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‘Liberal’ as a dirty word

Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism
Ann Coulter
Crown Forum, New York 2003

‘Liberals’ are the villains of this book, and its first word. How it became pejorative would need research more diligent than that to unearth the origin of ‘neoconservative’. Still respectable in the United Kingdom, though most of us are aware that the Liberal Democrat party stands on the left of New Labour, in the United States it is a label which those to whom it is affixed seem reluctant to display and wary of using even in discussion. Ann Coulter, it is hardly necessary to say, is dealing with ‘liberals’ in the United States and, while confident that her designation of her quarry is well-understood, she states, for additional clarity:

“Whenever the nation is under attack, from within or without, liberals side with the enemy… They are either traitors or idiots, and on the matter of America’s self-preservation the difference is irrelevant. Fifty years of treason hasn’t slowed them down.”

Taking more than one chapter to deal with the case of Alger Hiss, Coulter begins by emphasising to what extent he was protected by the government establishment, as high up as the two Presidents, Roosevelt and Truman. Hiss’s guilt would probably never have been established but for the persistence of Richard Nixon in 1948, more than nine years after Whittaker Chambers had defected from the Communist Party and as a Soviet agent and then reported to a high government administrator that Hiss, his brother and “at least two dozen” others working for Roosevelt were Soviet spies, an allegation which Roosevelt himself simply laughed off. The documentary evidence against Hiss produced by Chambers, in Hiss’s own hand or typed on his typewriter was sufficiently overwhelming to have him convicted, not of espionage (prosecutions for this have a time-limit) but for perjury.

Yet it would not be too much to say that the media, academic and ‘establishment’ consensus that had been incredulous about the accusation remained incredulous about the verdict, up until and even after it had been verified by opened Soviet archives. Before their British opposite numbers preen themselves on being different, however, it might be as well to remember that the famous quartet of traitors – Burgess, Maclean, Philby and Blunt – were never pursued, prosecuted and imprisoned, as was Hiss – the incredulity or inertia of the ‘establishment’ was quite enough to prevent that happening. Joe McCarthy (… America’s Most Hated Senator, in the sub-title of a recent biography) might seem a much more difficult subject for Ann Coulter to handle, but she should be read if merely to clear up some widespread misconceptions. McCarthy’s anti-communist activities lasted from 1950 to 1953, by which date the Democrats had been in power for twenty years, ample time for communist infiltration. He had nothing to do with the investigation of Hiss, or, since he sat in the Senate, with the House [of Representatives] Un-American Activities Committe (HUAC) which was responsible for it. He had nothing to do with the arrest and conviction of the Rosenbergs. He had nothing to do with firing Hollywood actors.

So what was he doing? He was a member of the Senate Permanent Sub-committee on Investigations, charged with finding out about loyalty risks within the Federal Government and – this is the important thing – the most robust, persistent, noisy and rude member on it. And needed to be all of these things. “A host of other right-wing Republicans had sought to dramatize the communism issue, but only McCarthy succeeded,” Coulter states. “Thank God somebody’s doing it,” remarked J. Edgar Hoover, the head of the FBI.

There were, as we now know from opened Soviet archives, not only plenty of Communists in government service, which it would be perfectly reasonable to regard as security risks, but many of them were Soviet spies, right up to the top. Hoover was well aware of this at the time, but could not risk alerting the Soviets to the fact that their spy code had been broken. Coulter believes that “McCarthy had so badly stigmatized Communism [that] his victory survived him.” But it also broke him; he did not survive himself. Just as DDT has been demonized because it is the only insecticide most people have ever heard of, so McCarthy has been demonized as the only anti-communist crusader of that era familiar to everyone.

