The Link with the Buggy Series on Pape
Some clarifying comments about the use of "Fascism" and its meaning seem very much in order at this point, particularly since several earlier buggy article in this series on Pape's Dying to Win --- a whitewash laundry-job of Islam's almost total monopoly (94%) of dozens of suicide terrorist groups since 1980 --- have referred numerous times to Islamo-Fascism and to Fundamentalist Islamo-Fascism . . . or just plain Jihadist Islamic fundamentalism.
The two Islamo-Fascist ideologies, it goes without saying, obviously share something basic and significant in common --- a thrust toward totalitarian control over a country's political, administrative, legal, military, and economic systems, with little room, if any, for a civil society of vigorously independent non-state groups and organizations. And both encourage the use of terrorism on a large scale, but differ for the reasons behind the use. At the same time, as you'll see in Part One, they differ in some other ways even as they both draw on the key credos and traditions of European Fascism of the interwar period.
How Today's Article Unfolds
1) In Part One, we'll set out a fast-moving survey of the two dominant kinds of Islamo-Fascism. The aim here is to give you a working idea, nothing more, of what they are and some concrete examples of them.
2) In Part Two, the buggy argument will look at interwar European Fascism, noting the varieties and differences among them with some precision and abundant examples and show how --- despite the varieties --- there was a shared core of ideological tenets that the two contemporary forms of Islamo-Fascism share too despite their own differences about totalistic control of all social, private, and religious life in the name of Islamic purity and revitalization.
3) In the third part, we'll try to clarify with lots of examples what the two ideologies of Islamo-Fascism amount to and how they differ in specific ways, with the buggy argument unfolded there reinforcing the links of each to European Fascisms of the interwar period.
4) The 4th part will then look at the extravagant whiteout snowjob that Pape unfolds in chapter 7 --- and in a few places elsewhere in his book --- that makes Islamist-Fascist fundamentalism look like little else other than a harmless resistance to modernity and atomistic liberal and capitalist tendencies.
To read Pape, the whitewashing apologist par excellent, you might think that you're back in the world of Harrison Ford's role in Witness, where --- an honest cop on the run being sought by sell-out cops --- he takes refuge among nice-guy Amish people, with the clash between his modern cultural outlook and their admirable desire to lead a simple, non-modern agrarian existence duplicated --- on a global level, at any rate in Pape-land fantasy --- between raucous American and globalizing forces on one side and altruistic, nice-guy Islamic Puritans on the others fighting only for national self-determination. And who but neo-conservative fanatics and simple-minded George Bush and lapdog Tony Blair could object, diplomatically and militarily, to these Islamic Puritans in search of their Amish-like rural existence amid a benevolent global caliphate and a very very reluctant resort to terrorism and especially suicide-terrorism as a last desperate effort, nothing more, to free themselves from democratic military oppressors?
ISLAMO-FASCIST FUNDAMENTALISM OF THE JIHAD SORT --- SOME MORE PRELIMINARY CLARIFICATION
The numerous jihadist terrorist groups busily active Kabooming, and assassinating around the world --- the use of savage beheading with a dull scimitar or long knife their preferred weapon for the latter ---- are almost too numerous these days to list briefly. Think of Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, the Algerian GIA, the Abu Sayyaf Group and Jemaah Islamiya Organization active in the Philippines, Indonesia, and the rest of Southeast Asia, Chechen groups now thoroughly motivated by jihadist hatred, and of course al Qaeda and its teeming affiliates and imitators of world-wide . . . probably dozens of the latter. If they flourish abundantly, they do so in no small part because they enjoy the indispensable support of large numbers of imams, sheiks, ayatollahs, charities, publicists, and journalists around the world too, even in the United States and Europe. By the same token, they also enjoy the active support --- financial, logistic, and access to their territories --- of Baathist Syria, fundamentalist genocidal Sudan, Wahhabi Saudi Arabia, and Shi-ite Iran . . . as they once did of the now defunct Afghan Taliban regime.
Then, too, a fairly large number of the Muslim masses world-wide also support or admire these jihadist movements, and in a few moments, we'll try to pin down how many. For the moment, though, concentrate on clairfying the . . .
. . . Two Sorts of Islamo-Fascisms
Four Noticeable Differences
(i.) The first big difference concerns the role of radical Islamist fundamentalism and jihadist terrorism in the two kinds of Islamo-Fascisms.
The Islamo-Fascists who aren't fundamentalists don't use terrorism to attack infidels and Muslim enemies in the name of a pure, revitalized Islam. They do use terrorism and on a large scale, but they aren't jihadists who are bent on waging war and encouraging terrorism to purify Islamic societies, bring an end to their decline and decadence, and control and revolutionize all aspects of social, cultural, intellectual, and religious life --- for that matter, all private life too, and in the name of a true, thoroughly sanitized Islam --- as a precondition of renewed power, glory, and conquests for Islam world-wide.
Jihadist fundamentalist terrorist groups and states, to clarify briefly, are motivated by this kind of imaginary pristine, all-conquering utopia and the religious fervor it evokes.
They believe that this pure and powerful Muslim utopia existed from the 8th through the 15th or 16th centuries, marked by vast Islamic conquests: those by the Arabs of Christian, Persian, and pagan lands in the 7th and 8th centuries, then Ottoman imperial conquests in Europe and elsewhere from the late Middle Ages on, then Tatar rule over Russia, and finally Mogul conquest over Hindu India. More to the point, they believe that this pristine, powerful, militarily conquering Islam can be restored in the future --- not just in some distant future, mind you; rather in the next two decades or so. By contrast, if Islamo-Fascist states like Baathist Syria, Baathist Iraq, and the PLO use terrorism, it's strictly for statist reasons --- which doesn't mean they are unwilling to use, manipulate, or even sponsor jihadist terrorist groups if they promise to further their own largely secular interests. And despite almost universal belief that Saddam Hussein's Baathist dictatorship didn't have links to al Qaeda and meetings with its representatives, even ABC News
now admits --- thanks to the slow release by the US government of official Baathist documents --- that they had officially sanctioned meetings together. (For a far more detailed analysis by an outstanding investigative journalist, click here
(ii.) At the same time --- a second difference just hinted at --- the two Islamo-Fascisms also differ in the visions they have of total control over all social, cultural, and religious life.
When Jihadist Islamo-Fascism seizes state-power somewhere, it institutes a full-fledged totalitarian control over all public and private life without exception, and in that sense it resembles Nazi Germany before and during WWII. From Pape's snowjob whiteout, you'd never know this. You'd not even suspect that Islamic fundamentalism is dedicated to killing Muslims who convert to other religions, to imposing servile conditions on all women, to stoning women to death who are regarded as adulteresses and justifying honor-killings of wayward sisters and daughters (even those raped), to inflicting subservient status on Christian and Jewish minorities (including yearly taxes, the jizya
, to the benevolent Muslim state in charge --- a huge annual transfer of wealth that has reinforced 1400 years of rentier-mentality in Muslim societies) while killing off Buddhists, Hindus, Pagans, and what have you, and to instituting terror on a large scale policed by religious fanatics as in Saudi Arabia, Taliban Afghanistan, Shi-ite Iran, and fundamentalist genocidal Sudan.
From Pape's pap, you'd never know that even Algeria --- whose military dictatorship fought and defeated jihadi mass-murderers in a ferocious 10-year long war --- has passed legislation making it a crime for anyone to preach an alternative to Islam. Now you know.
There is, to repeat, no private life whatsoever in Islamic fundamentalism that individuals and families themselves have freedom of choice over that is independent of what imams, ayatollahs, dictators, secret-police and whip-lashing Vice and Sin police torturers decide for them. It's total thought-control, justified in the name of pure Islam; and even if --- which is unlikely --- fundamentalists would be able to seize total power in a highly flawed electoral democracy as in Turkey, you could be sure that their fervent members and leaders would seek similar totalitarian control. It's part of their base-line credos. It's what they believe and stand for. For that matter, a good century or so after the secular revolution in Turkey, 40% of men in a recent opinion survey there favored stoning women who committed adultery.
In all these respects, Islamo-Fascist Fundamentalism is indistinguishable in its total destruction of individual and civil liberties --- never mind tolerance of other religions or secular ideologies --- from Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, Maoist China, Pol-Pot's Cambodia, and North Korea today.
The more secular Islamo-Fascists who seize power behave differently. The Baathist Parties in Syria and in Iraq before 2003 created a quasi-totalitarian rule of a brutal and mass-murdering sort, shot-through with the use of terror, but never sought to control and reshape all social, cultural, and private life in their countries, and in that sense secular Islamo-Fascism resembles much more Mussolini's Fascist Italy.
Some Sidebar Clarifications:
For an outstanding, readable historical survey by David Brooks of the Baathist Parties' huge debt to Italian Fascism and Nazi Germany, click here .
The Muslim Brotherhood --- whose emergence in the 1920s paralleled the secular Baathist movements, but had a radical fundamentalist thrust with a wide fallout on all subsequent jihadi terrorist groups world-wide --- was also heavily influenced by both Fascist and Nazi ideologies.
Similar comments --- including the Fascist influences --- apply to Yasser Arafat's PLO and later the Palestinian Authority. Revealingly, to get down to cases, Arafat's mentor --- the Mufti of Jerusalem in the 1930s and early 1940s and the spiritual leader of the Palestinian people --- was a Nazi who took refuge in World War II in Berlin, where he became a crony chum of Hitler, helped organized the Hanjar SS Division of Bosnian Muslims, and encouraged Hitler's Holocaust genocide. Condemned after the war by the Nuremberg Tribunals for war crimes, the Mufti was wanted for execution by both Communist Yugoslavia and democratic Britain, but he fled to Egypt where he met the young Arafat and mentored him for years, going so far as to claim, falsely, that Arafat was a blood relative.
