Sadly, like fighting a
non-existent fascism, the inability to specifically define, locate, and defeat
"terrorists" means that the neocons have picked the right target to keep their
pursuit going. The target always recedes, so they are able to keep chasing it over the
horizon. Theyll never win the "War on Terror," which means that
theyll always be able to rally their Energizer-bunny like troops to fight the
permanent threat of "terrorism."
THEY SEE "ISLAMOFASCIST" EVERYWHERE!
By: Paul Fallavollita
Ever notice how liberals are always
re-fighting old battles, resurrecting long-dead enemies? In order to hold itself together
as an ideology, democratic-liberalism always looks to the past in order to identify its
foes and threats and to have a symbol to rally the troops against. Otherwise, their
ideology is empty, inert, and irrelevanthaving no appeal and no way to justify its
existence. Hence, liberals are always fighting "fascism," although that
particular foe has been gone for half a century. The neocons are similarly still sniffing
around for a new Soviet Union to fight, and they seem to have found it in the "War on
Terror" now that Bill Gertzs Red
Chinese bugaboo has been put on the back burner.
Elizabeth Hartmann, author of The Truth About Fire, a novel that demonizes the Right as terrorists,
contributed an article titled "America's
climate of fear and loathing" to the Boston Globe April 19. She feels that "racial profiling"
to find al-Qaeda agents here validates right-wing views on race. She writes, "This
closing of our open society diminishes Americas freedoms. At the same time it aids
the recruitment efforts of the far right that flourish in a climate of fear and loathing
of the Other." It is interesting that she suggests the "far right" thrives
upon, and even needs, an "Other" to fight against. I am trying to make precisely
the same point in this article about the Left and its obsession with fighting
"fascism." In fact, I have selected Hartmanns article as a prime example
of the Lefts need to demonize that fascist Other that seems to be found hiding under
They cant just let their fifteen minutes of fame fade away. First,
"fascism" under the aegis of Nazi Germany was supposedly coming to conquer us,
after taking over Europe and the rest of the world. Then the Soviets were plotting to
invade in pretty much the same mannerthe "domino theory" said so, even
though it now comes out that the Soviet threat was exaggerated,
a figment of Washington, DCs imagination, useful for expanding the power of the
Military-Industrial-Foreign Policy Elite complex. They also
claimed that Saddam Hussein was the New Hitler, and stories spread that Saddam had used
chemical weapons against his own people and that Iraqi soldiers in Kuwait had taken babies
out of incubators and left them to die on hospital floors. It turned out later that these claims against Iraq were not
true, just as the claims that the Germans bayoneted Belgian babies in World War One
were not true.
Now they say the Muslims seek to establish a global caliphate. From the
thumbnail historical sketch given above, we can see that they say the same thing about
every enemy we fight: they "plan to take over the world." These
"reactionary liberals" and neocons, looking to the past to find enemies to
fight, have invented a name for these would-be Muslim Genghis Khans:
"Islamofascism" is a revealing termthey get to fight their usual
bugaboo of fascism by simply grafting the "fascist" label on to the Islamic
faith. Its not much of a reach, in their eyes, between terrorism and
fascismthe liberals and neocons have spent a lot of time talking about how Muslims
supported the Waffen SS in World War
Two, for example. The claims of the liberals and neocons have become much bolder. The
Nazis were said to have desired the destruction of all Jews in the world. Now it is said
that the Muslims seek to wipe out all infidels (non-Muslims)five billion certainly
beats six million. It truly is a "perpetual war for perpetual peace," as Harry
Elmer Barnes, the dissident historian, said.
Would the Real Fifth Column Please Stand Up?
Hartmann never uses the term "Islamofascism" in her piece, but it is
easy to tell that shed likely find the term useful and even enjoyable to apply to
her political enemies. She implies that the unreconstructed American Right is a "Fifth Column," presumably
for Middle Eastern terrorists. She states,
"The boundary between internal and external threats is porous, as
illustrated by recent reports that American neo-Nazi groups are expanding links to Islamic
fascists in a strategic anti-Semitic alliance
In strengthening the hand of the
domestic far right, Bushs war on terrorism may unwittingly strengthen the hand of
foreign enemies. The real axis of evil is fascism, whether it is dressed in
native or foreign garb."
This charge is not new; The American
Prospect Online leveled the same accusation at
one of my columns for Ether
Zone, when I wrote that one of the negative consequences of deposing the Taliban is
the return of pederasty to Kandahar in the absence of enforced religious codes. I proudly
took my inclusion in TAPOs "Hall
of Shame" as a compliment and as an indicator that I must have done something right
to merit censure from the Left.