Although Ann Coulter’s further considerable documentation of the subversive and outright treasonable activities of the Liberal/Left is overwhelming, and her book should be read if only for her hundred or so pages on Joe McCarthy, there is little in it to lead to an understanding of the motives of those she attacks. As she makes clear, throughout the whole fifty year period these were the same sort of people – very often actually the same people – academics, journalists and opinion formers, having influence but no political power. Reared in a legal and political adversarial culture, they are very properly expected to monitor the nation’s rulers, reveal the shortcomings and mistakes of its social system and suggest improvements and remedies. That there are dangers of this situation getting out of hand might seem obvious: after all, those who make a living out of muck-raking don’t want to run out of muck. They do, and did, however, one notices, treat the Democrats more tenderly than Republicans: when Kennedy initiated involvement in Vietnam he was applauded, and left uncriticised after the Bay of Pigs disaster which, as Coulter see it, encouraged Khrushev’s missile brinkmanship in Cuba. Certainly after President Johnson mismanaged the war and the Republicans and Nixon took it over, the Democrats turned against it, with relentless negative media support. And after all I believe it is a fact that around 90 percent of journalists and media persons in the US vote Democrat. Coulter makes much of the contrast between their treatment of Nixon and of Clinton in the case for impeaching either of them. She feels, in fact, that Nixon’s downfall was the revenge the liberals took for his unmasking of Hiss.

The American defeat in Vietnam remains the great landmark for left-liberals. For them it proves that the United States can never win a war. It embeds the word ‘quagmire’ in their every description of one, right from the start. With this defeatist chorus, applied to Gulf War I, Afghanistan and Gulf War II within days of each start, and weeks before each swift conclusion, the only lesson would seem to be to ignore it whenever subsequently used. The only defeat suffered by the United States, that of Vietnam, was self-inflicted. The penalty was borne by the Vietnamese, and, by a terrible extension of American responsibility, by the Cambodians.

Coulter concludes her book with examples and discussion of the left-liberal mockery and attempted media sabotage of the current War Against Terror. During the Cold War many, perhaps most, of those involved might feel an ideological identity or affinity with their country’s enemies. But how are they supposed to justify the aid and comfort they give to those dedicated to impose world-wide a Taliban-like society opposed to all the causes they advocate at home – feminism, abortion, permissiveness in sexual behaviour and orientation, to say nothing of other liberties longer established, such as freedom of speech and worship? Coulter notes that they frequently ask for “other solutions” rather than opposition to enemy activities, but that these turn out to be indistinguishable from surrender.

To repeat Coulter’s thesis:

“Whenever the nation is under attack, from within or without, liberals side with the enemy.”

For related books on this type of subversion, see my Archive under the titles: “Admit nothing, explain nothing and apologize for nothing” and “Idiots (complete with a big list of idiots)“.

32 comments to ‘Liberal’ as a dirty word

  • BRill

    Some liberals are finally coming to realise that Michael Moore is the Ann Coulter of the left. When will you realise that Ann Coulter is the Michael Moore of the right?

  • ernest young

    Michael Moore is a proven liar, Ann Coulter may have a similar ‘in your face’ style, but I can’t remember her being a proven liar.

    When making comparisons, you should compare ‘like with like’. Just because liberals dislike AC, does not make her the ‘MM of the right’.

    A typical ‘condemn by association’ trick of the left.

  • Euan Gray

    Ann Coulter may have a similar ‘in your face’ style, but I can’t remember her being a proven liar

    I think the point is probably that Coulter, like Moore, is seen as objectionable to the point of loathsomeness by the very people they are trying to convince. I find something unpleasant about the woman, and I’m on her side.

    If you want the propaganda to be swallowed, it’s easier if your mouthpiece ^W discerning commentator is seen as plausible and likeable.

    EG

  • ernest young

    Very true, but not all folk are as discerning as you and I. She obviously appeals to a significant audience, hence the lefty attacks and the comparison to MM, – a far more loathsome character.

    All a part of life’s rich tapestry…:-)

  • Pete_London

    Euan

    AnnCoulter’s style may well be ‘ojectionable’, there may well be ‘something unpleasant’ about her and she may not be seen as ‘plausible’ and ‘likeabe’. However, all is irrelevent when facts are facts and lies are lies. I happen to like the lady’s style. If a liberal finds her objectionable then she must be doing something right.

    I have no idea if she has ever told lies. Frankly I enjoy her style and am happy to leave the fact-checking on her to others who may disagree.

    MM however, is a proven lier. His form can be found here(Link) here here(Link) here(Link) and here(Link)

    The point is that truth and facts are all, style is irrelevent.

  • A_t

    I think the main point is that both Coulter & Moore are in the camp that seeks to demonise those who are on the ‘other’ side; portray them as monsters who care nothing for *insert cherished value here*. Both of them serve to polarise the debate & shut down dialogue. For that reason I think they’re both awful commentators.

