Saturday, July 02, 2005

Daniel Lazare of the Nation: Secular Democratic Socialist Forces can defeat the enemy: The US!

Via Powerline, Junkyard Blog, and Umbrae Canarum comes this interview on The Michael Medved show. David Lazare and David Horowitz go head-to-head over the American Far Left's response to the War on Terror. Mr. Horowitz sees the far left as aiding and abetting the islamo-facists, much as their predecessors assisted the Soviets during the Cold War. Lazare fires back that the Left acts in "solidarity" with the Iraqi insurgents because America is like Nazi Germany and have illegitimately invaded Iraq's sovereignty. Mr. Lazare reveals in shockingly honest terms just how anti-American and utopian many on the left that agree with him have become. But don't worry. Even though he is utterly anti-American and did not even support the Iraqi elections in January, he's still a patriot. Don't take my word for it. Behold the man:

Michael Medved: David Horowitz has written another provocative new book, which we're talking about on the Michael Medved Show. It is called Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left. How do I know it's a provocative new book? Because it's already provoked our other guest, Daniel Lazare, frequent contributor to The Nation magazine to say, number one, he feels total sympathy and support for insurgents in Fallujah and compares those insurgents to the leaders of the French resistance to the Nazis in World War II. Daniel, are you sure you want to stick with that comparison?

Daniel Lazare: Yeah, I'm very happy to, actually. Now, let me just – let me just establish a few ground rules here. To draw a comparison is not to draw an equation. So, obviously, there are great differences between the Underground and resistance in Iraq and resistance in France during World War II.

One of the most important differences is that the political – that politically the Iraqi resistance is dominated by Islamic fundamentalists.

In France – and I'm not sure that Dave is going to like this very much – in France, it was dominated by the French Communist Party. But the French Underground did assassinate soldiers, assassinate collaborators, blow up trains, in which innocent civilians were traveling on. I don't necessarily support those actions, by the way, just as I certainly would not issue a blanket statement of support for the actions of the Islamic fundamentalists in Iraq. But I certainly do believe that the Iraqis have every right to repel a foreign invasion. And so, in that sense, in that sense alone, I solidarize with them entirely.

Not content to hang himself with just that little bit of rhetorical rope, Mr. Lazare goes further:

Michael Medved: Okay. This is what I find so clarifying about this. Very often, when I have people representing the Left on this radio show, they dissemble, they hide. You're straight out there. You've said unequivocally you think America today in Iraq and presumably around the world is like the Nazis under Hitler.

Daniel Lazare: Well, actually, I'll go further.
No, I think David and you, too, Michael, have done a really great service. You really have clarified things really, very well. I don't say that Bush is Hitler. I'm not drawing an equation, obviously, but I am drawing a comparison. And not only am I drawing a comparison that his attack on Iraq was comparable to Hitler's on Poland, but I quite agree that the millions of people who took to the streets in protest against the invasion of Iraq were motivated by this perspective. That was precisely why they took to the streets because they saw in Bush's actions a frightening parallel with the events that occurred, what, 65 years earlier in Europe. And so he's absolutely correct. I think Hitler had probably more reason to attack Poland than Bush had to attack Iraq.

It's almost too hysterical for words. This has to be the first time I've heard any one say something this utterly insane. Mr. Lazare reminds me of Chesterton's identification of the rationality of the insane. It's not that their illogical, it's that their logic surrounds too tight a circle of comprehension. How utterly Reasonable of Mr. Lazare to compare Hitler's blatent black op. in Poland--and it's consequential pretext for his invasion--to the US's response to the entirely incalcitrant Butcher of Baghdad regarding WMDs and ties to Al Q'aida. Hello? Ansar Al Islam anyone? If I had one ambivelance as to denying the jus belli of the Iraq war, it would be the presence of this terrorist cell with ties to Al Q'aida. The Left has utterly ignored this reality. Mr. Lazare has clearly drowned himself in the Kool aid of the Left.

Wait: there's more:

Michael Medved: All right, let me – let's get one thing clear here. Daniel, I take it from your comments here and some other material that I've read of yours, you would like to see America lose the War on Terror, is that not correct?

Daniel Lazare: Let me explain this, please. I think the War on Terror is totally bogus. I think terrorism is a meaningless word, okay? Terrorism is what the other guy does to us. It's never what we do to the other guy.
Michael Medved: Okay, Daniel Lazare, you would like to see – what would you like to see happen regarding the Islamo-fascist movement?

Daniel Lazare: The Islamo-fascist movement?

Michael Medved: Yes, jihadi warriors that we are fighting right now.

Daniel Lazare: I want to see it defeated, obviously.

Michael Medved: What's that?

Daniel Lazare: I want to see it defeated, obviously, as I want to see the Jewish fascist movement and the Christian fascist movement defeated, okay?

David Horowitz: What’s that?

Michael Medved: Defeated by whom and how?

