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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

November 27, 2004

Misrepresenting Fascism again



If you keep looking in the wrong place for the monster, it may catch you unawares when it returns

I am indebted to the mini-Chomsky himself, the great Brian Leiter, for a recommendation of a long article by Orcinus about the probability of America "going Fascist". Seeing Hitler was a socialist and Mussolini was a Marxist, you might think Orcinus is worried about arrogant trends in the Democratic party but, no, it is the GOP that he thinks is likely to "go Fascist". The Leftist origins of Fascism don't get a mention, in fact, so one knows immediately that the article will be low on scholarship. And its chief scholarly source for the nature of Fascism is in fact R.O. Paxton, the "historian" (much lauded in the N.Y. Times, of course) who said Hitler was an "antisocialist" -- when the very name of Hitler's political party was (translated) "The National Socialist German Worker's Party"! I think I have already at this early stage said enough about the article concerned to dismiss it for the claptrap it is but I cannot resist having a bit more fun with it.

The body of the article is in fact made up of what is actually a rather good proof of the idiocy of its conclusions. Orcinus quotes a long line of sources from the 1930s which offer all sorts of evidence for the claim that America was on the brink of going Fascist then. But it didn't happen! America did get the Mussolini-admiring FDR but thanks to the U.S. constitution and the U.S. Congress there were lots of limits placed on what he was allowed to do. So if America did not go Fascist during the Fascist era despite the many pressures towards it that Orcinus ably documents, how likely is it likely to go Fascist now, when Fascism is thoroughly discredited? The question answers itself, I think.

But let's have a look at a bit more weirdness. Take this Orwellian statement: "This tendency has finally metastacized into a genuinely dangerous situation, one in which the GOP has become host to a Stalinist movement that exhibits so many of the traits of fascism that the resemblance is now unmistakable." Quite aside from the fact that this great intellectual cannot even spell "metastasized", he is asking us to believe that the people who opposed Communism for decades and finally destroyed it utterly are themselves communists! I guess it's not impossible but seeing that the GOP and their Christian allies have always advocated the exact opposite of communism, the writer is clearly in cloud-cuckoo land. If you can say that free-enterprise=Stalinism, you might as well say black=white. I guess that a Leftist "postmodernist" would have no problem in doing exactly that, however.

More fun: Orcinus also looks for the day when "the attack style of politics -- in which the smearing an opponent substitutes for the lack of any substance or accomplishment -- has been relegated to the ashheap of history". Well. He got his wish. I think John Kerry has now been so relegated. Whoops! In true Leftist "projective" style, Orcinus was actually referring to the GOP rather than John Kerry, it seems!

Orcinus also deplores the way that "families, longtime friends, and communities are being torn apart by the divisive politics of resentment and accusation". He must be talking about all those guys documented at length on Leftists as Elitists! You could not conceivably get more resentment and accusation than is documented there.

Orcinus is a real humanitarian by Leftist standards, however. He ends up conceding: "Conservative-movement adherents are still human beings, and seeing them in terms of participating in a kind of fascism should not render them into mere discardable objects". He must have written that for the benefit of those of his colleagues who still admire Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot.

November 26, 2004

EUROPEAN EYES STARTING TO OPEN



Even by the grisly standards of ritual killing, it was shocking. On 2 November in Amsterdam the Dutch iconoclast and film-maker Theo van Gogh was dragged from his bicycle in broad daylight and murdered. His killer, a bearded Dutch-born Islamic radical of Moroccan descent, shot him six times and, as he pleaded for his life, slit his throat through the spinal column with a butcher's knife, almost decapitating him. The assassin then impaled a five-page declaration of `holy war' into van Gogh's chest.....

At least, though, the Left in the Netherlands has seen that there is a clash between liberal democracy and cultural relativism; that some cultures are simply not compatible with Western traditions of freedom and tolerance; and that the old distinction between evil right-wingers and cuddly left-wingers no longer makes sense. It is one thing to turn a Christian church into a mosque, quite another to get radical Islam to accept liberal democracy. Outside the Netherlands, however, the Left has yet to learn these lessons.