    As to the “well, she pisses the right people off” bollocks which i hear time & time again round here, it’s such a rubbish line of reasoning. Yes, it’s nice to see people who annoy you being annoyed, without a doubt, but Hitler pissed Stalin off… does that mean Hitler was good?? or Stalin was good? (not making any comparisons with coulter for either of them, but just sick of this ‘oo, look they happen agree with osama on one point; they’re as bad as terrorists’ or ‘hah! that’s pissed off the liberals; must be a good thing’.

    All down to the polarisation which scumbags like Moore & Coulter have a vested interest in maintaining.

  • Euan Gray

    However, all is irrelevent when facts are facts and lies are lies

    As the late Josef Goebbels presciently observed, if a lie is stated often enough people will come to accept it as truth.

    If the truth (the real truth, I mean) is stated every day, but is stated by someone who appears to the target to be loathsome, repellent, stupid, ignorant or just plain nasty, then people will be less likely to believe it – however true it is. Moore is, doubtless, a loudmouth and a hypocrite with a seriously naive world view and a handy economy with facts, and how many conservatives do you think he manages to persuade? Coulter, on the other hand, appears strident, intolerant, trashy and not a little eccentric – and how many liberals do you think she manages to persuade?

    I happen to agree with quite a lot of what Coulter says, although not everything. If I were a wavering fence-sitter, I would be convinced neither by Moore nor by Coulter, nor indeed by anyone like them. As A_t says, this type of character serves only to polarise opinion and effectively end rational debate.

    The point is that truth and facts are all, style is irrelevent

    Unfortunately, in politics the precise opposite is the case. Deomcratic electorates are not persuaded by facts or truth, but they are persuaded by emotion and the way the argument is presented. Lamentable, but true nonetheless.

    EG

  • ernest young

    Really can’t see what is wrong with a bit of honest polarisation. After all, the war between capitalism and socialism is just as real as one fought on a battlefield, the outcome affects the way people live, being conquered mentally has pretty much the same consequence as being conquered physically, yes, even to resulting in the loss of life.

    Most forms of ‘so-called’ discussion result in one party being bullied, pressured or otherwise persuaded into changing their viewpoint. Not very democratic, as the soul of democracy is that people should make up their own minds, and not be ‘persuaded’ to a certain viewpoint by a third party. Logically there is no room for discussion in a true democracy.

    AC and MM do not discuss things, they spout their beliefs. No one on the right is going to change their POV by listening to MM, and likewise with AC. The point being that to agree with either, you are most likely already a believer, all they are doing is assembling the troops into some sort of loose formation.

    So to hell with ‘friendly’ discussion, whether intellectual or otherwise, and lets get on with the battle, after all, it is all those endless discussions and committee meetings that have got us into this mess in the first place.

    That discussion has merit, is not denied, but it has been corrupted by the ‘left’, and is used as a form of deception, along the lines of ‘hold your friends close, but hold your enemies even closer’, – it makes them appear to be on the side of reason, when their intention is to force you to their way of thinking, anything less than total agreement, they find offensive, and resort to insults and strongarm tactics.

    A person’s politics are part and parcel of what makes a person’s character. If you do not like their politics, just how can you like them as people? The more extreme their viewpoint as opposed to yours, the less likely you are to like them as a person. So why would you wish to have discussions with people you don’t like?

    Either you are ‘for us’, or you are ‘against us’. There is no room for sycophantic discussion, this is war….

  • ernest young

    The only time for discussion is after the battle is won, when you are discussing the terms of surrender with the vanquished party.

  • limberwulf

    I would have to say that Coulter and Savage, despite saying many things I like, grate my nerves because they are very emotional. I do not respond well to non-rational arguments, because they hold no foundation in reality, much like many of the left’s arguments. Moore is similar in that his technique is to encite emotional reaction. All three seem to be quite negative as well, Moore worst of all. That bothers me the most of anything. Moore does use lies to encite, whereas Coulter and Savage have not developed such a reputation. Still, I wouldnt put too much difference between them, neither have been able to offer consistently compelling arguments to myself or anyone I know who’s thinking I respect.

  • A_t

    ernest, if this is ‘war’ I eagerly await your arrival on my doorstep with an AK.

