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Shine the spotlight, name the names…

I have often lamented that with the collapse of the Soviet bloc, the forces of liberalism did not spend nearly enough time ruthlessly driving intellectual stakes through the hearts of all those who supported the ‘Evil Empire’ or preached appeasement or claimed that the Soviet system was ‘just another way of living’ rather than a mass murderous tyranny.

Well in this post-Cold War era in which the fight is now against militant Islam but the enemy within are in many cases the self same people who clearly thought the wrong side won the Cold War. This time we need to not just point out why these people are wrong, we need to grind their faces in their own words for all to see. It is imperative to show that there is often more than just mere ignorance or naivety at work when people choose to take an ‘even handed approach’ between Al Qaeda, the Taliban or the Ba’athists on one hand and the USA and UK on the other.

Now as I have said before on this blog, there are many people who opposed the war in Iraq for reasons that are clearly held in good conscience, fearing the cost to liberty in the West of such entanglements and I think it is important to differentiate between those people and others who oppose military action by the USA and UK for quite different reasons. Folks like Robert Fisk or John Pilger or Noam Chomsky are not neutral or ‘pro-peace’, they are actually on the other side because to them it is better to stand with people which makes women chattels, slaughters civilians intentionally, stones homosexuals to death and hangs female rape victims as well as the rapist, by simple virtue that anyone who is opposed to the liberal capitalist world is preferable to the United States. If the USA can be wounded, making the world safe for burquas and clitoridectomy is a small price to pay.

Well God bless the internet. By their own words they will be revealed. This is something that need to be an ongoing process, taking articles and ‘inviting’ the authors to confront their words and ask what they think now. Do not make the mistake of the 1990’s and be magnanimous in victory. No, before forgiveness must come repentance. If the other side wants to be treated kindly then let them put their hands up in surrender and admit they were wrong. Until then it is time to follow the example of Hussein Shirazi and put the boot in. Hard.

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42 comments to Shine the spotlight, name the names…

  • (repost) I think you might be interested in reading this link

    http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/britt_23_2.htm

    and note the 14 traits of fascism. See anything you recognise?

  • snide

    Um, not really Tim. I am sure it seems obvious to you but I have no idea what the point is. Care to elaborate?

  • Chris Goodman

    As a teenager I used to like to go down to the local bookshop and buy cheap (mainly Penguin) paperbacks. Looking back it is actually quite shocking to me to discover that most of these books were written by Marxists. Educating the masses it seems was largely a matter of supplying books containing the thoughts of those who admired Stalin.

    Not that Penguin is unique in this respect. With hindsight vast swathes of intellectual life in the last hundred years have been dominated by totalitarian loving apologists for evil.

    It is quite odd that despite listening to Leftist propaganda on the BBC, reading Leftist propaganda in my spare time, and being lectured at by Leftists during my compulsory State education, I did not become another Leftist clone. Actually it is not so extraordinary, because anybody stops being ‘educated’ for a moment and starts to think, it is obvious that Leftism has been one of the greatest moral disasters in human history.

    I suppose this is why I am rather fond of societies that instead of seeking to destroy your independence and forcing you to behave in ways that suit the interests of the Nomenclature uphold truth and goodness as ideals whose pursuit requires freedom of choice.

    In other words, what matters is not that there are stupid and wicked people in the world, relevant as this is, nor is it even having the freedom to expose the actions of such people, but living in a society in which nobody, no matter how benevolent their aims, are given so much power that they can direct the details of how you live your life.

  • GCooper

    That was, indeed, and excellent article by Mr. Shirazi.

    To develop the point Mr. de Havilland makes, I have long thought there needs to be… not so much a blog, but some kind of website where the ravings of anti-Western pundits and self-styled journalists can be placed on record and contrasted with both reality and the outcome of predictions they have made.

    The Daily Ablution does a wonderful job but, being a blog, it is essentially transitory.

