By Matthew Vadum
Three New York City sociology professors traveled all the way to Tehran earlier this year to badmouth their country in front of America’s Islamofascist enemies, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reports.
All three are leftists who support the increasingly violent, anti-American, anti-Semitic Occupy Wall Street movement. The Iranian leadership and left-wing groups in the U.S. such as the terrorist-linked Code Pink also support the movement as a way of weakening America.
The teachers’ jihadist junket aimed ostensibly at teaching Iranians about the movement provides “living proof that although Communism for the most part is dead, useful idiots of tyrannies that do still hold power and endanger all of us still exist,” Ron Radosh writes.
The three academics participated in the Tehran University Occupy Wall Street seminar in February. In so doing these overeducated dupes gave aid and comfort to brutal fundamentalists who call America and its ally Israel the “Great Satan” and the “Little Satan.”
As the country Islamists call the “Zionist Entity” contemplates attacking Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons, these New Yorkers’ activism could foreshadow the rise of a pro-Iran movement stateside. After all, a pro-Saddam Hussein movement cropped up on the Left a decade ago as the U.S. government pondered the invasion of Iraq.
The trio consisted of Heather D. Gautney of Fordham University, Alex S. Vitale of Brooklyn College (City University of New York), and John L. Hammond of Hunter College (CUNY). They appear in a news report from Press TV, a propaganda arm of the Islamic Republic.
Although Vitale and Hammond, a contributor to Marxist periodical Monthly Review, said little of substance in the video itself, the hijab-clad Gautney said the Occupy movement would agitate stateside this election cycle and push politicians to grow government.
“We have elections coming up in November and I think that the movement is going to be incredibly active in pressuring politicians to start addressing issues of social inequality,” said the self-described “Occupy Wall Street activist.”
The media-savvy Gautney has been adept at getting exposure for her views.
In an impressive feat of self-deception, Gautney wrote at CNN’s website that “Occupy may be anti-corporate, but it is unambiguously pro-American.”
Gautney, whose absurd pronouncement suggests she has never graced an Occupy demonstration with her actual presence, claimed that the Marxist worldview promoted by the movement is somehow catching on in Iran.
“The discourse [in Iran] seems to be veering from ‘Down with America!’ to ‘Down with the 1 Percent!’” Gautney told Fox News on her return to the United States. “In my view,” the naïve left-winger explained, “this is quite a welcome development, and speaks to Iranians’ affection for Americans despite all the political conflict.”
The starry-eyed fellow traveler also reminisced about a visit with Zahra Mostafavi, daughter of the first Supreme Leader of Iran, the late Ayatollah Khomeini. Gautney romanticized the Iranian revolution, writing about the photographs detailing “dramatic scenes” from Khomeini’s life that she saw in Mostafavi’s house.
“I flashed back to my own childhood, to propagandistic images of Khomeini as an evil dictator, the terrible jokes about Muslims that circulated through my Catholic grade school, and the absolute support of the tyrannical Shah, who privatized much of Iran’s resources, turned it into a comprador regime, and committed unspeakable acts against his own people,” Gautney writes.
She faults her own countrymen for daring to cast Iranians “as fundamentalist monsters in American bedtime stories” when Islamic revolutionaries stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days from November 1979 to January 1981.
Oh, where to begin?
Of course the depiction in American culture of Khomeini about which Gautney complains was completely accurate. And although the Shah’s regime was repressive to an extent, it was comparatively benign when contrasted with today’s Islamic Republic. Unlike the Shah’s pro-Western regime, the current government terrorizes women with sartorial codes. It routinely persecutes and executes its own citizens for political dissent, religious nonconformity, and behavior considered deviant such as homosexuality. It is a brutal theocratic hellhole.
Like Gautney, Professor Vitale is also no fan of his own country.
Vitale, who is associated with the neo-communist National Lawyers Guild, criticized the New York Police Department last October as officers were trying to contain the violent mob occupying Zuccotti Park in Manhattan. “By penning people in, dividing people up, making it very difficult to get march permits, policing, making arrests for minor legal violations, they are denying peoples’ right to protest,” he whined.
Big Apple cops “are obsessed with order maintenance, this kind of zero-tolerance mentality about disorder,” Vitale told the Village Voice in 2007. “So they micromanage every aspect of a demonstration.”
It isn’t all that surprising that Vitale served on a panel called “Law and Obedience After Capitalism” with Lynne Stewart at a conference held at the CUNY Graduate Center in 2004. Vitale must have seemed comparatively moderate alongside Stewart, a Maoist firebrand serving a 10-year prison term after being convicted of aiding an Islamic terrorist group. The now-disbarred attorney once said, “I don’t believe in anarchist violence but in directed violence” against “the institutions which perpetuate capitalism, racism, sexism, and at the people who are the appointed guardians of those institutions and accompanied by popular support.”
It needs to be said that Gautney, Vitale, and Hammond are hardly outliers. Academia is utterly saturated with socialist misanthropes who want to find common cause with America’s enemies. As Jamie Glazov argues in his book United in Hate, the Left’s contemporary romance with militant Islam is entirely logical.
Both leftists and Islamists abhor Western culture and American-style market capitalism. Both embrace international chaos and upheaval aimed at creating a new world order built upon the ruins of the status quo. Both rail against Zionism and Jews’ alleged control of the world through the financial system.
While fanatical, belligerent Iranians foment war against Israel both groups perpetuate hoary anti-Semitic tropes like a Jewish cabal engineering unjust wars for the benefit of Israel.
Leftists and Islamists probably won’t abandon their twisted fantasies anytime soon.
Meanwhile, back here in America management at a downtown housing complex in Chicago is warning residents to flee to safety before Occupy demonstrators show up to protest the NATO summit next month. The Library Tower Condominium Association sent a letter indicating that management “is STRONGLY recommending that all residents find places to stay during the conference from May 18 through May 21.”
Maybe Professor Gautney should advise them to seek asylum in Iran.