    Until such time however, I will continue to believe that discussion is the more civilised option, & discussion with one’s “enemy” (who around here is usually someone who disagrees on tactics rather than someone who wants you dead) is the best way to win any ‘battle’. From your generalisations about the left (which is predominantly, like the right, populated by reasonable individuals who would certainly like it if you agreed with them but have no intention of ‘forcing’ you round to their point of view, unless you count being convinced through logical argument as ‘force’) it looks to me as though you’ve adopted the same crappy polarised view as coulter & MM. In that case, I’m curious to know how you believe change will be achieved (or are you just fishing for a response, as they both often seem to be doing?).

    Portraying anyone who wishes to discuss issues or reach agreements as weak is a bullshit spoiling tactic. I doubt you’ve consistantly employed such tactics in your life, or if you have, you’re lucky to still be alive.

    Furthermore, it implies an arrogant certainty in one’s beliefs, which given that society is an infinitely multifaceted thing, of which any analysis can paint only a shadowy picture at best, is utterly misplaced.

    limberwulf, well said; all those commentators achieve little beyond reinforcing the nauseating smugness of those who know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they’re right (that is to say, on most issues, those who are deeply ignorant).

    It’s perfectly possible to be righteous, uncompromising & entertaining without ditching the possibility that you might convert some of the ‘enemy’, witness P J O’Rourke.

  • D. Timmerman

    I’m not the gambling type, but I just bought three shares of Kerry.President 2004 from tradesports.

    I would be appeased with a 16.00 consolation prize of a Kerry victory.

  • I tend to agree with limberwulf… Whilst I loath the detestable Moore, I am none to keen on the shrill Coulter either.

  • Rick

    I find it amazing that anyone other than a leftist would compare Ann Coutler to Michael Moore. True, each offends their political opponents, but Coulter does so with facts and Moore does so with lies.

    Ann Coulter is not trying to persuade the left of anything. She is trying to persuade the right not to assume that the left is compassionate or honest or, perhaps, even patriotic. That people on this board would even compare the offensive but truthful AC with the offensive and deceitful MM only proves the point that the right is too forgiving of the left.

    Alger Hiss and Joe McCarthy are before my time, so I only know what I have read. Except for Ann Coulter and maybe a couple of other accounts, I have always heard only the mainstream leftist history that portrays Hiss as a victim of Nixon’s cruel demagoguery and McCarthy as a stain on American democracy. I had never learned anything of numerous Soviet spies in Roosevelt’s govenment until after the fall of the USSR, and even then, only from right-wing sources.

    I still would question McCarthy’s role, but only because I feel that I know too little about it. However, Ann Coulter makes an astonishing case that Alger Hiss and others were treasonous spies defended by the mainstream left even to this day. Can anyone imagine Ted Kennedy defending Nixon for convicting Hiss?

    Moreover, it is a very compelling point that the Communists at least appeared somewhat virtuous to the left (Ralph Nader has openly praised the Soviet Union for the “good” it did for its people).

    The fact that the left today sympathizes with Islamic fascists is truly amazing. Israel is commonly demonized along with the US by US leftists. Many left-wing Americans agree with MM that the US had 9/11 coming. Many in Europe openly claim that the US is the greatest danger in the world today.

    But when have you heard a leftist denounce Islamic fascists?

    Ann Coulter has a valid message. That it offends the left is inevitable. That the right would be afraid of accepting any truth that offends the left shows just how successful the mainstream left has been in conditioning the right to think like the left.

  • ernest young

    A_t,

    I will continue to believe that discussion is the more civilised option.

    You make my point, portray discussion as the civilised option, which it generally is, up to the point where no conclusion is reached. At which juncture the left will generally go into paroxysms of name calling and spout distortions and half-truths, a la Moore. They really are very intolerant.

    who around here is usually someone who disagrees on tactics rather than someone who wants you dead

    From your remark I assume that you, while discussing tactics you are in the company of like minded souls, and that there is little difference of opinion on politics per se, so there is little probably little difference in political outlook anyway. Are you saying that the brainwashing in the UK has been almost completely successful, and that there is now no alternative to socialism?

