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Naming names

Last week, President Bush finally said the words that many of his supporters in the War On Terror have been waiting years for him -- he named the enemy, calling it "Islamic fascism." This wasn't quite as strong a term as many of us had hoped he'd use, but it was a damned good step in the right direction.

And naturally, this has a lot of Islamist apologists all bent out of shape.

Those people are betraying not only their own agenda, but their ignorance of the English language.

In the phrase "Islamic fascism," "Islamic" is being used as an adjective. It is a modifier, describing a particular form of fascism, which is the key word.

Let's take a look at the dictionary definition of "fascism:"

1. often Fascism a. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism. b. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government. 2. Oppressive, dictatorial control.

Then compare that with the stated goal of the terrorists: the overthrow of existing governments and the creation of an Islamic caliphate, with religious leaders serving as absolute rulers and their faith the final arbiter of all matters -- civil, political, legal, criminal, economic, everything.

To me, that's a fair approximation of fascism, colored with the veneer of Islam.

President Bush seems to be saying that the enemy are not motivated by Islam alone, but by fascism, with their Islamic faith providing the general form and structure for their particular strain of that hideous political virus.

My own perception of Islam is that it does not necessarily lead to a fascist mentality, but it certainly seems far more amenable to such perversion than most any other faith today.

Bush did NOT insult Islam directly. (That's something I've done myself, on numerous occasions, and don't particularly feel like apologizing for or retracting.) And those who argue that he did are simply showing that they believe that "Islamic fascism" is a fair and true and accurate representation of Islam, and their outrage is understandable.

One would expect those adherents to Islam -- especially those to go to such lengths to defend it -- would be considered the "experts" on it. If they are saying that "Islamic fascism" describes enough Muslims to be an insult to that many, then perhaps I should reconsider.


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Comments (14)

So, Jay, Fascism is "typ... (Below threshold)
Herman:

So, Jay, Fascism is "typically a policy of belligerent nationalism."

Well, that's basically what Bush & Co. have been conducting since 2001, isn't it?

You're not going to resort to calling me "Anti-American," are you now?

Diposing a dictator is bell... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Diposing a dictator is belligerent nationalism?

Hermie, back into your hole... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Hermie, back into your hole, ya big loser.

If they are practitioners o... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:

If they are practitioners of Islam who are also fascists then the term "Islamic fascism” is appropriate.

But if they are fascists that just happen to practice the religion of Islam then they should be coined “Fascist Islamic”.

But really, since one plus one still equals two no matter which “one” is in front of the other, then the next step is to pick the term that rolls off the tongue easier.

Clearly the choice here is "Islamic fascism”.

It is so much easier than referring to them as “Those that have hijacked Islam, the religion of peace, by killing innocent women and children to further their cause of creating Islamic states around the world and creating terror on those that do not bend to their will” every time you speak.

But my favorite number one description is still “dead terrorist” when referring to these brainwashed goons.

You're not going ... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
You're not going to resort to calling me "Anti-American," are you now?

Personally I’m fond of the term “tinfoil hat wearing moonbat” when referring to the lefty nut jobs.

After all, I don’t think they are “Anti-American” when they are snuggling safely into bed every night. It’s just that they are too “tinfoil hat wearing moonbat-ish stupid” to appreciate the safety and freedom they are wrapping them selves into.

Exhibit A:

So, Jay, Fascism is "typically a policy of belligerent nationalism”

Well, that's basically what Bush & Co. have been conducting since 2001, isn't it

On McLaughlin this morning ... (Below threshold)
Nylda:

On McLaughlin this morning (NYC), Tony Blankley pointed out that Bush used the phrase Islamic Fascism seven months ago -- he remembered because his paper (Blankley's) wrote a laudatory editorial about the usage. The point Blankley was making was that this is not new think from the president.

I've said it before and I'l... (Below threshold)
GawainsGhost:

I've said it before and I'll say it again, fascism is not an accurate term to describe Islamism.

True, there are totalitarian strains in both fascism and Islamism, but it simply does not follow that there is any equivalence between what is essentially a Western political philosophy and a Middle Eastern religious movement. Because there isn't.

Do you consider the Mullahs of Iran fascists? I don't. I consider them fanatics.

The proper term, in this regard, would be Islamic fanaticism. Or Islamism, for short.

It was in 1964, I believe, ... (Below threshold)
robert:

It was in 1964, I believe, that then CBS reporter Daniel Shore first compared Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater to the Nazis. The left has been trying it since.

That same left, which has incorporated such a stretch in their regular routine, now finds it hard to make the real connection with Iran, Taliban, OBL et al.

How twisted has this become? Well the Bush=Hitler thing has become so ingrained that a large part of our country now suspects that Bush secretly blew up the towers.

And the beat goes on: Bush is the enemy, Cheney/Rove are the root of all evil, and on and on. Avoid war at all costs.