Hartmanns accusation of the Authentic Right is classic Freudian
projection. If there is a Fifth Column operating in America, Hartmanns ideological compatriots in the media
are more likely to compose its membership. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has issued talking points to
"world Jewry"to all Jews living in the Diaspora outside Israelto
guide their interaction with the media and ensure that they all remain on the same page
regarding the conflict with the Palestinians. Sharon refers to Jews the world over as a
for Israel. Keep in mind that this is Sharon using these phrases, not me, and the web
links provided here are based in Israel (note the ".il" URL endings) and
connected to the Israeli government. If a Gentile were to use this same terminology, that
person would be roasted as "anti-Semitic" and a "conspiracy theorist."
Even more amazing: these talking points were published on a sub-page of the Jewish Agency
for Israel in an online newsletter called, get this, Global Jewish Agenda. Yes, folks, there really is a global Jewish
agendayou can click on the link to read it for yourselfbut only Jews can talk
about it, amongst themselves. My discussing it here is certainly going to be officially
called a "canard." This world is a comedy to those that think.
The Same Old Script
The same repackaged line is constantly pitched at the American people. The
script doesnt change much, except for the name of the enemy that is used to fill in
the blank, yet the majority of Americans fall for it every time. Right now, lots of people
actually believe that the Arabs want to conquer the United States and set up a Mohammedan
theocracy. They never stop to ask just how this is going to occur. Do they imagine that
Iraq or Afghanistan has an invasion force at the ready, with a secret navy to transport
their troops to our shores? We all know that the Third World is the longtime master of
logistics and administration. Maybe theyll install Bill Clinton as a Mullah,
Ayatollah, Imam, or whatever the current title is for the chief Spiritual Leader, now that
Slick is twiddling his thumbs, or more, in his Harlem office.
Of course, the infinitely wise and infallible U.S. Government decides that the
only way to resist the enemys insatiable drive toward total global hegemony is for
the U.S. to become the global hegemon first. Since the enemy cant be allowed to take
over the world, the United States has to take the globe unto itself for
"safekeeping." This logic would be hilarious if it didnt operate at such a
saddening cost in American blood and treasure, not to mention the rights we have lost
under the USA Patriot
Act. To other countries that observe our outward behavior, the United States appears
to be the only power actively pursuing a program of world domination. Those other
countries are correct. The wars of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have been
little more than government
power-grabs, and business
The United States is supposedly "the worlds only superpower,"
yet we are the most insecure nation on this planet, jumping at every tiny twitch in every
little country, obsessively tending to every ripple and bump on the globe. Many thoughtful
patriots, especially paleolibertarians and paleoconservatives, wonder how Americas
superpower status benefits the American people. Americans are increasingly fearful
of traveling abroad and rightfully wary of foreigners traveling to our shores. Our
very success proves to be a curse. The fruits of empire apparently cant even be
eaten. The United States perceived dire threats from such amazing powerhouses on the world
stage including Haiti, Somalia, and Serbia. What an "axis of evil" those three
countries were! Just like Iraq, Iran, and North Koreaespecially the North Koreans,
now that they are saving 100% on their electricity bills and eating a hearty diet of grubs
and tree stumps. We are so lucky that the Jorge Bush we "elected" is such a
masterful foreign policy "strategerist;" under his leadership the United States
will certainly whip that "axis of evil" once Mexico joins our Union and makes us
The War on Terror
is sometimes justified as "preemptive self-defense of the Republic." Anything
and everything can appear to be a threat, though, if you look at it right. There is no
logical endpoint to the concept. It is a "blank check" to micromanage the world,
a cloak for Empire, something that strikes my conservative belief in decentralization and
national sovereignty as undesirable. Recall Lord Actons maxim: power corrupts, and
absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Indeed, it is always amazing how many conservatives are willing to sacrifice at
the international level principles that they support at the domestic level. For example,
conservatives generally reject centralized government power. Yet, some ostensible conservatives will
support the initiatives of the United States to garner global hegemony.
Conservatives reject gun control, yet they advocate the U.S. Government dictating to
foreign nations whether or not they can possess "weapons of mass destruction,"
effectively turning America into a global gun-grabber, as if New Yorks U.S. Senator
Chuck Schumer had declared "letat cest moi."
Hegemony is impossible to achieve on this planet. All other powers that have
attempted it have failed in the end, having died in the process of trying. The neocon
cheerleaders of global hegemony say that America is different, and somehow exempt from the
normal forces buffeting the nations of the world. Maybe it is, but as an American I am
self-aware enough to know that the other powers that failed in history also held much the
same optimism toward their own countrys chances. They were good patriots, but
endorsed a policy that in the final analysis only traitors could have wished for.
Playing The Nazi (or Osama) Card
Hartmann admits she deliberately released her column in time for the anniversary
of Hitlers April 20 birthday, as she leads with that fact and frames her arguments
around countering "Nazis," which one gets the sense she defines as anyone to the
right of Al Gore. However, lets take her tactic head on rather than shrink from it.
