Richard Moore

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August 28, 2006

Eric S. Margolis 28 August 2006

The latest big lie unveiled by Washington¹s neoconservatives are the poisonous 
terms, `Islamo-Fascists¹ and `Islamic Fascists. They are the new, hot buzzwords 
among America¹s far right and Christian fundamentalists.

President George W. Bush made a point last week of using `Islamofacists¹ when 
recently speaking of Hezbullah and Hamas ­ both, by the way, democratically 
elected parties. A Canadian government minister from the Conservative Party 
compared Lebanon¹s Hezbullah to Nazi Germany.

The term `Islamofascist¹ is utterly without meaning, but packed with emotional 
explosives. It is a propaganda creation worthy Dr. Goebbles, and the latest 
expression of the big lie technique being used by neocons in Washington¹s 
propaganda war against its enemies in the Muslim World.

This ugly term was coined - as was the other hugely successful propaganda term, 
`terrorism¹ ­ to dehumanize and demonize opponents and deny them any rational 
political motivation, hence removing any need to deal with their grievances and 

As the brilliant humanist Sir Peter Ustinov so succinctly put it, `Terrorism is 
the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich.¹

Both the terms `terrorism¹ and `fascist¹ have been so abused and over used that 
they have lost any original meaning. The best modern definition I¹ve read of 
fascism comes in former Colombia University Professor Robert Paxton¹s superb 
2004 book, `The Anatomy of Fascism.¹

Paxton defines fascism¹s essence, which he aptly terms its `emotional lava¹ as: 
1. a sense of overwhelming crisis beyond reach of traditional solutions; 2. 
belief one¹s 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.¹

Fascism 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 complex.

Highly 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.

None of the many Muslim groups opposing US-British control of the Mideast fit 
Paxton¹s definitive analysis. The only truly fascist group ever to emerge in the
Mideast was Lebanon¹s Maronite Christian Phalange Party in the 1930¹s which, 
ironically, became an ally of Israel¹s rightwing in the 1980¹s.

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 America¹s religious far right, 
which is now boiling with hatred for anything Muslim.

Under the guise of fighting a `third world war¹ against `Islamic fascism,¹ 
America¹s far right is infecting its own nation with the harbingers of WWII 

In the 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 
western society.

There is 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.

The Muslim 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 America¹s allies.

Nor do underground Islamic militant groups (`terrorists¹ in western 
terminology). They are either focused on liberating land from foreign 
occupation, overthrowing `un-Islamic¹ regimes, driving western influence from 
their region, or imposing theocracy based on early Islamic democracy.

Claims 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.

As Prof. 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.¹

However, there are plenty of modern far rightists with neo-fascist tendencies. 
But to find them, you have to go to North America and Europe. They advocate 
`preemptive attacks against all potential enemies,¹ grabbing other nation¹s 
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 `liberal¹ political rights.

They revel 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 people¹s children. They have turned 
important sectors of the media into propaganda organs and brought the Pentagon 
largely under their control.

And now they are furiously whipping up war fever against Syria and Iran as a 
last desperate effort to keep themselves in power after the debacles they 
created in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and Lebanon.

copyright Eric S. Margolis 2006

Posted by Eric Margolis on August 28, 2006 12:22 PM

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