Van Gogh himself was a child of the Left. He did not discriminate when he decided whom to offend. He had deeply upset Christian and Jewish groups, who made written complaints about him. His mistake, however, was to offend Muslim sensibilities. His ten-minute film Submission showed actresses depicting real Muslim women speaking of their experience of domestic violence, including forced marriage and rape by relatives. The women were shown nearly naked, with their skin covered with Koranic verses which endorse domestic violence, such as `And those [wives] you fear may be rebellious admonish, banish them to their couches, and beat them.' (It is because of verses like this that Ken Livingstone's mate, the homophobic, terrorist-supporting cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, endorses wife-beating.) Van Gogh made the film with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somalian woman who sought asylum in the Netherlands to escape a forced marriage and who is now a Liberal MP and a fierce critic of her former religion. She received death threats for denouncing Mohammed as a `pervert in the modern sense' because he married a six-year-old girl, Aisha, when he was 53.

True to his polemicist style, van Gogh said lots of objectionable things about Muslims, such as calling extremists 'goatfuckers'. But that doesn't excuse the Guardian pigeonholing him as a 'loudmouth racist' as a way of avoiding thinking about the complexities of the issue. He was a lifelong socialist, from a leading left-wing family. A journalist friend of his told me at his funeral: 'He was left-wing, but he had his eyes open. He started seeing these dark developments in society, and surprised himself by having right-wing thoughts.' A staunch Dutch feminist who knew him told me that his work standing up for women oppressed by religion had inspired her to dedicate her life to it.

Van Gogh was a friend of Pim Fortuyn, the populist politician murdered two years ago for offences against Islam. The hate-mongering Left demonised Fortuyn as a far-right racist, but he was no such thing. On the contrary, he was a flamboyant left-wing homosexual sociology professor who firmly opposed racism and had many black followers. But he started campaigning against Muslim immigration and denounced Islam as `backwards' when homosexual teachers were sacked in the Netherlands because Muslim parents didn't want their children taught by gays. He was outraged that decades of campaigning for gay rights was going backwards, and that everyone was too frightened to speak out.

What angered them all - van Gogh, Hirsi Ali and Fortuyn - is the way the intolerant left-wing hegemony of political correctness was strangling free speech and democracy - not just causing the problems in the first place, but trying to destroy those who discuss them. At his funeral, van Gogh's mother, Anneke, lambasted the `politically correct thought-police' while his sister spoke about his `aversion to violence and crimes against democracy'.

here


November 25, 2004

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!




To all those who celebrate it

"Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations." (Psalm 100:4-5)

November 24, 2004

Iranian nukes



The United Church of Christ, a "peace with justice" church (translation: "appeasement and socialism" church) is trying its hardest to get time for Iran to develop nuclear weapons! There is a copy of an email from them here which says that "possession of a nuclear weapon is the best deterrent to a pre-emptive strike by the United States". Both Americans and Israelis are greatly endangered by such America-haters of the Left.

November 23, 2004

COLUMBIA: THE UNIVERSITY OF HATE





I blogged on these fine folk previously -- on October 23rd. Quick summary of what has changed: Nothing.

In the world of Hamid Dabashi, supporters of Israel are "warmongers" and "Gestapo apparatchiks." The Jewish homeland is "nothing more than a military base for the rising predatory empire of the United States." It's a capital of "thuggery" - a "ghastly state of racism and apartheid" - and it "must be dismantled." A voice from America's crackpot fringe? Actually, Dabashi is a tenured professor and department chairman at Columbia University. And his views have resonated and been echoed in other areas of the university.

