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For David Horowitz, the godfather of the modern anti-Muslim movement, the culture war that began when he was young never ended. Only the target has changed.

As one of the founding Marxist intellectuals of the New Left in the 1960s, Horowitz was a self-professed political radical — a pugnacious advocate of civil rights and equality. Now, a half-century later, he has undergone an about-face and set his sights on Muslims.

For Horowitz, Muslim Student Associations “are arms of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the fountainhead of the terrorist jihad against the West.” Hillary Clinton adviser and Muslim Huma Abedin is a “Muslim Brotherhood operative” who is “worse than Alger Hiss.” And the Palestinians, all of them, are even worse.


AP IMAGES/PHELAN M. EBENHACK

“No people have shown themselves as so morally sick as the Palestinians,” Horowitz said. “In the history of all mankind, there was never a people who strapped bombs on their bodies and killed innocent people. No other people has sunk so low as the Palestinians, and everyone is afraid to say it.”

In the last decade, Horowitz has become a respected elder of a growing movement of hawkish neoconservatives, conspiracy theorists and former federal officials united in their twisted fears that Islam is on the march — a movement he describes in Orwellian terms as a “counterjihad.”

Through his David Horowitz Freedom Center, a wealthy nonprofit based in Sherman Oaks, Calif., he has financed leading Islamophobes driving public opinion and attacked universities as leftist “indoctrination” programs. He leads several conservative publications, all dedicated to tenaciously defending Israel and viciously attacking Islam as a religion of “hate, violence and racism.”

A report from the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, “Fear, Inc.,” exposed Horowitz as a prominent member of a “small network [that] produces talking points and messages relied upon and repeated by every segment of this interconnected network of money, grassroots leaders, media talking heads, and elected officials.” The report’s author, Wajahat Ali, chastised Horowitz as a self-serving and toxic presence in a field of anti-Muslim pundits. 

Virulent Muslim-basher Robert Spencer, director of the website Jihad Watch, is on his nonprofit’s payroll, and Horowitz’s online FrontPage Magazine publishes the work of Daniel Greenfield and Daniel Pipes, both of whom add to right-wing fears that Muslims are infiltrating the West. Horowitz also works closely with Pamela Geller, collecting money for her anti-Muslim hate group, Stop Islamization of America.

What led Horowitz to this moment, such that he seems to have abandoned his former radicalism for civil rights in favor of blind rage against the left-wing of American politics and now Muslims? At 75, is it merely an overcorrection to views he held as a young man? Or, as his parents were communists, is it as the New York Times Magazine described, a “fierce Oedipal struggle entwined with radicalism”? 

“He’s a person who is, first and foremost, a self-promoter, who has used his name to champion political causes and used the guise of media and freedom and democracy and free speech to actually inject poison into the pluralist racial and religious dynamic of America,” Ali told the Intelligence Report. 


David Horowitz works closely with a circle of Islamaphobes that includes Daniel Pipes and Pamela Geller.

Red Diaper Baby
For a man who was raised in the heart of the Communist Party, who saw his parents targeted by McCarthyism, it seems needless to point out the irony of Horowitz’s worry that radical Islamists have infiltrated the halls of American power with nefarious plans to tear down constitutional freedoms. 

David Joel Horowitz was born on Jan. 10, 1939, in Forest Hills, N.Y., a neighborhood in Queens, to parents who were both schoolteachers and members of the Communist Party USA. It was an exciting childhood, filled with intrigue. 

“Underneath the ordinary surfaces of their lives, my parents and their friends thought of themselves as secret agents. … Even if we never encountered a Soviet agent or engaged in a single illegal act, each of us knew that our commitment to socialism implied the obligation to commit treason, too,” Horowitz recounted in his 1998 memoir, Radical Son. 

His family eventually broke from the party after Soviet General Secretary Nikita Khrushchev delivered his 1956 speech “On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences,” which outlined violations of human rights under Joseph Stalin. It was also that year that Horowitz graduated from Columbia University with a degree in English and left for London to work at the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, returning home in 1968 to lead Ramparts, the political and literary magazine of the “New Left” — a movement of liberal activists seeking to drastically reform the cultural landscape with a wide range of social reforms. 