Arafat's PLO was and remains after his death a corrupt, largely secular Islamo-Fascism . . . clinging to terrorism and, if need be, the use of Islamo-Jihadi terrorist groups to that end. After 2000, though, it found that it couldn't control either Hamas or Islamic Jihad --- both Sunni Islamo-Fascist groups, influenced by Muslim Brotherhood ideology--- or for that matter maintain popularity with the masses as the two mass-murdering jihadi Fascist groups resorted to several hundred suicide terrorist attempts. With Hamas' recent election, there seem to be only three alternatives open to the Palestinian rivals: the fundamentalist terrorist groups --- now augmented by al Qaeda's presence in Gaza and the West Bank --- either fall into civil war with Fatah and other secular Palestinians, or instead gradually, but without major violence, move in the direction of Islamo-Fascist totalitarian rule in stealthy limited steps, or opt if it wins the civil war with Fatah and the other secular groups for immediate totalitarian control over all the social, cultural, religious, and private lives of the Palestinian people.
In Pape-land, none of these totalitarian tendencies exist. How could they? The Kaboomers are only "altruistic", "community'minded" nationalists fighting oppression. Only a few extremist Salafis --- clearly a minority in Pape's whitewashed presentation --- would even remotely embrace them.
So how come Hamas's new leader upon acceding to power in the Palestinian Authority says the following?
Chanting "God is Greatest" after the 71-to-36 vote, Hamas lawmakers hugged and kissed Ismail Haniyeh, their teary-eyed prime minister-designate who vowed to not to abandon the fight against Israel.
"The Koran is our constitution, Jihad is our way, and death for the sake of God is our highest aspiration," Hamas lawmaker Hamed Bitawi said.
'Tuesday's comments stood in contrast to a more conciliatory speech by Haniyeh on Monday in which he stressed the new government's push for peace and dialogue'. (Reuters' Dispatch, March 28, 2005)
(iii.) Enter another big difference. Both Islamo-Fascisms, it goes without saying again, have built-in thrusts towards outward expansion and conquest.
But whereas Baathist Syria and Baathist Iraq --- which were power-rivals, near to war at times --- have sought regional dominance, Islamo-Fascist fundamentalism in the era of al Qaeda led by the megalomanical bin Laden,
who believes he has been directed by Allah to become Islam's new global savior, has far more fervent, full-blown universal pretensions.
Consider these pretensions more carefully. Today's jihadist Fascists are convinced, in a wild-eyed crazy way, that while they create and institutionalize a new caliphate world-wide amid ever purified Islamic countries, they will be simulaneously able --- thanks to controlling most of the world's oil resources and obtaining weapons of mass destruction, not to forget the use of jihadist self-sacrifice --- to renew the earlier conquests by Islam of all infidel lands, and this time, unlike in the past, succeed everywhere. Yes, on a global level. All fundamentalist Islam takes seriously the division of the world into the spheres of Islam and of kafir infidels, with Muslims everywhere obligated, theocratically and morally, to wage war against them until they are all converted to Islam, killed off, or submit as dhimmi inferiors to Muslim rule and superiority.
This outlook, to repeat, is built into the very fabric of Islamic credos and traditions, and is not an aberration even if the secular quasi-totalitarian regimes --- never mind the more straightforward kleptocratic autocrats in the rest of the Muslim world --- no longer practice it. On the strict duty of Muslims in Islamic traditions to wage war against infidels and kill or force them into subservience until Islam dominates the world, click here for the Ayatollah Khomeini's raging take
on this . . . Khomeini the most important influence in Shi-ite theology in the last century, and the man who led the Iranian revolution and became the Supreme Leader a la Hitler (above all laws and constitutional restraint) in the new regime.
In case you think this is a strictly Shi-ite version, click here for bin Laden's take on jihadist duties
to kill Americans, their allies, and others . . . plus an analysis of the arch-terrorist's rattle-bin megalomania.
Enter The 4th Difference: Megalomaniacal Pathologies
(iv.) To this list of differences between the two kinds of Islamo-Fascisms, we need to add some comments about the contrasts between their major leaders. The biggest contrast here is the degree of realism about what these leaders think they can achieve in the near future with their use of terrorism and their grasp on the limits of their power.
Take Saddam Hussein. He was clearly a pathological megalomaniac who likened himself to the new Mohammed, but his foreign policy ambitions were informed much more by a cunning sense of realities. His major ambitions were to become the dominant regional power in the Persian Gulf area and destroy or at least defeat Shiite Iran in war: the latter goal achieved by the late 1980s, the former --- he hoped --- by his invasion of Kuwait and formal annexation. What he would have done if he had gotten away with it, forcing Saudi Arabia and the other oil-producing countries in the area to submit to his dominance, isn't clear.
By contrast, in the bin Laden era of al Qaeda's global network, affiliates, and imitators, Islamo-Fascist Fundamentalism is led by a megalomanic whose ambitions are charged with crackling fervor and manic universal pretensions. He and his ardent follows believe that they will soon succeed --- by use of jihadist terror --- to destroy the apostate Muslim governments, seize control of the Muslim populations around the world, establish a global caliphate, and use it and the lavish oil resources, money-bag finance that flow from them, and the acquisition of WMD to wage global jihad against the infidels. This way, in short order --- no more than a decade or two into the future --- he and his jihadist followers, affiliates, and supporters will end Islam's decline and decadence, revitalize its purity, and succeed in restoring all the glories, expansion of power, and spread of Islam that the great Muslim empires of the Arabs, Ottomans, Tatars, and Moguls of the past.
Parallels with Hitler and Mussolini
These differences between two half-crazed megalomaniacs parallels those that separated Hitler from Mussolini in power.
Grasp on Rule and on Power-Realities
Mussolini never had the wild-eyed grandiose ambitions to conquer all of Europe, and from there, the rest of the world, that Hitler did. As the Nazi slogans put it, Heute Deutschland, Morgen die Welt!
. . . Today Germany, Tomorrow the World. Hitler took these ambitions seriously, convinced that once Germany conquered the Soviet Union, it would use the territory and its resources for German development and German immigration . . . with the Slavic populations killed off or enslaved. From that base, given long-standing German views about power, geography, and resources that long preceded Nazism, Germany would be able to expand globally in a variety of ways and dominate the entire world.
Mussolini, full of histrionics and bluff, had a keener sense of what Italian Fascism could accomplish even as an ally of Nazi Germany in World War II. Despite the German-Italian alliance, he didn't invade France along the Riviera and Alpine areas until a few days before its final defeat, needed later German aid to save the Italians from being routed in Yugoslavia after their invasion of it, and later was saved from total capitulation in North Africa fighting the British only because of Rommel's huge and efficient German army. No less important, Mussolini and his Fascists never achieved total totalitarian control over Italy, and they were in fact deposed and Mussolini arrested by the Italian government (aided by the monarchy and Church) in 1943 as American and British forces moved directly onto Rome. Mussolini was then rescued by a Nazi-elite unit, which moved him behind German lines to North Italy. There he established a rump Fascist government, only to try escaping into Switzerland as Nazi forces surrendered nearly everywhere in Europe; captured by anti-Fascist partisans, he was shot, and his body taken to Milan, hung upside down, and spat on by the Italians who formerly admired him.
Note, once more, that these differences are also reflected on both the foreign policy and domestic systems created by secular Islamo-Fascist regimes and the more full-fledged totalitarianism and jihadist use of terrorism that Islamo-Fascist Fundamentalists institute.
Some Reading Tips Here
* On the crazed grandiose ambitions and goals of Islamo-Fascist Jihadi-Fundamentlism, see this excellent survey by a scholar who has spent decades studying Islamist jihadist fervor, aims, and violence --- unlike Pape, whose knowledge of the subject seems limited to a half dozen articles and essays, one of which actually endorses global jihad and mass-murder, another written by a post-modernist follower of Michel Foucault, and the other two or three pieces by lightweight apologists. For a good if brief analysis of a 13 page letter sent by al Qaeda's number two man and chief ideologue, Ayman al-Zawahiri, to the head of al Qaeda in Iraq --- the Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarkawi (whom Pape apparently thinks is Iraqi, listing the kaboomers in that country as all Iraqi "rebels" whose religion is "unkown"!) --- click here. The letter was intercepted by US military intelligence and made public in translation. This statement by Marc Sageman, a former CIA analyst who spent years working with jihadists in Afghanistan and elsewhere --- and who later intensively interviewed over 170 of them in captivity --- is also highly illuminating. You might also find Sageman's 2003 book, Understanding Terror Networks, an indispensable source.
* And be sure not to neglect the writings either of Dr. Andrew Bostom or Robert Spencer --- the latter facing so many death threats from Islamist fundamentalist terrorists that he has to conceal his location and address: click here for Bostom's review of Spencer's key book and some earlier writings by other observers of Islamic jihadi fundamentalism and how it taps core credos and traditions in all forms of Islam. Spencer clarifies what Sharia means at bottom, denying that there are moderate and extreme versions -- only some applications of a moderate sort in certain Muslim societies out of political exigency --- in this article. If you have time, study the following annalysis too, very knowledgeable and conceptual --- also, full of good links at the end to further informative sources on Islamic jihadi fundamentalism and its relation to all forms of Islam. One other good source, and that's enough: click here.
* By contrast, Pape's ludicrous views on these and almost every point about Islam's near-monopoly of suicide terrorism, the nature of Islamic fundamentalism, the use of fabricated data-sets to sustain his whitewashed views, and so on are so fantasy-laden that, in reading them, you wonder whether anything in Dying to Win can be trusted . . . including the use of "and", "a", and "the." (Buggy apologies to a great female intellectual and novelist of the previous generation, Mary McCarthy who described the fellow-traveling apologist of Gulag Communism, Lillian Hellman, as someone whose writings are "all lies, even words like "and" and "the" in them.