    I did not mention killing anyone in pursuit of politics at this level, but was referring to the people who have died as a consequence of political dogma, I was merely saying that in any war, intellectual or otherwise, there will be casualties, even to the point of loss of life.

    populated by reasonable individuals who would certainly like it if you agreed with them but have no intention of ‘forcing’ you round to their point of view, unless you count being convinced through logical argument as ‘force’

    I think we would disagree on the definition of’logical argument’. You see it as logical that we should have a N.H.S. I see it as a totally wrong headed approach. You would be as unable to convince me, or me you, that it was otherwise. The list is endless, either you believe in socialism, or you do not – there are no half measures. Any agreement would be on a concessionary basis, not a conversion of ideals.

    I would also probably disagree with you on the definition of reasonable individuals. Most of the left see the ‘redistribution of wealth’, as a reasonable tenet, I do not. I wont go through the list, but I am sure you get my drift.

    History would suggest that when discussion fails, (that is, anything less than total agreement), the left enventually resort to the use of gangs of bully boys to reinforce their viewpoint. Indeed, it was a recommended tactic of Marx.

    Portraying anyone who wishes to discuss issues or reach agreements as weak is a bullshit spoiling tactic.

    Really, since when has knowing your own mind been wrong? Easy to see that someone with little experience, such as those fresh out of university, could be hesitant in drawing a conclusion, (not entirely surprising, considering that a majority of academics are ‘to the left’), but to assume that an older individual has lived life without sorting out some of the pros and cons of life’s conundrums, is arrogant, have you no respect for your elders, or if not for them personally, for their experience? :-)

    Having a strong belief is fine – if you also have an open mind to go with it, and no, I do not mean having to listen to every loud mouth yobbo (MM,AC),on the block. As one gets older, one learns to listen only to people whose opinion you respect. Which rather rules out so many of our current crop of politicos.

    With such a paucity of worthwhile opinion around, a degree of reliance on your own beliefs and opinions, would seem to be the order of the day…

    Unfortunately, the ones braying the loudest and wanting to ‘discuss the issues’, and reach agreements are usually the losers, wanting to indulge in a pseudo-intellectual form of pan-handling, in an effort to salvage a morsel or two from their defeated position. T’is rare that the winning side will call for discussions.

  • Andrew Robb

    Moore and Coulter have the same flaw, The refuse to allow for the possibility, however great or slight, that their veiwpoint could possibly be wrong in some manner.

    It is that quality that makes them so nauseating to others, even those whom agree with them.

    Freedom is also the freedom to disagree, even widely.

    Even with beliefs as opposed as Couler and Moore one should not consider war, either of words or physically, as a means to acheiving a better state or society. In a war of Ideologys no one wins.

    Rational discourse between opponants who respect each other is the only way to acheive anything like a “victory”.

    Peace out brothers and sisters :-)

  • Ann Coulter’s style is not one that I prefer but she is aware that in each of her works she is preaching to the choir so to speak. She doesn’t try to break new ground or convert nonbelievers, she merely reinforces the beliefs of American conservatives in a manner that is entertaining to some.

  • Ted Schuerzinger

    Rick:

    Do a Google search for “Venona” and “Henry Wallace”.

    Venona was the code name for a bunch of Soviet espionage cables; Henry Wallace was Vice-President from 1941-1945 and ran for President in 1948.

    One interesting link is http://www.hooverdigest.org/992/beichman.html.

  • Rick

    Ted,

    Thanks for the link and Google suggestion. Most illuminating.

    By the way, that “dumb” midwestern President Truman is looking wiser and wiser the more I learn about him. Even Hubert Humphrey looks pretty good.

    The War on Terror (perhaps we should say the War on Islamofascism) has taught me that I respect big government liberals who are willing to defend freedom more than libertarians who are not. I know, we should aim for libertarianism and the defence freedom, but sometimes you have to take your allies where you can get them. I am happy to stand with Tony Blair and Joe Lieberman in our present world.

  • ernest young

    Andrew Robb,

    Rational discourse between opponants who respect each other is the only way to acheive anything like a “victory”.

    The key word is ‘respect’. Neither side has respect for the other, so rational discourse is impossible. The best you could hope for is some sort of negotiated truce.

    What we are now seeing is the long-term degeneration of the relationship between right and left, an event that was/is inevitable. In much the same way that a marriage of convenience eventually breaks down, and results in a divorce, ususally acrimonious, so the infighting between factions has now reached the point of no-return.

    If you value your freedoms, then now is the time to stand and be counted, and let’s hope that the worst we have to endure is just the war of words, and that any further deterioration between right and left is averted.

