Editor’s Note: The "V&V Q&A" is an e-publication from The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. Each issue will present an interview with an intriguing thinker or opinion-maker that we hope will prove illuminating to readers everywhere. In this latest edition, Dr. Paul Kengor, the executive director of the Center, interviews Dr. Jamie Glazov, editor at FrontPageMagazine.com, on his new book, Showdown With Evil: Our Struggle Against Tyranny and Terror."
Dr. Paul Kengor: Jamie Glazov, welcome to “V&V Q&A.”
Dr. Jamie Glazov: Thank you. I am very grateful for this opportunity.
Kengor: Dr. Glazov, our goal today is to talk about your new book, Showdown With Evil: Our Struggle Against Tyranny and Terror. But before we get to that, I want to introduce you to our readers. First off, for many years, our writers at Grove City College, including myself, have contributed to your fearless website, FrontPageMagazine.com. Tell us about FrontPage and its mission.
Glazov: FrontPageMag.com is on the frontlines fighting the terror and culture war. We are primarily about exposing—and stopping in its tracks—the enemy at home and abroad. In other words, we bring attention to the danger and evil of radical Islam and to those forces on our own territory who aid and abet this Unholy Alliance. By informing the world about this deadly and malicious enemy we face, we seek to undermine its totalitarian impulses and objectives.
Kengor: Please also tell us about your fascinating background, and specially your father’s story—and where we can read more about your father.
Glazov: My dad and mom, Yuri and Marina Glazov, were brave dissidents in the former Soviet Union who stood up against one of the most evil regimes in history. They put their lives on the line for political prisoners who were being tortured and oppressed by the KGB and they fought courageously for freedom of conscience. You can read more about them and their heroic struggle here.
Because of this background and my respect for their noble efforts, I have dedicated my life to fighting for liberty, opposing the despotic forces who seek to annihilate it, and to standing up for those heroes who languish in gulags and prisons for their belief in truth and freedom.
Kengor: When the Cold War finally ended, what were your father’s thoughts? And, more specifically, was he hopeful that Americans would learn the true lessons of the Cold War and the horrors of the Soviet experiment and communism generally?
Glazov: My dad, like my mom, was exhilarated with the fall of the Soviet Empire, or what we thought was its fall. They thought the truth would come out, that there would be Nuremberg-style trials for the communist monsters who had committed so many barbaric crimes against humanity, that the communist system and ideology would be punished and de-legitimized for its inhumanity, and that the seed of this evil, which is the socialist idea itself, would be exposed and refuted for the evil that it represents and engenders. Alas, this did not happen; the same communist criminals rule Russia today, the Left is unrepentant in the West, and the true lessons of the Cold War have not been absorbed by the West.
Kengor: Indeed, we spend much of our time writing about those lessons here. Much of what we do, like you, is simply to remind people again and again what they should have learned to begin with. It’s a form of remedial education, trying to correct what American education, from high schools to our universities, has failed to provide.
Let’s get to the book, Showdown With Evil. The endorsements are remarkable, from James Woolsey to David Frum to the fascinating Soviet defector Ion Mihai Pacepa, among others. You also got a Foreword from Richard Perle, which Perle doesn’t do every day for just anyone. First, on the general focus, there’s a transition here from the Cold War to the War on Terror. Explain that, and how the two are connected.
Glazov: The Left reached its hand out in solidarity to the communist enemy in the Cold War. Now it is doing the same thing in our terror war, but this time the totalitarian adversary that garners the Left’s veneration and devotion is Radical Islam. The Left is always engaged in a pathological romance with our despotic enemies who wish us harm. My previous book, United in Hate, documents the history and ingredients of this phenomenon. My new book, Showdown With Evil, is a collection of my interviews with the greatest minds of our age who illuminate this putrid and unholy Alliance.
Kengor: The book has a very interesting format, quite engaging, a lively and informative read. You have roughly 30 interviews that you’ve conducted with major thinkers and scholars over the years, from William F. Buckley to Richard Pipes to Norman Podhoretz, from Natan Sharansky to Victor Davis Hanson, and as diverse as Christopher Hitchens and Ann Coulter. Do you have a favorite or two among these? Which, and why?
Glazov: Well, all of the individuals I interviewed are great in my view. But you mention the late William F. Buckley, the father of modern conservatism and a great hero to me, and it was really an honor for me to speak with him. He spoke some sacred words in the interview on the essence of the totalitarian enemy we face, including his profound thoughts on the Left’s putrid love affair with Islamic jihad. Everyone should also check out the interview with David Horowitz on his book, Unholy Alliance, in which David sets the critical foundation to our understanding of how and why progressives have engaged in their dalliance with communist and Islamist monsters.
Kengor: If you had a classroom of college seniors, and they could read only one or two of the interviews in this book, which would they be, and why?
Glazov: Buckley’s and Horowitz’s mentioned above. The interviews illuminate the lie that lies at the heart of the socialist fairy tale and illuminate why that lie engenders mass murder and misery wherever its earthly incarnation occurs.
Kengor: I’m partial to the interview with Harvey Klehr and John Earl Haynes, which I cited in my most recent book. Summarize what they told you, and especially their views on the scandalous neglect of vital Cold War history—neglected by our “scholars” in the academy.
Glazov: Harvey Klehr and John Earl Haynes have produced the evidence that proves, beyond reasonable doubt, the malicious and vicious nature of our communist enemy in the Cold War and the treacherous role that myriad progressives in the West played in it. These are the leftists in the West who reached their hand out in solidarity to aid and abet the Soviet evil. Klehr and Haynes, for instance, have proven the case of Alger Hiss and of many others, but the Left refuses to accept the empirical evidence and to issue any mea culpa. The Left remains, with shamelessness and shamefulness, as Klehr and Haynes title one of their priceless works, In Denial.
Kengor: There’s an anti-anti-communism at work here, is there not? What would your late father have thought about this “scholarly” negligence?
Glazov: Yes, it is an anti-anti-communism. For leftists, the commitment to socialism is the priority—and truth can and must be sacrificed on the altar of that commitment, just like the millions of human beings that socialism has extinguished can be as well. The top calling for leftists is to impose historical amnesia on the mass murder and misery that their ideas have produced. That way it is easier to repeat the mass murder and misery all over again.
Kengor: Anything else you’d like to add?
Glazov: Showdown With Evil will help readers crystallize the malicious impulses that rest in the hearts of not just jihadis, but in the hearts of the self-styled progressives in the West who purport to care for humanitarian and progressive values, when in fact their entire agenda is to destroy true humanitarian and progressive values. In arming themselves with this knowledge, readers will also be able to equip themselves with the intellectual weapons they need to take a stand for the freedoms our enemies are so relentlessly working on taking away from us.
Kengor: Dr. Jamie Glazov, you’re fearless. Thanks for fighting for truth and against totalitarianism.
Glazov: Thank you, I try to fight for the truth, for freedom, and for the real heroes of liberty that are persecuted by despots or are today imprisoned and tortured by them. The real fearless warriors in this world are individuals such as Vladimir Bukovsky and Armando Valladares, Hirsi Ali and Geert Wilders. I can only dream of being equipped with the courage and nobility that such titans possess. They are our examples. And they remind us that it is a lie if anyone ever says that this is a world without heroes.