Not only does Pape have no first-hand knowledge of jihadists as Sageman and Jerrold Post and others do whom prof bug has repeatedly cited in this series on his bleach-job book, his use of second-hand sources is, to repeat, extravagantly skimpy and lopsided in its apologia, one of which even manages in to endorse jihadi mass-murdering terrorism. It leaves you wondering whether he ever read the sources at all and instead relied on summaries given him by his 16 research assistants. Or maybe --- who knows when you're dealing with a con-artist whitewasher? --- he just thought nobody would check his sources.
How Many Muslims Support Jihadist Fundamentalist Warfare and Terror Against Infidels?
Pape, the self-promoting Simple-Simon of logistic regression --- who pops up on TV around the world to claim that his logit modeling of his Mad-Hatter data-set of 58 self-created, self-coded, crudely categorized cases of a totally wrong focus shows that 95% of future suicide terrorism will conform to his thoroughly misinterpreted 2x2 classification table's frequency distribution --- also claims some great predictive insight in his last chapter: specifically, how the War on Terror pursued by the Bush administration not only has increasingly won ever more adherents in the Muslim world to bin Laden and his terrorist ilk, but will continue to do so as long as we go on using military force to attack Islamo-Fascist regimes and Islamo-Fascist jihadist groups abroad.
About two months after his snow-job book hit the bookstands, his latter prediction collapsed into fatuity.
Specifically, most Muslims around the world were shown in survey data to be increasingly fearful of the jihadist fundamentalist terrorists and for that matter of extremist fundamentalism itself. At the start of last summer (2005), to be exact, the Pew Global Attitudes Survey
found that they were more fearful in several countries than were Americans or Europeans, and to repeat, Pape's Dying to Win
--- full of fantasies and a chronic, repetitive misuse of data-tables and Simple-Simon statistics of a sophomoric sort --- predicts the exact opposite trend.
No matter. The wayward whitewasher will no doubt continue to appear on TV, emerging since last spring as something of a low-grade celebrity --- strictly Second Banana performances his specialty as he chest-pounds fatuously in those interviews that his D- use of logistic regression, run on a flagrantly castle-chasing data-set, ensures that 95% of future suicide terrorism will conform to his brummagem nationalist theory of it.
He never notices, apparently, that his predictions have already run aground and have been sinking into the deep black depths of some slimy netherworld since their publication last spring. Nor does he seem aware that all the key data-sets in his book are make-believe stuff --- or, alternatively, he is aware and has tried to conceal their fantasy-filled nature from probing eyes. And it's a fair bet that when his Alice-in-Wonderland book comes out in paperback this spring, it will repeat unchanged all the hokum, cooked-up data-sets, boneheaded statistical tests, erroneous theory, howlers in simple 2nd-grade level math, and Alternative-Universe predictions.
So What Might Be the Actual Number of Jihadist-Supporting Muslims World-Wide?
The truthful answer: nobody really knows for sure.
That's because only diligent, careful survey data would give us at least some solid notion of the size, even if only approximate. We do know that Jew-hatred is an obsessive set of attitudes in the world's Muslim population, along with crackpot conspiratorial views of Jewish dominance of the US, of 9/11 being caused by Jews or the CIA under the control of Jews, and of Jewish control of not only globalizing forces that menace Islam's stability and religious orthodoxy as a set of unshakable credos and values.
The evidence here is legion.
- Thus a Gallup Poll of 10 Arab countries carried out in early 2002, several months after 9/11, found that 60% denied Muslims were at all involved in the terrorist massacres. (Who knows: maybe some of those surveyed in the Gallup Poll were among Pape's 16 research assistants and 20 scholarly readers of his apologia-tract.)
" up against a people who think. They survived 2,000 years of pogroms not by hitting back but by thinking. They invented socialism, communism, human rights and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong so that they can enjoy equal rights with others.
- At the annual Summit of Islamic Countries in 2003's late Fall --- 57 in all --- the retiring head of Malaysia's government, the semi-dictatorial demagogue, Mahathir Mohamad (whom Paul Krugman defended immediately afterwards as an unusually responsible Muslim leader) asserted, to one and all with great applause amid a standing tribute to his "candid" remarks, that Jews rule the world. Yes, all the despotic heads of states (save for secular Turkey) rose to their feet at the end of his Nazi-like conspiratorial explanation of why Islamic countries are so backward in economic development, technology, science, knowledge, and military power: "We are . . .
Mahathir then went on to say
"I will not enumerate the instances of our humiliation," Mr. Mahathir said. "We are all Muslims. We are all oppressed. We are all being humiliated. . . . Today we, the whole Muslim [community], are treated with contempt and dishonor. . . . There is a feeling of hopelessness among the Muslim countries and their people. They feel that they can do nothing right." He added: "Our only reaction is to become more and more angry. Angry people cannot think properly."
- Then, too --- despite the growing fear of al Qaeda extremists and radical fundamentalists in general --- the Palestinian people recently voted Hamas into power. Yes, no doubt in large part out of disgust with the corruption and highhanded dictatorial rule of the Palestinian Authority controlled by Fatah and until recently the arch demagogic-thief of them all, Yasir Arafat . . . reckoned in the best study by an investigative journalist to have amassed a personal family fortune of several billion dollars, pilfered from the foreign aid given by Europeans, Americans, and some rich oil-state dictators. No doubt the wretched economy under the Fatah-gangster cliques --- once one of the best in the Arab world, second only to Tunisia among non oil-producing states in per capita income during its integration with the Israeli economy between 1967 and 1996, with the highest levels of literacy, longevity, and university graduates --- also convinced many Palestinians to vote Hamas and its formal commitment not just to extinguishing the Israeli state, but explicitly to Jew-hating paranoia in its charter.
- As for the Muslim Brotherhood's recent electoral breakthroughs in Egypt, similar repulsion against the gangster dictator in power there since 1981 and disgust with rampant corruption, nepotism, and patron-client control of all organizations save certain religious ones might have been a big influence . . . along with the tactical decision by this radical Islamist movement, strongly influenced in its origins as we'll see in a moment by Italian Fascism and Nazism, to play down its jihadist terrorist urges as well as its ultimate high-pounding totalitarian urges to control and purify all social, cultural, intellectual, economic, political, and religious life within the Arab and probably Muslim world in the name of an illusionary pure-Islam and its global glories, power, and expanding dominance everywhere.
- Even in West Europe, where alienated Islamic minorities live in free democratic countries for the first time in their lives, 40% of British Muslims want the Sharia to be adopted as the law of the land, and 20-25% explicitly state in a recent poll that they think the suicide terrorist attacks last summer on London's transport systems were fully justified.
- There was the head-spinning, half delirious spectacle recently of raging Muslim mobs --- millions of them mobilized for frenzied, violent jihadist protests --- to protest some silly cartoons published in a country of 4 million, whose language is hardly spoken or read by anyone else. In the process, churches were burned, non-Muslims killed and injured, and other rampaging assaults in dozens of countries.
- There was the no less delirious spectacle in Nigeria in 2002 when similarly frenzied Muslim mobs assaulted and killed hundreds of Christian Nigerians and burned dozens of churches, all in order to protest the country's hosting the Miss World Contest.
Meanwhile, as these murderous, jihadist-inspired terrorist attacks have unfolded, in both Sudan and more recently Chad genocide is being carried out by Islamo-Fascist Fundamentalists --- with the encouragement of the totalitarian fundamentalist regime in Sudan --- against black Africans, killing well over a million in Sudan and hundreds of thousands in Chad, while enslaving the survivors. Not to worry. While the fickle, frenzied mobs of Muslims world-wide continue to go on the beserking war-path --- to protest cartoons and Miss World contests --- no Muslim group of importance anywhere in the world has protested these genocidal campaigns carried out in the name of purified Islam, just as no Muslim dictator has spoken out against them energetically either.
- More seriously, a good monitoring web site has catalogues well over 4500 fatal terrorist attacks by both organized and unorganized Muslim jihadists, killing and injuring tens of thousands of non-Muslims, since 9/11's massacres:
Lots of Muslims around the world --- seized with paranoid-infested conspiratorial fantasies that their swarming economic, political, and social problems are due to a Jew-led cabal --- can be mobilized to go murderously bananas by the millions on a simple-minded pretext, while remaining utterly indifferent to real genocide carried out in the name of their religion.
And finally --- though in too limited a survey --- the following three Muslim countries in the Arab world were recently probed by pollsters to see how the populations thought Islamic law, Sharia, should be at the base of all legislation. For the source, click here
So, As a Rough Guess, Let's Say That . . .
about 30-40% of Muslims world-wide still side with and even admire bin Ladenism and his jihadist mass-murdering campaigns of terror to regenerate and revive Islam's power, influence, and prestige . . . reflected in the conspiratorial ramblings of demented sort by Mahathir at the Islamic Summit Conference in 2003.
Their minds searing with extra-potent frustrations, rage, and paranoid projections, these Muslims --- hundreds of millions in number --- sense with rippling fury just how backward economically, technologically, scientifically, militarily, and diplomatically Islamic countries and the Islamic populations are, and jarringly resent their condition to the hilt. And understandably so.
But note: instead of seeking honestly to probe the causes of this decline and backwardness --- something, it seems, no Muslim society has ever done or may ever be capable of in the near future --- they respond to the demagogic symbols and sloganeering of a conspiracy-mongerer like Mahathir or a bin Laden or Shi-ite Mullahs in Iran or jihadists world-wide --- the chief slogans reducing, in the end, to a Islam "under attack" by a cabal of its brainy and malevolently sinister enemies, with its countries and peoples allegedly treated with "contempt", "dishonor", and "humiliation". For that matter, it isn't hard for the demagogues to mobilize millions of manic, destructive mobs in the Muslim world full of rage on almost any pretext, however silly or trivial --- just the opposite.
Simply this: we are faced here with a widely shared mental-state of half-crazed hatred, paranoia, and conspiracy-mongering on a breath-taking scale.