    Fence sitting is no longer an option.

  • Andrew Robb

    ernest –

    I see your point. I’ve been having a discussion along the same lines with a college at work for quite a while. I must say that the psudeo-religious level of partisanism among passionate Left and Right wingers unnerves me. The number of people who look me in the eye and tell me that I should re-register with their party as if they were trying to save my soul has grown exponentually. If you look close enough you actually can see a trend of de-stabilisation in relations between the parties.

    However, in a war of words those who loose often have their feelings re-enforced rather than coming to any kind of agreement. Battling in this manner only deepens the devide and does little for the cause of liberty as the loosing side retains their beliefs and has to suffer under those of the winners.

    If it’s time to take a stand I’ll take one and I believe I already have. However, I do not beleive this is the place to list my stand on even the most prevalent of issues. I think of my self a libertarian, but I do not associate with the LP. I believe in free will and liberty for all persons but I have little faith that if the U.S. government were replaced overnight that change for the better would result. There are just too many failing of human nature. Call me a pessimist if you will.

    I prefer to work from the inside, on the personal level. I believe this should be a popular revolution, not a political one.

  • Wild Pegasus

    Several people have already taken Treason apart piece by piece. Apparently, her capacity to misquote, misrepresent, and take out of context is positively leftist.

    - Josh

  • A_t

    Rick,

    “But when have you heard a leftist denounce Islamic fascists?”

    Hmm… how about Monday?;

    Let there be no mistake: Bin Laden and his followers are a danger to us all, not just Americans. Murderous fanaticism does not become any more acceptable just because it is expressed in a twisted parody of an Oval Office address.

    that clear enough for you?

  • A_t

    “history would suggest that when discussion fails, (that is, anything less than total agreement), the left enventually resort to the use of gangs of bully boys to reinforce their viewpoint. Indeed, it was a recommended tactic of Marx.”

    Aaah yes, all those dastardly marxists. I’m sorry, I just don’t buy the idea that mild capitalist-with-a-touch-of-social-redistribution ‘leftists’ such as we usually see in Europe are closet marxist revolutionaries deep down, just waiting for the moment when they can put their 1968 student uprising ideas into practise. Most of them are pragmatic, mildly socially conservative middle aged men with families; they’re no more up for disruption & ‘gangs of bully boys’ than anyone else. Also, thuggery, dishonesty & other underhand political tactics are hardly the sole preserve of the Left.

    I have no problem with people expressing an opinion (although I do have a problem with people presuming to put opinions forward for others; where have I said I support the NHS in it’s current form? Actually, although I think it’s a noble idea, I think it broadly doesn’t work & should be replaced by mainly private healthcare paid for by insurance. It’s as easy to ask me as it is to speculate, & usually rather more accurate.)

    Also, if you view this as a political “war”, unless the two sides (if it can indeed be reduced to two sides, which seems pretty unlikely) are going to start killing each other, it’s going to principally be a war of words. The most effective word-weapons would be those which penetrate the opposition’s defences; weaken them from within. Unlike conventional weapons, the softer word-weapons often work best; hard ones like MM’s & AC’s tend to rebound off the shield wall. They may make a fun noise doing so, & hearten the troops with their sound & fury, but at the end of the day I’m not sure how much they actually help, & personally I think they’re unhelpful, causing the enemy to close ranks, making them less easy to attack.

    Oh, & I don’t “assume that an older individual has lived life without sorting out some of the pros and cons of life’s conundrums”, but I still think that any individual who believes his answers to be definitive, not open to debate any more, has ossified. Furthermore, if you believe that it is possible to gain great wisdom through one’s life, what is the point of refusing dialogue which might help spread some of this wisdom?

    I fundamentally disagree with the notion that the Left & the Right are incapable of discussion. Yes, some of the views held are not particularly reconcilable, but we live in democracies & we’re going to have to live with each other for some time. Compromises are possible, & we all live with compromises currently & although everyone, myself included, has many problems with the way their countires are currently run, can you honestly say you’re living a terrible life?

    As for not getting on with people who have wildly different political views, I’ve had many friends who’ve held views which differed from or opposed my own. It has lead to many a heated drunken debate but has not so far led me to hate them. I would hope/assume I’m not alone in feeling this way.

