Fascism goes mainstream

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Anyone having doubts about the clear signs of Islamophobic-fascism gone mainstream must watch BBC’s documentary, showing members of the British National Party expressing anti-Islam feelings; read statement from the Norwegian politicians, demanding for a ban on Islam; read the 9/11 Commission’s report, confirming ideological war with Islam and reviews on this report, such as David Brooks’s endorsement of the pre-conceived recommendations of the panel (NY Times, July 24) and Daniel Pipes war of words on Islam in Montreal Gazette (July 27, 2004).

Daniel Pipes is all praises for the 9/11 Commissions’ publicly taking the war one step closer to the real target and well into the next phase -” from a war on plain terrorism to Islamist terrorism, “some generic evil," which would very soon lead to similar demands as made by the Norwegian politicians. This is mainstreaming of Islamophobic-fascism.

Unfortunately, many Muslims and non-Muslims still do not quite understand all this. Muslims were consoling themselves with the idea that Pipes was a lone figure. That was not the case. His ideas are not officially endorsed. There is also something about Muslim’s own discourse for which they borrow from the same fascist’s rhetoric.

It suggests they a majority of Muslims and non-Muslims have not really got a clear understanding of the problem. It may be a factor that they are so carried away by “mainstream” fascism that they are never able to clear away the debris to see clearly what the angry and scared 21st Century fascists represent.

It is not just an intellectual movement -” a non-violent front against Islam. It is a cultural phenomenon evolving in a way similar to the way Nazism took over German society in the 30s. We must not take Halvor Hulaas, Chairperson of the Norwegian Kristiansand Progress party (Frp) for granted when he admits that the need to ban Islam -” because it is “a religion that is practiced in the same way it was practiced when it was established in year 600″ -” is “an opinion that is well established in Scandinavian countries.”

Interestingly no one asks how a party (BNP), whose leaders call Islam a “wicked, vicious faith,” goes on to secure 800,000 or so votes. “Status decline” from working class to underclass and moving from poor white man to the status of “white trash” are not the reasons for the spreading of Islamophobic-fascism as Jeremy Seabrook would attempt to make us believe (Guardian, July 23, 2004).

The reason is very clear. There are the fascist underpinnings, bolstered by the Western societies’ cult of personalities, the glorification of violence, and ability to tap into the "crowd phenomenon" or social groupthink which seems to have some deep psychological roots in the human brain. Muslims have to face the curse of a mindset shaped very carefully by persons such as Samuel Huntington and Bernard Lewis and then skilfully ignited by an army of Pipeses, Perles and Friedmans.

Like many commentators on the 9/11 Commission’s report, David Brooks jumps on the bandwagon of the now officially accepted version of fascism. He writes in the New York Times (July 24, 2004): "The commissioners step back in their report and redefine the nature of our predicament." It is not that the US administration and the 9/11 Commission is coming to its senses after finding no WMDs, having a nation no safer than on 9-11, spending themselves into debt and letting at least 1000 of America’s finest and many thousands of Iraqi “scum” die despite the whole world condemning lies of the war lords. It is that the conclusions that are making public now are the reasons for the US being in Iraq today.

If it were just the intelligence failure, perhaps the committee should have investigated it before occupation and taking thousands of innocent lives. It is not that the US now realizes that it is “not in the middle of a war on terror-¦instead, [it is] in the midst of an ideological conflict."

It is stunningly accurate confession which Brooks and company should have told the Crawford Cowboy to make publicly before the two invasions. But then how would they fool the Western public and maintain an alliance with opportunist Muslim “moderates,” such as General Musharraf? For that simple reason, Bush and Blair had to go to mosques to tell the gullible Muslims that this is NOT a war on Islam. Never mind, if Bush occasionally refer to his considering the war as a crusade.

Fascism: well in its second phase

Now that the initial stages are complete: Iraq and Afghanistan are under total control; Kuwait, Pakistan, Egypt and others are under indirect occupation; Iran and Sudan are the immediate targets and, most importantly, Islamophobic-fascism has gone mainstream, Brooks argues that it is a war on ideology "because if you don’t define your problem correctly, you can’t contemplate a strategy for victory." Are Bush, Blair and their allies yet ready for declaring it so, or is it still just democracy and liberation for which to put everything at stake? The lies for initiating a war were about WMD. The lies to sustain it have been democracy and liberation. The hidden motivation, however, comes from the still unfolding fascism: to stop Muslim from considering Islam fit for governing all aspects of their life.