It is world-wide in scope. It infects the thinking and emotional state of hundreds of millions of people. And all right-thinking Muslims know who the arch evildoing culprits are fully responsible for "dissing" Islam and causing its economic and technological backwardness, poverty, lack of secular knowledge, illiteracy, astonishingly poor educational systems, pervasive corruption, and the near-monopoly of political power wielded by gangster dictatorial regimes in nearly all Muslim countries. And who are these evil-doers? Obviously, not Muslims themselves. That goes without saying in their societies. Is this surprising? Little if anything exists in Islamic history for 1400 years to encourage a self-critical outlook. No, it's all the result of outsider malefactors of near-omnipotent power --- and especially Jews, roughly 1% of the total Muslims world-wide.
In short, almost everywhere in Muslim countries and even among Muslim minorities in Europe, crackpot conspiratorial outlooks prevail, shot through with Jew-hatred of a crackling Nazi sort . . .a poisonous, emotionally charged state-of-mind, with nothing too absurd, too racist, too stupid, and too hate-ridden to be published, dramatized, filmed, or screamed at in imams' sermons galore and on daily TV and radio.
This aberrant, collectively shared mental pathology --- a sort of reflexive group-think conditioned by a thousand years and more of secret autocratic rule and illiteracy --- has been aggravated more recently since WWII by ubiquitously poor, if any, secular education; and by dictatorial control in recent times of all the mass media and intellectual life; and not least, by the constant exploitation of the Muslim masses' ignorance, credulity, and festering frustrations by bigoted, narrow-minded Islamic clerics, publicists, and intellectuals. Then, too --- to compound and aggravate the sense of humiliation and resentment --- there're the repeated defeat of Arab states in several wars with tiny Israel, a country of 5 million Jews . . . traditionally, in Islam, considered a dhimmi subject-people who should know their place, pay annual indemnities to Muslim dictators', avoid ever trying to take a Muslim to court, step off the pavement when a Muslim approaches, and be grateful they haven't been slaughtered.
Of course, there's a push-pull set of influences at work here.
If most of the Muslim masses weren't psychically dislocated in these ways --- full of resentments, frustration, and bruising urges for revenge --- this conspiratorial Jew-hating demagogy would find far fewer recipients; but they are psychically conditioned this way and are eager to make sense of a complex, turbulent world that, in their view, has humiliated them and their religion for centuries and is responsible for all their countries' current teeming ills. The race-pandering demagogic agitators and the credulous, raging Muslim masses find common ground in lunatic conspiratorial views of a Jewish global cabal aimed at them. And so blame-shifting, scapegoating, wild conspiratorial lunacies --- the more lunatic, the more fatuously believed --- appear to churn away in their mental world, along with repeated jolts of kinetically overwrought urges for revenge.
It's the only way for most of them, apparently, to understand a world that has gone totally contrary to what their religion, their dictatorial leaders, and their demagogic imams and scholars and publicists have prepared them to expect: Islam itself born in the mid-7th century as a rapidly expanding military empire, whose glories, power, and territorial control are synonymous with Islam's verities and prospects for future global embrace and rule.
The Quest for Avenging Islamic Saviors Follows Directly
Given this unhinged, widely shared mental state, a form of pathological herd-think, small wonder that hundreds of millions of Muslims --- 30% or 40% of the total 1.2 billion a conservative estimate --- long to identify with Islam's self-avowed strongmen avengers and strike back with violence and jihadist terror against the alleged perpetrators of Islam's problems and backwardness: Jews, Jew-controlled America, Jew-manipulated globalizing forces, Islam's own home-grown dictators, Hindu India, arrogant Europeans, imperial Russians, and what have you.
As you can see, the list of Islam's cunning black-hearted enemies is long. It could expand and multiply in practically every direction and embrace McDonald's and CNN and American films and Christian converts and Western multinationals and anything in globalizing forces the average Muslim fears as disruptive and challenging to their religious convictions and hopes for Islam's revivalist glory-days. Still, in this demented outlook, these other states and other non-state actors are second-tier manipulators, the manipulated puppets controlled by the master power-wielding Jews behind the scenes . . . especially since Jews loom as the master-puppeteers of American life and foreign policy. Witness the diatribe of even a supposedly respectable Muslim statesman like Mahathir Mohamed, not reticent about identifying the core malefactors . . . Islam's cunning Jewish enemies, who have created socialism, liberalism, notions of human rights, capitalism, communism, and so on as ideological covers for the 15 million Jews to control and manipulate 6.1 billion other peoples.
Until recently, Asian Muslim countries were generally resistant to such lunacies. That has now changed: witness again Mahathir's lunacies and the Asian jihadi Kaboomers energetic in Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand . . . not to forget the constant mass-murdering assaults by mobs of enraged Muslims in that latter country. Even so, the desperate search for an Islamic Savior to wreck vengeance on these core enemies and restore Islam's glories and conquests has been particularly acute in the Arab world for 50 years now, the core area of Islam's origins and troubles: the search started with Colonel Nasser, the dictator of Egypt after 1954 and a Pan-Arabist, the first great Arab stand-up champion; then Saddam Hussein and Iraqi defiance of the UN; and now bin Laden and the other jihadi Kaboomers world-wide . . . the Saladins of the 21st century.
FASCISM'S EUROPEAN ORIGINS AND NATURE
The Birth of Fascism
Fascism is a term that was born with Mussolini's movement after WWI, which gained control of Italy in 1922 --- inspired in no large part by Leninist Bolshevism (Mussolini and all the other leading Fascist leaders were one-time socialists), only substituting nationalist struggles against the "Have-Powers" (Britain, France, the US) for class struggles against the Capitalists. In turn, Italian Fascism inspired Hitler and a host of tinpot imitators throughout almost all of West and East Europe up to the Soviet Union's borders in the next two decades. There were even Fascist or Nazi movements in Britain, several in France, and in Holland and some of Scandinavia; and they gained control in variations of core-Fascism of the Mussolini sort in Spain, Portugal, and almost all of East Europe by 1941.
The Widespread Influence of Italian Fascism
Fascism, in its Italian origins, had several crux doctrines and tenets that evoked a big resonance elsewhere in the world during the interwar period and later . . . right down to the extremist fundamentalist Islamo-Fascist movements active today. Initially, in the interwar period, the influence was largely but not entirely limited to Europe. Mussolini's Fascist ideology had profound echoes in the Nazi movement in Germany, to which Hitler added genocidal Jew-hatred; also in Iberian Clerical-Fascist Authoritarianism and in East-European Clerical-Fascist movements. Its influence showed up in certain Nazi-inspired puppet-states in World War II, such as the Ustashi genocidal regime in Croatia. Abroad, its most powerful influence showed up in the Chinese Nationalist movement led by Chiang Kai-Shek that dominated Chinese politics from 1922 until 1949. The movement never fully implemented outright Fascist control of China, in part because Chiang came to terms with apolitical war-lords everywhere, in part because he never was able to destroy the increasingly large Chinese Communist Party, and in part because the Japanese invasion in 1936 required Chiang to create a broad front of the various political factions and warlords in the country.
Then, too, certain Japanese militarists who came to control the Japanese government by the mid-1930s were heavily influenced by Italian Fascism and Hitlerian Germany.
Even so, the totalitarian-like system imposed on the Japanese people --- including Emperor worship (yes, almost all Japanese regarded him as Divine, and themselves the world's designated pure-race to rule everywhere) --- owed little to European Fascism, originating instead out of home-grown influences: the role of the Emperor, Japanese pretended racial homogeneity and superiority, the heroic code of Bushida (Samurai) militarism, and fanatical mass-murder in conquered Asian countries. About 30 million Chinese and other Asians perished during the long period of warfare in Asia between 1936 and 1945, with the fanatics in the military-dominated Japanese government believing right to the very end that, if need be, a hundred million Japanese would rather die in suicidal attacks against American invaders than ever see their God-like Emperor and God-bestowed land conquered by these Western degenerates.
More to the Point, Italian Fascist Doctrines and Ideology
had a powerful influence in the creation and ideological world-view. In particular, the shared world-view
- of the Baathist Parties that seized power by the gun after World War II in Syria and Iraq;
- of the Muslim Brotherhood --- the initial radical revivalist Islamist movement in the Arab world in the 20th century, which allied before and during WWII with the Nazi-collaborating Green-Shirt Fascist movement in Egypt;
- of the intellectual and religious work of Sayyid Qutb, the Muslim Brotherhood's chief ideologue and the single most influential propagandist in most contemporary Islamo-Fascist fundamentalism --- his clear Fascist tendencies thoroughly laundered out by Pape in his shallow commentary at the bottom of p. 106 in Dying to Win. The writings of Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who is the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood at present and likes to present himself to the Western world as a moderate, were examined last year by the London Times' European correspondent, Anthony Browne, and Browne had no trouble in dubbing him a Fascist at heart.
- of the mental world and explicit work on behalf of Hitler and the Nazis during World War of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, the spiritual head of the Palestinian people. He took refuge in Berlin during the war, was a friend of Hitler's, and helped organize and inspire two genocidal Muslim SS-Divisions in Bosnia. Condemned by the Nuremberg Trial for Nazi war-crimes, he was wanted by the British and Yugoslav governments, but managed to escape liberated Germany and take refuge in Cairo. There, he became the personal mentor of Yasser Arafat, the future head of the PLO, and even wrongly claimed that Arafat was a blood relative.
What, Then, Are The Core Doctrines of Original Fascism in Its Italian Version and Most
- and --- something that Pape glosses over or is totally ignorant of --- in the ideological work of Ayman al-Zawahiri, al Qaeda's number-two man and by far its most influential ideologue. A Muslim
Brotherhood follower, al-Zawahiri was an avid devotee of Sayyid Qutb and his radically Fascist-like writings.
Later Fascist Movements?