The magazine was shuttered in 1975, but by that time Horowitz was already in the Bay Area working for the Black Panthers and quickly became a confidant of the group’s co-founder, Huey P. Newton. It wasn’t long before that relationship began to sour, beginning with the murder of Betty Van Patter, a bookkeeper at Ramparts who Horowitz had brought to the Panthers. On Dec. 13, 1974, she disappeared from the Berkeley Square tavern in Berkeley. Her body was found in San Francisco Bay. 

As fate would have it, it was then, as the wave of left-wing activism born in the 1960s began to break, that Horowitz felt the first rumblings of doubt regarding his political views. 

Horowitz was convinced that Van Patter’s murder led directly to the Panthers, and her death plunged him into a depressive episode revolving around his inability to marry his political convictions with what he feared was a harsher reality — that the very people he thought were the answer to the world’s injustice had carried out her murder. “It was inconceivable to me that the Panthers would kill Betty Van Patter,” he wrote, despite coming to believe exactly that. 

The Black Panthers were never officially tied to Van Patter’s death, but the event proved to be decisive in guiding Horowitz’s political future. 

Spurred by his doubts and perhaps the prevailing political winds, Horowitz leaned increasingly right on issues such as sexual promiscuity in the gay community and LGBT rights, U.S. foreign policy, the question of racial equality and affirmative action. But it wasn’t until 1985 that Horowitz would make an entrance as a major player on the conservative right.

That year, Horowitz publicly announced that he had voted for Ronald Reagan in the presidential election, an act of political treason to his allies. 

In a coming-out essay titled, “Goodbye to All That” and published in The Washington Post, Horowitz and his writing partner Peter Collier chastised the Left and set out to break ranks, once and for all, with all they knew. “Casting our ballots for Ronald Reagan was indeed a way of saying goodbye to all that — to the self-aggrandizing romance with corrupt Third Worldism; to the casual indulgence of Soviet totalitarianism; to the hypocritical mainstream politics,” the pair wrote. 

Horowitz had changed. 


Human rights activists have regularly protested appearances by David Horowitz, including a 2007 event at Columbia University, his alma mater. Horowitz was at the New York university as part of the “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week” he sponsors at colleges around the nation. AP IMAGES/BEBETO MATTHEWS

Enemies Everywhere
Fueled by a bitter sense of betrayal, and a hunger to correct the errors of his own personal politics, Horowitz carried the bare-knuckled activism he practiced in the tumultuous 1960s into the heart of the modern conservative movement. 

In 1988, he formed the Center for the Study of Popular Culture (CSPC) in Los Angeles, hoping, according to the group’s website, to “establish a conservative presence in Hollywood and show how popular culture had become a political battleground.” He had minor successes, including getting PBS to broadcast a documentary about the horrors of communist Cuba. 

Then Horowitz turned his attention to targeting “tenured radicals” at American universities. He went after them with a fevered intensity, publishing the tabloid “Heterodoxy” to present conservative interests to university students who, he feared, were being indoctrinated by the entrenched Left. He began tracking the activities of liberal professors — an effort designed, more honestly, to target intellectuals with views at odds with his own. 

He was prolific. He published wild tracts and pamphlets, including “Hating Whitey,” which argued that modern black leaders had squandered the legacy of the civil rights movement by restructuring “the civil rights agenda as a radical cause.” In a book of that same title, published in 1999, he made white nationalist claims about black-on-white crime, voicing criticisms of affirmative action that would last through the election of President Obama, who he called a communist with a “curious background.” Horowitz went on a crusade against reparations for slavery. He has attacked minority “demands for special treatment” as “only necessary because some blacks can’t seem to locate the ladder of opportunity within reach of others,” rejecting the idea that they could be the victims of lingering racism.

“The fact is that it is not tolerable in America to hate blacks, but it is okay in our politically correct culture to hate white people,” he wrote in “Hating Whitey.

“Of course, the leftist academy has a ready answer for every question about black racism: Only whites can be racist.” 

But it wasn’t until after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that Horowitz discovered a new enemy in “radical Islam.” In 2006, the CSPC was rebranded as the David Horowitz Freedom Center, focusing its attention on “the efforts of the radical left and its Islamist allies to destroy American values.” Horowitz began financing Jihad Watch, a quasi-academic blog that spreads misinformation about Islam. 