    In as much as teasing astrologers and fake psychics for the inaccuracy of their predictions is a favourite passtime, why should we not be able to ridicule the Fisks, Pilgers and Simpsons of this world, in like manner?

  • Sylvain Galineau

    the “root causes” of terrorism, namely “poverty, repression and skewed policies in the Middle East.” A huge number of Africans are, absolutely and relatively, even worse off than Middle Easterners in terms of poverty and repression, have suffered tougher colonisations, were sent across the oceans in slave ships for decades, suffered and still suffer the worst famines and civil wars. And many are Muslims.

    Yet, we do not see them blowing themselves up left and right and flying planes into buildings, do we ?

    Root causes, my arse.

  • I have added your first paragraph to http://FreedomKeys.com/collectivism.htm

    This page also happens to have a link to an article about the UNIQUE attributes of fascism here:
    http://www.lawrence.edu/sorg/objectivism/socfasc.html

  • David Beatty

    TimC, I responded to someone quite some time ago at A Small Vistory regarding that very article, and I wish I could find my responde. Britt’s article is chocked full of non-sequitors and non-starters. Quite frankly, Britt doesn’t know his head from a hole in the wall if he thinks the United States is anywhere close to being a fascist state.

  • Sandy P

    Was it PJ O’Rourke, everyone?

    Fascism is always descending on America but seems to land in Europe.

    Still waiting, Tim C.

    Or quit projecting.

    Not a chance in hell w/the moneyed commie sympathing billionaires we have, tho they keep trying.

  • Excellent post Perry, it ceases to amaze me how quickly the goal posts move after yet another fascist country is liberated. The Coalition forces uncover the graves of thousands of BABY skeletons with bullet holes in the back of their heads and the claim goes from “Saddam wasn’t so bad” to “well, the US has killed babies in Iraq too you know!”.

    I get tired of trying to explain the difference to these moral cowards, but your article fires me up a little more….thanks.

  • Except of course that the Taliban are still with us, the war in Afghanistan is ongoing, suicide bombings are back, they are trying to build an oil pipeline through the country, prisoner abuses at Bagram are under investigation and Karzai was almost assassinated on more than one occasion. I have to say, the petty sideswipe at Burke (a braver and brighter journo than most, and has mainly been proven right), who was fighting alongside Kurdish Peshmerga against Saddam while the rest of us were reading in the papers what a friend of the West he was, is pretty lame stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I was in favour of the war (both) and have no truck with anyone who wants our troops brought home, but a couple of Graun editorials, a straw man or two and some Asia Times nonsense does not a victory over the left make.

  • Helpful

    Sandy P, it was not P J O’Rourke, it was Thomas Wolfe.

  • Ian

    Fascism is always descending on America but seems to land in Europe.Sandy, that’s delightful! If I were a Samizdatista, that’d be quote of the day.

  • Findlay Dunachie

    Thanks for the links to my reviews, Perry.

    I’ll just give them another puff, shall I?

  • Woah Woah all you paranoid sorts. The reason I posted the article has NOTHING to do with what America is, but what FASCISM is. Sorry, I did not make that clear.

    Ignore for the moment all the talk about the US and look at the 14 points of Fascism and compare them to Islam. THAT is the point.

  • The problem with the Blog world is we largely preach to the choir. How can we rip these people to shreds in a more public gallery.

  • EU Serf: Lots of people who read us regularly do not agree with us. I am constantly amazed when I go into the Lions Den at various Leftie or Tory events and get accosted by grinning ideological enemies who have read Samizdata.net. We get read by tens of thousands or people a week and there aren’t that many libertarians in the UK

    TimC: ah the perils of not explaining yourself clearly enough… I know it well 🙂

  • Robert Hale

    Sandy P; Helpful:
    it was Tom Wolfe, not Thomas Wolfe, and he was quoting (I think) Jean-Francois Revel, who said something along the lines of: “It is one of the great mysteries of modern astronomy that the dark night of fascism is always descending on America, but only lands on Europe” (quoting from memory, so apologies for any inaccuracy).
    Wolfe quoted this in a piece whose name I can’t remember, but which is collected in (I think) Mauve Gloves & Madmen, Clutter & Vine.
    I remember reading this piece as a teenager, and being impressed by it, because it was the first time that I had seen someone who I regarded as hip and switched-on saying that there was something seriously wrong with Left thinking, and with intellectuals’ embrace of same
    Robert E Hale

  • >EU Serf: Lots of people who read us regularly do not agree with us.

