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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Fascism By Any Other Name

There's a growing class of persons who live in America. Persons who were born in America or naturalized as American citizens. Persons who distinguish themselves by not being willing to say they support the idea of 1) American troops winning and 2) radical Islamic jihadists losing in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now most of these persons — George Soros comes to mind, along with the leadership of groups like the ACLU and MoveOn.org — will not directly state that they want the United States to lose the war against radical Islamic fascism. For one thing, even American leftists who wake up each day viscerally despising their country for not being a socialist utopia — people who rooted for every totalitarian people's-republic dictator of the past century — are not politically stupid enough these to openly root for U.S. defeat. We can, of course, famously exclude Michael Moore: “The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not ‘insurgents’ or ‘terrorists’ or ‘The Enemy.’ They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow—and they will win.” There's a substantive, principled reason why many on the left won't go as far as Moore. Leftists hate fascism. They always have, always will. Right? Not so fast. Oh, the left hated fascism when Franco and Mussolini practiced it; and Hitler continues to hold a special place of contempt for most fascism-hating leftists. But don't expect the main players in what David Horowitz has called The Shadow Party to include the leaders of Islamic fascism in the same category of Really Bad People Called Fascists. Administer a light dose of sodium pentothal to Michael Moore, Jane Fonda, Cynthia McKinnon, Dennis Kucinich (feel free to add to the list), and they will probably admit it: Islamic jihadists do not deserve to be reviled in the same way Franco, Mussolini, and Hitler do. No easy, simple way to explain why this is so; many factors are at work. Main one: a growing number of people who live in this country — people who are American by birth and citizenship but not American by patriotic affiliation — have come so to hate George Bush that they are simply blind to the mortal threat to the West posed by Ahmadinejad in Iran. Another factor is the pervasive ideology of diversity/multiculturalism, which is now so entrenched in triumphant white guilt over past sins (some real, some imagined) that much of today's left cannot explain how or why an openly genocidal global Islamist movement must be opposed and defeated. Yet this same left can, will, and does become openly apoplectic at the mention of Karl Rove in the same sentence as Valerie Plame Wilson. So of course it was no surprise that, when President Bush recently got around to using the unambiguous phrase "Islamic fascists" to describe, um, Islamic fascists, the multiculturalist magpies kicked into high dudgeon. “We have to isolate these individuals because there is nothing in the Koran or the Islamic faith that encourages people to be cruel or to be vicious or to be criminal,” said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “Muslims worldwide know that for sure.” Oh, really? For sure? I for one am very open to hearing more from these discerning folks about their anguish over what many American Muslims consider the "hijacking" of their faith by violent radicals whose mission, we are told, is at odds with the truly peaceful spirit of Islam. It's time for those who make this distinction to get far more explicit, and a hell of a louder, in their condemnation of the fascism that flies the banner of Islam. For if Islamic pluralism is to become a reality in fact rather than only in name, the first and crucial step must be to understand why Stephen Schwartz is correct when he says,
“Islamofascism ... pursues its aims through the willful, arbitrary, and gratuitous disruption of global society, either by terrorist conspiracies or by violation of peace between states. Al-Qaeda has recourse to the former weapon; Hezbollah, in assaulting northern Israel, used the latter. These are not acts of protest, but calculated strategies for political advantage through undiluted violence.... Schwartz Fascism was totalitarian; i.e. it fostered a totalistic world view—a distinct social reality that separated its followers from normal society. Islamofascism parallels fascism by imposing a strict division between Muslims and alleged unbelievers.”
Schwartz's point is crucial. I am prepared to say his point is unarguable — unless the case being argued is the desirably of cultural suicide in great cultures of the West. The left must be made to answer: Do you believe Islamic fascism must be eradicated? True Americans — here defined as loving their country enough to commit themselves to defeating its moral enemies — must come to understand why Neville Chamberlain "peace in our time" stalling tactics cannot be allowed. For it was precisely those kinds of craven compromises that gave Hitler the time to get as far as he got.