In the summer of 2009, when the world witnessed brave Iranians taking to the streets in an effort to overthrow the Islamofascist regime that was terrorizing them, the president of the United States merely shrugged his shoulders and shuffled his feet. Encouraging words somehow failed him. But today, as the world watches the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 occur right before its eyes, Obama suddenly sees it fit to stretch out a hand of solidarity to the Muslim Brotherhood – giving the Islamist group a green light to share power in a post-Mubarak Egyptian government. In other words, instead of taking a concrete stand against a jihadist entity, a U.S. president has given it his own personal blessing and stamp of approval. It’s the Jimmy Carter-1979 shah betrayal all over again – and with horrific deadly consequences once again on the horizon.
None of this, of course, should come as any surprise; rather, it should be completely expected. Barack Obama is, after all, a man of the left, and the left is always charmed by adversarial terrorist forces that seek to do harm to free democratic societies. Thus, helping to pave the road for the Muslim Brotherhood to take power in Egypt is only to be expected from America’s radical in chief. The Muslim Brotherhood is, after all, an influential Islamist organization and the ideological forebear of Hamas and al-Qaida. Its top objectives are to implement Shariah law and to annihilate Israel. Once it comes to power in Egypt, it will bring Khomeini-style killing fields to purify all non-Muslim infections.
The historical record is simply there for anyone who has an honest interest in the psychological makeup of the left. Leftists have prostrated themselves before despots throughout history – during the whole Cold War and now vis-à-vis jihadists in the terror war. When a despot like Osama bin Laden, Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr, Mao Zedong or Fidel Castro wields totalitarian power and metes out sadistic punishment, it is an act with which a leftist yearns to identify.
The list of examples of the leftists engaging in political romances with tyrants is infinite: Noam Chomsky traveling to Lebanon in May 2006 to embrace Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah; Academic Norman Finkelstein, a Jewish leftist, venerating Hamas and Hezbollah; Naomi Klein calling out in a column in The Nation for Muqtada al-Sadr’s killing fields to come to New York; Tom Hayden reaching the next stage of his totalitarian high by meeting Klein’s hero, al-Sadr, in London; and British Member of Parliament George Galloway visiting Syria in November 2005, prostrating himself before its despot and giving a speech at Damascus University in which he denounced America and Israel and extended his support to every possible enemy of the United States – from the terrorists in Iraq to Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez.
What Obama is pursuing with the Muslim Brotherhood, therefore, is simply to be expected. And in typical fashion, the left is clamoring behind him to indulge in its own romance with the Egyptian jihadist entity.
The deranged and delusional leftist support for the Muslim Brotherhood today is a replay of how the left supported the Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran in 1979. And without doubt, the left’s love affair with the Khomeini revolution, a well-known tragic – and grotesque – story, documented in works like David Horowitz’s “Unholy Alliance” and in my own “United in Hate,” served as a revealing – and horrifying – example of this progressive impulse to worship tyranny.
French philosopher Michel Foucault was the poster boy for the left’s love affair with Khomeini’s killing machine. Like leftists around the world, he was enchanted with the ayatollah. It was evident, after all, that Khomeini was not planning to set up Jeffersonian institutions based on respect for individual liberty and the right to dissent. Khomeini’s violent and intolerant attitude toward non-Muslim minorities (especially Baha’is and Jews), secularists, women and all dissenters from the Islamist line was no secret. The fate that would befall these groups when the ayatollah came to power was preordained. This is what attracted leftists like Foucault most, explaining why, in his writing on the revolution, he did not disguise his exhilaration at what Islamists would bring to Iran. Indeed, he strongly endorsed the ayatollahs’ staunch rejection of the shah’s plan of modernization and secularization and their goal of returning to an idealized, pre-modern past – the beginnings of Islam in the seventh century.
The specter of Khomeini’s terror inspired Foucault – as it did leftists around the globe. He celebrated the Islamic Revolution, rejoicing how “as an ‘Islamic’ movement, it can set the entire region afire, overturn the most unstable regimes, and disturb the most solid.” With a hopeful exhilaration, he asked: “What would it be if this cause encompassed the dynamism of an Islamic movement, something much stronger than those with Marxist, Leninist, or Maoist character?”
For those who understand the psychology of the left well, it was not a great surprise that, to the end of his life, Foucault adamantly defended “everyone’s right to kill himself.” Suicide, he wrote in a 1979 essay, was “the simplest of pleasures.” One had to prepare for it “bit by bit, decorate it, arrange the details, find the ingredients, imagine it, choose it, get advice on it, shape it into a work without spectators, one which exists only for oneself, just for the shortest little moment of life.”
And so, Foucault and the left got what they lusted for in Iran: When Khomeini took power, he did not disappoint the progressives around the world who cheered him on. Indeed, the mass terror began immediately. Homosexuals were put in front of firing squads; adulterers (and alleged adulterers) were stoned to death; “enemies of the revolution” were imprisoned, tortured and killed; women were segregated, forcibly veiled, and placed under a vicious and sadistic system of gender apartheid. And all the while, the killing machine began the mass extermination of Iranian citizens.
Foucault, of course, when confronted by the media for his support of Khomeini, never issued a mea culpa, nor did the left ever issue a nostra culpa. And it is significant that Foucault, who had attempted to kill himself several times out of guilt feelings regarding his homosexuality, ended up supporting a death cult that murdered homosexuals. Self-hate and a craving for death resides deep in the heart of the progressive dream. And so it is really no mystery that leftist intellectuals support tyrannies that murder intellectuals – and why today leftists in the West are beginning to worship at the feet of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Thus, as we observe the Obama administration reaching its hand of solidarity out to the Muslim Botherhood in Egypt today, we can only nod with understanding, as this gruesome behavior for progressives is just another extension of the left’s long-practiced ritual of fellow traveling and the expression of sympathy for and adulation of an adversarial monstrosity. This is just the next putrid chapter of the left’s horrid and morbid journey into the heart of darkness and death.
Jamie Glazov is editor of Frontpagemag.com and author of “United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror.”