    True. But what you (and I) really want is to be read by the ordinary newspaper-reading kind of person, and not just politcial junkies.

    (Not to deny that your large readership isn’t a triumph, Perry).

  • Matt O'Halloran

    Let us all stand shoulder to shoulder with those who kill rather larger numbers

    UNINTENTIONALLY!!!

  • David Beatty

    Ah! O.K., TimC, point taken.

  • Matt O’Halloran, to be willing to fight a war, a just war, you must be willing to take actions which will result in the deaths of people who, in an ideal world, you would rather not kill. If a legitimate military target has a civilian house next to it, you should still attack that target even though you know it is a distinct possibility that non-combattants will die as well. If you are not prepared to do that, you have no business fighting at all. What the Islamic terrorists (in fact all terrorists almost by definition) do however is intentionally attack civilians who are not legitimate targets. Civilians end up dead either way but the difference matters.

  • Terry

    Hey, it’s sooooo much nicer and less messy for Matt if they are just rounded up by the tens or hundreds by a fascist government, shot in the back of the head, and pushed into mass graves by bulldozers. Then he doesn’t have to think about it. In fact, doesn’t even ever have to be aware that they existed.

  • m

    Please recraft this sentence; it’s tough to see what you’re saying:

    Well in this post-Cold War era in which the fight is now against militant Islam but the enemy within are in many cases the self same people who clearly thought the wrong side won the Cold War.

  • Matt O’Halloran: Morality is not a numbers game. The rightness of a side at war is not determined by how few people it kills. It is determined by what things it’s fighting for — and against. If terrorists bent on wiping out freedom and instituting a theocracy kill 5000 and threaten worse, the US and Britain could kill 500000 in order to stamp out that threat and still have justice on its side.

  • mycroft6

    I thought that the 14 points of Fascism was interesting; particularly how every point even #8 (which was explicitly excluded by the author) perfectly described the USSR.
    1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism. The Soviet Man, May Day Parade, etc.
    2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. Stalin, Berlin Wall, etc.
    3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause. Tsars, capitalists, etc.
    4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism. May Day
    5. Rampant sexism. Not many women in their govm’t.
    6. A controlled mass media. Pravda.
    7. Obsession with national security. Berlin Wall
    8. Religion and ruling elite tied together. “Unlike communist regimes” STOLEN BASE. Communism may not have a god, but then neither does Buddhism.
    9. Power of corporations protected. Semantics – all industry was controlled by the Party, who was protected.
    10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated. Kids were told what to study and what they would do for a living.
    11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts. Gulag, Siberia.
    12. Obsession with crime and punishment. Gulag, Siberia.
    13. Rampant cronyism and corruption. Only the Party matters.
    14. Fraudulent elections. Only 1 Party.

  • SRV

    Yes, as journalist and commentators (Fisk, Burke right in the middle of it – where were you?), they have alot of laundry. You, on the other hand, what have we of your views of Saddam, back when Fisk was writing of him 20 years ago? Is Fisk the monster because he called Saddam for what he was while you then Saddam-Lovers looked the other way?

    Oh, yes, you are such men to lead us from the darkness and shine light on the truth!

  • Sark

    M, it seems pretty clear to me. He is saying that although we are fighting a different enemy now, the enemy within looks strangeluy familiar. What is so hard to understand?