Directed by Robert Spencer, a Catholic, the blog aims to “track the attempts of radical Islam to subvert Western Culture.” It is popular among those who see the mere presence of Muslims outside the Middle East as a threat to freedom. His ideas have appealed to people such as Anders Breivik, the Norwegian who killed 76 people as a political statement against immigration. Breivik’s 1,500-page manifesto attacking multiculturalism, and especially Muslims, mentioned Spencer 162 times. 

Since 2007, the Freedom Center has held annual Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week on multiple college campuses — 119 to date — to “protect students from indoctrination and harassment.” In reality, as with most of Horowitz’s public events, the program is focused on creating controversy, if nothing else. 

During one such week in 2010, Horowitz appeared at the University of California-Santa Barbara. Midway through the program, he began to debate a Muslim student wearing a traditional Palestinian keffiyah — what Horowitz called a “terrorist neckerchief.” When the young woman asked Horowitz to clarify the connections he had been drawing between the Muslim Student Association on campus and radical terrorists, he instead asked the woman to denounce Hamas. 

 “For it, or against it?” he barked, demanding an answer. It was a trap. 

While she would later claim she was thinking unclearly and intimidated, she bashfully replied, “For it.” Horowitz nodded and smiled. It was a rhetorical trick — the kind Horowitz has perfected. If she supported Hamas, Horowitz argued, the Muslim Student Association to which she belonged was actually tied to a terrorist organization, as defined by the State Department.  

The video made the rounds on conservative news outlets, seeming to confirm for Horowitz and his followers that his fight with the “radical faith” was on target. Islam was on the move — everywhere. 

Fueling the Fire
To understand the harm caused by Horowitz, it is important to see just how deep his influence goes on the political right. As the GOP becomes increasingly influenced by Tea Party politicians who bring conspiracy theories to the debate, Horowitz and his acolytes have emerged as the experts on radical Islam and its terrifying infiltration into American society and government.

Horowitz has accused anti-tax activist Grover Norquist of being a secret Muslim plant in the federal government. More famously, he has led the charge that Huma Abedin, a long-time aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is a Muslim Brotherhood agent sent to “penetrate” the U.S. government. Horowitz argues that Abedin, who is married to former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, has “been given a special dispensation to marry a Jew so she can infiltrate our government.” 

“If you wondered how it’s possible that Obama and Hillary would not know or would pretend what was happening wasn’t happening in the Middle East, or how they could turn over Egypt as they have to the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the fountainhead of Al Qaida and all these terrible Islamic Nazi organizations, the answer is not really hard to find: the chief adviser to the American government on Muslim affairs,” Horowitz said in a 2012 radio interview with Janet Mefferd. 

Yet, somehow, Horowitz has mostly avoided charges of racism or bias, often citing First Amendment protections and relying on young audiences of politically conservative college students — where the “leftist offensive is most visible” — to popularize his views and draw support. A gifted rhetorician, his attack on Islam is often couched in a defense of Israel and civil rights, or defended as necessary for security. 


Texas Gov. Rick Perry AP IMAGES/SUSAN WALSH
Given his annual salary of more than $540,000, according to federal tax filings from 2013, Horowitz has not avoided charges of political opportunism — a point made clear in his wildly vacillating history of political views. 

In 1991, Fred Gardner, a former colleague at Ramparts, said Horowitz and his writing partner Peter Collier “were never radicals for a minute.” “Their goal was and is personal success. It’s no coincidence that they were ‘left’ in the ’60s and ‘right’ in the ’80s,” Gardner said. 


U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) AP IMAGES/J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE
Neither Horowitz, nor a representative from the Freedom Center, responded to multiple requests for interviews. But it’s no surprise his rise comes as anti-Muslim sentiment finds a home on the far right of American politics, where Muslims are often decried and where Tea Party activists and xenophobic conservatives happily count Horowitz as their friends. Tea Party favorites Texas Gov. Rick Perry, U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz are all regular participants at Horowitz’s annual, lavish Restoration Weekend, summits appealingly held in five-star hotels that bring together influential Islamophobes and public officials to exchange ideas. 


