- The Washington Times - Friday, July 26, 2002

Old New Left

"Forty years ago, I wrote a book about the New Left. In the same year, a much more famous document appeared, called 'The Port Huron Statement,' which was the founding manifesto of the Students for a Democratic Society. This was an organization that began by agitating for 'participatory democracy,' became the largest organization of the left and ended up, a bare seven years later, calling for war against 'Amerikkka' and creating the Weather Underground the first terrorist political cult.

"As it happens, the most famous of the two principal authors of 'The Port Huron Statement,' Tom Hayden, was one of the loudest voices calling for a 'war of liberation' in Amerikkka and formed his own little guerrilla army to achieve that goal.

"Not surprisingly, Hayden does not care to remember or explain this political devolution, even though it was actually predicted at the time by dissenters from Port Huron, notably the late Irving Howe. Even in 1962, Howe understood that Hayden and his comrades were totalitarians in the making.

"In 1962, SDS was pretty much a collection of red-diaper babies and political fellow travelers trying to jump-start a left whose collusion with Communism had brought it into disrepute and decimated its ranks."

David Horowitz, writing on "Port Huron and the War on Terror," Tuesday in Front Page at www.frontpagemag.com

'Pharisaical glow'

"[The] unanimously favorable view of Pius XII [among Jews] was single-handedly overturned in 1963. The cause was not a new piece of historical research, but instead a fictional play by a former member of the Hitler Youth, Rolf Hochhuth.

"'The Deputy' has been reissued this year as the film entitled 'Amen' by Constantin Costa-Gavras. Both use invented characters to accuse the Pope of not speaking out strongly enough and of being lenient towards Hitler. The result has been staggering: Nine books on Pius XII have been published in the last year and a half. Rabbi [David] Dalin accuses three of Pius's attackers, two former seminarians and a former priest, of using their accusations to conduct an internal argument within the Catholic Church about the future of the Papacy after John Paul II.

"Perhaps the reason why these charges against Pius XII are so infectious is that they are constructed in such a way that they cannot be disproved. They are what Karl Popper called an unfalsifiable proposition: However many public attacks on Nazism Pius XII did make, one can always say he should have made more. Moreover, the denunciations of Pius today, unlike his own ones of Nazism, are cost-free: Unlike Pius's decisions, on which the lives of millions depended, today's attacks on him produce a nice pharisaical glow of moral superiority, not to mention extremely profitable book sales."

John Laughland, writing on "Pius the Hero," in the July 20 issue of the Spectator

Feminism sells

"On a blazing afternoon a few weeks ago, I hopped the Metro to the Capitol to see the Marie Claire [magazine] brides. There were about 30 of them.

"The purpose of this quasi-matrimonial exercise was to commemorate the 1999 killing of Gladys Ricart by her ex-boyfriend on her wedding day and, thus, draw attention to domestic violence. The protesters, organized by Marie Claire in conjunction with domestic-abuse activists and bused down from New York, marched to the Capitol, where they posed for photographs holding large red and white posters announcing 'THE MARIE CLAIRE MARCH.'

"Leading the parade was Salma Hayek, Marie Claire's October cover-girl-to-be.

"[T]he demonstration's real purpose wasn't social change; it was marketing specifically, convincing Marie Claire readers that in addition to giving us tighter tummies and making us savvier shoppers, the magazine also renders us politically active."

Sarah Blustain, writing on "Just Buy It," in the July 29 issue of the New Republic

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