David Horowitz gave the following speech -- on the importance of pointing out the betrayal of the Left, the cozy relationship between leftists and terrorists, how far we've come, and how far we have to go -- at Restoration Weekend 2004. -- The Editors.
I really want to begin today by thanking everybody in this room for your support for what I do. I began the Wednesday Morning Club with the idea of supporting conservatism in the entertainment industry. When I began it 12 years ago, everybody was pretty much in the closet. I remember how people had to hide what they believed, and when I saw Republicans in this city doing the same thing, it really disturbed me. I began holding forums, where there were two sides to an issue.
There’s not going to be a revolution, but there’s been a big change in this town. Others have now formed organizations. Robert Dolby and Craig Tittley have formed an actual entertainment industry group, which has something like 80 people on their list who are conservatives. Also, we’ve had leaders such as Jason Apuzzo and Govindini Murty, who formed the Liberty Film Festival. These are indicators that show that we are being successful, because this is a much bigger job than any one, two, or three people can do.
This has become, and still is, a platform where conservatives can come in this town. There are not too many friendly places for them yet – although there will be. This is mainly support for what we do at the Center and our work that has become more and more significant and important over the years, which has surprised me as much as anyone else.
We have a website, FrontPageMag.com, which I’m sure you are all familiar with and which is dedicated to “The War on America, at home and abroad.” This is what my book Unholy Alliance is about. Our magazine is read by almost two million people every month, with approximately 700,00 hardcore visitors.
I can tell you I travel probably more than anybody in this room. I was just in such large metropolises as Stevens Point, Wisconsin; Green Castle, Indiana; Gainesville, Florida; all cities that have universities. Everywhere I go, FrontPage readers come to hear me speak. We are read in Israel, Scotland, Australia, and Spain, where the website is translated to their native language. We have somebody who is translating our articles into Spanish, and probably French.
We have had an impact, and it’s very important because the work that we’re doing is a very hard work. I was just on a radio show with Jed Babbin, who has written a good book about the UN and is a conservative who is absolutely resistant to the central theme of Unholy Alliance, which is that there is a large fifth column Left in this country that wants the enemy to win. It’s counterintuitive to live in such a great country as this and think that there are people out to destroy it.
I am like Jonah, who has a stake to fell thee. I was brought-up by Communist parents, so I have studied it for the last 25 years and I can tell you nothing has changed in the American Left. I know what it is to live in this country and see all the things that you see, but to have a way of seeing things that causes them to want the U.S. to lose the Cold War, to lose the war in Vietnam, and to bring this country down.
I wanted to just say a couple of words about the election and how this was a tremendous victory for us. It will change things dramatically, and after Senator [Arlen] Specter hopefully gets a call from Karl Rove, it will change the Supreme Court.
The biggest thing I think that will change is that people who defend and love this country will feel their power. It’s very hard to turn on the tube and see the entire educational system of this country and virtually the entire media culture being controlled by the Left. So every day we have their point of view rubbed in our noses, and you get to think that this is the way the whole world thinks.
When you see the unbelievable attacks on the President, it’s really been almost two years solid of relentless assaults on this man and his integrity, his actions, and his policies. Still 60 million Americans voted for George Bush, and you know there’s a great country out there that is impervious in some way to the Left – not fully, but certainly when it comes down to the decision making time.
We all have to feel much more reinforced in what we’re doing, particularly when we live in a city like Los Angeles. If you socialize, as I tend not to, I’ve often thought that L.A. is not a serious place. I mean we all know that it’s wonderful in that it’s a patchwork of cities and not really just one city. You can choose your communities pretty much, unless you work in this industry, where it forces you into contact.
So I get to choose, and I’ve often thought that if I stayed in New York, every time I walked into a room it would polarize immediately, and I would never get anything done. But when you look at this election, I have a really good friend who is a really good closet conservative and a Democratic strategist. It was eight years ago when we first encountered each other, and he’s taught me a lot of what I understand about politics. He said, “Republicans only win when Democrats screw-up big time.” Because he thought we were lame in the way we go about our battles. I think that’s a generally shared opinion among conservatives.
If you look at this election, we won because the Democrats screwed up big time. If you look at Ohio, which is the state we absolutely had to win, the Democrats have this monster machine and we have Richard Poe. I have written a series of articles and we’ll be publishing it as a little booklet, called The Shadow Party. It’s about all these union thugs were shooting up Republican headquarters, slashing tires, and so forth.
