Cinnamon Stillwell

I’m the West Coast Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum that focuses on Middle East studies. I was a political columnist for (San Francisco Chronicle online) from 2004-2008. I've written for the American Thinker, Frontpage Magazine, Family Security Matters, Accuracy In Media, Newsbusters, Israel National News, The Jewish Policy Center, J-The Jewish News Weekly of N. CA, Intellectual Conservative and many others. More info at

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Muslim Leftists Love America, Western Leftists Hate America

As I've stressed repeatedly, one of the reasons for my post-9/11 political shift from left to right, and that of many others in the same camp, has been the Western left's attachment to anti-Americanism, even when it lands them on the same side as dictators, Islamists, and terrorists. Blinded by the sort of hatred of their own country and civilization produced by years of indoctrination in what I like to call the postcolonialist, self-loathing school of multiculturalism, today's leftists are incapable of recognizing the true threats to their own existence. Instead, they cling to familiar demons and push reactionary policies.

It's gotten to the point where one would be hard pressed to tell the difference lately between the foreign policy of so-called liberals and that of so-called realists. Both are in favor of the sort of isolationism that would leave dictators and theocratic regimes to their own devices, not to mention the oppressed people living under their thumbs. To the extent that engagement with these foreign powers is encouraged, it's in favor of meaningless negotiation in the craven hope that they can save their own skins in the process.

These days, this translates into calls for immediate withdrawals from both Iraq and Afghanistan and a foreign policy of appeasement, a la Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's recent visit to Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad and her promise to do the same with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad.

Meanwhile, voices of reform from the Muslim world are either ignored or in some cases, suppressed, by the Western left, which seems to find their lack of anti-Americanism terribly inconvenient.

Iranian-American writer and scholar Amir Taheri comments on this bizarre state of affairs in his latest column and expands on the topic to include the views of Muslim leftists, most of whom have little in common with their Western counterparts. As he puts it:

Skimming through the Middle Eastern press these days can produce unexpected results. It's not rare to see a virulently anti-American article by an American or Western European leftist - and, alongside it on the same page, a pro-American article from an Arab, Iranian or Afghan progressive figure.


While Chomsky and Moore see the United States as "an evil power," many leftists in the Middle East see it as a force for good that ended the tyranny of the Taliban in Afghanistan, dismantled the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and forced the Syrians out of Lebanon after 30 years of occupation.
Read the whole thing. And let it be lesson to those who still don't understand why some of us no longer wish to associate ourselves with Western leftism. There's nothing "progressive" about it.

Update: Speaking of strange political bedfellows, the latest report at looks at a case earlier this month where racist and anti-Semitic literature was distributed around Berkeley by the group founded by KKK member Tom Metzger, the White Aryan Resistance. It seems that the anti-Semitic material involved consisted of exactly the type of paranoid, Israel-hating language and imagery commonly seen these days at leftist "anti-war" protests, which may explain, as zombie points out, why the local media conveniently overlooked that aspect in its coverage. Western leftists don't just hate America, they hate Israel too.

Cross-posted at Kesher Talk.


Anonymous jeremayakovka said...

It's a simple point that needs to be repeated over and over. Your impatience and disgust with the Western Left is about to bubble over the sides of your long-simmering pot.

Although it takes a certain acuity and dedication to advance the point, sometimes I do feel that we live in somewhat of a totalitarian reality -- where to understand and speak truth means to fly in the face of so many received opinions, of so many media and cultural forces.

It's cold comfort, but the more I study the history of, say, the 1930s and the 1960s (those romanticized protest decades), the more I see that this attitude dictated leftwing and much liberal political speech then also.

Although by conviction a socialist, Orwell -- rara avis -- worked hard to set himelf apart from that crowd, in works like The Road to Wigan Pier which starts off as a study of conditions among striking coal miners and finishes as an analytical indictment of the Left.

Most lefists ignore, at everyone's peril, that the hard and articualte proving ground of achievements like Wigan Pier are what made later and greater works like Animal Farm and 1984 possible.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007 4:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As usual Cinnamon leaves me with something to think about and to stimulate my brain. Thanks Cinnamon

Sam Douthit Bowdon, Ga

Wednesday, April 11, 2007 4:50:00 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

I do not think this is exactly fair. I, for example, consider myself rather liberal, and I think that there are problems over the way Iraq's been addressed all the way back to 2003.

You call out Speaker Pelosi and suggest this is a problem. What about when Republican Members of Congress Issa and Aderholt visited recently? Was this too a problem? If not, why would one law maker visiting a problem country be okay, but another a problem?

Also, where's the progress been on the human rights records of Syria, Iran and Pakistan? What about the genocide in Darfur? The problems in Myanmar? During six years of President Bush's stay in office, have there been noticeable improvements in these nations?

Do the human rights records of the Middle East bother me? Of course. And I certainly would never express any sort of understanding of Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, or be so naive as to believe they are really only after nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

No, what it comes down to is that we can't go around slapping people all the time. We can not cure what ills the world alone.

Until the people in these places realize that there are many many more of them than there are of the leaders who keep them blind to the world, there's really nothing that can be seriously accomplished.

I'm sorry. War can't make people be nice.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007 6:49:00 PM  
Anonymous jeremayakovka said...


Debbie Schlussel dot com is, e.g., a Republican blog which keeps heat on Issa. Go read. Now you can't say you don't know.

Darfur is an appalling tragedy, but the United States is not the world's Florence Nightingale. If the US diverted from Iraq and the Gulf region to get heavily into Darfur that would be enlightened, but not enlightened self-interest.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007 8:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Paul said...

The Western Left has been moribund for a long time. They simply went from supporting Communism (aka the old Soviet Union and their minions) to embracing Islamo- fascist jihadis and got their second wind. Their sycophantic message remains one of virulent, rote like anti-Americanism. A pox on them !

Thursday, April 12, 2007 5:08:00 AM  
Anonymous GM Roper said...

Cinnamon, this was an extra-thought provoking post, and the comments by all also. This quote however caught my eye: "We can not cure what ills the world alone." posted by Mike.

You are, Mike, of course correct. But that is more of an indictment of the left than ever of the right. We attempted to pull the world into some very just causes, and the world shrugged it's shoulders and turned it's collective backside to us. This was true in South East Asia, in Indonesia with the tsunami, and, with a few notable exceptions in Afghanistan. In general, the world ignored Saddam's threats, it ignores human rights (unless it is bashing Israel via the UN Human Rights Commission) and it has ignored Mugabe and all the other hell holes in the world.

When the world wants to step up to the plate, they will usually find America there at the head of the line. It would be nice to see the rest of humanity caring a whit (or two).

Thursday, April 12, 2007 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger Ken said...

Mike, Darfur is a Muslim "conflict". So it would be ok by you to get involved in another Muslim war?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007 10:26:00 PM  

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