The mindset has to be further shaped with inculcating the ideas, such as: "the bigger fight is with a hostile belief system that can’t be reasoned with but can only be ‘destroyed or utterly isolated.’" How does one destroy or isolate a belief system with genocidal sanctions, “shock and awe” and bloody occupations (and no mention of Islam?) instead of ideas?

It shows physically submission was deemed necessary by the American war lords to eliminate any chances of retaliation in case direct mention of a conflict with Islam’s ideology hurt Muslim sensibilities. The stage for the second phase of fascism is now set and the war lord now talk more confidently about their real agenda. It is time for those to wake up who still love to live in denial.

Brooks suggests: “The commissioners don’t say it, but the implication is clear. We’ve had an investigation into our intelligence failures; we now need a commission to analyze our intellectual failures." Commonsense would ask: should not the cart have been in front of the horse? The reality, however, is that there have been no intelligence or intellectual failure. All are successes that go hand in hand with the military plans for total domination at all costs.

Commonsense fails to realize the scope of the project due to misleading statements about its real objectives. The seeming failures are part of the overall game of deception. How would the US have sold the idea of wars and occupations without allowing 9/11 to happen in the first place? The intelligence failure was as deliberate as the intellectual failure which shows as if they are realizing after occupying two countries that the enemy is not terrorism, it is Islam.

Now that the stage for mainstreaming modern fascism is set, Brooks suggests: "We also need to mount our own ideological counteroffensive" as if Bush’s support to literalist, Fundamentalist Christianity, was merely a defensive strategy. It shows as if what is preached in the US Sunday schools -” Reconstructionism, Theonomy, return to Mosaic Law -” and the rush to Christian missions to Iraq and Afghanistan are merely preventive measures. It means that Mr. Kristof’s "Jesus and Jihad" does not tell the truth about the offensive agenda of the Christianists.

Being on the offensive, it is the US and its allies who have now to brace for the counter offensive. What did the pre-emptive war on Iraq meant after all? Was not that offensive? USA presidential candidate General Wesley Clark (in his new book “The Clark Critique”) says that he met with a senior Pentagon officer in November 2001, who informed him that the Bush administration had plans to attack seven Muslim nations – Iraq then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan. It is not merely a coincidence that the nations mentioned are exactly those Biblical lands believed by the Zionists Christians to encompass countries that will be part of the final conflict.

The Bible talks of the lands such as Persia, Cush, Phut and Lubim; these areas now encompass all the countries mentioned by General Wesley Clark. Zionist Christians also talk of Biblical Lands that would oppose the invasion of Israel – Sheba, Dedon and Tarshish. Sheba and Dedon are countries like, Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Peninsula; Tarshish refers to countries in the West (Europe). Fascism on such foundations is far deadly than Nazism. Before joining mainstream fascism in the West, western public need to do some homework and try to avoid serving 21st century Hitlers.

As an ideological zealot, who never gets tired of claiming moral superiority, Brooks, suggests: "The commissioners recommend that the U.S. should be much more critical of autocratic regimes, even friendly ones, simply to demonstrate our principles." We witness demonstration of the American principles in lying about the war objectives. The world sees demonstration of the American values in Abu Graib and its imposing CIA puppets on occupied Muslim lands. That is how the US and its allies demonstrate their ideology. Afghanistan and Iraq are the living models to see that the US is lying about the values it claims: freedom, Human right, democracy, tolerance and civility.

9/11 Commission’s report is now a living example of how it praises dictator Musharraf as representing “the best hope” because it is their dictator. We might have a short memory, but we do not forget the US insistence after General Musharraf coup in 1999 that the US “cannot do business as usual” with General Musharraf’s regime.

Since it is difficult to hide the truth behind lies made up for a war on Iraq, the US war lords have come out to concede the reality about their fascist tendencies bit by bit: “We’ve got a long struggle ahead, but at least we’re beginning to understand it" confesses Brooks. This is not something new. It had to come to sustain present and justify future occupations. Sages of the present age have been predicting this conflict for decades. But do Muslims and non-Muslims, duped by Bush’s not-a-war-on-Islam mantra, begin to understand this? It seems impossible. We must not forget lack of understanding on the part of Non-Muslims and the extreme benighted opportunism on the part of some Muslims, proudly accepting labels of “liberal,” “progressive,” and “moderate” Muslims.