Despite that, they managed to turn [voters] out; they were stuffing ballot boxes. When I was in Pennsylvania this month, somebody who was very much involved on the Republican side in the Florida election said our party was going after the fraud, until 9/11 came along. He told me, “we’re not going to win Pennsylvania because it’s already been stolen in the city of Philadelphia.” They have registered, according to him, 1,067,0000 people in the city of Philadelphia, which is every single human being 18 years and over: 100 percent registration. The mayor of that city, John Street, is a racist who will be going to jail shortly, not for this but because he is just a crook.
In Ohio, the base of the Democratic Party is in big cities like Cleveland, and in Cleveland I think they doubled their vote. That should have carried the state for them. That doubling of the vote was neutralized and overwhelmed by the turnout in western Ohio, which is rural. This was the turnout of first-time Christian voters.
These Christian voters came out because of an initiative on marriage, defining marriages as between a man and a woman. I remember I had a phone call with Pat Cadell who, by the way, is exactly the same offstage as he is onstage. A month ago, I had a phone call from Pat, who had just been over, and he had been over the returns in Missouri and Louisiana. In Missouri (a swing state) and Louisiana (which used to be a Democrat state) on their marriage initiatives, and it was 70-30 or 80-20, in favor of the marriage initiatives. It was identical percentages in blue counties and red counties, and he said, “They are destroying the Democratic Party.”
What happened was, in Ohio there was such an initiative and it was 68-32, and there were another 11 states with similar results, which many of them were swing states. I believe Florida was another one where this initiative was up.
These little hits here and there lost those elections. The reason why those initiatives on the ballot was certainly not because it was something the Republicans drummed up out of the blue; it’s because of the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision and the anarchist mayor of San Francisco, who should be in jail for what he did.
You have to contemplate what it took: we had an initiative on the ballot in this state that declared that marriage is between a man and a woman. It was over 60 percent, defining marriage that way. Instead of going through an initiative process – or doing something else that I’ll mention in a second – the gay Left decided we’re just going to declare this the law.
That really forced Bush to do something to protect his base, which was coming out for the Marriage Amendment. Now, those of you who know me and know that I, as a conservative, am somebody who believes that gay people are genetically gay. I respect the religious view that it’s sinful, and I think religious people have a right to their views just like everybody else does, but in my view it’s genetic.
I have a very tolerant position on this issue, and eight years ago I called up Andrew Sullivan, who is a sometimes conservative but defected over this issue. Andrew is gay, but he has been one of the most insightful supporters of the war in Iraq and the president, until this marriage issue came up.
I called Andrew and said, “I will form a coalition with you to support civil unions, because I believe that conservative Americans and all Americans would support stable relationships. If people are going to be gay they should be able to have stable relationships, and visitation rights.” America is a very generous country, and Americans, particularly our base and not so much their base, are compassionate.
I remember when this [San Francisco Mayor Gavin] Newsome thing came up and the footing in the polls showed 49 percent of Americans were for civil unions, I remember thinking it’s all over. They will not only get civil unions, but they’ll probably one day get marriage – but of course for the Left, it wasn’t enough. They insisted on ramming this through with no respect for other people, no respect for the sensibilities of religious Americans, and no respect for the democratic process.
We live in a country where we have people living side by side. It’s not just atheists and religious people; it’s Muslims and Jews, Arabs and Jews, Irish Protestants and Irish Catholics, Croats and Serbs, Pakistanis and Indians, who kill each other in other parts of the world but we live together in peace in America because of respect for the democratic process.
The Democratic Party is now a left-wing party and has shown over and over again contempt for the people. The people to them are rednecks and religious nuts. Of course, the term “religious nuts” does not extend to Islamic religious nuts who want to behead you; it only extends to decent Americans.
I thought what Al Gore did in the last election in Florida, to challenge a national election, was the most irresponsible act ever committed by a national politician. We haven’t had that happen in 100 years. The mystique of elections is very important, because it disciplines people to be patient with those they disagree with.
It’s hugely important to have this discipline. I bring all of this up because this is a battle won, and an important one at that, but it is not the war. We are today, or yesterday, at day one of the continuation of this war we are waging to defend our country and our values, and as they used to say in the ‘50’s, our “way of life.” I know what it is to be on both sides of that issue.