The basic, widely shared credos of all Fascisms --- including the two Islamic varieties --- are several in number.
1.A hatred of bourgeois democracy, free-market capitalism, bourgeois civilization (un-heroic, money-grubbing compromisers), and bourgeois liberalism and moderate conservatism. These modernizing forces are all destructive of genuine national community, national solidarity, and traditional collective national efforts of a heroic, self-sacrificing sort in the name of glory and power and various nation-based ideals. All Islamo-Fascists share this outlook to the rafters, substituting only Islamic solidarity and expansion for national solidarity and expansion.
Islamo-Fascists share this hatred to the hilt.
2.A hatred no less of Marxisms of all sorts, including Mussolini's own former socialism, with its stress on class-conflicts that divided the national community against one another. (All the leaders and leading intellectuals in the Italian Fascist movement were former socialists, Mussolini most prominently.) To this list, for the Islamo-Fascists of the jihad sort, add hatred and inevitable warfare with the infidels, somehow dominated by the world-wide Jewish conspiracy.
For Fascists of all stripes, Marxism's biggest threat is that it divides divide the organic natural national community into warring class-conflicts and seek to use socialist or communist appeals to seize power and impose their own narrow ideological rule. In place of a national society divided into class-warfare, Fascists of all sorts --- while drawing on anti-capitalism and the fear of atomistic capitalist dog-eat-dog imagery among the poorly educated masses --- seek to substitute a virulent nationalism and a struggle between the Have-Not countries (Italy, its allies later) against the Rich Capitalist Democracies (France, Britain, the US).
Just as Marxists argued that the working classes and the peasantry were impoverished because of capitalist domination --- especially in the monopolistic stages of capitalism (said by Lenin to have marked most of Europe by 1900 or so) --- so Fascists argued that Italy, Spain, Greece, East Europe, Austria, Germany, and Japan were poor exploited countries, keep from further wealth, power, and glory by the rich blood-sucking Have-Countries of France and the English-Speaking world.
Islamo-Fascists argue the same thing these days, with little change.
3.Glorification of the State, the Cult of Personality, the Charismatic Leader's Dominance of the Mass Fascist Party, and the Dominance of the State by the Party. Dictatorship, Secret Police Rule, and Terror Against Fascist Enemies at Home.
Islamo-Fascists of the Fundamentalist sort play down the nation-state and nationalism in favor of the global caliphate and Islam as the inevitable triumphant global religion. Still, to ensure that the "purified, original" form of ideal Islam prevails in all aspects of public and private life, a totalitarian state is needed . . . complete with a pervasive secret police and Vice-and-Sin whippers. As for the secular Islamo-Fascists, the kind of quasi-totalitarian state found in Saddamite Iraq differs in hardly any way from Mussolini's Fascism. Small wonder. The Syrian and Iraqi Baathists were all inspired by Musslini' Fascism and later Hitler's Nazism.
4.Partial State-control of the Economy. Not necessarily full nationalization and state-ownership of all property (a Marxist doctrine, implemented first and foremost in Stalinist Russia), but rather state-direction of the private economy, especially to make it powerful and better equipped for war and imperial expansion.
Islamo-Fascists buy this view totally.
5. The creation of the Corporatist State --- the national community organized as in medieval times into organic, cooperative estates (classes), all working harmoniously for national power and Fascist views of social justice --- to replace disgusting, timid bourgeois Parliamentary democracy, querulous political parties, and divisive interest groups. Notions of class-conflict and class-warfare were, to repeat, denounced as Marxist propaganda, and the corporatist control or direction of the entire national community would --- along with militarized nationalism --- restore national solidarity and a sense of a shared destiny of glory, power, and influence.
Islamo-Fascists of all stripes share this vision totally.
Needless to add, independent labor unions were also abolished and corporatized, and though Fascism --- including Hitler's National Sociality Party --- invoked a powerful litany of anti-capitalism and created something of a welfare-state (especially in Nazi Germany), basic industry remained largely in private hands and was used for statist purposes . . . especially war-preparation and war-making.
6. Fascists all celebrated the cult of Heroic He-man Militarism, and Imperial Expansion and Glory, with struggle and war seen as the true test of the Survival-of-the Fittest (a militarized Social-Darwinism).
In the Baathist Parties, in the writings of Muslim Brotherhood pioneers, and in the rants of Sayyid Qutb, al-Zawahiri, bin Laden, and other Fascists in the Islamic world, the use of terrorism --- which could draw on more than 1300 years of martyrdom and jihad warfare --- would replace outright militarism, given the weakness of the Arab and other Muslim countries. Imperil Expansion and Glory would be transformed into the restoration of the universal Caliphate and constant warfare and terror directed at infidels, colonial oppressors, and later Jews and Jew-dominated globalization and Jew-dominated America.
7. Mass Propaganda, Mass Rallies, Mass Demonstrations were constantly held by Fascist governments . . . the charismatic leader directly communing with the nationalistic masses (In the Hitlerian version, Ein Volk, Ein Staat, Ein Fuerher
: "One People, One State, One Leader." Mussolini, a former journalist --- and like almost all the original founders and intellectuals in Italian Fascism, a former Marxist --- understood propaganda and ideological symbolism better than almost anyone in Europe at the time, except for Lenin, Trotsky, and the Bolsheviks who had seized power in Russia in 1917 and who had a big influence on Mussolini's own view of the forceful impact of constant propaganda, the monopoly of all the media by his movement once he was in power, and non-stop indoctrination, rallies, and mass mobilization.
All you have to do is look at Taliban Afghanistan or Shiite Iran or Fascist-Baathist Iraq to see the parallels: bin Laden the Mussolini or Hitler of his day, Mullah Omar for the Afghan Talibans, and the cult of personality rife in Syria and Saddamite Iraq,
8. Atomistic Individualism --- the latter seen as capitalist and liberal-democratic creation, resulting in crass bourgeois materialism and consumerism, not to mention a splintered national community and class-warfare --- was denounced as a typical bourgeois phenomenon that had to be totally expunged. All individuals were to be organized into natural corporatist groups --- organized along specific economic and local community lines (farmers, craftsmen, factory workers, state administrators, the professions, intellectuals, local and regional units subordinate to the central state, and so on --- and in this way an organic and harmonious national community, under statist and Fascist-party direction, would replace the destructive atomizing tendencies and economic and class-based conflicts that marked national life in the past.
To atomistic individualism and capitalism, Islamo-Fascists add the destructive influences of Westernizing and especially American globalizing influences.
9) At bottom, to continue this last line of analysis, all European Fascism (and its Japanese counterparts) --- like Islamo-Fascisms today --- are preoccupied with decline and decadence that, it's said, aren't the fault of the peoples involved, rather the fault of modernizing and globalizing forces that have undermined imagined glories and harmony in the past, along with the militaristic and heroic traditions of ancient Rome, the Germanic tribes, Conquistador Spain, the great Austro-Hungarian rule over inferior Slavs, and Japan's glorious independence and destiny under the God-Emperor to rule all of the inferior Asians. Each of these past glories depended on conquest and military superiority, backed by national enthusiasm.
Islamo-Fascism of the Fundamentalist sort --- invariably a Pan-Muslim movement, centered on the Arab peoples but hardly limited to them --- make certain substantive changes here to suit their global ambitions.
They substitute the glories of conquering Islamic empires of the past for national glories and conquest in European and Japanese Fascisms; exchange the world of infidels for Have-Nations; and see Muslims as having a theocratic and moral obligation to war with the infidels until Islam itself either conquers them all, subjugates the resistors, or kills them off. In Islamo-Fascist Fundamentalism these days, the preliminary stage to that end is to gain control of the Arab and Muslim governments, at any rate after driving out American forces and power from the Middle East and elsewhere. When that happens, full-fledged theocratic control over all political, economic, cultural, social, religious, and individual life will cleanse them of kafir (impure infidel) modernizing influences, just as Nazism set out to cleanse Germany of non-Aryan influences and behavior. In short order, the liberated and purified Muslim peoples will be organized under a new global-reaching caliphate . . . followed immediately by total warfare with the nefarious Jew-dominated America, globalizing forces, and their infidel allies everywhere, a struggle to the death that, of course, Islamo-Fascists jihadis expect to win, blessed as they are by Allah and his commands.
Hitler and Nazism: How They Differed from Other Fascists
Hitler's Nazism adopted all these Fascist principles, adding to it an extreme Social-Darwinian racism (Aryans, sub-humans, enslavement or extermination of the sub-humans) as an ideological twist with appeal to the Germans and others. This kind of ideological racism was generally foreign to most of Italian Fascism, though eventually in WWII, under intense German pressure – especially once the Anglo-Americans invaded southern Italy and liberated Rome and Mussolini was reduced to a German-client in the North until he was captured and killed by Partisan forces --- the Fascists began delivering Italian Jews to the Germans who, in turn, moved them to the death camps in East Europe.
Jews, however, were the perfect scapegoat for all Fascist movements, as they are today for the febrile minds of enraged jihadists and their tens or even hundreds of millions of disoriented Muslims around the world . . . unable to make sense of their countries' backwardness, poverty, conflicts, and lack of power and prestige, to say nothing of Islam's overall prestige, power, and glory world-wide. In this connection, about the only other addition of Nazism to European Fascism was that Hitler ruled a far more powerful, far more disciplined, and hence far more destructive and dangerous state, whose 70 million people --- once Austria was annexed by Germany in 1937 --- had a long tendency to blame Jews for their national troubles, including the country's defeat in WWI, the large Communist movement that emerged after 1918, the inability of the Weimar Republic to deal effectively with major social and economic dislocations, and Germany's noticeable weakness and alleged decadence until Hitler and the Nazis took power in early 1933.
