Horowitz vs. John Paul II

Does David Horowitz, the Commie-turned-neocon, even read his own website? From the looks of two posts on their appropriately named “Moonbat Central” blog — one by Richard Poe complaining about how “left-wing” French Catholics are attacking John Paul II, and the other by Steven Plaut, complaining about “Islamafascists” dissing the departed Holy Father — I don’t think he bothers. Because if anyone has been promoting anti-Vatican propaganda, then surely it is Horowitz on his Frontpage website.

To begin with, Horowitz has recently teamed up with another leftie-turned-neocon, Christopher Hitchens: the two are going to London together, and taking along a gaggle of their deluded fans, on a trip sponsored by Horowitz’s Center for the Study of Popular Culture. Hitchens hates all religion with a passion that can only be called … religious, but there’s a special venom ensconced in his black heart for the Roman Catholic Church, and especially John Paul II. Here he spits some of it out: more here. Hatred envelopes Hitchens’ prose like a miasma befogging his thought processes: in the more recent screed, written hours after the Pope had died, he blithered on about how a “Catholic cabal” (with John F. Kennedy as the chief conspirator) installed President Ngo Dinh Diem in Vietnam, and then opines that “perhaps we should let that one slide” because Kennedy had Diem killed.

By all means, Mr. Hitchens, have another drink.

The piece rambles on in a crude attempt to link John Paul to the pedophilia scandal — based on a very thin thread of assumptions and connections — and then goes on to accuse American Catholics of “dual loyalty.”

What a joke. If Hitchens wants to see “dual loyalty” in action, then he has only to look in his home digs of Washington, D.C., where the FBI recently conducted not one but two raids on the headquarters of AIPAC, Israel’s amen corner in the U.S. and formerly one of the most powerful lobbies in the Imperial City. If Catholics were marching in the streets against the war, then they weren’t handing over classified documents to the Vatican embassy — as AIPAC employees were observed doing at a lunch with employees of the Israeli embassy. If Hitchens is so exercised about “dual loyalty,” how come he doesn’t write about this instance of it?

When Hitchens and Horowitz get to London they can tell each other anti-Catholic jokes while they and their paying guests paint the town — dare I say it? — red, their old school colors. Horowitz’s hired hands taking out after “the Left” and them Ay-rabs over dissing the Pope goes way beyond mere hypocrisy: a look back into the archives of Frontpagemag.com, Horowitz’s hate site, displays a Hitchensonian hatred of John Paul II, the institution of the Vatican, and outright contempt for the hierarchy and laity of the Roman Catholic Church. A good example is Joseph D’Hippolito’s views on the Pope, here and here: according to Frontpage, John Paul II was the head of a Church that preached “appeasement” and “latent anti-Americanism.” The hysterical D’Hippolito railed:

“The Bush Administration should consider placing the Vatican on the list of rogue states that support terrorism.”

While D’Hippolito invokes “the spirit of Jonathan Swift,” rabid does not even begin to describe this kind of poisonous bile. However, that’s just a small taste of the anti-John Paul propaganda Frontpage has consistently published. Take a look at Horowtiz’s record of hate:

Here’s a reprint from some wacko blog known as “Captain’s Quarters” that Horowitz published verbatim on Frontpage:

“The seat of the Roman Catholic Church has embarrassed its millions of adherents in supporting evil over the poor and downtrodden, and now it follows by not merely professing peace at any price, but actually supporting key regime players whose rule resulted in mass murder. Since when did the Catholic Church’s leadership become advocates for evil?

If that doesn’t sound like something from the Church of Satan, then I don’t know what does. Here’s another gem, from the pen of the invariably fallacious Orianna Fallaci:

“I find it shameful that the Roman Observer, the newspaper of the Pope–a Pope who not long ago left in the Wailing Wall a letter of apology for the Jews–accuses of extermination a people who were exterminated in the millions by Christians. By Europeans. I find it shameful that this newspaper denies to the survivors of that people (survivors who still have numbers tattooed on their arms) the right to react, to defend themselves, to not be exterminated again.
I find it shameful that in the name of Jesus Christ (a Jew without whom they would all be unemployed), the priests of our parishes or Social Centers or whatever they are flirt with the assassins of those in Jerusalem who cannot go to eat a pizza or buy some eggs without being blown up.”

Yeah, isn’t it terrible? John Paul II condemned Israel’s apartheid “wall of separation,” and called for a Palestinian homeland (just like George W. Bush). Everybody knows the Israelis have an unlimited “right to react.”

Yet another Frontpage screed accuses John Paul of being soft on terrorism:

“The Catholic Church – which speaks with such wisdom and authority on moral questions – often sounds like Sean Penn on matters of war and peace. In commenting on the capture of the tyrant, Pope John Paul II observed, ‘International law must ensure that the law of the more powerful does not prevail.’ The pope called for replacing, ‘the material force of arms with moral force of law.’

“This is an empty slogan that denies reality. What the pontiff calls international law, represented by the United Nations, shelters tyrants while it colludes in the murder of their victims.”

If international law is just a fancy word for the UN, and the UN is in the business of sheltering tyrants, then was John Paul — as well as Kofi Annan — colluding in terroristic murders? According to the Bizarro World rules of Horowitzian “logic,” the implication is all too clear:

“Speaking of terrorists, John Paul II said the war against terrorism must be ‘accompanied by courageous and lucid analysis of the reasons behind terrorist attacks.’ The pope said the war on terror had to be conducted ‘on the political and educational levels by eliminating the underlying causes of situations of injustice which frequently drive people to more desperate and violent acts.’

“Was Osama bin Laden shaped by injustice. Are the Saudi princes who bankroll al-Qaeda compelled by their victimization to support ‘desperate and violent acts’?

“…Terrorism (including the state terrorism practiced by Saddam) is an ideological, not an economic problem. It’s evil ideas (whether in religious or political guise) that make the monsters who spread body parts around a Jerusalem pizzeria or turn skyscrapers into rubble, not hunger and lack of access to health care. The pope who helped to liberate Eastern Europe from communism should understand this.”

D’Hippolito assumes that any inquiry into “root causes” of terrorism must assign economic motives to the terrorists, but that is far from what the advocates of this view have been saying. It is American foreign policy, and not the lack of economic opportunity, that fills the ranks of Al Qaeda. If your home has just been bombed, or your best friend killed by the Americans, then that makes Al Qaeda’s sales pitch all the more attractive. Chief among the policies that have contributed to building a worldwide Islamist insurgency directed at the U.S. has been knee-jerk support for Israel — a policy that Frontpage spends virtually every edition defending.

The Pope stood foursquare against this dangerously unbalanced view of Middle Eastern affairs, and also — for much the same reasons — opposed the Iraq war. Naturally, Frontpage undertook to smear him, just like they slimed anyone else who didn’t go along with the neocon program of perpetual war for perpetual peace. Yet now they pretend John Paul is their hero.


It never ceases to amaze me how people are blinded by ideology — blinded, even, to the meaning and import of their own words. Before David Horowitz and his crew get all self-righteous about the lack of respect for the departed Pope to be found on the Left, they ought to read what they have been writing about the man and his works. And maybe even they’ll consider apologizing for the overheated rhetoric, particularly that libel about the Pope and the Church becoming “advocates for evil.”