People are always attracted to fascism on the basis of some fear. David Brooks expression of this fear is encapsulated in: "Now we are faced with a belief system that is inimical to the state system, and aims at theological rule and the restoration of the caliphate. We’ll need a new set of institutions to grapple with this reality…”

Before joining ranks of the Islamophobic fascists, the Western public would do well to do their homework and find out who is a threat to the world peace: Those who invaded and occupied Iraq on the basis of lies? Those who “blundered” into WWII and end up dropping two atomic bombs despite knowing that Japanese were about to surrender? Those who marched into South Korea in 1945 with virtually no Americans who could even find Korea on the map? Those who got into Viet Nam and Cambodia with the same argument of an ideological war? Who invaded a long list of countries in South America? Those who landed in Somalia? Or those who want the US to end its direct and indirect occupation of their homelands and let the world live in peace, love and compassion for each other?

The root problem

Bush and his allies’ deceptive description of a "war on terrorism” is yet another piece of evidence that they have failed to understand the root problem. In essence, the Iraq and Afghan war is an extension and consolidation of the root cause: the injustice and double standards. Bush and his company have provided perfect evidence of their hypocrisy and ulterior motives which are humiliating both Muslims and non-Muslims who have been subscribing to the fascist agenda for its being “mainstream.”

If Islamic ideology is the root cause, why are "Islamic radicals" attacking the US and not Switzerland or any of the Scandinavian countries -” even though their political leaders have just conceded how much racist they could be when it comes to Islam? Before blaming Islamic ideology, why not first ask: Is the US acting as an honest broker in the Middle East and elsewhere? Or is it continually standing all alone against the world, vetoing matters which are to the disadvantage of Muslims? Of the 15 member Court of Justice in the Hague, who was the only judge who voted against the decision regarding the illegality of the wall Sharon is building on the occupied land?

The Islamophobic fascists do not understand that the fault does not lie with Islam or its ideology, nor is Islam Communism or Nazism. Unlike the anti-Islam fascism -” spreading in exactly the same manner as Nazism spread in Germany in 1930s -” Muslims, undoubtedly, have become 21st century Jews, partly because of their own deeds and partly the way other treat them, but Islam has nothing similar to Nazism.

Even what is called Islamism and political Islam is not a threat to America, Japan or the European Union provided Muslims are given some space to breath. They need to break free from the chains of never ending colonialism. No one can prove that colonialism that we talk about in past tense has ended and Muslims in different countries are totally free.

It is not Islamic ideology that is a threat to the West. It is exactly the other way round. The US and its allies are not only threatening but practically imposing their moral superiority and values and systems. Do they have the right to do so only because they have big guns or the moral superiority they claim is really worth the price the Muslim world has to pay through tolerating genocides, wars and occupations?

Obviously the commission and American war lords are wrong when they characterize “Islamism” as "a hostile belief system that can’t be reasoned with but can only be ‘destroyed or utterly isolated’." Who says “no negotiations at all”? Bush and his company, or the “terrorists”? The same was said about communists but no less an anti-communist than Richard Nixon learned that communists could be reasoned with and made his reputation fighting Stalinist dictatorship at the bargaining table.

The problem is that the Islamophobes neither really care to reason with the people under their direct and indirect occupation, nor they possess some solid reasoning and logic. Honestly, the war lords scarcely give Muslims a second thought regardless of their being with them or against them? They only rely in the power of bullets and bombs. If Muslims toe their line, they are given positions at Brookings and Rand, not to speak of giving them reigns of power, such as that in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. Those who do not speak their language and refuse to promote their perspective are all filthy “Islamists.”

The Islamophobic fascists don’t care about the fact that majority of Muslims live under barbarous dictatorship, almost all installed or fully supported by the US. They do not want to count and see that the US supports more dictators than it fights because Muslims chafing and fretting under their rule just don’t matter. Billions can flow to support such dictators and thousands can die tragically in their grip but keeping a count of their victims is the hardest job which no one is ready to undertake. A few thousand Pakistani or Uzbek villagers more or less are simply superfluous to the 21st century fascists. They are simply considered outside the “civilized” world and their knowing this fact is a crime that makes them “Islamists.”

“Islamism” is a sinister label for those who want to be free from the clutches of US direct and indirect occupations. Their struggle for finding a solution to their never ending problems in Islam is their crime. This struggle is in direct proportion to their realization as to who is behind their continuing suffering. It is not that they will choose Islam because they have nothing else. It is that they will choose the complete opposite to what makes their generations to suffer occupations and repressions.