They were brought there without having won an outright majority in any parliamentary election, though they did get over 40% in the last one held in the fall of 1932. Those who sponsored their entrance into power were the traditional military, administrative, and business and industrial elites, convinced that they could control Hitler and his mass-movement of millions of supporters and millions of street-fighters --- the S.A. Brown-shirted Storm Troopers --- and use him and them for their own purpose of ending the Weimar Republic's stalemate, revitalizing the German economy, and above all restoring social order by any means necessary. In the process, of course, the traditional conservative classes and elites found themselves outmaneuvered and dominated by Hitler's Nazi movement, which soon took total power in the country. Their compensation, though, was the revitalized promise that Germany could and would then launch a new war to conquer all of Europe, destroy Bolshevism, and in the process create German greatness, rule, and global power on a racist and not just nationalist basis.
By contrast, though Hitlerian Germany had no trouble finding large numbers of accomplices in East Europe for its genocidal destruction of Jews in captured territories --- just as it had no trouble finding collaborating governments in France, Holland, Belgium, and Norway --- neither Franco's Spain nor Salazar's Portugal, two Fascist-like dictatorships that never fully went whole hog, refused as neutrals in the war to turn over their small Jewish populations to the Nazis despite repeated demands from Berlin to that effect. The same was true of Bulgaria and Finland, two countries that were allied with Nazi Germany, and ditto for tiny Denmark, an occupied country.
Clerical Fascism in the Interwar Period
The Term Defined
Clerical-Fascism is the term that was coined to make sense of the close alliance in the rule of Franco in Spain, Salazar in Portugal, and their imitators in East Europe with either the Catholic or Orthodox churches (overwhelmingly the former). It would also apply to certain military-ruled governments in Latin America in the mid-20th century. And generally, at least in the Iberian countries, which remained neutral in WWII, the regimes approached a more reactionary form of statism, modified militarism, and less ideological form of rule --- despite the glorification of nationalism, hierarchy, and traditional Catholicism --- than the sort of full-fledged Fascism of the Italian sort, let alone Nazi Germany.
In Spain, Fascists operated on the edges of the Franco coalition --- known as the Falange Espanola Tradicionalista and merging with Franco's Carlist militia in 1937 during the civil war that overthrew the Republic. Though it was recognized as the official party of the Franco Nationalist Regime, it never had the influence that Fascist ideology and the party hierarchy had in Mussolini's Italy; and after WWII, as the Francoist regime was transformed into something like a rightwing developmental state (similar to South Korea and Taiwan during their military corporatist days from 1950 until the late 1980s), its already weak influence virtually disappeared. When Franco himself died in 1975, the direction of the Spanish state was given over to the monarchy, and in turn it guided Spain quickly toward a democratic regime. Portugal's dictatorship was overthrown about the same time, thanks to a military coup of mid-level officers, and they for their part also transformed Portugal into a democratic regime. Both joined the EU in the mid-1980s, with Spain joining NATO soon afterwards (Portugal itself a member since NATO's founding).
Still, despite these differences in practice and to a limited extent in ideology --- especially on the two scores of Jew-Hatred and Expansionist War-like foreign policies --- Italian Fascists, Clerical Fascists, certain East-European imitators, and Nazi Germany all drew on the common core doctrines set out earlier. Only over time, did the two surviving systems after WWII --- Franco's Spain and Salazar's Portugal --- gradually shed their Fascist leanings and became modernizing dictatorial systems. Portugal's dictatorship was finally overthrown in the mid-1970s, and Franco's dictatorship collapsed when he died at the same time. . . thanks to the moderating influence of the monarchy and a failed military coup not long afterwards. Both of these countries today are democratic and full members of NATO and the EU.
A Final Question about "Classical" European Fascism
For about 30 years --- roughly the end of the 1960s and the start of the current decade ---the use of Fascism as a concept for analytical purposes ---, as opposed to the popular and vulgar use by the radical and politically correct left to stigmatize political opponents for propaganda purposes, even in the US! --- has been called into question by certain specialists in interwar European history.
Why? The more they studied specific Fascist-like countries ---Mussolini's Italy, Hitler's Germany, reactionary and clerical Spain under Franco or Portugal ruled by Salazar, and a half dozen to a dozen more Fascist-like states in East Europe both before and after WWII --- the more they found noticeable differences.
The truth is, specific historical inquiry always ends up underscoring the differences between all the individual cases they study in depth: whether countries, governmental systems, cultures, ethnic and other sub-national groups, and for that matter individuals as opposed to the use by biologists and economists and socio-biologists of a general concept of human-kind or the use of generalizing concepts by political scientists like democracy, authoritarianism, totalitarianism, Communism, liberalism, conservatism, and so on. Ultimately, it's true, not even two individuals within the same family --- not even identical twins --- are exactly the same in all respects, a banal observation that any psychotherapist could verify in 5 minutes discussion of personalities and their differences among their clients despite similar DSM-IV diagnoses. What's more, if you did find a "human being" who was unqualifiedly unique, he or she or it would have nothing at all in common with 6 billion other human beings, and there would be nothing that would justify our calling that individual a member of the human species.
More to the point, all humans and their societies and cultures have a great deal in common about which you can generalize, irrespective of these differences, and in contrast to other species. Generalizing observations are essential not just to science and social science work, but to make sense of the world. Fascism, for all its pejorative misuses as an emotional and propaganda tag, has a clear common core . . . more or less as we set it out earlier.
Recent Changes in Historical Work
Fortunately, three recent books have made a big change in this over-specific historical work . . . all three of which are readable, informative, and highly illuminating about all aspects of European Fascism: its shared core ideology, intellectual influences shaping it, differences between certain ideological tenets around the periphery of the core-system, the conquest of power, and the divergent practice of Fascisms once in power:
Here is an excellent scholarly review
of these three books by Michael Mann, Robert Paxton, and Richard Wolin --- a sociologist at UCLA, a historian at Columbia, and an intellectual history. All three books, by the way, are compulsively readable. If you find the Wolin book stimulating, you might then look at an older study of how Fascism attracted lots of prominent intellectuals and artists in the interwar period by a British specialist, THE APPEAL OF FASCISM
Post-WWII Developmentalism and Fascist Adaptations in Economically Backward Societies in the "Third World"
Many of the statist-socialisms and statist-tyrannies in the developing countries, especially in the first two or three decades after colonial revolutions, have been clear links to Mussolini's Fascist solutions to Italian backwardness, internal class and ethnic conflicts, and weak power internationally..
Essentially, Fascism is a movement of elitism --- with an appeal to purified nationalism or purified traditional religion or some other anti-liberal, anti-western doctrine of social identity (Pan-Africanism, Pan-Arabism, revivalist and radical Islam) --- that appeals to the frustrations and resentments and, oppositely, hopes for redemption of "humiliated peoples" . . . blaming national backwardness or former colonial status on foreign enemies (even in the post-colonial period) and justifying a large statist authoritarianism and statist control or direction of the economy, along with dictatorship, the cult of personality, and secret police rule. The ideologies invoked are usually incoherent or fantasized mumbo-jumbo of some ideal past when "true Islam" or "true African man" or true "Arab man" lived harmoniously, according to some ideal nationalist or religious or Pan-People code of behavior, uncorrupted by western capitalism and liberalism and "sham" democracy.
This is a fascinating topic, which was illuminated in a series of books by James Gregor of UC Berkeley, a political scientist who did pioneer work in these matters. Click here for the Amazon listing of his latest book (published in 2000) and customer reviews as well as links to his other works. The underlying thrust to his and related works: in Latin cultures, Muslim cultures, and most cultures in Tropical Africa, the masses of people fear free-market capitalism and its constant and inevitable dislocating changes in their social order, regard personal and social success in life as largely dependent on family-connections and entrance into dominant patron-client networks --- the latter in Muslim countries monopolizing all key institutions in the public and private realms --- take corruption, bribery, and nepotism for granted, and look therefore to some sort of worldly salvation by some group seizing control of the state and bureaucratic apparatus in their name and interests and claiming to use the new power on behalf of national revival, wealth, and prestige . . . the hallmark of what has become known as the developmental state.
That does happen --- always in Arab countries by means of the gun, coups, or assassination, and in Latin America more recently by means of electoral outcomes --- but invariably the winning group soon enmeshes itself in new corruption and slightly altered networks of patronage and clientelism, and very little changes in the actual way the countries' economy and political systems operate. In the process, note, all the failures of change that maintain backwardness, poverty, huge differences in the distribution of wealth, power, and influence, and continued mistrust and conflict across ethnic, racial, and class-lines are blamed --- as in European Fascisms of the interwar period --- on outsiders: global capitalism, the United States, Jews, what have you. For two or three decades, Latin American intellectuals invoked "dependency theory" as the explanation . . . itself disappearing as a silly and shallow theory in the 1980s; not that blaming outsiders still doesn't go on.
Note, by contrast, that in Pacific Asia --- aside from the Muslim countries of Malaysia and Indonesia --- this blaming others hardly took root. From China, Taiwan, South Korea, and earlier Japan in the North to Southeast Asia these days, all Asian countries have focused on reorganizing, revitalizing, and encouraging various forms of capitalism that largely work . . . in the course of which, exactly contrary to Latin American dependency theory and Muslim and Arab views of Jewish-conspiratorial dominance of their economies, their peoples have upgraded their skills, knowledge, technology, and democratic rule, China still the big exception.
BACK TO ISLAMO-FASCISM AND ITS ISLAMIC AND FASCIST ROOTS
Recall the Rough Estimate of 30 - 40% Hard-Core Muslim Jihadi-Sympathizers World-Wide
Note Quickly That . . .
if anything, it's probably a conservative one. How so?
