Islamoklansmen

I know the fascism train has already left the station -- no doubt right on time -- and I don't really want to join the chorus of boos raining down on the White House for stepping up the rhetoric in advance of the midterm election -- big surprise, there -- but term Islamofascism and all the angst over name-calling is downright incoherent.

The words "fascism," "Nazi," and "communist" must've focus-grouped really well because we are getting them despite very little overlap with the actual totalitarian theocratic ideology that drives today's acts of terror against the West. Fascism seems especially inapt: Industrialized, anti-communist trade unionism, strong nation-state identification; highly militarized, but not necessarily expansionist. Stop me when the Islamic suicide bomber pops in your head.

Perhaps the closest you can get is Franco's strain of highly Catholic fascism which in turn birthed various South American strong-man cults. But falangism presents its own problems. Franco's North African Muslim troops fought very well against the Spanish Republican forces. This Catho-Islamofascist front was held together by a common desire to beat back the churchless and, sure enough, did ally itself with the Nazis.

This also recovers the fact that, for a time, staunch defenders of Western civilization like G.K. Chesterton made peace with fascism as a bulwark against the horrors of godless communism. So overseas fascists, per se, need not pose a mortal danger to the West.

If the Bush administration is looking for word to scare voters into supporting Republicans, or even simply a better, more descriptive term for groups who wage irregular war on the United States, let's turn to another bloody, violent group, the Klan. The Ku Klux Klan, in fact, is in many ways a better template for al Qaida than fascist nation-states.

The Klan was part resistance movement, part terrorist organization, part opposition government, and it excelled at propaganda. It was aggressively Protestant, regional in outlook, built on extended informal, often family, networks, and as Jesse Walker noted last year, at one time included a fair amount of good government, social service-type concerns.

This begins to sound more like Hezbollah or Hamas, except for the Protestant part. And there's more. The Klan enforced Taliban or Wabbahist-like codes against immoral behavior. As Jesse put it, "These Klansmen were more likely to flog you for bootlegging or breaking your marriage vows than for being black or Jewish."

This does not sound very Nazi, yet the Klan is still automatically grouped with the fascists when the roll call of bad guys is sounded. Let's start of new column of baddies, with the Klan at the top.

Islamoklan. Ku Klux Qaida. There's something there.

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  • ||

    The fascist connotation can be loosely linked to the origins of the Baathist Party. Sorry Rummie and Bushie, but it is a far stretch to connect an Arab political movement with the jihadists we encounter these days. What we have now is the result of a population explosion in the Middle East and opportunistic imams who have educated these young people and use them as ammunition against the Western hegemony.

  • ||

    It's Ku Klux Klan, not Klu Klux Klan. Common mistake.

  • ||

    Wasn't the Tojo regime considered fascist? They had the suicide attacker meme pretty well covered. The suicide attacker meme is a pan-ideological one, anyway. Numerous communists groups idealized suicide attackers, too. However, interestingly, the Klan never did.

  • thoreau||

    This whole thing about making analogies with other groups of bad guys is fine, but maybe the most useful analogies would be the ones that give us some insights into how best to defeat the enemy. Analogies concerning their ideologies are nice and all, but analogies that yield useful strategies would be even nicer.

  • ||

    Definition of fascism:

    a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

    This sounds almost exactly like what the ultimate aims of "Islamic" terrorists are. Islamofascism or Islamic Fascism seems perfectly apt labels. Got a more accurate label?

  • Gene Berkman||

    Arnaud de Borchgrave has an interesting column @ www.spacewar.com taking issue with the comparison of Islamic extremists with Fascists. He says a better comparison for Al Qaeda is with Lenin's Comintern. Worth reading.

  • lunchstealer||

    The Klan analogy was the one that The West Wing guys used in their out-of-canon 9/11 reaction episode. I've thought that was the most apt, although I've used the Islamofascism term. It's got a nice ring to it, even if the etymology is all wrong.

    Of course, the biggest problem is that seeing 'Islamic terror' as a single group with a single set of aims is all wrong.

    How about Islamoreactionaries? Gah, I don't know. Its Friday and I need a beer.

  • ||

    Islamofacism is part of the new political correctness that first began with the administration giving us the phrase "homicide bomber" a few years back. That one didn't exactly stick, maybe they should've field-tested that one on "The Savage Nation" first as well.

