Daniel Greenfield penned a perceptive and welcome critique, “What the Left Does not Understand About Islam” (February 15th), of the cluelessness of the Left vis-à-vis Islam. The Left, he writes, is naïve about its rival ideology, and ideologically will always remain naïve. The Left, he writes, has never been able to think outside of the cardboard box it has built for itself.
The left has never adapted to the transition from nationalistic wars to ideological wars. It took the left a while to grasp that the Nazis were a fundamentally different foe than [sic] the Kaiser and that pretending that World War 2 was another war for the benefit of colonialists and arms dealers was the behavior of deluded lunatics. And yet much of the left insisted on approaching the war in just that fashion, and had Hitler not attacked Stalin, it might have remained stuck there.
From my own observations, what the Left refused to acknowledge was that it was Hitler’s Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and Soviet Russia that behaved like unrepentant imperialists and colonialists, invading and conquering other nations for all the loot they could lay hands on. It was the consistent kneejerk evasion of that fact which demoted the Left from a noisy avante- garde to a commune of deluded lunatics. Greenfield goes on to remark:
The Cold War was even worse. The left never came to terms with Communism. From the Moscow Trials to the fall of the Berlin Wall, the moderate left slowly disavowed the USSR but refused to see it as anything more than a clumsy dictatorship. The only way that the left could reject the USSR was by overlooking its ideology and treating it as another backward Russian tyranny being needlessly provoked and pushed around by Western Europe and the United States.
The rise of Islam, however, presented the Left with another conundrum it could not handle.
Communism was…a red virus floating around the world, embedding its ideas into organizations and using those organizations to take over nations.
Islam is even more untethered than Communism, loosely originating from powerful oil nations, but able to spring up anywhere in the world. Its proponents have even less use for the nation state than the Communists. What they want is a Caliphate ruled under Islamic law, a single unit of human organization extending across nations, regions and eventually the world.