Well, to one extent or another, most Muslims seem to share at least some of this jihadi-inspired mind-set and conspiratorial outlook on the world . . . even as, pace
the Pew Global Attitudes Survey published last summer, the growing terrorist attacks on their own countries' soil have been alarming more and more of them. The same survey showed how hated Jews were all over the world of Muslim countries, Islam's chief evil malefactors --- about 1% in population of the 1.3 billion Muslims --- who are, as all good Muslims know, vicious "pigs and monkeys", as one published source
among hundreds has shown. Specifically:
' "Allah described them [Jews] in His Book, characterized by conceit, pride, arrogance, rampage, disloyalty and treachery... deceit and cunning... for which Allah transformed them to monkeys and pigs."
They are guilty of "trickery, plotting and treachery, and ideological terrorism..."
and are the "cursed enemies of Allah; curse upon curse up to Judgment Day."
' Jews' behavior, the Islamists teach, has always been evil:
"They coveted, and they covet still. They killed, and they kill still. They betrayed, and betray still. They spilled blood, and they spill blood still...
They have a single common denominator: enmity of Islam and Moslems, enmity of the bearers of truth... We must know the true situation and be on our guard, for our enemy does not distinguish between the mighty and the dependent, between big and small nor between the aged and the nursing baby."
' Muslims therefore have a special role to torment the Jews:
"We shall battle them and wage Jihad against them ...
Allah loves those who battle for Him in one line...
Oh, servants of Allah, be you the ones by whom Allah tortures the Jews with harsh torment."
"The Jews' future has been determined for ultimate punishment:
"[Allah] will not resurrect them [Jews] until Judgment Day, and then they will be tortured harsh torture." '
Here we are confronted with the chief threat to Arab and other Muslim beliefs and self-esteem: how, if Allah blesses his people with glory, power, conquests, and ever greater rule --- Islam, from its origins, a conquering militarized empire --- can a tiny country of 5 million Jewish pigs and monkeys repeatedly defeat in several wars 300 million Arabs in 21 countries?
The answer: well, there really isn't any . . . only a hatefully charged state of mind that burns for revenge and destruction. (For a far more detailed source of this Jew-hatred, click here
Nothing New Here in Fascist History, Whether the Sources of Major Recruitment or Conspiratorial Anti-Semitism As An Ideological Magnet
To Grasp This, Shift Your Mind From Jew-Hatred and Scapegoating Herd-Think to This
Question: Who, in the Muslim World, Are The Core Jihadi-Recruits?
In asking this question, note that we're not talking now about the masses of Muslims world-wide --- hundreds of millions in number --- who sympathize with Islamo-Fascist Fundamentalism and its savior-resort to terror and suicidal attacks, nor are e referring to the far greater number of Jew-haters and believers in a Global Jewish Conspiracy to humiliate and undermine Muslim societies, power, wealth, knowledge, and what have you . . . the widely shared, half-demented mental state that plagues, apparently, virtually all Muslims these days except for some tiny bands of reformers and (we hope) most American Muslims. No, we're referring to the major recruits and their sources who actively man the jihadi terrorist networks, plan the attacks, and usually carry them out.
The sources of these fervent jihadi recruits are clear. That's evident from published intelligence reports around the world and published interviews with them.
In shorthand terms, the appeal of force, violence, terror, suicide terror, and Islam-on-the-march appeals above all to enraged, dislocated young men --- either lacking jobs, or being perilously employed from time to time, or being unable if university students or graduates to find anything remotely suited to their studies or their own subjective estimation and ambitions. (For an informative if swiftly moving overview of jihadist terrorism and its ideology, click here for the 2004 State Department analysis of Jihadist ideology and its global activities. )
Now shift your attention once more, to the historical precursors here ---
To European Fascist Movements in the Interwar Period
The analogy with European Fascism is very revealing.
Specifically, the major sources of recruitment to Italian Fascism and Hitlerian Nazism before they seized power were virtually the same in the early and mid-stages of their development. The Fascist movements in their pioneer days drew largely on the rank-and-file of disoriented former soldiers who, after returning home from WWI, relished violence, responded to extremist nationalist (or nowadays extremist-Islamic) appeals invoked by demagogues, enjoyed street battles with Communists, Socialists, and liberals, and found it impossible to settle down to a normal social existence. And without exception except for Italy, almost all the recruits were found in the defeated countries . . . with disillusioned, humiliated nationalism the major mental-glue that held more and more of the mass populations in the loser-countries to Fascist and Nazi appeals. (Italy wasn't really much different. Though it was on the victorious side, its post-war governments and population felt that they had been treated as members of a defeated country by the French and British at Versailles . . . deprived of what almost all Italians regarded as the just-fruits of territorial expansion into the Alpine areas and along the Adriatic coastline and in the Middle East and Africa. Social turmoil and violence, moreover, engulfed Italy from almost day one after the war --- with clashes between extremist Communism on one side and Fascists and other nationalists on the other.)
Italian Fascism differed from Nazism here.
The pioneer leaders of Mussolini's movements were almost all alienated, frustrated socialist intellectuals, plus one or two prominent nationalist intellectuals like Gabriele D'Annunzio, a poet and great war hero --- Mussolini himself a true-blue socialist at the start of WWI, and a class-warring pacifist. Even so, the huge rank-and-file of the rapidly growing Italian Fascist movement were almost all derived from the ranks of former Italian soldiers after the war, ultra-nationalist and eager for more adventure, violence, and attacks on new enemies . . . all the latter now on the Italian left, including a rapidly growing and violent Communist Party.
By contrast, intellectuals of any stripe were not conspicuous among the pioneers and early leaders of Nazism . . . Hitler himself a former German soldier, and his cohorts at the helm of the party likewise drawn from these ranks. Soon though --- within a decade (late 1920s) --- the Nazi Party had captured the German University Student-Movement and had already recruited a large number of Germany's prestigious non-Jewish intellectuals (Jews, sixth-tenths of 1% of the German population, responsible for about 40% of Germany's numerous Nobel Prizes). Still, none ever achieved the prominent leadership-roles in Nazism that intellectuals and artists did in Italian Fascism.
The Historical Fascist Background
Why, however --- so the question now prompts itself --- did disoriented, resentful ex-soldiers and young students and others flock to the new Fascist and Nazi movements in Europe after 1918?
The Answer Lies . . .
in the social turmoil and crackling hatred in the defeated countries of the victors in World War I. Specifically, to get down to cases --- ass with the almost all the countries in the Islamic world today --- Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Greece, and all of East Europe after WWI and way into the 1920s were caught up in cycles of social turbulence, domestic violence, revolution and counter-revolutionary plots, armed mass-movements, extremist ideological conflicts, and street-battles. Spain and Portugal and Austria underwent actual civil war or violent changes of regime in the latter part of the 1920s (the big civil war in Spain coming in 1936). Then, to add to the turmoil and dislocations, the Great Depression of the late 1920s and 1930s set off new violent cycles in these countries.
Only Scandinavia, Holland, and Britain remained immune to large Fascist movements on the right --- or Communist ones on the left --- and even France in the late 1930s drifted into a state of latent civil war, the country badly polarized between left and right, with the Vichy Regime emerging victorious after France's quick defeat by Germany in the late spring of 1940. On this score, it isn't even hard to come up with a geographical guide here: the more East and South you went in Europe the second you landed on French soil, the more likely the countries were in political turmoil, economic backwardness and troubles, intense class-hatreds and fears, violence, and extremist political movements on the left and right.
A question rears up here immediately:
Why Did European Fascist Movements Easily Outmaneuver
. . . Liberals, Socialists, and Communists in their countries, just as Islamo-Fascist fundamentalists easily outmaneuver Islamic reformers and moderate-liberals these days almost everywhere in the Muslim world?
The answer: drawing on a core of street-fighters and thugs --- millions in the Nazi S.A. even before Hitler gained power in early 1933 --- Fascists around Europe could count on huge financial support from the scared financial, business, and professional classes --- fearful of Marxist and other left-wing threats --- and count further on rallying millions and tens of millions of voters by invoking ultra-nationalist symbols and the promise of national revival, regeneration, expansion, power, and glory.
Simultaneously, in the midst of growing economic troubles that seized all of Europe in the Great Depression, Fascism's promise of instituting a corporatist welfare-state and full employment appealed more and more to the working classes who were being wooed as well by Communism (and anarchism in Spain). As if all these symbols and rallying points weren't enough, Fascist leaders and movements --- both out of conviction and demagogic manipulation --- drew on the long-history of many European peoples to scapegoat minorities as responsible for their troubles . . . first and foremost Jews, who were 0.6% of Germany's population in 1933 and less than 0.1% in Italy in the 1920s and 1930s (though as we'll see, Mussolini's movement never stressed Jew-hatred the way Hitler's Nazis did).
But note. As with the sources of support for Islamo-Fascist jihadism among disillusioned and raging Muslim populations today, so in Europe during the post-WWI era the biggest rallying point that enabled Fascists, Clerical Fascists, and Nazis to triumph over other right-wing groups --- and, more important, over liberals, socialists, anarchists, and Communists with their class-based appeals --- had little to do with class or any social force . . . rather, the magnetic appeal of ultra-nationalism and promised national revival, unity, power, expansion, and glory.
The Parallels Again with Islamo-Fascisms
Take these Fascist symbols, and substitute Islam and Islamist for "national" and "ultra-nationalism", and the same magnetic appeals of promised Muslim revival, unity, power, expansion, and glory on the global scene explain the great attraction of jihadi Islamo-Fascist fundamentalism to the angry, frustrated, and searingly resentful Muslim populations world-wide today.
And just as Hitler and Mussolini and their imitators knew how to play on wounded, ripplingly hated national feelings of humiliation and resentment and crackling fears about the alleged conspiratorial groups responsible for all the nationalist troubles, so these days --- to use the terminology of a Mahathir --- bin Laden and his imitators and supporters world-wide in the Muslim world, including legions of imams, sheiks, publicists, intellectuals, charities, and state-dominated media-members, play on the same sentiments of "humiliation", "anger", "resentment", "fears", and conspiratorial-beliefs that are rife in the Muslim world these days.