Daniel Lazare: By democratic forces, secular democratic forces.

Michael Medved: Such as? Who are the good guys in this –

Daniel Lazare: Socialist forces.

Michael Medved: So are there any good guys currently engaged in trying to counteract the murderous Islamic extremists?

Daniel Lazare: Sure.

Michael Medved: Who are the good guys?

Daniel Lazare: I'm trying to do it.

Don't you feel safe now? The Patriot is on the case! He doesn't believe there's a war on Terror, but he wants to defeat all facists. His chosen methodology? Solidarity with the Insurgence. If he helps Iraq win, then the greatest fascist state in history will be defeated. Of course, that happens to be the United States. But don't question his patriotism. He opposes fascism, donchaknow!

Well, not that it needs to be done, but it's time for a little primer on patriotism. Perhaps Mr. Lazare can explain how he's a patriot after some instruction on the matter.

First of all, we should define our terms. Here's the definition of patriotism according to The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.:

patriot (n) : one who loves and defends his or her country

Another definition comes from Merriam-Webster online:

patriot (noun): one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests

Hmmm. A patriot "loves and defends his or her country and supports its authority and interests."

How does Mr. Lazare's public belief and behavior fit this description? Well, comparing America to Nazi Germany is a rather odd way to express love for one's country. Such a statement from a columnist of a hard left rag prestigious international journal does not reasonably provide any support to the United States government or its interests. In fact, it undermines both. Still, it's hardly fair to question a man's patriotism on the basis of a couple of dictionary definitions. Perhaps Mr. Lazare's courage compares to actual patriots. Encylopedia Britannica offers a few portraits of famous American patriots here. Let's look at a few, shall we?

First, Issac Sears:

Isaac Sears

born July 1?, 1730, West Brewster, Mass.
died Oct. 28, 1786, Canton, China

American patriot.

A merchant in New York City, he supported the patriots' cause in the Stamp Act riots. As a member of the radical Sons of Liberty, he headed a boycott of British goods to protest the Townshend Acts. He led the ouster of loyalist officials from New York City and seized control of the municipal government until George Washington's troops arrived (1775).

Next, Crispus Attucks:

Crispus Attucks

born 1723?
died March 5, 1770, Boston, Mass.

American patriot and martyr of the Boston Massacre.

His early life is unclear, but he was probably a runaway slave of African and Natick Indian ancestry, and he may have served on whaling ships. He is the only one of the massacre's five victims who is widely remembered. In 1888 the Crispus Attucks monument was unveiled in the Boston Common.

Finally, Haym Salomon:

Haym Salomon

born 1740, Lissa, Pol.
died Jan. 6, 1785, Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.

American patriot and financier.

Forced to flee Poland for his revolutionary activities, he arrived in New York in 1772 and soon became a successful merchant and financier. A supporter of the patriot cause in the American Revolution, he was arrested and imprisoned by the British. In 1778 he escaped to Philadelphia, where he opened a brokerage office. He made loans in excess of $600,000 to help finance the new government, extended interest-free private loans to James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and others, and obtained French loans to the American government.

It's clear from these exemplerary men that a patriot is prepared to support the country and people that he or she loves with every ounce of strength and vitality. These men fought, financed and even gave their lives for the people--and the way of life--of their country. Make no mistake that the revolutionary generation regarded the colonies as their own country.

Exactly how has Mr. Lazare measured up to their standard? I haven't heard of any significant financial contribution from him toward any of the charities that support our soldiers and their families. I know he hasn't volunteered for service in support of the United States. He's certainly alive and well enough to loudly embarass himself on Michael Medved's nationally broadcast radio show.

He has not met even one standard of patriotism has demonstrated by the lives of those patriots. Not one.

To be fair, neither have a lot of people. But a lot of people aren't implicitly demanding that they be seen as patriotic after equating the US to Nazi Germany. They're not urging the nation to recognize their patriotsim after offering public support to the enemies of our military in Iraq. They're certainly not extolling their patriotism after completely undermining our nation's engagement in the War on Terror.

A writer of Mr. Lazare's stature has a unique ability to demonstrate his patriotism. His essays could honestly reflect the United States efforts to secure her way of life. This honesty could even assess many of the mistakes the country has made in forging policies to that end. Judging from his own comments in this interview, however, as well as a brief survey of his writings at The Nation, I believe he has not done this. Even. Once.

A Reasonable man may find David Lazare to be a patriot's patriot. A Fool can reach only one conclusion: Mr. Lazare is not a patriot. No patriot offers aid and comfort to the enemy in a time of war and then hides behind the first ammendment of the constitution of the very nation he opposes. In another time, Mr. Lazare might even face charges of treason. Since the war in Iraq is authorized by Congress but still undeclared, he does not face that fate. He can convince any one he wants about his love for his country. No Fool will be fooled by him. The man is no Patriot. The man is a disgrace.

At least he's an honest disgrace. It's good for us fools to know what we're up against.