The other thing that happened was Osama bin Laden’s intervention into the election. Now think of it: he didn’t send a bomb; he sent a videotape. This was pathetic. This wasn’t a call to Islam or to the restoration of the caliphate; it was actually pages cribbed from Michael Moore and John Kerry. Actually, Arnie Steinberg sent me the full text today or yesterday, and I read it. It has everything: the Florida election, Haliburton, the root causes of 9/11 being oppression, the Patriot Act, and this really does make my point about the alliance between radical Islam and the American Left.
The Republicans had this ad of Kerry surfing that said, “He changes his positions each way the wind blows.” Kerry denounced the ad as juvenile and tasteless, and then spent the rest of the afternoon hang gliding, surfing, and tinkering with his weathervane.
The moment in the debates about the Patriot Act, Kerry said they’re snooping – and these are his words – “they are snooping on churches.” Now there are actually some churches like Riverside Cathedral in New York, which was at the heart of the nuclear freeze campaign, where an investigation would be justified.
Those of you who read my book know about a man named Abdullah Azam, who was later assassinated in Pakistan. He was the Palestinian responsible for recruiting Osama bin Laden to al-Qaeda, and he organized “The First World Jihad Conference” in 1989 at the Alfarouk Mosques on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, New York.
Now, why in Brooklyn? Well, maybe you don’t know, but Hamas was created in America. Palestine Islamic Jihad, which is responsible for over 100 murders and was based at the University of South Florida. This is because we have this open country. An American passport is hugely beneficial if you want to get into any country in the world, whereas a Syrian passport or a Yemeni passport might cause you some problems. Thanks to the civil liberties groups of America and to the Left, terrorists know to take advantage of this system.
The University of South Florida, a professor who was the head of Palestine Islamic Jihad, is a man named Sami al-Arian. Sami al-Arian was running a think tank out of the University of South Florida, from which two heads of the terrorist organization based in Syria were recruited – right from Sami al-Arian’s staff. One was a Professor of Engineering at the University of South Florida.
The FBI went to the President of the University of South Florida, knowing that al-Arian is a terrorist. Steve Emerson, who has spoken on this platform, had exposed Sami al-Arian eight years ago, and the Miami Herald had also exposed the terrorists. Sami al-Arian was going around mosques in America, and was chanting death to America and death to Israel, and fundraising for suicide bombers. One of his campaigns was give $500 to kill a Jew. That was the appeal, and it’s on videotape.
The president of the University of South Florida didn’t think this was unusual or a disqualification for being a professor. Her name is Betty Castor, who was Florida's Democratic Party senatorial candidate in this election and was defeated, by a hair, by Mel Martinez.
Now al-Arian, in 1996, created the first civil liberties organization against terrorist legislation. In 1996 Bill Clinton, one of the good things he did, passed an antiterrorist act right after the Oklahoma City bombing. Sami al-Arian really objected to this act. The reason for the objection was his brother was in jail under the act, and the act allows the FBI or the government to use secret evidence in prosecuting terrorists.
Now, Sami al-Arian was a big figure in the civil liberties world that was supported by his friends, such as the leaders of the ACLU, the National Lawyers Guild, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and all left-wing organizations of what I call the Unholy Alliance between the Left and radical Islam.
Al-Arian made the mistake of going on “The O’Reilly Factor” and was told, “If I were the FBI I would follow you wherever you go!” Because of that show, O’Reilly’s audience got on the phone to Betty Castor, the president of the University of South Florida, and she suspended the professor. University presidents can handle terrorists, anti-Semites, and America haters, but they cannot handle embarrassment.
So when this happened Betty Castor suspended Sami al-Arian with pay, whereupon she was descended on by the American Association of University Professors, because she threatened the university credentials with this terrible infringement of academic freedom.
Sami al-Arian was saying, “They’re persecuting me, because I’m a Palestinian and that’s racial profiling.” And of course Nation magazine and Salon.com chimed in by saying that this is political persecution of an academic for his ideas. This is what we are confronting in this country, and unfortunately, I could stand-up here all day telling you stories like this.
The leaders of the ACLU embrace terrorists like Lynne Stuart, who is the attorney for the Blind Sheikh [Omar Abdel Rahman], who masterminded the first World Trade Center bombing. Lynne Stuart is an old-time Communist who defends almost exclusively terrorists and anti-Semites, and is a protégé of William Kuntsler.
Lynne has a great affection and passion for the Blind Sheikh. I read what Lynne Stuart had to say that she regards the sheikh and this Islamic Group, his terrorist group in Egypt, as liberators. They are freedom fighters to her.
I have a college textbook that I am in the process of writing up, which says the same thing. In fact, there are 250 Peace Studies programs in America. This one happens to be at Ball State in Indiana, where they teach American youth that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. What they mean by this is the terrorists who blew-up the World Trade Center on 9/11 are freedom fighters. I know this because that’s part of the chapter on 9/11.
Lynne Stuart is defended by the American Bar Association and the AAUP. Now I’m not saying that all these people are fully cognizant of what she’s about, but like Jed Babbin in my interview this morning, they are in denial about the hostile agendas of the American Left and how far leftists are prepared to go.
Those of you who are readers of FrontPage know in the last week or so we ran a huge story on the conference at Duke University. It’s the Fourth Annual Palestine Solidarity Movement Conference. When they held it at Michigan, [the participants] chanted, “Kill the Jews” in the session, and their keynote speaker was Sami al-Arian. Journalists from FrontPage and people from groups like Stand With Us have infiltrated and reported what goes on.
Duke University paid $50,000 for this conference to take place, and in this conference they were basically recruiting American students to go to Israel and lie to the immigration officials or the border officials when they come in at the airports so that they can then go directly to the West Bank to organize and obstruct Israeli security forces, who are trying to dig up tunnels by which terrorists come from Gaza.
They have a “martyr” whom they want put on a postage stamp. This poor girl [Rachel Corrie] was just stupid; she went on one of these missions and got herself behind a bulldozer that was bulldozing the tunnels and was killed. She was recruited at Evergreen College in the State of Washington, which is an extremely left-wing college.
I’m wholly frustrated with Jed Babbin, because he wanted to paint me as some kind of fringe right-winger, versus a sober conservative [himself], for saying these things. There’s an organization called “The Council on American-Islamic Relations,” CAIR, which is a presence in the state. State officials attend their dinners. Three of their executives have been indicted and arrested. One of them has been convicted so far. The others are under indictment for terrorism. This is a pro-terrorist organization operating as a civil liberties organization.
This is what we do at FrontPagemag.com. I’m going to begin a campaign to oppose terrorism on college campuses and expose these Peace Studies programs that are teaching our students to sympathize and identify with terrorists against the United States.
There have been books, articles, and whole foundations that are devoted to exposing the right-wing funders. There are 12 notable right-wing foundations, and we’ve already identified I think about 82 left-wing foundations, including the Ford Foundation, which has $11 billion in assets. They spend $1 billion a year funding left-wing enterprises. This doesn’t count the Pugh Trusts, the Carnegie Corporation, the Tides Center; when I publish this, it will be mind-boggling.
I had the Center for the Study of Popular Culture calculate the grand totals that are available to the Left versus those available to groups like the Center, and there was 57 times more money on the Left. Fortunately, these people are in a cloud, and they don’t always spend their money well.
We’ve published a pamphlet about Teresa Heinz Kerry called 57 Varieties of Radical Causes. You will be amazed how Left is funding the anarchists’ people and the violent wing of the “peace” movement.
I’m going to just close by pointing out how far we still have to go in developing a tactical vocabulary for this battle. I regularly say in my speeches that I think I have been sent as an ex-radical to teach conservatives bad manners. In the political battle you really get chewed up quickly if you’re too polite, and in my view Republicans are still too polite.
There was a moment in the debates when the president said to Kerry, “You have said this is the wrong war at the wrong place, at the wrong time, and that confuses people. That’s no way to lead”’ I think that was very telling and very good, but it was also too polite, because if you are 18- or 19-years-old, and you are in Fallujah or Najaf surrounded by terrorists who are beheading people and blowing them up, and then hear the leader of the Democratic Party – who is within a hair of being president – say, “You shouldn’t be there,” that does more than confuse you. That demoralizes you. It saps your will to fight, and it gets you killed.
This is what the Democratic Party has been doing from the time Baghdad fell until Kerry turned the last time at the convention from his antiwar hero position into his war hero uniform. The Democratic Party has been sabotaging the War on Terror, undermining the commander in chief, and getting Americans killed, and there needs to be somebody out there saying it. That’s what we do.