U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R–Texas). AP IMAGES/CHARLIE NEIBERGALL
Is it any wonder that Cruz has ranted that “Shariah law is an enormous problem” or that Gohmert has said, “This administration has so many Muslim Brotherhood members that have influence that they just are making wrong decisions for America”? 

It is these connections to powerful politicians that are concerning, ensuring that Horowitz’s toxic activities affect the mainstream — and the lives of American Muslims.

“He hires the Luca Brasis of the anti-Islam movement,” Ali said, comparing Robert Spencer to Mario Puzo’s famed hitman from The Godfather. “He subsidizes. He gives them a platform. He enables and supports people who share his ideological vision. And what’s more dangerous than that?”

h/t: Ryan Lenz at the Southern Poverty Law Center

Tennesee Preacher Refuses to Marry Whites and Blacks Because Communism (Video) (via Americans Against The Tea Party)

Wow! The Happy Valley Church of Jesus Christ in Tennessee must be channeling Phil Robertson! Brother Donny Reagan doesn’t like Communism–and by Communism, he means “race mixing.” To choruses of “Amen” and applause, Brother Donny explained…

From the 01.17.2014 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Rush Limbaugh Show:

=

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

WorldNetDaily’s Mychal Massie, who has suggested that President Obama is the Antichrist and a Satanic pawn, contends in a column today that the president is a lying, communist monster because he was sexually molested as a child…by Frank Marshall Davis.

Right-wing conspiracy theorists regularly claim that Davis, a labor rights activist, indoctrinated Obama as part of a Manchurian Candidate scheme, or is even Obama’s real father.

In the column, Massie chides Obama’s parents for being “the most dysfunctional, hate-filled, delusional, ersatz couple for parents a child could have short of being an offspring of a parentage between Idi Amin and Emma Goldman.” He then argues that the president’s grandparents are responsible for the supposed sexual abuse: “His grandparents forced him into a mentorship with Frank Marshall Davis who was a rabid communist and pedophile, and although it hasn’t been proven, if as I and others suspect, that led to young Obama being sexually molested.”

Massie admits he has absolutely no evidence to prove Davis molested Obama, but this is WorldNetDaily after all.

According to Massie, Obama’s parents and grandparents helped turn him into “a hardcore neo-Leninist, a hybrid communist.” But at the same time he hates them because they let him be molested. Yet he is still pursuing their communist goals. It’s complicated.

 

h/t: Brian Tashman at Right Wing Watch

Rick Wiles invited Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy In Media onto TruNews this week to discuss Kincaid’s recent press conference which called New York mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio a tool of “international communism, terrorism, and global Islam.”

“We’ve got the Communists coming together, personified by de Blasio’s past, present and future, and you have the Muslims in alliance with him,” Kincaid said, arguing that de Blasio is “setting the city up, and the nation, for another 9/11.”

Wiles couldn’t believe that anyone could be more of a Communist than Obama, and claimed that the Democratic Party is now run by Communists.

But while de Blasio may be even more radical, Wiles said that Obama is still the “perfect political hybrid, a Marxist Muslim” who is currently “orchestrating this alliance to dismantle the United States of America.”

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

holygoddamnshitballs:

While speaking to his wife/co-host Stephanie Dean (his former co-host and Dean’s entire staff recently quit) about why a new article called him “anti-gay” rather than “pro-family,” Dean latched onto an urban legend about how Leon Trotsky coined the word “racism” in order to “to browbeat dissenters.”

“So what they do is they would just belittle them — by the way, this is what you’re seeing across America today, that is communism from A-Z and it was contrived directly from that devil Trotsky,” Dean said.

He even claimed that Trotsky was a propagandist for Joseph Stalin…even though they were fierce rivals and Stalin actually had him killed.

From CPNLive’s Talk To Solomon:

Sandy Rios of the American Family Association hosted Fox News correspondent Todd Starnes today where they discussed a brochure [PDF] from the group DOJPride, a group representing LGBT employees at the Department of Justice, which they said was a sign that the U.S. is turning into the Soviet Union.

