I haven't wanted to do this, but I have been requested now to do so, as there is an ongoing partisan rumble in the comments field that detracts from what we are trying to do here as much as do the intemperate comments CAIR tried to hang me with (although I didn't write them) and the jihad apologists who also drop in from time to time.
The present conflict revolves around the assumption that because Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald's positions are not recognizably or currently of the "Right," they must be of the "Left." Or that if someone, anyone, is not part of the One, he must be part of the Other.
Beyond the question of Hugh's sense of direction, some are -- and have been for months -- continuing to try to make this site a forum for partisan wrangling, despite bans, threats to ban, mild entreaties, etc. This is as if I had set up a tent in which I could speak my mind, and others set themselves up at its entrance, pushing their own agendas. This is not a matter of free speech -- it is all happening on my nickel only.
In any case, please try to read without prejudice. Both Hugh and I -- Hugh much more eloquently and persistently than I -- have argued that the jihad threat demands a breaking and reconstruction of paradigms. The threat does not come from the "Left" or the "Right," and those hoary old methods of distinguishing the Good Guys from the Bad are now causing more confusion than illumination, more harm than good, more heat than light. They are not helpful. They are getting in the way.
Kerry was clueless. He wanted to give nuclear fuel to Iran. In saying that I must be a Republican, right? Bush is clueless. He continues to allow us to be dependent on the Saudis without making any move to free us from them. In saying that I must be a Democrat, right?
In March 2003, just before Operation Iraqi Freedom began, I wrote an article criticizing as unrealistic the President's plan to bring democracy to the Middle East. I have linked to it here many times. Alas, it seems to have been taken down, but here is a cached link.
I based my argument on the nature of Islam and the Sharia, saying that it was unlikely that Muslims in large numbers were going to forsake what they saw as the law of God for law based on human consensus.
Hugh has expanded on this point in many, many columns. Some have asked if I agree with them. I find the question astounding (which is why I have so far not answered it), since I gave him his position on the Board of this organization of which I am the founder, and I edit and post his columns myself. But from what I have seen, Hugh's position has been persistently misunderstood and misrepresented by those who cannot see out of the old Left/Right box.
Is the idea that the democratization of Iraq is the wrong way to go about defeating the global jihad a "liberal" position, since liberals oppose the ongoing Iraqi adventure for utterly different reasons? Only if your worldview is irremediably bipolar. Why? Speaking for myself, note that my March 2003 article touches on none of the contemporary Leftist concerns: no body counts, no quagmires, none of it. The war, you'll recall, hadn't even started when I wrote it. Yet it is not foursquare with the Republican program. Also, I have criticized Bush and Rice, and allowed them to be criticized in articles here, quite harshly for their persistent misapprehension of the problem we face.
So is all this "Leftist" or "Rightist"? If you answer one or the other, you're not paying attention. Is it possible? Could it be? Might a third alternative be possible -- even desirable? Might our survival as a nation and a civilization demand some new, courageous thinking, and a recognition that all -- all -- our parties and factions are threatened by this thing, threatened mortally, and that none of them -- none -- have yet come to grips with the implications of that? And that since none of them have done so, it is manifestly time for some new formulations?
Other issues? I refuse to discuss them. Are we going to argue about tax rates while the barbarians fly airplanes into our strongholds and use our own tolerance and good will to subvert us from within?
This is not to say, finally, that both sides are equivalent. While I have criticized Bush and Rice, I do believe that at this point the Right is generally less sold out to the jihad than the Left. This opinion is based on evidence, not emotion, and I make no apologies for it. The fact that my publishers are all of "the Right" is one indication of its being correct. I also devoted an entire chapter of my book Onward Muslim Soldiers to this fact. It was called "Everybody must get stoned: the strange alliance between radical Islam and the post-1960s Left." If, however, the Left began to see that its pet causes are mortally threatened by the jihad, and hence the value of defending Western civilization, no one would be happier than I.
Of course, all this will not sit well with partisans of either stripe. My negative reference to the Left in the above paragraph will no doubt soon induce some regular commentators to declaim, yet again, about the depredations of Bush, which supposedly outweigh 1,000 Leftist appeasers and fifth columnists. The fact that I have noted those depredations on many occasions will never be good enough.
All in all, Left, Right, and center, I am going to continue resisting the jihad, in the name of the equality of dignity of all people -- including the non-Muslims and women who would lose that equality in the Sharia states the jihadists want to establish.
And I ask you all to mute your partisanship and try to think of ways we can beat this thing instead of ways we can beat each other. Neither side of the American political divide has been or is perfect on this issue. So what? It is not time for recriminations. It is time for survival.