Lenin advocated "revolutionary terror," first as a means of attacking the bourgeois regime and then, once the revolutioaries had seized power, as a means of intimidating the population and compelling cooperation with the revolutionary agenda.
The phrase "politically correct" is also of Marxist-Leninist origin. The concept of "democratic centralism" required that the Bolshevik vanguard arrogate to itself the authority to dictate what was and was not true, what policies should be pursued, etc. Once the Communst leadership had decided what the proper "party line" was, then all dissenters were said to be politically incorrect, and were anathematized as Enemies of the People.
This was how it came to be that after Stalin after Trotsky -- who had been second only to Lenin in the leadership of the Bolshevik Revolution -- he ordered Trotsky's image airbrushed out of photos of the original revolutionary leadership. And that was only one example of where political correctness led.
It is amazing to me the degree to which this type of Marxist-Leninist thinking has not merely survived, but thrived despite the collapse of the Soviet Union. And nowhere is this more true -- in a deeply ironic way -- than in the way so many conservatives have forgotten the Soviet origins of modern terrorism. I quote from a 1977 Heritage Foundation study:
The International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union . . . has been the most important Soviet agency for the support of terrorism. Through this agency, the Soviets established two training schools for terrorists: the Lenin Institute or Institute of Social Studies and the Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow. Both of them regularly train their students -- 300 to 600 at any one time at the Lenin Institute - -in the techniques of "sabotage, terrorism, assassination, and other kinds of clandestine ar:d violent warfare."Another Heritage Foundation study from 1984:
The presence in the U.S. of large numbers of disaffected aliens, many from cultures with traditions of political violence, could be of concern. . . . It is not unreasonable to assume that some of these may be sympathetic to the political goals of some terrorist movements that espouse their national, religious, or ideological beliefs. This minority may provide an audience for terrorist propaganda or a valuable infrastructure for terrorist financial or logistical support.Both of those studies were written by the author of The Soviet Strategy of Terror, published in 1981 by the Heritage Foundation. But the politically incorrect Sam Francis has been airbrushed out of conservative history. So it is that we have lost a vital key to understanding the problem of terrorism by "disaffected aliens . . . sympathetic to the political goals of some terrorist movements."
History, Ancient and Modern
Certainly, it is possible to see the roots of Islamic terror in the 7th century A.D., beginning with the warrior-prophet Muhammed and continuing with the Muslim conquests that advanced by the sword across Turkey and into Asia, over North Africa, to Spain, and into Europe before finally being halted by the Christian victory over the Ottomans at Vienna in 1683.
All of that is relevant background, but has little to do with the specific manifestation of terror-jihad that has arisen in the Islamic world since the 1960s. The fanatical anti-American stance of these groups has very particular connection to the Soviet strategy of terror.
The PLO and Fatah, in particular, received support from a network of communist agents. And the propaganda agents of the Kremlin were also involved. If you'll go back and study it, you'll notice that the Palestinian cause was embraced by the New Left shortly after American student radicals began trekking to Cuba and Eastern Europe for "study."
The skeptic will point out that Marxism is dogmatically atheist, while Islamic terrorism is devoutly religious. True, but it is likewise true that although Marxism is anti-nationalist, the Soviets exploited nationalist sentiment (e.g., in Vietnam) wherever they felt it might advance their long-term revolutionary goal.
Terrorism and 'Liberation'
What is today considered a religious phenomenon -- Islam's jihad against the West -- actually originated with 2oth-century Arab nationalism, of which "Palestinian liberation" was the principle manifestation from the 1960s onward. This was all part of the Soviet agenda of creating satellites via "wars of national liberation."
Whether it was the Viet Cong or the Sandinistas or the PLO, all such revolutionary outfits shared a common anti-American agenda. The Soviets supported all these groups for the same reason: One "brushfire" war at a time, the U.S. could be deprived of potential allies in its Cold War struggle against the Soviet Union, which claimed to speak on behalf of the victims of American "imperialism."
When the Ayatollah's Shi'ite revolutionaries in Iran dubbed America "The Great Satan," they were merely expressing in religious terms what the Soviets were proclaiming in secular terms. In the calculus of the Cold War, what was bad for the U.S.A. was good for Moscow, you see. It wasn't until the Soviets tried to impose their will by direct military intervention in Afghanistan that they got a taste of the fanaticism of "liberation" the Kremlin had done so much to foment.
Of Motives and Murders
The homicidal rage of "Sudden Jihad Syndrome" -- evidently the motive for Nidal Malik Hassan's murderous rampage -- is the legacy of a history forgotten.
Objectively, there is no reason that the Islamic world should be infested with violent anti-Americanism. There is no objective reason why Israelis should constantly be plagued by Palestinian terror, nor that Iranians should suffer under the yoke of the mullahs and Ahmadinejad. The resentments which give rise to these phenomena are unacknowledged fruit of the Marxist-Leninist legacy.
Wherever it is proclaimed that capitalism is exploitation and that the United States is an agent of oppression, then the specific form and rhetoric of "anti-imperialist" violence -- whether religious or secular, ethnic or nationalist -- is just a detail.
All of these latter-day "revolutionary" movements are, in some sense, mere third-hand replicas of a Bolshevik prototype. The Taliban are an Afghan clone of the Khmer Rouge, Hugo Chavez is the Ceauşescu of Venezuela and Saddam Hussein was a Mesopotamian Stalin. Conservatives ought to understand this, and to say it out loud, no matter how politically incorrect it may be to say it.
More effort ought to be devoted to persuading the Islamic world that that their religion ought not require the periodic slaughter of Americans, Europeans or Israelis. But before we can persuade them of this, Americans must first persuade ourselves.