  • Perry,

    In response to “to be willing to fight a war, a just war, you must be willing to take actions which will result in the deaths of people who, in an ideal world, you would rather not kill. If a legitimate military target has a civilian house next to it, you should still attack that target even though you know it is a distinct possibility that non-combattants will die as well. If you are not prepared to do that, you have no business fighting at all. What the Islamic terrorists (in fact all terrorists almost by definition) do however is intentionally attack civilians who are not legitimate targets. Civilians end up dead either way but the difference matters.” …

    I agree with that statement on an individual level. Individuals must make those kinds of decisions, and live with the consequences (one being that the civilians who you hurt may justly consider you an enemy). As a libertarian, I believe that those decisions are too important to be left up to governments outside of a government’s home-country’s borders. Governments cannot accurately weigh life and death. They also do not bear consequences… the taxpayers and citizens do. With a representative government, there is a huge principle-agent problem involved in offensive-warfare, evidenced by the war in iraq only being executed at the will of half of the population in the US (and less in Britain I believe).

    But were individual westerners to go to Iraq and fight on their own, I would be in full support of them. And I think many leftists would, partisanship aside, feel the same way. Sure, anti-Bush and in some cases anti-market forces are somewhat blinded by their partisanship… but for many that merely changes them from rationally anti-war to irrationally so. There are just as many irrational war supporters (at least there are here in the US) who might still, without bad feelings, support the war effort but in our imperfect political and cultural landscape support it more forcefully because of vengeful (meaning anti-liberal and xenophobic), partisan, and genuine pro-violence reasons themselves.

    I guess I’m trying to say that the political climate itself is largely to blame. By attacking one side of the political spectrum, you not only are netting genuine kooks (which is good), but are risking furthering the problem by emboldening pro-war assholes and alienating decent anti-war types. It’s one thing to say that there are two types of anti-war folks, good and bad, but very often the net cast for the bad types by hawks is far too wide.

  • davod

    SRV:

    The problem with the likes of Fisk is that they only criticised Sadaam because their politics were different. If Sadaam had been a left wing fascist you would not have got a peep out of him.

  • “But were individual westerners to go to Iraq and fight on their own, I would be in full support of them. …”

    Sigh. Such lovely and thoroughly unrealistic ideals! Allow me to drive an ‘intellectual stake’ through the heart of that bit of nonsense. (I was going to say something about the clouds on mountain tops obscuring one’s vision, but apparently the Samizdata content editor found that too racy for publication. Odd.)

  • Ken

    notes on the stupid and anti-American article on the 14 attributes of Fascism

    5. ‘adamantly anti-abortion’ – not true at all. Everyone’s primary example of Fascism is Nazi Germany, but Hitler legalized abortion in 1933 and introduced it in occupied territories in 1941.

    8. Religion & ruling elite – Hitler discouraged Christianity in all its forms. He wanted to reintroduce pre-Christian paganism – Odin, Thor, etc. That clearly was not the dominant religion at the time – Germany was primarilty Lutheran and Catholic .

    9. power of corporations protected – Not true. Private ownership and profit were allowed, but corporations were still heavily regulated and told what to produce.

    10 “Under some regimes, being poor was considered akin to a vice.” – evidence please! I doubt there is any.

    11 Suppression of intellectuals and the arts – Only the ones that disagreed. The Nazis were very popular with intellectuals in Germany (and France, even after occupation!) Artists, same same.

    As mycroft6 points out, the 14 points in the article fit Soviet Socialism as well as they fit National Socialsm. To extend his point a bit, Fascism & Nazism are socialist and Left-wing, as much as communism is.

    Author Laurance Britt has his head lodged firmly up his own backside. It’s too bad Secularhumanism.org isn’t a blog, or I would correct the stupidity at its source.

  • I think that Mr. Shirazi has confused Polly Toynbee with Julie Burchill.

    Excellent article, otherwise.

  • Actually, he’s right about Polly Toynbee. My mistake.

    I had forgotten that Toynbee actually suffered a glimpse of moral clarity during the Afghanistan campaign, even though she almost immediately did revert to her usual pious browbeating over Israel.

