August 29, 2006
big lie unveiled by Washington’s neoconservatives are the poisonous
terms, "Islamo-Fascists" and "Islamic Fascists."
They are the new, hot buzzwords among America’s far right and
George W. Bush made a point last week of using "Islamofacists"
when recently speaking of Hezbullah and Hamas – both, by the
way, democratically elected parties. A Canadian government minister
from the Conservative Party compared Lebanon’s Hezbullah to
"Islamofascist" is utterly without meaning, but packed
with emotional explosives. It is a propaganda creation worthy
Dr. Goebbels, and the latest expression of the big lie technique
being used by neocons in Washington’s propaganda war against
its enemies in the Muslim World.
term was probably first coined in Israel – as was the other
hugely successful propaganda term, "terrorism" – to
dehumanize and demonize opponents and deny them any rational
political motivation, hence removing any need to deal with their
grievances and demands.
brilliant humanist Sir Peter Ustinov so succinctly put it, "Terrorism
is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich."
terms "terrorism" and "fascist" have been
so abused and overused that they have lost any original meaning.
The best modern definition I’ve read of fascism comes in former
Colombia University Professor Robert Paxton’s superb 2004 book,
Anatomy of Fascism.
defines fascism’s essence, which he aptly terms its "emotional
lava" as: 1. a sense of overwhelming crisis beyond reach
of traditional solutions; 2. belief one’s group is the victim,
justifying any action without legal or moral limits; 3. need
for authority by a natural leader above the law, relying on
the superiority of his instincts; 4. right of the chosen people
to dominate others without legal or moral restraint; 5. fear
of foreign "contamination."
demands a succession of wars, foreign conquests, and national
threats to keep the nation in a state of fear, anxiety and patriotic
hypertension. Those who disagree are branded ideological traitors.
All successful fascists regimes, Paxton points out, allied themselves
to traditional conservative parties, and to the military-industrial
conservative and militaristic regimes are not necessarily fascist,
says Paxton. True fascism requires relentless aggression abroad
and a semi-religious adoration of the regime at home.
the many Muslim groups opposing US-British control of the Mideast
fit Paxton’s definitive analysis. The only truly fascist group
ever to emerge in the Mideast was Lebanon’s Maronite Christian
Phalange Party in the 1930’s which, ironically, became an ally
of Israel’s rightwing in the 1980’s.
It is grotesque
watching the Bush Administration and Tony Blair maintain the
ludicrous pretense they are re-fighting World War II. The only
similarity between that era and today is the cultivation of
fear, war fever and racist-religious hate by US neoconservatives
and America’s religious far right, which is now boiling with
hatred for anything Muslim.
guise of fighting a "third world war" against "Islamic
fascism," America’s far right is infecting its own nation
with the harbingers of WWII totalitarianism.
western world, hatred of Muslims has become a key ideological
hallmark of rightwing parties. We see this overtly in the United
States, France, Italy, Holland, Denmark, Poland, and, most lately,
Canada, and more subtly expressed in Britain and Belgium. The
huge uproar over blatantly anti-Muslim cartoons published in
Denmark laid bare the seething Islamophobia spreading through
nothing in any part of the Muslim World that resembles the corporate
fascist states of western history. In fact, clan and tribal-based
traditional Islamic society, with its fragmented power structures,
local loyalties, and consensus decision-making, is about as
far as possible from western industrial state fascism.
World is replete with brutal dictatorships, feudal monarchies,
and corrupt military-run states, but none of these regimes,
however deplorable, fits the standard definition of fascism.
Most, in fact, are America’s allies.
underground Islamic militant groups ("terrorists"
in western terminology). They are either focused on liberating
land from foreign occupation, overthrowing "un-Islamic"
regimes, driving western influence from their region, or imposing
theocracy based on early Islamic democracy.
by fevered neoconservatives that Muslim radicals plan to somehow
impose a worldwide Islamic caliphate are lurid fantasies worthy
of Dr. Fu Manchu and yet another example of the big lie technique
that worked so well over Iraq.
Andrew Bosworth notes in an incisive essay on so-called Islamic
fascism, "Islamic fundamentalism is a transnational movement
inherently opposed to the pseudo-nationalism necessary for fascism."
there are plenty of modern fascists. But to find them, you have
to go to North America and Europe. These neo-fascists advocate
"preemptive attacks against all potential enemies,"
grabbing other nation’s resources, overthrowing uncooperative
governments, military dominance of the world, hatred of Semites
(Muslims in this case), adherence to biblical prophecies, hatred
of all who fail to agree, intensified police controls, and curtailment
of "liberal" political rights.
in flag-waving, patriotic melodrama, demonstrations of military
power, and use the mantle of patriotism to feather the nests
of the military-industrial complex, colluding legislators and
lobbyists. They urge war to the death, fought, of course, by
other people’s children. They have turned important sectors
of the media into propaganda organs and brought the Pentagon
largely under their control.
the neoconservatives are busy whipping up war against Syria
and Iran to keep themselves in power and maintain the political
dynamics of this 21st century revival of fascism.
real modern fascists are not in the Muslim World, but Washington.
The neocons screaming fascist the loudest, are the true fascists
themselves. It’s a pity that communist and leftist propaganda
so debased the term "neo-fascist" that it has become
almost meaningless. Because that is what we should be calling
the so-called neocons, for that is what they really are.
him mail], contributing foreign editor for Sun National Media
Canada, is the author of War
at the Top of the World. See his
© 2006 Eric Margolis