    Changing how we speak about minorities didn't end racism and I don't think that changing how we speak about islamic fundamentalists is going to stop them from blowing up busses of children in israel or blowing up our airliners.

  • ||

    It's incredible that the guys at the Corner are spending so much time defending pure nonsense and patting each other on the back for doing so. Sorry folks, but spending all your time and coming up with the idea of calling them Hitlerfasciterrosatanists is not really the sign of people seriously thinking about how best to win the war on terror.

  • ||

    Hmmmm, looking at the definition more closely it reminds me an awful lot about a one hour time slot on CNN hosted by Lou Dobbs.

    Complete power (Dobbs is clearly in complete control of that show and his on air staff/toadies), forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism (he won't let people who disagree with him get a word in edgewise and interrupts them all the time), regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., (hates the notion that US business is allowed to hire foreigners, either here or abroad, hates the low wages that WalMart pays, amongst other things), and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism (US first la la la, let's keep those dirty furriners out damnit.Everyone on my all white show agrees with me...).

  • ||

    Hmmmm, looking at the definition more closely it reminds me an awful lot about a one hour time slot on CNN hosted by Lou Dobbs.

    Complete power (Dobbs is clearly in complete control of that show and his on air staff/toadies), forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism (he won't let people who disagree with him get a word in edgewise and interrupts them all the time), regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., (hates the notion that US business is allowed to hire foreigners, either here or abroad, hates the low wages that WalMart pays, amongst other things), and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism (US first la la la, let's keep those dirty furriners out damnit.Everyone on my all white show agrees with me...).

  • Todd||

    al Qu Qlux Quada has my vote...

  • ||

    I'm being attacked by Commie-Nazis!

  • ||

    If the Bush administration is looking for word to scare voters into supporting Republicans, or even simply a better, more descriptive term for groups who wage irregular war on the United States, let's turn to another bloody, violent group, the Klan. The Klu Klux Klan, in fact, is in many ways a better template for al Qaida than fascist nation-states.

    Are you kidding? The GOP would lose the entire South if they made that comparison.

    [Akira ducks and runs.]

  • ||

    I can't believe they haven't upgraded to zombies yet.

    I'm thinking Hezboninja Islamozombiepirates from Space will finally get those pansy liberals to agree to nuke them.

  • ||

    The KKK took my baby away.

  • ||

    At least they're not Illinois Nazis. I hate Illinois Nazis.

  • Ron Hardin||

    They're pulling in the fascist love of overregulation combined with their attachment to a dumb idea. It hauls in also the corners of fanaticism.

    All in all actually a reference to modern feminists, carried over to Islamonutballism.

  • ||

    The Western group al Qaeda reminds me of the most are the Christian Reconstructionists.* Why Lew Rockwell puts up with that nut Gary North, I'll never know.

    Does Klan is to Shia Islamotheocrats as Falange is to Wahabists make some sense?

    Marilyn Quayle's Dad was said to be a Rushdoony fan. Wouldn't that have been a special influence on a President Quayle?

    * aka Dominionists, Theonomists

    Kevin

  • ||

    Tough luck, McBain. At least you don't have to deal with those damned Space Nazis!

  • ||

    Bush should just call them infidels. It's a fun little twist at the very least and may even sow a bit of confusion amongst the enemy.

    "Infidels? We're not infidels. You are the infidels. Now I'm so confused."

    And if a Bush speech saying, "You are either with us, or with the infidels," was translated in the Arab press, would they use the term in that context? Or replace it with something else? If so, what?

  • Ron Hardin||

    One year I caught some field rats that had taken up residence in the walls, in successive hav-a-hart traps.

    A friend who had a python wanted them, to strenghten his pet-store rat breeding line, so he picked them up.

    They got everybody pregnant and gnawed their way out of every cage. He referred to them, in the report, as ``your fascist rats.''

    Just a note on the inclination to use fascist.

  • ||

    They got everybody pregnant and gnawed their way out of every cage. He referred to them, in the report, as ``your fascist rats.''

    If the rats skill set included cunilingus we would have to include libertarians under the fascist moniker.

  • ||

    happyjuggler0: Indeed. Regardless of all the times the term "fascism" has been misused over recent decades, it sure seems to fit a violent terrorist ideology that dislikes free enterprise, despises democracy and wants to exterminate Jews and conquer the world.