  • TimC

    One of the problems is that “fascist” and related terms are used by just about anybody to describe someone they do not like. There is no apparent requirment for accuracy The term is losing meaning.

    There is serious research on the substance of the fascist movement. Do a goole search on “generic Fascism” “Fascist minimum” “Fascist matrix” if you want to really understand the subject.

  • Ted B.

    Most of the “14 Points to Fascism” don’t corrolate to the historical examples of Fascism, they’re just a post-WW2 attempt to prove a point. Both the Italian Fascist and the Nazis were fundementally Socialist in economic model that treated the Consumer, Labor and Captial on sufferance; all subect to the Will of the State. I find it “convenient” that those who cary “Nazi” also forget that the correct name of the movement was the “National Socialist Workers Party”, and that their doctrine was based on the “Volk”, not capital or the entrenched elites.

  • LaCroix

    I find it highly amusing that so many people got riled up about America being called a fascist state. Don’t get so defensive, living in a fascist state can have its perks, especially if you were already powerful to begin with. Since so many of those points could easily be applied to America without having to stretch or make bad metaphor, the argument could be made that we are fascist, if not very close. Let us look at the facts:

    1. Powerful expressions of nationalism
    Just a cursory glance at FoxNews will show that most of the anchors wear the cute little flag pins.

    2. Disdain for the importance of Human Rights
    Where to begin? How about Manzanar and Tule Lake, two concentration camps that held Japanese against their will during the duration of WW2. I always loved the fact that ‘inalienable rights’ somehow become ‘alienable’ during a time of war.

    3. Identification of Scapegoats
    1900’s — Anarchists / Spaniards
    1910’s — Alcohol / Germans / Opium
    1920’s — Alcohol / Jazz Music / Masons
    1930’s — Japanese / Hemp / Blacks
    1940’s — Japanese / Communists
    1950’s — Communists / Rock and Roll Music
    1960’s — Communists / Hippies / Promiscuity
    1970’s — Communists / OPEC
    1980’s — Communists / Iranians / Music / Crack
    1990’s — Militia Movements / Iraq / MDMA / Terrorists
    2000’s — Monogamous Gays / Terrorists / Stem Cells

    4. Supremacy of Military
    This goes without saying.

    5. Rampant Sexism
    Denial of rights to homosexuals, “glass ceiling”, no women in the military. Sure, this is nothing compared to what Islam does to women, but that’s not the point.

    6. A controlled mass media
    FCC, $500,000 fine for 1.5 seconds of partially-obscured left breast. Howard Stern booted from radio.

    7. Obsession with National Security
    FBI, DHS, CIA, NSA, TSA, DIA. Has anybody ever heard of COINTELPRO? The FBI surveillence of MLK, John Lennon. Investigations into the possible communist propaganda in “Louie, Louie.”

    8. Religion and rulite elite
    Moral Majority, anyone? Tipper Gore’s crusade against the Dead Kennedys and Too Live Crew. El Presidente Bush using religion to justify the banning of stem cells.

    9. Power of Corporations Protected
    The new bankruptcy bill ring a bell? How can it be that there are 30,000 mercs in Iraq, all being paid for by the DOD.

    10. Power of Labor Suppressed
    Can’t think of any major ways that labor has been supressed, at least in the 20th century, though I am sure it happened. The only thing I can think of right out is Eugene Debs, the socialist who ran for President about 6 times, twice while he was jailed for various crimes related towards demonstrating on behalf of railroad workers.

    11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
    Ignoring scientific evidence of global warning and stem cells. Proposed legislation to regulate the morals cable TV and the internet.

    12. Obsession with crime and punishment
    The United States has more laws than every country in the world. We have more people in prison on a percentage basis and by per capita. Most of them are there for drugs. American prisons are especially decrepit, with drug trafficking and prostitution running rampant. Sure they have running water and three squares a day, but nothing says America the Great like anal rape in a shower while the guards do nothing.