Radical Islam or Islamo-Fascism and Non-Stop Jihadist Warfare as a Religious and Moral Duty
The distinction between Muslims and infidels and the duty to fight and conquer the latter goes back to the very origins of Islam, which from the outset was attached to a militarized system of the Arab state (later caliphate) that quickly conquered the Persian Empire and parts of Hindu India in the 7th century as well as the Christian areas of the Middle East, North Africa, and the Iberian peninsula. The original triumphs of the Arab state seemed to vindicate this system of expansion and Muslim rule and glory. Later Muslim imperial conquests --- the Turkish-Mongolian (Tatar) conquest of Russia in the 13th century, the Mogul conquest of Hindu India 16th century, and the Ottoman conquest of the remnants of the Byzantine empire in the 15th century --- were further testimony to Islam's power, prestige, and, it was thought, its ultimate triumph world-wide, with Islamic military and political power, therefore, seen as a clear sign of Islam's truths and inevitable global dominance.
More specifically, the world in these Islamic traditions --- which all versions of Islamic sects and law recognize --- is divided into three zones: the zone of Islam and Peace or dar al-Islam; the zone of Peace in which Islam signs provisional peace-treaties with non-Muslim countries or dar as-sulh ; and the zone of War or dar al-harb in which all other societies in the world --- Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, pagan, Confucian, Taoist, Shinto, and so on --- live in a zone of war and conflict. Towards the latter, Muslims everywhere are obliged, by religious and moral duty, to wage constant warfare until they all either convert to Islam or live as peaceful, inferior dhimmis under Muslim rule, recognizing Islamic rule and superiority and pay annual tribute-taxes (the jizya
again) to their unchallenged Islamic rulers.
Islamo-Fascist Fundamentalism, Both In and Out of Power
So far, four quasi-totalitarian Islamo-Fascist regimes of a fundamentalist sort --- the former Taliban regime in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Shi-ite Iran under the hardline rule of zealous Ayatollahs --- have emerged recently in the world, all four, note quickly, far more radical than Mussolini's Fascist Italy in their efforts to control the minutest aspects of social, cultural, intellectual, and religious life as well as in their support for the use of terrorism against their immediate and geographically distant enemies.
The military fundamentalists in the Sudan have been fighting, killing, massacring, and enslaving both Christian (and animist) black Africans and black African converts to Islam in Dafur for decades now, while supporting until recently --- providing even a haven --- for al Qaeda terrorist groups. Nothing needs to be said about the terrorist jihadism of Taliban Afghanistan and contemporary Shi-ite Iran. Saudi Arabia's gangster royal family --- which has squandered trillions of dollars in the last three decades --- has sought to buy off and bribe al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorists until, as the regime's King died and a more pro-western Prince took his place, they have been targeted by terrorist attacks of all sorts too. Simultaneously, ever since the radical Shiite clerical Fascists in Iran took control in the late 1970s, they have spent tens of billions of dollars promoting the expansion of extremist Wahhabi fundamentalism world-wide wherever Muslim communities live.
Varieties of Islamo-Fascism in Practice
Unlike the Islamo-Fascist secular regimes, moreover, Islamo-Fascist fundamentalism is reflected in a variety of political and social movements, all involved --- directly or indirectly --- in jihad terrorism.
The most prominent are al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, the GIA of Algeria, and Islamic Jihad, among dozens of more . . . many of the latter shadowy affiliates or imitators of al Qaeda. (For a list of the most consistently organized terrorist groups, click here: http://www.state.gov/rls/45394.htm). In some countries, especially where radical Islamist fundamentalists tried to challenge either the Islamo-Fascist states or the rest of the autocratic-ruled Arab states --- Syria, Egypt, Algeria, Libya, and the like --- they were mercilessly smashed by these secret-police states and have been forced to moderate their radical ideological challenges to the existing rulers.
Working Within the System --- As Did Hitler's Nazism and Mussolini's Fascism
Of these Islamist jihadi groups, the Muslim Brotherhood ---- totally crushed in Syria in the early 1980s when some Baathist Party agents were killed (the whole city of Hama, 20-25,000 was destroyed in the process) and largely crushed in Egypt --- emerges as an example of a politically organized party able to compete in limited parliamentary elections that has had to tone down its purified Islamic totalitarian program . . . no doubt tactically, rather than out of any doctrinal conviction, hopeful that sooner or later it will gain control of the state totally. Similarly, in Algeria, a decade of savage warfare --- the fundamentalist Fascist GIA slaughtering tens of thousands of civilians, while the dictatorial military government killed tens of thousands more --- forced the GIA to renounce violence, following which the jihadist terrorists die-hards have tried to form a small breakaway movement. In Tunisia and Morocco, terrorism has occurred the last few years, but generally the Islamist fundamentalists Salafis have had to tone down their program too as the governments cracked down on their movements, and limit their organizational life to acquiring more members and establishing alternative communities where they can.
And as we noted before, Hamas --- not defeated --- has so far followed the course plotted by Hitler's Nazism. Just as Hitler's party worked within the Weimar Republic electoral system, coming to power fully legitimately when it emerged as the largest party in Germany in the November 1932 elections, so Hamas has come to power as the largest party in the new electoral PA democracy. Those who expect Hamas to now modify its ideological program --- avenge national humiliation, anger, resentment, and hatred, destroy the enemies responsible for these troubles, and carry out a domestic revolution in radical Islamo-Fascist totalitarian ways --- know little, or nothing, about how Hitler's Party didn't conform to the widespread views in Germany among the conservative elites back in early 1933 that its entry into power would modify Hitlerian and Nazi ambitions and ideology.
Just the exact opposite happened.
Back, Finally, to the State-Sponsors of Islamo-Fascist Terror
There are, recall, three kinds of dictatorial states in the Muslim world --- 56 countries, only three or four of which can be considered even minimal electoral democracies.
First, there are the totalitarian fundamentalist states of Shiite Iran, Wahhabi Saudi Arabia, genocidal Sudan, and the former Afghan Taliban regime. They are totalitarian in their quest to dominate and control all social, cultural, intellectual, religious, and the private lives of their citizenry in the name of a purified, regenerative Islam. Needless to say, they actively sponsor in a variety of ways the jihadist Kabooming terrorist groups whitewashed at length by Robert Pape.
A second category of dictatorships is the quasi-totalitarian systems of more secular Baathist Syria, Libya, and the former Baathist Saddamite system in Iraq. They rule like the totalitarians ultimately on a pervasive secret police and ruthlessness, but while dominating all political, administrative, economic, legal, and intellectual life of their countries, they do not seek to control and alter the social, cultural, religious, and private lives of their peoples. Even so, they have continually used Islamo-Fascist fundamentalist terror-groups for their own state purposes. They have generally been vigorously anti-Western, anti-American, and anti-Israeli . . . the latter to the point of doing what they can to sabotage a US-mediated peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Libya, as you know, has recently renounced terrorism and its efforts to develop WMD, a boon that can be traced directly to the US-initiated changes in the Middle East following the invasion and destruction of Saddamite Iraq.
In the autocratic Arab states and some Asian Muslim ones, the dictators are secular, pro-Western, and relatively limited in their dominance of their countries even if, in the end, they too rule by means of a pervasive secret police and are systematic kleptocrats. Still, some of them under US pressure --- Egypt, the Gulf States, and Algeria --- have begun to open up to electoral participation and some very limited sharing of power in their countries. That said, if only as a diversion of their frustrated, raging populations, they will easily and quickly exploit any mob actions of infuriated Muslim masses directed at Jews, Israelis, Americans, the West, Danish cartoons . . . what have you.
Postscript Remarks Tacked on to this Buggy Section on March 24, 2006:
Here is the comment made by a "moderate" Islamic fundamentalist in democratic Afghanistan --- a man who fought the Taliban repeatedly in the past and was repeatedly jailed --- on what will happen if President Karzai revokes the death penalty applied by Islamic law to a former Muslim who converted to Christianity and returned to that country:
"Rejecting Islam is insulting God. We will not allow God to be humiliated. This man must die," said cleric Abdul Raoulf, who is considered a moderate and was jailed three times for opposing the Taliban before the hard-line regime was ousted in 2001"
You can only speculate with pop-eyed wonder what the "hardline" jihadi-supporters think. Somehow, the religion of peace and tolerance appears to produce tens and hundreds of millions of mentally aberrant zealots and raging haters. As for the few genuine liberal imams and sheiks in Islam, they have to worry that any effort to publicly reconcile their religion with democratic, human rights, and tolerance will provoke death-threats from the zealots and haters at the drop of a pin. Yes, even in Britain these days.
Fortunately, the more Mad-Hatter mobs of half- or fully illiterate Muslim masses go on the warpath these days --- burning Christian churches, attacking infidels, protesting with fury some silly, poorly drafted cartoons published in one of the three or four tiniest countries in Europe, killing Christians and other --- the more a backlash in public opinion here and Europe and elsewhere will continue to grow in strength. Even the pc-dominated EU media can't conceal the totalitarian horrors or terror or mob violence carried out in the name of Islam world-wide. Consider this as an omen of change: the double-dealing CAIR has itself been obliged as the backlash in this country rages over the death-sentence delivered to the Christian-convert in Afghanistan --- from Christian groups everywhere --- to come up with an alternative criticism of the Sharia-enforcing judge in Afghanistan.
The Pipes article just linked to sets out clearly the high number of CAIR's top officials who have been active supporters of Jihad-terrorism, six of whom were found guilty of such support in US courts. Several other leaders of CAIR have been active Hamas supporters, and the organization has condemned exactly 18 out of over 3100 murderous Islamic terror attacks in the last 4 years . . . the figure now closer to 4500 several months later.
PAPE'S CON-JOB ON BEHALF OF RADICAL JIHADIST FUNDAMENTALISM
. . . will be continued in the next buggy article, the current one already longer than prof bug thought it would be when he started it yesterday.