Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Horowitz vs. Kirstein

We drove over to St. Xav's to hear David Horowitz and Professor Peter N. Kirstein debate "The Iraq War: In The Classroom And Beyond".

Horowitz is quite a character. He was once an anti-Vietnam-war leftist, but is now a pro-Iraq-war rightist.

Kirstein is a leftist historian with an emphatic speaking style and lots of facts at his fingertips.

There was a big security contingent of guys who looked like off-duty cops. Horowitz got heckled to some extent, especially as the event was winding down. But it never truly got out of hand. Unfortunately, some of the hecklers were sitting right behind us, which made it kind of hard to hear Horowitz talk sometimes.

The funniest moment, to me, was when Horowitz started complaining that Islam had not gone through a Reformation. Then he caught himself, and reflected out loud that maybe he shouldn't make positive mention of the Reformation at a Catholic University. Then he said something like, "Well, even the Catholic Church has come a long way. They're not like they were during the Inquisition."

His best moment, I thought, was when he digressed to talk about all the millions of deaths under communism, in peace-time, in engineered famines. For a man who wrote books as a Marxist, this can't be an easy thing to talk about.

It's a good thing he wasn't a diplomat.
I think his career would have fallen flat.
His star has shone far brighter
As a trouble-making writer.

No comments: