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» Tuesday, September 05, 2006

NeoCon's Last Stand

Islam is not Fascist       A sophisticated nuance that Rumsfeld tried to create at the American Legion Convention the other day is that Islamo-fascism is the new keyword (meme) for the enemy in the War on Terror.   That is why I went back and dug up my NeoCon Definition and created the next post (NeoCon Fasicism) to spell out some of the principles of Fascism.

The article below at MotherJones quotes Fran Rich in his editorial that explains that Rumsfeld and Bush are trying to re-frame the war in Iraq as part of the GWOT (Global War On Terror).   They want to further incite fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) and stir nationalism by putting the Nazi face on the Islamic Fundamentalists that are wreaking havoc in Iraq.   It is spelled out in the comment to this article in easy to understand form, even simple enough for the wingnut mentality to absorb.

In easy to understand language, this is the NeoCon's Last Stand...   If they don't scare you into voting for the rubber stamp republicans in congress, they are doomed...   - fc

Donald Rumsfeld's Dance With the Nazis (Set Frank Rich Free!)

Quote from the Frank Rich Article ::

Rummy - Saddam Here's how brazen Mr. Rumsfeld was when he invoked Hitler's appeasers to score his cheap points: Since Hitler was photographed warmly shaking Neville Chamberlain's hand at Munich in 1938, the only image that comes close to matching it in epochal obsequiousness is the December 1983 photograph of Mr. Rumsfeld himself in Baghdad, warmly shaking the hand of Saddam Hussein in full fascist regalia. Is the defense secretary so self-deluded that he thought no one would remember a picture so easily Googled on the Web? Or worse, is he just too shameless to care?

Mr. Rumsfeld didn't go to Baghdad in 1983 to tour the museum. Then a private citizen, he had been dispatched as an emissary by the Reagan administration, which sought to align itself with Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war. Saddam was already a notorious thug. Well before Mr. Rumsfeld's trip, Amnesty International had reported the dictator's use of torture - "beating, burning, sexual abuse and the infliction of electric shocks" - on hundreds of political prisoners. Dozens more had been summarily executed or had "disappeared." American intelligence agencies knew that Saddam had used chemical weapons to gas both Iraqi Kurds and Iranians.

According to declassified State Department memos detailing Mr. Rumsfeld's Baghdad meetings, the American visitor never raised the subject of these crimes with his host. (Mr. Rumsfeld has since claimed otherwise, but that is not supported by the documents, which can be viewed online at George Washington University's National Security Archive.) Within a year of his visit, the American mission was accomplished: Iraq and the United States resumed diplomatic relations for the first time since Iraq had severed them in 1967 in protest of American backing of Israel in the Six-Day War.

"Islamo-fascism" certainly sounds more impressive than such tired buzzwords as "Plan for Victory" or "Stay the Course." And it serves as a handy substitute for "As the Iraqis stand up, we'll stand down." That slogan had to be retired abruptly last month after The New York Times reported that violence in Baghdad has statistically increased rather than decreased as American troops handed over responsibilities to Iraqis. Yet the term "Islamo-fascists," like the bygone "evildoers," is less telling as a description of the enemy than as a window into the administration's continued confusion about exactly who the enemy is. As the writer Katha Pollitt asks in The Nation, "Who are the 'Islamo-fascists' in Saudi Arabia - the current regime or its religious-fanatical opponents?"

From the comments ::

The Merriam Webster on line dictionary defines fascism as:
1.) A political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
2.) A tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control.

It defines neocon as:
1.) A former liberal espousing political conservatism. (A flip-flopper in neocon terms)
2.) A conservative who advocates the assertive promotion of democracy and U.S. national interest in international affairs including through military means.

No neocon would want to be insulted with the first definition so when I use the term I use the second definition. By this definition you are not considered a neocon unless you advocate the forceful spread of democracy through military means.

Today's neocon talking points for supporting the war in Iraq include a term, "Islamofascism", used by Donald Rumsfeld to refer to Islamic extremist terrorists. It should be obvious to even the most casual observer that terrorists are not fascists by Webster's definition. Islamic extremist terrorism is not a political philosophy. They support Sharia, Islamic law, a religious philosophy not a political philosophy. The Taliban and Al Qaeda are organized movements within Islam but Islam is not a nation or race. Al Qaeda opposes all secular Islamic nations as well as the entire industrialized western democratic world and its value system. They were enemies of Saddam Hussein, a man who studied Nazism and was a fascist dictator. Saddam would have had them killed, not collaborated with them. There is no evidence they stand for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader or that they support severe economic regimentation. They do discriminate against women and forcibly suppress opposition. They are evil people and they do evil things but by definition they are not fascists.

Rumsfeld's purpose of using the fascism term to describe Islamic extremist terrorists is to equate them, in the minds of the American people, to Hitler and fascist Nazism. He is likening the war in Iraq to World War II. He and neocons like him imply that anyone who does not support the war in Iraq (by logical substitution) would appease Nazism and Hitler. (If you're not with us you're against us.) Of course this is all part of Karl Rove's talking point strategy to portray Democrats as Nazi appeasing cut and run liberals, even worse than your plain old run of the mill cut and run liberal. I can't help but wonder if they'll get wife beating and child molesting in there somehow or other as well.

Fascism, more accurately, but not exactly, describes the philosophy of the Bush regime. The "Unitary Executive Doctrine" adopted and adhered to by this administration falls right in line with fascism. Secrecy, wiretaps, spying on citizens without warrants, abduction and imprisonment without charge or access to legal representation and disregard for inconvenient laws are all facets of fascism. Neocon policies and practices cause the economic and social regimentation the definition refers to. Examples of these are gay bashing, liberal demonization and cutting funding for needed social programs that help the poor. Suppression of opposition is evidenced by political attacks portraying as unpatriotic anyone who disagrees with the party line. E.g. the political attack on Joseph Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame Wilson. She and untold numbers of CIA agents and contacts were put in jeopardy in order to discredit a man who was defending democracy by telling the truth but also exposing the President as a prevaricator.

These statements made by our President reveal his autocratic and dictatorial tendencies:

"If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier - just so long as I'm the dictator."

"I'm the decider, and I decide what is best. And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the Secretary of Defense."

"The legislature's job is to write law. It's the executive branch's job to interpret law." (Constitutionally it's the Executive branch's job to enforce the law. The judicial branch interprets it.)

"A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there's no question about it."

"I'm the commander - see, I don't need to explain - I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being president."

Is Bush a fascist? Maybe not but he talks and acts like an autocratic dictator and he heads an administration that meets most all the criteria. Maybe we should call neocons "neofascists". They meet more of the requirements of fascism than "Islamofacists".

When people write letters and articles like this that expose deception with the well-documented facts and/or are critical of the war in Iraq, the typical neocon response is to call them unpatriotic Bush bashing liberals who appease fascism. They resort to name calling when they can't support their arguments with fact or they point to something in the past that Clinton did or didn't do that is somehow by some twisted logic supposed to make their transgression right. They like the "two wrongs make it right" argument. Children do the same thing. If neocons really want to see fascism they should look in the mirror.

Posted by: Harry Hopkins on 09/04/06 at 8:23 PM

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