  • Rick

    A_t,

    When I read the Guardian article that you cite, two things are clear:

    1. The Guardian is not attacking Islamic fascism. It is attacking an individual “fanatic”, Ossama bin Laden, who it sees as a criminal. I am not impressed that the Guardian opposes a single fanatic who kills innocent people. When has it attacked the underlying fascist philosophy that pervades a signficant proportion of Islam today?

    2. The Guardian, in denouncing the peson of bin Laden, invokes the nonsense that George W. Bush would have caught bin Laden if he had not gone into Iraq. This argument is based on the illusion that we are fighting a single person, or a few persons, that this is a police action rather than a war, and that Iraq is a diversion rather than part of a war on fascism.

  • A_t

    Rick, one is entitled to buy into this culture war crap or not as one sees fit. Your principal accusation was that “leftists” didn’t denounce ‘Islamic fascists’, & your response to my proof that they do seems to be that it doesn’t count because they haven’t taken on every bit of your own/G.W. Bush’s reasoning & tied it in to a bigger picture. The same goes for your own personal analysis of the Iraq war. The fact that they’re not convinced this is anything to do with the ‘war on terror’ doesn’t mean that they don’t condemn terrorists.

    I have seen little evidence, beyond frightened, reactionary Western press reports to suggest that ‘fascist’ philosophies pervade a ‘significant proportion’ of Islam today. The fanatics are extremely visible of course, but if there were serious numbers of them, the impact on us would have been far greater by now. I don’t think they’re any more representative of mainstream Muslim opinion than fanatics who murder abortion doctors are representative of Christians (ie. they are ‘fighting’ for ideas which many christians hold dear, but most christians would rightly deplore their murderous tactics & would be very unlikely to imitate them).

    I dunno if you’ve got that one bit of footage of palestinians dancing in the street in your head, but if you have, get over it… it’s *one* bit of footage they managed to find; it doesn’t correllate to every arab in the middle east dancing on the graves of the thousands who were murdered that day.

    Either way, the guardian may not interpret things precisely as you would wish, & by all means accuse them of this & discuss it, but trying to pretend that they, or shadowy ‘leftists’ somehow approve of islamic terror is, on the whole, just crap.

  • Rick

    A_t,

    You obviously consider terrorism a “nuisance”. I do not.

    When I say that signficant proportions of Muslims support a fascist philosophy, I am not claiming that fascism is part of the “mainstream” of Islam or that it is inherent to Islam. Rather, I am claiming exactly what I said. It is a “signficant proportion”. That is a lot less than 1 billion, but a lot more than one thousand Muslims. And that is a big problem, whether you want to admit it or not.

    Your Gurardian quote was simply a “nuanced” criticism of Bush (for not catching bin Laden, which the left wants us to believe is the entire problem in a single person). Hence, the Guardian is most certainly not attacking Islamic fascism, as you claim. Rather, it is attacking only two people: bin Laden and Bush.

  • Findlay Dunachie

    Now that my review is about to drop off the blog into the Archive and not many people are going to read the comments (or the review), I will just round the matter off.

    Ann Coulter is obviously writing for those who will receive her message favourably. But they will still want information and she gives plenty. She does not print a Bibliography, but her Reference notes – pp 293 to 339 – gives anyone who wants to disagree with her the sources of where to look.

    “Wild Pegasus” says “Several people have taken “Treason” apart . . .” But no sources as to who they were and where they published. What was untrue about the book. Weren’t there spies in the Roosevelt administration? Was Hiss really innocent after all? &c

    I don’t like the term “fascist” because it has no definition. Mussolini’s Fascism was a very mild ideology, as far as I can make out, compared to explicitly genocidal Naziism or the state-runs-everything Communism. There were even Jewish Fascists, I understand, until Hitler put pressure on Mussolini. If “Mein Kampf” was the Nazi Bible and Marx’s “Das Kapital” Communism’s, what was the Fascist Bible?

  • Rick

    Findlay,

    You may never read this, and it is only a minor quibble, but I disagree that the term “fascist” has no meaning.

    I agree that it is used in different ways and is ambiguous, but that is true of many important terms.

    Take the term, “Communism”. A front page article in the Wall Street Journal several years ago argued that Karl Marx was not a Communist. The article went so far as to claim that Marx was an early environmentalist, because he once complained that the Thames River smelled badly. Others have argued that the USSR was not Communist. That is, they argue that Communism has never been tried.