If the burgeoning Islamophobic fascists try to "destroy or utterly isolate" Muslims, who want to get relief from injustice and oppression and struggle for self-rule according to the principles of Islam, they put themselves and the whole world in terrible danger. The only reason the Western war lords do not want to grant Muslims an opportunity to self-rule without any outside interference because ultimately it will expose the much vaunted superior way of life and their so-presented secular empire will crack like an egg. Think of how quickly the whole machinery of Islamophobic fascists came into action when they heard that an Islamic state in Afghanistan had just taken the roots. It is still an open challenge for anyone to prove that the Taliban’s criminal record was worse than Israel’s.

Terrorists are terrorists; no matter they are sitting at Capital Hill, living in the White House or in caves. However, extending the war to win the “intellectual war with the Muslims” assumes that notions of the Islamophobes are obviously superior to those of Muslim intellectuals. This is just a new display of arrogance from the 21st century fascists. All attempts to exonerate the “civilized” terrorist through pre-conceived reports and inquiries will only deepen Islamophobic-fascism and will rebound to haunt these societies like Nazi Germany.

Winning through ideas?

These fascists could possibly win a struggle of ideas, but first they have to admit they and Israel are alone at the UN against the rest of the civilized world, not just the Islamic part. Similarly, it was just one Judge with ultra-superior morality against 14 at ICJ. The 21st century fascists will have to be able to explain to themselves their loneliness before they are able to defeat Islamic ideology.

Make no mistake, it is not Muslims who want freedom from the direct and indirect US occupations (no matter how the fascists may label them), who will lose in the International Court of Justice or a fair debate at the UN. It is the super-moralists, Islamophobic fascists, who are totally unable to defend themselves outside their think tanks, “mainstream” newspapers and select cable channels.

Whether it is the 9/11 Commission or the war lords in the US, they will keep on changing targets from terror to ideology and from ideology to something else to avoid telling the truth that the target is Islam -” in whatever name or form it may be. They will never admit that the root cause is the US policies. The 9/11 Commission’s conclusion is simply part of the problem given that it ignores all the root causes that led to resentment and hatred and adjudicates responsibility for ineptness to the "Holy Ghost."

To understand the underlying causes that lead to anti-Americanism, it is not necessary that Americans and people from all those countries allied with the US should listen to “Islamists” or “terrorists.” They have their own truth tellers. They need to listen to them just for a change. For instance, a 23-year veteran of the CIA, identified in the Boston Phoenix as Michael Scheuer, maintains in his soon-to-be-released book, "Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror," that "Iraq was a gift of epic proportions to Osama bin Laden and those who think like him."

The former CIA agent advocates a genuine debate within the United States about its policies in the Middle East, including its relationship with Saudi Arabia and its unqualified support for Israel. "I think before you draft a policy to defeat bin Laden," says Sheuer, "you have to understand that our policies are what drives him and those who follow him."

Similarly, Senator Ernest F. Hollings (D-S.C.) penned in the Charleston Post and Courier: "Osama bin Laden hit us because of our presence in Saudi Arabia and policy in Israel/Palestine." Hollings wrote: "Imagine 37 years’ occupation of Palestine. Palestine is left with the hopeless and embittered." The senator urges the building of a Palestinian state. "It can’t be built," however, "while homes are bulldozed, settlements extended and walls are constructed." Challenging Bush’s claim that the terrorists hate us because of our values, Hollings retorts: "It’s not our values or people, but our Mideast policy they oppose." [1]

The two surveys, carried out by Zogby International in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) found that “Anti-American sentiment – based primarily on U.S. policies, rather than on its values – has risen to new heights in the Arab world.” [2] Interestingly, all these governments have been closely allied with Washington for at least several decades.

The enemy of the US and its allies is not Islamic ideology. It is the reality of the deaths of one million innocent Iraqis as a result of genocidal sanctions. It is the reality of the tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians killed by Bush’s "coalition" in Iraq. It is the reality of the world sees in the photographs and hears the accounts of torture and humiliation emerging from the prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. It is the lies and deliberate deceptions from Madrid Conference to Oslo and from Camp David to Bursh’s roadmap which translated into an apartheid wall and no hope for an independent Palestinian state.

