretical pronunciamentos, the Islamists insist that such alliances with the Left must be initiated and controlled by them, serve a specific Islamist purpose and could only be tactical in nature. Importantly, as The Project makes clear, none of these tactical arrangements are allowed to contradict Sharia doctrine or interfere with support for jihadist movements abroad. A look at several specific cases of Left-Radical Islam collaboration in the U.S. in recent years amply confirms this model of operations.
An early case involved the setting up in 1997 of an organization called National Coalition to Protect Political Freedoms (NCPPF) by the prominent American Islamist, Prof. Sami al-Arian, who was later sentenced to a jail term as a leader and financier of the designated terrorist organization Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). NCPPF was founded for the express purpose of undermining the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1996 which allowed the government to deport suspected alien terrorists on the basis of secret evidence. Its membership read like who is who of Islamist groups and assorted radical Left, ex-communist, Maoist and Trotskyite organizations. NCPPF early funding reportedly came from the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO), a radical outfit known for its strident anti-American and pro-Castro views and, lately, its advocacy of government-run health care. It remained active in support of the Islamist agenda until disbanded in 2007 after its founder was jailed for terrorist activities.
A similar “anti-imperialist coalition” called A.N.S.W.E.R. (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) designed to serve Islamist ends was founded, not coincidentally, three days after 9/11 with the objective of preventing U.S. retaliation against its organizers. Set up by loony left stalwart, Ramsey Clark, and funded once again by IFCO, A.N.S.W.E.R. advertized its “partnership with the Arab-American and Muslim community” as the “organizing strategy” of the coalition. It worked closely with Islamist groups and a panoply of hard left supporters to oppose any American policy or legislation that could make the activities of Islamic extremists more difficult. Its numerous protest actions and demonstrations in the years that followed were marked by open support for terrorist organizations, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, strident denunciations of America and Israel and anti-Semitism so virulent as to make even some of its leftist acolytes uncomfortable.
Since then, as the liberal spectrum of American politics has veered sharply to the left, the left-Islamist nexus has moved into the establishment with the result that even liberal-left groups with mainstream pretensions now eagerly promote Islamist causes. A case in point is the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) which has become an unabashed defender and apologist for radical Islamist groups, such as the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) – an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorist finance trial and a successor organization to the Hamas fund-raising front, Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP), according to the U.S. government. Indeed, the two organizations have become so close that they could more appropriately be seen as partners in promoting Islamist causes under the guise of defending civil rights. The ACLU appears to serve as the legal arm of CAIR in suing USG agencies such as the NSA and DHS for carrying out their national security mandates and has gone as far as appointing CAIR officials, including its national chairman, Parvez Ahmed, to its boards of directors.
Nor has pandering to radical Islamists been limited to non-governmental groups alone, as the example of the Gitmo lawyers in the Justice Department testifies. It is no longer far-fetched to see the left’s fatal attraction for radical Islam evolving into a national security threat to America.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Alex Alexiev is a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington D.C. The views expressed here are his own.
Source: Copyright 2009 Family Security Matters