    I agree that Fascism often implies extreme rascism, but I think the term, “Nazism”, is better for that usage. I prefer to restrict the term Fascism to Mussolini, and in that sense, I find the term very useful.

    Fascism is a nationalist political philosophy that advocates centralized power based on force, not consensus. It differs from Communism in two major respects: first, it is nationalist with no pretence of being internationalist; second, it rejects socialism. The second difference is key, because Fascism controls all industry through authoritarian power, but never takes title to industry per se.

    In this sense, it is clear that Mussolini, not Marx, has had the greater impact on history. That is, Fascism has outlasted Communism.

    Governments around the world today are rejecting socialism. States are privatizing everywhere but in Cuba and North Korea.

    However, centralized authority is not dead. Laws and regulations control industry and show no sign of disappearing. No government in the West “owns” healthcare, but most seek to completely control it. Environmentalists seek to control all industrial output. Tort lawyers seek to control everything else.

    Nobody wants to call themselves a Fascist, but they are happy to be one.

    I do not have the exact quote, but Hitler said something like: “Why should we own industry? We own people!”

  • Findlay Dunachie

    Rick:

    Thanks for the reply, but I do feel that “fascist” is an imprecise adjective, approximating a mere boo-word for something, even at attitude, that one doesn’t like.

    Perhaps someone could work at a definition, examining other regimes besides Mussolini’s. Quite a lot of European states went in for authoritarian regimes in the interwar years – Spain, Portugal, Romania, Hungary, Poland and Greece. What did all these have in common, if anything. Nationalism/patriotism would be an obvious character, but doesnt get us very far.

  • Hey, I know im really late but i have to say some things:
    1. Das Kapital is NOTthe communist bible. It is an examination of capitalist econopmics which shows the many problems of capitalism, where they come from and how they are unsolvable. It also theorises about where ealth comes from, how workers are exploited and some other things. None of the 3 volumes, however, put forward any detail as to how a communist ic society should be structured or anything of the sort. The books by Marx that best explain communism are his writings on the Paris commune and the revolutions between 1848 and 51. This is the case as he did not indulge in abstract theorising and idealising about how he would make a ‘state’ – he looked at what the workers did in cases where they came to power, analysed their revolutions and drew conclusions as to what would have been more succesful.
    2. THere is loads (not just 2) differences between fascism and Communism. A very important one is that fascism argues that decisions should be made not based on majority rule but based on ruling from an elite. Communism, and socialism, both say thatfull democracy is the only way froward. They criticise the type of democracy that is in place now (saying that, for one, unelected judges and high civil servants have too much power) and propose a system of fuller, more participatory democracy – participatory in the sense that the people participate. This democracy is organised on a small scale: workplaces are run by councils of worker, trade unionists, consumer reps and general public reps. Councils of residents are given pwer. These then elect part-time leaders and a representative at acouncil for the district (made up of a number of residermnt associatians). In this way demcracy is made a bottom-up ruling system as supposed to top-down. Fascsim sees power being concentrated in the hands of an elite or dictator ~ the OPPOSITE of socialist democracy (socialist democracy is NOT what the stalinists in the USSR used).
    Ok, Thats all for now -I doubt Ill get any of the origional people to reply but if anyone sees this – reply!Please.
    Thanks,
    Cian
    (Oh, just incase there wasany confusion – I am not a communist)

  • Perhaps it isn’t too alarming yet , albeit, one wonders where the evidence of ‘dumbing down the populace’ will surface to the astonishing level of absurdities: I mean, few read ‘the old books’, so few can use a schooled or trained mind to avoid the lazy useages of language we see here on this site: folk seem to need to display low intelligence and use tired phrases too often…Ann Coulter merely is addressing a crowd or audience above the level many here function upon… it is so sad, that ‘liar’ and ‘demonize’ now goes with ‘ nit wit’ and other ( moron, idiot, sociopath ) misunderstood descriptives- forgetting the apperceptive data base from which these almost- intellectuals draw from:their LIBERALNESS ! That is, they never,never do their homework !Never. And,personal accountability means nothing. “If you must ” seems perfect for talking with uneducated and biased dishonest folk. Why is this now historically so increasingly alarming? PJS