    And none of the complainers around here have come up with a succinct term that's any better.

  • Lee||

    See, this is the one major issue which prevents me from going whole hog Libertarian. You guys are INSANE if you think that what is going on in the Middle East doesn't qualify as fascism.

    Look, you can hinge your criticism on whatever technicalities you like, ("Radical Islamism isn't an offshoot of syndicalism," or "The mullahs don't rely on a corporatist state," or "Not necessarily expansionist,") but at its core the Islamist movement is as fascist as anything ever created by Mussolini or Hitler.

    I defy anyone to look at this video and tell me that this isn't IDENTICAL to the Hitler Youth or the Nuremberg Rally.

    Quibble over the specifics all you like, but this is fascism.

  • Matt||

    Islamocylons!

    Or,

    IslamoChildMolesters

    IslamoYokos

    IslamoFredFredburgers

    IslamoBarryBonds

  • solune||

    Personally, I like Islamoklan. It might, rightfully, lump two bad ideas together plainly enough as being based on the same core, irrational, principles.

    It's marketable enough to compete with Islamofascism™; it's easier to say, lends itself well to quick identification as another group of quasi-religious, intolerant, self-rightous assholes without the cumbersome al Quaida Klux Klan

    If we're lucky both groups will resent the comparison enough to wage war on each other and leave us alone.

  • ||

    Fasces is a bundle of rods with an ax bound in the middle with its blade projecting. It was a symbol of Roman authority. With the axe removed it was a symbol of authority but not supreme (not with the power of live and death). Fascism is founded from the fasces. One stick can be broken but the bundle represents strength.

    You will find the bundle on the one dollar bill (right eagle claw), behind the senate poduim, on the chair of the Lincolc memorial, etc. The US Senate symbol has a crossed fasces with the axe included.

    I am not suggesting anything, it is just interesting.

  • ||

    How about "terrorist"? I know it applies to groups other than Islamic terrorists, but so does fascist.

  • ||

    Terrorists are Booger-heads.
    thoreau,
    That means the way to reduce their number is to eat 'em.
    Okay, it's not a good way to reduce their number, but they would still be a good source of potassium and Vitamin B, not to mention snotimisium.

  • ||

    I'd call the boogers out as authoritarian theocrats but only wonks like me would be happy with that. And, yeah, I'd escalate to totalitarian theocrats if they ever got their damned caliphate reestablished along the lines Osama wants.

    Funny how the historical caliphate was way more tolerant of non-muslim believers than the current crop of jihadis.

    Kevin

  • Mona||

    OK, I can't stand it anymore. Craven, transparent promotion of one's blog is about the grossest thing ever, but it just so happens that yesterday I wrote the definitive post on the issue of the term "Islamofascism." I've got it all - the Xian Reconstructionsists, the Klan, and more.

  • ||

    I've used the label "Islamic Fascists" for years as no one's come up with a better label and it feels like it contains truth.

    However, since Bush started using the label it has sparked more debate, and I've paused to reflect. And I've learned how much it bugs the terror-loving savage barbarians to be called that (see Greta Van Sustren's interview with Steve Centanni the other night, where we learned his kidnappers were annoyed by Bush's use of the label).

    This, along with some of what I've read about Nasrallah (jews should all come to Israel to save him the trouble of going around the world to kill 'em) and President Amadamnjihad (sp?) (wanting to wipe countries off the map and trying to get the nukes to do it) has convinced me to change the label.

    For now on I call 'em Islamo-NAZIS.

    Protest all you like. I'm sticking with it. And I think it especially bugs those take the war frivously as well as those who are trying to undermine the war. Seeing the enemy for what it is might make them feel guilty for being on the wrong side of history while others stand up to defend civilization against the fascists and nazis of our time.

    Yes, they have differences from the nazis and fascists of Europe, but they also have an awful lot in common at the deepest levels.

    Many of those protesting loudest at the label are intimately associated with those who routinely refer to Bush, Tony Blair, John Howard, the state of Israel, etc etc as "fascists" and "nazis." It would be nice if those policing against improper uses of the words concentrated their policing against those who use it to describe democratically elected leaders of free and good countries.

    You may not like "Islamic fascist" of "Islamo-nazi," but the people using those labels can make a reasonable case for it, which can't be said of the way the Hard Left throws those words around.