    13. Rampant cronyism and corruption
    Tom DeLay, Enron, Halliburton (whose mercs are in Iraq blowing stuff up that Halliburton will later rebuild). The last “outsider” elected to president was sadly, Clinton.

    14. Fraudulent elections
    Prop 215 in California passed with more than 70% in favor yet the DOJ is fighting to interfere in California politics by overturning our election. Oh yeah, that thing in 2000 too.

    “If you ask a German and a Jew in 1937 if they lived in a democracy or a dictatorship, the Jew would say dictatorship and the German would say democracy.”
    My History Prof. in 11th grade.

    So, are you a German or a Jew?

  • Ted B.

    Correction: ….as I remember after I typed the above comment, it was the “German National Socialist Worker Party”; the NSDAP.

    Read at actual 25 Pts of the NSDAP platform;
    http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/25Points.html

  • La Croix,
    In the 30s, in freezing cold Winter, Ford Motor Co. had the fire department open their hoses on strikers. But FDR stopped that junk.

    You say: “Sure, this is nothing compared to what Islam does to women, but that’s not the point.”

    Sorry, either you favor Unreal Perfection, or else you better compare real to real. The commies have far too long compared Unreal Perfect Communism/ Socialism (Kumbayaa or otherwise) against the real and obviously imperfect capitalism.

    Yeah, the US is imperfect. Which country is better? The UK? Farce, er, France? Germany, China, India?

    Oh, I forgot — ‘nobody’s really better, but that’s not the point. The point is America is imperfect, therefore evil’

    Hogwash.

    4. Supremecy of Military. ‘Goes without saying’.
    Bull. The US, against the wishes of its (previously overly optimistic/ lying?) military, left Vietnam in 1974.

    We just had the 30 year anniversary of the start of Pol Pot’s Killing Fields — remember the big MSM reviews of civilization’s reasons for allowing that? Oh, I forgot — too many anti-Nazi/ anti-Hitler movies from 60 years ago, no room for evil commie genocide.

    Get real buddy — show a better system for comparison. Maybe you like the UN? How many young girls have to be raped by UN forces before it’s clear how bad they are?

  • Al Maviva

    Nicely put, LaCroix. But I wouldn’t bother waiting for a response. We Americans are far too busy implementing a final solution to rid the world of homosexuals, Jews, immodest women, people who eat the wrong kinds of food and enjoy the wrong kinds of entertainment.

    Whoops, sorry, I meant to say the enemies of us Americans are too busy doing all that stuff for us to pause and answer. But to a purveyor of moral equivalence / indifference like yourself, I’m sure a minor gaffe like mine makes no difference. George Bush liberation of Iraq, Taliban queer-crushing party, same/same, really. Somebody lies and somebody dies, que sera, etc.

    —————-

    Keep up the good work, Perry. Damn skippy we should name names. In a truly free society, there is little else we can do to fight the monsters, and those who give them succor. Shaming won’t get them to repent, I’m sure; but at least it will impose a marketplace of ideas-imposed full disclosure.

    It’s necessary, too, since so many hard core anti-westerners pose as mild liberals and “moderates.” Or as R.C. Dean has succintly put it elsewhere, “scratch a liberal, find a leftist.”

    We must expose them. If they cannot handle being labled nihilistic leftists, so much the better – it means that what they are is intolerable, even to themselves.

  • rabidfox

    One of the overriding characteristics of a fascist regime that hasn’t been addressed is that the government is not accountable to the people. That, combined with a controlled press, resulted in the horrors that fascism left behind.

  • Sorry for being absent.

    mycroft6 is right IMO to compare Communism with ‘Fascism’

    However, the point I wanted to make is that there are many parallels and some out there even think that Hitler even took queues from Islam (such as the ‘dhimmi’ concept of disenfranchsiing unbelievers, the constant demand for ritualised salutation, uniforms and badges to identify believers and unbelievers, personality cult of the leader/founder).

    Even if the link is pure speculation, you cannot deny the parallels.