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To the Anti-War Demonstrators

Oct 01, 2001 01:55 PM
by Michele Lidofsky

Folks - 

Here's an interesting essay currently being run in campus newspapers by
former Marxist organizer David Horowitz:


An Open Letter to the "Anti-War" Demonstrators: Think Twice Before You
Bring The War Home
By David Horowitz | September 27, 2001

I AM a former anti-war activist who helped to organize the first campus
demonstration against the war in Vietnam at the University of
California, Berkeley in 1962. I appeal to all those young people who
participated in "anti-war" demonstrations on 150 college campuses this
week, to think again and not to join an "anti-war" effort
against America’s coming battle with international terrorism. 

The hindsight of history has shown that our efforts in the 1960s to end
the war in Vietnam had two practical effects. The first was to prolong
the war itself. Every testimony by North Vietnamese generals in the
postwar years has affirmed that they knew they could not defeat the
United States on the battlefield, and that they counted on the division
of our people at home to win the war for them. The Vietcong forces we
were fighting in South Vietnam were destroyed in 1968. In other words,
most of the war and most of the casualties in the war occurred because
the dictatorship of North Vietnam counted on the fact Americans would
give up the battle rather than pay the price necessary to win it. This
is what happened. The blood of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese, and
tens of thousands of Americans, is on the hands of the anti-waractivists
who prolonged the struggle and gave victory to the Communists.

The second effect of the war was to surrender South Vietnam to the
forces of Communism. This resulted in the imposition of a monstrous
police state, the murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent South
Vietnamese, the incarceration in "re-education camps" of hundreds of
thousands more, and a quarter of a century of abject poverty imposed by
crackpot Marxist economic plans, which continue to this day. This, too,
is the responsibility of the so-called anti-war movement of the 1960s.

I say "so-called anti-war movement," because while many Americans were
sincerely troubled by America’s war effort, the organizers of this
movement were Marxists and radicals who supported a Communist victory
and an American defeat. Today the same people and their youthful
followers are organizing the campus demonstrations against America’s
effort to defend its citizens against the forces of international
terrorism and anti-American hatred, responsible for the September

I know, better than most, the importance of protecting freedom of speech
and the right of citizens to dissent. But I also know better than most,
that there is a difference between honest dissent and malevolent hate,
between criticism of national policy, and sabotage of the nation’s
defenses. In the 1960s and 1970s, the tolerance of anti-American hatreds
was so high, that the line between dissent and treason was eventually
erased. Along with thousands of other New Leftists, I was one who
crossed the line between dissent and actual treason. (I have written an
account of these matters in my autobiography, Radical Son). I did so for
what I thought were the noblest of reasons: to advance the cause of
"social justice" and "peace." I have lived to see how wrong I was and
how much damage we did – especially to those whose cause we claimed to
embrace, the peasants of Indo-China who suffered grievously from our
support for the Communist enemy. I came to see how precious are the
freedoms and opportunities afforded by America to the poorest and most
humble of its citizens, and how rare its virtues are in the world at

If I have one regret from my radical years, it is that this country was
too tolerant towards the treason of its enemies within. If patriotic
Americans had been more vigilant in the defense of their country, if
they had called things by their right names, if they had confronted us
with the seriousness of our attacks, they might have
caught the attention of those of us who were well-meaning but utterly
misguided. And they might have stopped us in our tracks. 

This appeal is for those of you who are out there today attacking your
country, full of your own self-righteousness, but who one day might also
live to regret what you have done. 

David Horowitz is editor-in-chief of and president
of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture.

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