The brochure was simply a list of tips on creating an LGBT-inclusive work environment and has no enforcement provisions, but those plain facts didn’t stop Starnes from arguing that the DOJ now “require[s] managers to post a symbol, an emblem, showing that they are pro-gay in their office.”

“This makes it clear that it’s not enough to give so-called equality, any objections must be eradicated and this is our future if we allow this to continue,” Rios warned, while Starnes called the brochure “un-American.”

Rios even claimed the LGBT rights movement is transforming America into the USSR: “When I was a girl the Soviet Union was such a great threat to the world, the spread of Communism, and those of us that remember that era we have not forgotten, we just never thought it would happen in our country. I’ve had callers to the radio show who grew up in the Soviet Bloc countries, I’ve had them call weeping to see what’s happening to our loss of freedoms.”

From the 06.04.2013 edition of AFR’s Sandy Rios In The Morning

h/t: RWW

Conservative commentator Erik Rush says that President Obama’s communist plot is so evil and destructive that “most of the ‘New World Order’ scenarios do not hold water in light of this,” but only he knows the truth!

Rush claims that Obama (if that’s even his real name) is a “spoiled, narcissistic man-child with the heart of a street hustler” who is “taking America from decades of soft socialism to an all-out, 21st-Century communist state” that will surpass even the Soviet Union. “There will be a bloodbath as this occurs,” Rush concludes, “I would not hazard a guess as to whether this process can be arrested without what will amount to civil war.”

h/t: RWW

(via Think Progress Justice: Communism, Polygamy And Human Cloning Are More Popular Than The NRA’s Position On Gun Safety)

Meanwhile, the latest poll from Gallup shows that just 8 percent of the country agrees with the NRA on background checks. Other polls found a higher approval rating for polygamy (which 11 percent of respondents support), and Congress (9 percent). Additionally, polls have found more support for support Hugo Chávez (9 percent), human cloning (17 percent) and communism (9 percent) than the NRA’s position on this issue. Exactly the same percentage of people support the Panetta-Burns deficit reduction plan — which doesn’t exist.

jakke:

They show the extent the domestic intelligence agency was monitoring the actress for ties to communism in the years before her death in August 1962. The bureau never found any proof she was a member of the Communist Party. Monroe’s file begins in 1955 and mostly focuses on her travels and associations, searching for signs of leftist views and possible ties to communism.

One entry, which previously had been almost completely redacted, concerned intelligence that Monroe and other entertainers sought visas to visit Russia that year.

They also reveal that some in Monroe’s inner circle were concerned about her association with Frederick Vanderbilt Field, who was disinherited from his wealthy family over his leftist views.

Today in sinister reds? Although I am having trouble thinking of any famous person alive in the 1950s who wasn’t being watched for Communist ties. It’s going to be weird in sixty years when it turns out that Britney Spears was being monitored for al-Qaeda ties and Brad Pitt was under suspicion of being a Chinese sleeper agent, or whatever.

destroythegop:

motherjones:

Why yes, the GOP in Camden County, Georgia, is scared of big-government socialism.

Why yes, their economy IS dependent on defense dollars and hosting the United States’ second-largest stockpile of nuclear weapons. Why do you ask?

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to——wait, WHAT?

Republicans. Why do they hate ‘merca?

(via truth-has-a-liberal-bias)

In January 1992, PBS Frontline broadcast a film I directed that documented the amazing rise, fall and subsequent resurrection of Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church movement. The documentary showed how, through an adroit combination of money, media and the consistent promotion of a conservative political agenda, a self-styled Messiah and convicted felon had rapidly reinvented himself and was soon hailed at the White House.

At the time, few Americans paid much attention to Reverend Moon – and those that did had bizarre recollections of him and the “Moonies,” as his followers once called themselves: mass weddings of complete strangers, flower-peddling in the street, and repeated allegations of mind control and brainwashing.

Even back then, Moon’s movement, once labeled a cult, was more accurately described as a conglomerate. As my film stated, “From media operations in the nation’s capital… To substantial real estate holdings throughout the United States… And from large commercial fishing operations… To advanced high-tech and computer industries, a Fifth Avenue publishing house, and literally dozens of other businesses, foundations, associations, institutes, and political and cultural groups… Moon and his money have become a force to be reckoned with.”

