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From the Pen of David Horowitz: October 12, 2009

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Posted on October 12 2009 12:49 am
David Swindle is the Managing Editor of NewsReal Blog and the Associate Editor of FrontPage Magazine. Follow him on Twitter here

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One of the most depressing moments of my own political life came when I was given a Ph.D. thesis to read whose subject was the intellectual influences on American policy makers. In 1979, when the Sandinista Marxists staged a coup against the democratic members of Nicaragua’s revolutionary “junta” and established a pro-Soviet, Marxist dictatorship in that country, Robert Pastor was the Latin American staff person to then National Security Adviser Zbignew Brzezinski whose task it was to devise a policy towards this new threat. Pastor advised Brzezinski and Brzezinksi advised President Jimmy Carter not to intervene to save Nicaraguan democracy. The result was a series of guerrilla wars in Central America as Cuban and Nicaraguan supported Communist attempted to seize power.

Robert Porter told his interviewer that one of the books that influenced him to advise his government not to intervene was a book I myself had written called, The Free World Colossus. I had written this book, which was published in 1965, as a 25-year old novice with no formal historical training but with a rich background in the Communist and fellow-traveling literature of writers who would be even more obscure to Jacob Heilbrunn than Eric Hobsbawm and Gerda Lerner (e.g., Carl Marzani and D.F. Fleming). Of course, in order to persuade others, outside the Left, I also employed the writings of such well-known Left-liberals as Walter Lippmann. This gave my analysis credibility. John Gerassi, a pro-Castro Marxist who was a book editor at Newsweek, gave my anti-American tract a rave review. While my text blamed America for the Cold War, and created the litany of America’s imperialist crimes – Iran, Guatemala, Vietnam etc. – which became a standard trope in thousands of Left-wing texts that followed, I was careful to criticize the Soviet Union and thus distinguish myself from my Communist and pro-Communist sources, and disarm potential critics of what I had written. I even posed as an American patriot (of course I believed the pose) writing at the end of the book that America should live up to its ideals. It would never have occurred me that in opposing Communism America was in fact living up to its ideals.

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