  • ||

    Typo: frivously = frivolously

  • ||

    Mona,
    Tomorrow eve I shall respond.
    Always jam tomorrow, if not yestiddy.
    Islamofascism preserves are scrumpdeliicious on toast, eh?

  • thoreau||

    Just one question: Will achieving consensus on the proper label for terrorists get us any closer to popping a cap in Bin Laden's ass, or halting Iran's nuclear program?

  • ||

    We called the Fascists fascists because they called themselves that. We called the Nazis, nazis because they called themselves that. What do the al-Qaedites call themselves?

    Actually I dont know but I think it is not "Islamofascists."

    If one, however, wants to characterize their beliefs or practices, totalitarian, fanatic, theocratic, terroristic, and nihilistic (tactically, not the meaningless neoconservative jargon sense), all are appropriate where the context works.

    Part of the reason for seeking a single term is to put all the groups into one box or lump, in order to justify a broader set of countermeasures (like idiotically going after Iraq) than just the so far not-wholly-successful one targetted specifically at the organization belonging to bin Laden & crew.

  • ||

    Hi Joey Ramone!

  • ||

    BushCo and their NRO stooges going on and on about fascism--pretty entertaining.

    As Madge once said, "You're soaking in it."

  • Matt||

    We called the Fascists fascists because they called themselves that.

    That's an excellent point, but nobody would call themselves fascists anymore because it's so 20th century. Just like nobody calls themselves "liberal" anymore. (Hey! It's true!)

    Islamocylons.

  • b-psycho||

    "What do the al-Qaedites call themselves?"

    "Muslims", sadly. Another parallel to the KKK there, since the Klan just thought they were being good christians...

  • ||

    I call myself a liberal, but mostly to confuse.

  • ||

    If al-Qaeda is fascist, then Pluto is a planet.

    Chew on that one for a while, astronomofascists.

  • aspendougy||

    In 1948, when a prominent group of American Jews condemned the massacre of Palestinian villagers by some of the Jewish terrorist organizations who founded Israel, it is interesting that they used the word "facism" to describe Menachen Begin's Freedom Party. Then 30 some years later, he gets elected PM and wins the Nobel Peace Prize. Maybe being labeled a fascist isn't such a bad thing.


    In the recent Lebanon War, the proportion of civilian deaths to soldiers was 41 to 116 or 26% of the total Israeli dead (but if we only consider Jewish Israelis and IDF members the proportion 23 to 116 or 16% of the Jewish dead were civilian.) Clearly the Lebanese resistance was aiming most of its fire at the invading IDF.

    In contrast, in Lebanon, of the 1,181 so far known to have been killed, 1088 were civilians and only 93 were fighters. In other words 92% of the Lebanese dead were civilians �over three times the rate of civilians killed by the Lebanese resistance and almost 6 times the rate of Jewish civilians killed (the only ones who count in the Lobby�s propaganda machine). To put it more bluntly: over 47 Lebanese civilians were slaughtered for each Jewish Israeli civilian death.

    So, if Bush and Rummy want to refer to Hizzbollah as Islamo-fascists, let them; but then others should be able to use the term "Ziono-fascist" if they wish.

  • ||

    aspendougy:
    Clearly the Lebanese resistance was aiming most of its fire at the invading IDF.

    Rubbish. Clearly they were firing hundreds and hundreds of rockets that were purposefully targeting Israeli civilian populations, and the reason more Israeli civilians didn't get killed was because Israel had taken the precuations for its citizens to construct bomb shelters as well as getting Israeli civilians out of danger zones. (This does not mean many civilians were not harmed in ISrael, though. Many thousands had to sit in bomb shelters, and the economy of parts of Israel was brought to a halt.)

    In contrast, the Lebanese "resistance" (actually the terrorist agressors who started the conflict)
    used Lebanese civilians as human shields, wanting Lebanese civilians to be killed (or, as they put it, martyred) for propaganda purposes, and purposefully set up situations where any defensive military actions by Israel would result in civilians being hurt. Furthermore, we actually don't know how many Lebanese civilians were killed, because many non-civilians got counted as civilians. All we know for sure is that Hizballah and its sponsors are the ones culpable for civilian deaths on both sides of the border. Generally speaking, Israel was the only party that was concerned about civilians, whether they be Israeli or Lebanese.

    You pretend you don't know that because you're a liar.