Hitler is irrelevant. If Hitler had announced, "the sky is blue," would you deny
it merely because he was the person who said it? If he may have said it, does it mean that
others long before had not made the same factual statement about the sky? On the other end
of the timeline, does it affect the truth of that statement after Hitlers death? Can
skies never be blue again?
Nor does this charged situation only exist around the issue of Hitler, although he is
the archetype. Osama bin Laden is one of the more popular Hitler-substitutes of late,
having displaced Saddam Hussein, Muammar Qadhafi, and the Ayatollah Khomenei from that
role. Bin Laden also has made statements that reflect sound truths that are dismissed
simply because he said them. For example, bin Laden stated in a 1998 ABC interview,
"I say that the American people gave leadership to a traitorous
leadership. This became very clear and especially in Clintons government. The
American government, we think, is an agent that represents the Israel inside
So, we tell the American as a people, and we tell the mothers of soldiers,
and American mothers in general, if they value their lives and those of their children,
find a nationalistic government that will look after their interests
This is my
message to the American people to look for a serious government that looks out for their
interest and does not attack others, their lands or their honor."
Bin Laden is right, but some who had advocated a foreign policy that puts
"America first, last, and only"a policy based on non-intervention and
"armed neutrality"which is what bin Laden describes and recommends above,
became instant war hawks on 9/11, because they felt that "if bin Laden wants us to do
it, we should do exactly the opposite and really show him!" The trouble with that
kind of knee-jerk thinking is that it can get you into trouble when objective reality is
involved. If bin Laden told me that its a bad idea to jump off a bridge, that
doesnt mean Im going to jump off a bridge and commit suicide just to spite
him. Bin Laden himself says that the U.S. will not have peace until it has what the
liberals and neocons would call an "isolationist" government. Terrorists are
political creatures, so he wouldnt lie about his goals, since by definition he
cant achieve them if he doesnt state those goals that stop the pressure
Lets pay attention to objective facts, or at least theoretical arguments,
on their own merits. All too often in political debates, too many people inevitably
mention the Nazis as an example of whatever point they are trying to prove (whether
its relevant to World War Two or not). Ive never understood the obsession with
Nazis, and I find it harder to take a persons argument seriously when they start
relying on that old stand-by.
Actively Recovering the Freedom to Think
This is not about defending Hitler (or Osama bin Laden), but defusing and
disarming the Left, which likes to use their vision of Hitler as a political weapon in the
way Hartmann does in her article. Trivializing the Lefts "anti-pantheon"
of "illiberal" bogeymen denies them an important part of their arsenal. By going
"on the offensive" when they whip out Hitlers name in an attempt to
intimidate their opponents, I hope to make that particular weapon useless to them by
pointing out by example the way for others to take all the fear out of the weapon. If
people are no longer afraid to be called "Hitleresque" or "Taliban,"
and instead laugh at the charge for the foolishness that it is, the liberals are left
powerless. Its actually an entertaining process to watch, as it catches the Left
off-guardit horrifies them that you could be so "insensitive."
Some people on the squishy Right, though, distrust this confrontational stance.
They have limits to how far they are willing to let their world be turned upside down.
Most people today have been immersed in an environment, day and night, that is very
liberal, and that affects people in ways they cant even consciously recognize. To
have someone come along and challenge that worldview that the "agents of
socialization" in this countrymedia, schools, family, and peershave
ingrained is too difficult for some to bear. Its hard to be told that everything you
ever learned in the mainstream is wrong, that the "good guys" are really the
"bad guys" and vice versa. Lots of people accept it only to certain degrees,
which is why I think we have seen so many, like the famed Freepers, who "only go so far."
To truly break free of the conditioning that this despicable System has subjected
us to, it is necessary to take our critique all the way, right to the heart of the
scariest taboos that no one is ever supposed to face. There's a very good reason why
taboos are made by "the powers that be." It is within those areas that the heart
of their power lay, as well as their greatest weakness, that their "Achilles
Heel" is located. Thats why the System is so unforgiving when it comes to those
who tread upon those forbidden and untouchable topics; they dont want us to come too
close for their comfort.
As long as you accept the medias or the Establishments premises and
phraseology as true, then you are a lost cause, forever trapped in the playpen that the
elite has constructed for conservatives. Its time to start thinking outside the box.
Hopefully, one day, columns like Hartmanns will be laughed off.
Paul Fallavollita holds an M.A. in political science from Purdue
University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Paul is a regular columnist for Ether Zone.
Paul Fallavollita can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Published in the May 2, 2002 issue of Ether Zone.
Copyright © 1997 - 2002 Ether
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