“We are terrorizing ourselves.” So says Fawaz Gerges, professor at the London School of Economics. To him, someone who esteems himself capable of seeing beyond what ordinary mortals see by virtue of the powerful method of “deconstruction,” Americans’ fear of al Qaeda is based on the same kind of fear that motivated us in the 1950s. The “American imagination” has been “reshaped” since 9/11, claims the professor. On CNN, talking to Fareed Zakaria, on the day after the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the professor concluded, “The terrorism of al Qaeda which no longer exists as . . . it used to be since the 1990s now has replaced the red scare.”
Thus do academics build on the historical lies about the “Red Scare.”
See, there is no threat from al Qaeda or any Islamic terrorists, just as there was no threat from the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
These are the lies that are told to students, who then grow up to, not surprisingly, question the threat of Islamic terrorism, some going so far as to become “9/11 truthers,” attributing the attack to the U.S. government.
I saw such lessons being dispensed in 2009 among hundreds of AP history teachers who, after a long day of grading exams, listened to a lecture by Professor Betty Dessants of Shippensburg University. Dessants was one of several historians brought in as part of the evening’s activities. She spoke on the Cold War. Her contribution to the historical research on this period was the theory that the ranch houses that became popular were built as a kind of defense mechanism against this largely imaginary threat.
The history teachers in the audience, for the most part, just nodded along.
When I asked Professor Dessants how many people had died at the hands of communists she said she didn’t know.
This is the Howard Zinn school of history, a history of often unsubstantiated ephemera in the service of a grand theory—in Zinn’s case that the U.S. is rotten to the core because it is built on the murderous greed of capitalism. Thus the late history professor’s analysis of the Cold War from his bestseller, A People’s History of the United States:
“When, right after [World War II], the American public, war-weary, seemed to favor demobilization and disarmament, the Truman administration . . . worked to create an atmosphere of crisis and cold war. . . . The Truman administration . . . presented the Soviet Union as not just a rival but an immediate threat.
“In a series of moves abroad and at home, it established a climate of fear—a hysteria about Communism—which would steeply escalate the military budget and stimulate the economy with war-related orders.”
The bestseller status of this piece of propaganda results from the fact that many high school and college students are forced to use it as a textbook, albeit often as a “supplementary” text, as one former AP high school teacher told me.
But the denial of over 100 million deaths by communist regimes is a deliberate rewriting of history that has implications today. The people writing such histories ignore, deny, or minimize deaths of very real people.
Yet, like Zinn, they claim to speak for the “people.” But Zinn, who claimed that, among others, the Yugoslavian “people” welcomed communist rule certainly did not speak for my “people,” the Yugoslavs (specifically Slovenians) buried in unmarked pits for the crime of defending their homeland from communist invasion.
The hallmark of a sociopath is the ability to lie, and to, indeed, make one doubt reality. He will attribute justified fears to irrationality. “It’s all in your head,” he will say.
The sociopath likes to target the emotionally vulnerable and naïve. That’s why so many of the liars about history can be found in schools.
Many of today’s students are too young to remember 9/11. Their school lessons are full of injunctions against “intolerance” and “xenophobia”—fears that kept al Qaeda-inspired Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan on as an Army psychiatrist, in spite of evidence that he had the murderous intentions which he did carry out. Another guest on CNN on 9/12, former White House Homeland Security Advisor Richard Falkenrath, accused Florida pastor Terry Jones of “intolerance and xenophobia.” Former CIA official Bob Baer, worried that the “popular view” of “us against the Islamic world” is “verging on racism.” The language of the academy has entered our governmental institutions. Neither one of these men corrected Gerges’s claims about the “red scare.”
After claiming that 90 percent of al Qaeda members have been wiped out, Gerges came back to his grand theory: “Yet, when I come back to the state of mind, how do you deconstruct a state of mind that basically we, as Americans, we constantly believe we are under imminent threat?” After saying “We are terrorizing ourselves,” Gerges indeed did reveal his own complicity in the strategy of the jihadists: “The strategy has been to embroil the United States in a greater clash, a big front with the Muslim world, to create a clash of civilization.”
More will be said about “Marxism in America” at the USA Survival conference at the National Press Club on October 21. I will be speaking on the topic of “history” according to Zinn. The lineup and more details can be found here.