Furthermore, instead the lies propagated by the 21st century fascist go somewhat like this: “Even assuming that the majority of educated Muslims opted for western values, the Fundamentalists of Islam believe that the Islamic State must be imposed by force over those who chose not to believe the way that Fundamentalists believe. Achieving power includes total elimination of outside news, educations, etc.”

Compare such attempts at deepening the misconceptions with the facts on the ground. What is the US imposing what with force in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan? Who is afraid of news, let alone ideology, can be judged from the Democrats removing Al-Jazeera’s logotype banner from Democratic convention in Boston [3] and the Canada’s virtual ban on Al-Jazeera for its giving news out of real life and its failure to make it up like CNN and others.

Conclusion

The purpose of the 21st century fascist’s anti-Islam campaign in the name of “ideological war” is to divert attention from the fact that Al-Qaeda is not an organization. It is a movement fueled by an equal and opposite reaction to the US’s one-sided policy that supports Israeli aggression, oppression, occupation and ethnic cleansing on the one hand and props up despotic leaders in the Muslim world on the other. By casting it in cold-war terms as an "ideological struggle" which "threatens our freedom", these fascists can successfully continue the disinformation campaign that began under the previous Bush administration and continued under the present Bush: that Islamic “fundamentalists” -” now “Islamists” -” are attacking the US because they "hate our freedom".

This is so despite the fact that in every interview and public statement the “terrorists” have mentioned US policy in the Middle East, and in none of them have mentioned freedom, or democracy as their enemy. It is the US policies, not the way the Americans live that they despise. Unlike the Islamophobes’ double speak, “terrorists'” stated goals are their real goals, and removal of freedom and democracy is not one of them. Removal of the negative American influence and undue interference in their countries’ internal affairs and in the region is.

In the face of spreading fascism in the Western societies, general public has to make important distinctions. At the moment, there are two kinds of movements on in the Muslim world: one against ending the US influence, injustice and undue interference. The second is to establish self-rule on the basis of basic principles of the Qur’an and Sunnah for living a collective life.

The first is a reaction to the injustice perpetrated through direct occupations such as the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. The second is a reaction to the indirect US occupation both through apparently religiously devout House of Saud and the self-declared “moderate” Muslim dictators like General Musharraf. Muslims rightly feel that the answer to their social, political, economic and cultural problem lies in following the basic principle of Islam for governance -” not in living under one or another kind of US sponsored authoritarian regime.

Equating the first reaction with terrorism is as much inanity as it is irrelevant because it is a reaction to injustice and occupations. These occupations would not have been possible without using terror tactics and the all military power available. This reaction is not going to come to an end regardless of any amount of condemnations or the use of force unless the root causes -” the injustice and occupations -” are not removed. So a violent reaction is a natural consequence and should not be treated as an unexpected surprise that can be addressed in isolation.

Equating the second reaction ­-” the movements to establish Islamic rule ­-” to a war on freedom and democracy is either super-inanity or a deliberate attempt to mislead the world. Unlike the Islamophobic fascists, Muslim activists who consider their work as an ideological struggle do not dream of carpet bombing the US cities or nuking its allies into submission to the ideology of Islam. The reason is that a successful movement to establish a model Islamic state does not need “shock and awe” kind of terrorism, over-throwing regimes in the West, establishing Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo kind of concentration camps and imposing paid-slaves like Iyad Allawi or Karzai.

Establishing a successful model of governance in the Muslim world is in itself sufficient to prove the 21st century fascist wrong in their words and deed. It will most likely attract the western masses to rush to liberate themselves from their respective tyrannies. That’s why focus of the Islamophobic fascist campaigns is not to allow Muslims to establish an alternative model in the first place. The more Muslims realize their need to live by Islam, the more the paranoia of the Islamophobic-fascists will increase, making the world a dangerous place than it ever was in human history.

Notes:

[1]. Quoted by Marjorie Cohn, professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, executive vice president of the National Lawyers Guild, and the U.S. representative to the executive committee of the American Association of Jurists, in her article “The 9/11 Report Misses the Point,” published at http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/072404A.shtml

[2]. Jim Lobe, “Iraq War Deepens Hostility to U.S. Policies in Arab World, Surveys Find,” OneWorld US July 26, 2004. http://us.oneworld.net/article/view/90625/1/

[3]. http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/9FD55FF1-CD66-40BC-8453-C65D9CE709BE.htm

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