  • JT Barrie||

    Fascists believe in authoritarian control. Their goal is law and order. When usurping control of an established government they create mayhem and offer themselves as "saviors". They are the ultimate "law and order" fanatics. Interestingly, after they gain control their first victims are the thugs they recruit to overthrow the existing government.

    Of course with our air power, they don't really want to take over: we have an unparalleled ability to destroy official governments and little else. It is quite likely that once we leave the area total mayhem will ensue. Iraq and it's oil will likely be split three ways. The Kurds will likely emerge with a stable nonfascist government that may merge with Kurdistan [Turkey's nightmare]. The Shiites will take over another part of the country and align themselves with Iran. The Sunnis will take over the rest and align themselves with the Saudis. Al Qaeda won't likely remain in Iraq under these circumstances since Osama's influence is heavily dependent on the USA boogie man.
    The most likely fascist republic will be Sunni and jihadists will be the first to go - as in all fascist governments. Any remnants of Al Qaeda will be quickly purged as fascists are law and order fanatics. And the first target of these new fascists after Al Qaeda will be the oil fields of the Shiite regime.
    If the Shiite regime comes under the influence of their top muslim cleric [a known grown up among those with political influence] it is quite likely that they will call on the US to do what it does best: destroy,or deter, a recognizable military force.

  • ||

    Sidney "Tibbs" Poitier calls me Mr. Ruthless.

    I'm just sayin'...

    And, if Pluto is a planet, crimethink, what is Bluto? What are his politics?

  • Jennifer||

    The KKK was almost indistinguishable from the government of Indiana in the 1920s; I remember a display of old campaign buttons saying things like "Vote so-and-so, he has the endorsement of the Klan!"

    So, borrowing a page from the modern Israeli/American playbooks, we should have bombed the shit out of the entire state, destroyed its infrastructure and replaced the government with a power vacuum to be filled by street thugs.

    And shat on the Constitution as well. How can we fight the deadly Klan threat when these stupid civil liberties keep getting in the way?

  • ||

    "You pretend you don't know that because you're a liar. "

    He might have said it because he believed it.

    You, on the other hand, say what you do because you believe it... oh wait, that's the same reason.

    The truth is somewhere in between.

    His numbers, however, are true.

    I have been comparing Hezb to the Klan for awhile, but don't think it fits for Al Q. The Klan went away as they became more mainstream because the weight of their hypocrisy was too much to manage. The same fate could befall Hezb, who pretends to be the good guys while being thugs (same for Hamas). Israel recently gave each of them another few years of good will among their intended audiences. A stupid move, since they have more money with which to win the PR campaign (Iran has DEEEP pockets).

    I say take Hezb at their word. If they are the defenders of Leb., they should incorporate them into the Leb army, and make them pledge an oath to uphold the policies of the country, rather than those of Iran (then redeploy them to the north, guarding a latrine). If they can't swallow that pledge, they are criminals.

  • ||

    "It's incredible that the guys at the Corner are spending so much time defending pure nonsense and patting each other on the back for doing so. Sorry folks, but spending all your time and coming up with the idea of calling them Hitlerfasciterrosatanists is not really the sign of people seriously thinking about how best to win the war on terror. "

    i could cut the irony with a ladle. we are sitting here navel-gazing and sounding like a bunch of brown university semiotics majors obsessing on the wrongness or rightness of the term islamo-fascist (and variations) and patting ourselves on the back for doing so, BUT the Corner is somehow wrong for doing so. wow. talk about pot, kettle, black. fwiw, i think the term is apt. most objections to it are just so much quasi-intellectual navel gazing rubbish. is it a PERFECT comparison? no. this is geo-politics. much like psychiatry, it's a soft science with fuzzy edges. it aint biology or physics, and even those fields have their fuzzy edges (is it a mammal or a reptile?).

    for pete's sake. we have a bunch of scum who are quite easily compared to the fascists of old.

  • ||

    " They are the ultimate "law and order" fanatics. Interestingly, after they gain control their first victims are the thugs they recruit to overthrow the existing government."

    as referenced by jello biafra in "nazi punks fuck off!" - "in a real third reich, you'll be the first to go"

  • ||

    " They are the ultimate "law and order" fanatics. Interestingly, after they gain control their first victims are the thugs they recruit to overthrow the existing government."

    as referenced by jello biafra in "nazi punks fuck off!" - "in a real third reich, you'll be the first to go"

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