Columbia is at risk of becoming a poison Ivy, some critics claim, and tensions are high. In classrooms, teach-ins, interviews and published works, dozens of academics are said to be promoting an I-hate-Israel agenda, embracing the ugliest of Arab propaganda, and teaching that Zionism is the root of all evil in the Mideast. In three weeks of interviews, numerous students told the Daily News they face harassment, threats and ridicule merely for defending the right of Israel to survive. And the university itself is holding investigations into the alleged intimidation.

Dabashi has achieved academic stardom: professor of Iranian studies; chairman of the Middle East and Asian languages and cultures department; past head of a panel that administers Columbia's core curriculum. The 53-year-old, Iranian-born scholar has said CNN should be held accountable for "war crimes" for one-sided coverage of Sept. 11, 2001. He doubts the existence of Al Qaeda and questions the role of Osama Bin Laden in the attacks.... In September in the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram, he wrote, "What they call Israel is no mere military state. A subsumed militarism, a systemic mendacity with an ingrained violence constitutional to the very fusion of its fabric, has penetrated the deepest corners of what these people have to call their soul."

After the showing of a student-made documentary about faculty bias and bullying that targets Jewish students, six or seven swastikas were found carved in a Butler Library bathroom last month. Then after a screening of the film, "Columbia Unbecoming," produced by the David Project, a pro-Israel group in Boston, one student denounced another as a "Zionist fascist scum," witnesses said.

On Oct. 27, Columbia announced it would probe alleged intimidation and improve procedures for students to file grievances. "Is the climate hostile to free expression?" asked Alan Brinkley, the university provost. "I don't believe it is, but we're investigating to find out."

But one student on College Walk described the campus as a "republic of fear." Another branded the Middle East and Asian languages and cultures department the "department of dishonesty."

"Professorial power is being abused," said Ariel Beery, a senior who is student president in the School of General Studies, but stresses he's speaking only for himself. "Students are being bullied because of their identities, ideologies, religions and national origins," Beery said. Added Noah Liben, another senior, "Debate is being stifled. Students are being silenced in their own classrooms." ...

Said Brinkley: If a professor taught the "Earth was flat or there was no Holocaust," Columbia might intervene in the classroom. "But we don't tell faculty they can't express strong, or even offensive opinions."

Yet even some faculty members say they fear social ostracism and career consequences if they're viewed as too pro-Israel, and that many have been cowed or shamed into silence. One apparently unafraid is Dan Miron, a professor of Hebrew literature and holder of a prestigious endowed chair. He said scores of Jewish students - about one a week - have trooped into his office to complain about bias in the classroom. "Students tell me they've been browbeaten, humiliated and treated disrespectfully for daring to challenge the idea that Israel has no right to exist as a Jewish nation," he said. "They say they've been told Israeli soldiers routinely rape Palestinian women and commit other atrocities, and that Zionism is racism and the root of all evil." ....

As usual in American universities, everything can be tolerated except conservatives, Christians and Jews.


Source.

November 22, 2004

ISRAEL'S EUROPEAN "FRIENDS"

Matthias Doepfner, Chief Executive of German publisher Axel Springer AG, has written a blistering attack in the daily Welt against the cowardice of Europe in the face of the Islamic threat: "Appeasement crippled Europe when genocide ran rampant in Kosovo and we Europeans debated and debated until the Americans came in and did our work for us. ... In the meantime, Europe sits back with charismatic self-confidence in the multicultural corner instead of defending liberal society’s values and being an attractive center of power on the same playing field as the true great powers, America and China. ... For his policies, Bush risks the fall of the dollar, huge amounts of additional national debt and a massive and persistent burden on the American economy — because everything is at stake. ... While the alleged capitalistic robber barons in American know their priorities, we timidly defend our social welfare systems. ... These days, Europe reminds me of an elderly aunt who hides her last pieces of jewelry with shaking hands when she notices a robber has broken into a neighbor’s house. Europe, thy name is cowardice."

Now Blogging at Signifying Nothing

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Now Blogging at Signifying Nothing

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