One of the primary vehicles for Moon’s rising power and influence was the daily newspaper the Washington Times, now back in the news because of the mysterious departure of its top executives, and facing an uncertain future.

But back then the Times was the fulcrum of Moon’s mission to use money and media as a path to power. As James Whelan, once the newspaper’s editor and publisher, told me at the time, “They are spending a great, great deal in this country…. probably more on influence and the obtaining of influence, of power, than of any organization I know of in this country, and that includes the AFL-CIO, that includes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, that includes General Motors, that includes anybody.”

As he sought to influence America’s political agenda by pouring more than a billion dollars into media, Moon began to move among the country’s political elite: From Dwight Eisenhower…to Strom Thurmond…to Richard Nixon…to Ronald Reagan, he glad-handed and corresponded with an astonishing array of major American political figures.

Michael Warder was once one of the most important Americans in the Unification movement. Warder, who had close contact with Moon for years, told me, “Moon looked on the media as almost the nervous system for a global empire. Moon was the brain, and the media are to be, or were to be, the communications vehicle for his body politic surrounding the globe.”

Warder was responsible for managing News World, then Moon’s daily newspaper in New York City. “Moon wanted total control of the media, so there would be no independent media with journalistic integrity,” he said. “ It would be a media totally loyal to Moon.”

Moon’s troubles in America had begun in the mid-Seventies, when Minnesota Democratic Congressman Donald Fraser launched the so-called “Koreagate” investigation — in part a probe into Moon’s relationship to the Korean CIA and the buying of political influence on Capitol Hill. Using its own media, Moon’s organization struck back in an all-out effort to discredit Fraser.

erhaps the election of Ronald Reagan – hailed as the beginning of a conservative revolution – had something to do with that. In any event, Moon, a VIP guest at Reagan’s inauguration, soon became a major funder of Washington’s new conservative establishment.

Brent Bozell, now founder and president of the Media Research Center, was then one of the young Reagan Revolutionaries. “When the Moonies entered the political scene in the early Nineteen Eighties,” Bozell said, “One school of thought said…that because of their anti-communist commitment, conservatives ought to work with them.”

Moon’s most expensive political work involved the Washington Times. As former editor Whelan noted, “Washington is the most important single city in the world. If you can achieve influence, if you can achieve visibility, if you can achieve a measure of respect in Washington, then you fairly automatically are going to achieve these things in the rest of the world. There is no better agency, or entity or instrument that I know of for achieving power here or almost anywhere else — than a newspaper.”

And the Times had an immediate impact. After all, the President of the United States said it was the first paper he read in the morning. Soon its columnists found even greater exposure on television.

“If the Washington Times did not carry the conservative columnists that they carry — like a Pat Buchanan, like a Bill Rusher, like a Mona Charen,” Bozell said, “I wonder if the television community would be aware of them and would tap them to use them in television.”

But by 1984, despite his paper’s growing influence, editor James Whelan was increasingly unhappy. “When we started the paper there was never any question that it would in any fashion project the views or the agenda of Sun Myung Moon or the Unification Church — all to the contrary,” said Whelan. “We said, ‘Look, we are going to put a high wall in place. It is going to be a sturdy wall. And it will divide us from you.’”

But Whelan’s wall of editorial independence was often breached.

“Moon himself gave direct instructions to the editors,” he averred. “Who in fact calls the shots? Ultimately Moon calls the shots….”

Whelan eventually resigned, announcing at a press conference, “The Washington Timeshas become a Moonie newspaper.” Times spokesmen said the dispute was really over money. Former Newsweek editor Arnaud de Borchgrave later replaced Whelan.

Throughout the Reagan years, the paper gained respect and influence by lending editorial support – and money — to causes favored by the Administration. The contra forces battling the Sandinista government in Nicaragua, for example, received editorial support and money from the Times. Here’s how it worked:

In March 1985, Oliver North wrote a top-secret memo proposing the formation of a private foundation called the Nicaraguan Freedom Fund. Its purpose was to circumvent a Congressional ban on aid to the contras. Less than two months later, the Timesannounced the birth of the Nicaraguan Freedom Fund in a front-page editorial. Editor de Borchgrave insisted he was “surprised” at the coincidence between his paper’s initiative and North’s secret project, but the Times contributed the first $100,000 to the Fund.

Another pet project of the Reagan Administration was the Strategic Defense Initiative — SDI, or “Star Wars.” It too received support from the Times.

“Reverend Moon’s organization has been very supportive of the Strategic Defense Initiative,” former Defense and Central Intelligence official Daniel Graham told me. Graham had co-produced a pro-Star Wars video that was seen on four hundred televisions stations.

In the wake of the current turmoil and uncertainty at the Washington Times, many questions about the Unification Movement remain unanswered. But none is more pressing — or perplexing — than this: Where did all the money come from? At the time of the broadcast of the PBS Frontline film – seventeen years ago — the Moon Organization had already spent an astonishing amount in the United States:

• more than $800 million on the Washington Times;
• hundreds of millions on national periodicals;
• tens of millions on electronic media;
• at least $40 million on New York newspapers;
• more than $10 million on a New York publishing house;
• millions on World Media Association junkets and conferences;
• millions more on New Right organizations, including the American Freedom Coalition;
• well over $100 million on real estate, including the New Yorker Hotel in midtown Manhattan;
• at least $40 million on commercial fishing operations;
• and at least $75 million on related projects…

It all added up to more than a billion dollars – at a time when most of Moon’s operations in America were losing substantial sums of money money. The best example was the Washington Times itself, which was then losing as much as fifty million dollars a year.

h/t: AlterNet

WHEN I was asked to direct “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” my friends warned me not to go anywhere near it.

The story is so American, they argued, that I, an immigrant fresh off the boat, could not do it justice. They were surprised when I explained why I wanted to make the film. To me it was not just literature but real life, the life I lived in Czechoslovakia from my birth in 1932 until 1968. The Communist Party was my Nurse Ratched, telling me what I could and could not do; what I was or was not allowed to say; where I was and was not allowed to go; even who I was and was not.

Now, years later, I hear the word “socialist” being tossed around by the likes of Rick PerryNewt GingrichRick SantorumSean HannityRush Limbaugh and others. President Obama, they warn, is a socialist. The critics cry, “Obamacare is socialism!” They falsely equate Western European-style socialism, and its government provision of social insurance and health care, with Marxist-Leninist totalitarianism. It offends me, and cheapens the experience of millions who lived, and continue to live, under brutal forms of socialism.

My sister-in-law’s father, Jan Kunasek, lived in Czechoslovakia all his life. He was a middle-class man who ran a tiny inn in a tiny village. One winter night in 1972, during a blizzard, a man, soaked to the bone, awakened him at 2 in the morning. The man looked destitute and, while asking for shelter, couldn’t stop cursing the Communists. Taking pity, the elderly Mr. Kunasek put him up for the night.

A couple of hours later, Mr. Kunasek was awakened again, this time by three plainclothes policemen. He was arrested, accused of sheltering a terrorist and sentenced to several years of hard labor in uranium mines. The state seized his property. When he was finally released, ill and penniless, he died within a few weeks. Years later we learned that the night visitor had been working for the police. According to the Communists, Mr. Kunasek was a class enemy and deserved to be punished.

Whatever his faults, I don’t see much of a socialist in Mr. Obama or, thankfully, signs of that system in this great nation. Mr. Obama is accused of trying to expand the reach of government — into health care, financial regulation, the auto industry and so on. It’s fair to question whether the federal government should have expanded powers: America, to its credit, has debated this since its birth. But let’s be clear about how frightening socialism actually could be.

Marx believed that we could wipe out social inequities and Lenin tested those ideas on the Soviet Union. It was his dream to create a classless society. But reality set in, as it always does. And the results were devastating. Blood flowed through Russia’s streets. The Soviet elite usurped all privileges; sycophants were allowed some and the plebes none. The entire Eastern bloc, including Czechoslovakia, followed miserably.

I’m not sure Americans today appreciate quite how predatory socialism was. It was not — as Mr. Obama’s detractors suggest — merely a government so centralized and bloated that it hobbled private enterprise: it was a spoils system that killed off everything, all in the name of “social justice.”

h/t: Miloš Forman at The New York Times