All of this puts one in mind of Churchill who had attained this status in the mid 1930’s. Cast as a warmonger and worse, no leper living in a cave could have been more reviled by the greater society, as the anti-war Chamberlain appeasement forces grew stronger. Indeed, Churchill's approval ratings were a good deal lower, then, than Hitler.

One wonders what education system leads so many to forget the true nature of Heydrich, Himmler, the Holocaust and the rest. Earlier, thugs who would later graduate to the SS, caused such riots as to spring dear Adolph from jail, to the great delight of a majority of Germans.

In England and America the isolationist and anti-war sentiments predominated. So strong they were here that FDR, in 1939, had to support Great Britain over great objections in congress, and otherwise in almost total secrecy.

I have often thought about our luck with leaders like Churchill who lead and privately funded intelligence and armaments projects even in the wilderness years. FDR too started the fight a good two years before war was declared. Both of these leaders saw the threat clearly and had the courage to buck strong public opinion. Even with this, we almost left it too late and only narrowly won.

“And so the great democracies triumphed”, wrote Churchill: “And so were able to resume the follies that had nearly cost them their life.”

Fascism is a term for a soc... (Below threshold)
Brad:

Fascism is a term for a society that was developed by the Italians in the 1930's. The problem with using it as a descriptor now is the pejorative connotations it carries, primarily because of Hitler. Hitler's Germany was not Fascist in the pure sense but has come to be called fascist as a non-communist authoritarian dictatorship.

The genuine question is whether the societies that are now Islamic or are being sought by Islamics are fascist in nature. In my opinion there are many similarities between what Mussolini calls Fascism and the Islamic ideal state. To know for sure you should know what fascism is and the following are a couple of quotes from Mussolini via Wikipedia.


The following was quoted from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctrine_of_Fascism

The Fascist conception of the State is all-embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value. Thus understood, Fascism is totalitarian, and the Fascist State—a synthesis and a unit inclusive of all values—interprets, develops, and potentiates the whole life of a people. (p. 14)

Fascism is therefore opposed to Socialism to which unity within the State (which amalgamates classes into a single economic and ethical reality) is unknown, and which sees in history nothing but the class struggle. Fascism is likewise opposed to trade unionism as a class weapon. But when brought within the orbit of the State, Fascism recognises the real needs which gave rise to socialism and trade-unionism, giving them due weight in the guild or corporative system in which diverent interests are coordinated and harmonised in the unity of the State. (p.15)

Yet if anyone cares to read over the now crumbling minutes giving an account of the meetings at which the Italian Fasci di Combattimento were founded, he will find not a doctrine but a series of pointers… (p. 23)

It may be objected that this program implies a return to the guilds (corporazioni). No matter!... I therefore hope this assembly will accept the economic claims advanced by national syndicalism. (p. 24)

Fascism [is] the precise negation of that doctrine which formed the basis of the so-called Scientific or Marxian Socialism. (p. 30)

After Socialism, Fascism attacks the whole complex of democratic ideologies and rejects them both in their theoretical premises and in their applications or practical manifestations. Fascism denies that the majority, through the mere fact of being a majority, can rule human societies; it denies that this majority can govern by means of a periodical consultation; it affirms the irremediable, fruitful and beneficent inequality of men, who cannot be levelled by such a mechanical and extrinsic fact as universal suffrage. (p. 31)

Fascism is definitely and absolutely opposed to the doctrines of liberalism, both in the political and economic sphere. (p. 32)

The Fascist State lays claim to rule in the economic field no less than in others; it makes its action felt throughout the length and breadth of the country by means of its corporate, social, and educational institutions, and all the political, economic, and spiritual forces of the nation, organised in their respective associations, circulate within the State. (p. 41).

—Benito Mussolini, 1935, The Doctrine of Fascism, Firenze: Vallecchi Editore.

The Labour Charter (Promulgated by the Grand Council for Fascism on April 21, 1927)—(published in the Gazzetta Ufficiale, April 3, 1927) [sic] (p. 133)

The Corporate State and its Organization (p. 133)

The corporate State considers that private enterprise in the sphere of production is the most effective and usefu [sic] [typo-should be: useful] instrument in the interest of the nation. In view of the fact that private organisation of production is a function of national concern, the organiser of the enterprise is responsible to the State for the direction given to production.

State intervention in economic production arises only when private initiative is lacking or insufficient, or when the political interests of the State are involved. This intervention may take the form of control, assistance or direct management. (pp. 135-136)

—Benito Mussolini, 1935, Fascism: Doctrine and Institutions, Rome: 'Ardita'
Publishers.

Fascism Doctrine and Institutions:

"First of all, as regards the future development of mankind, and quite apart from all present political considerations. Fascism does not, generally speaking, believe in the possibility or utility of perpetual peace. It therefore discards pacifism as a cloak for cowardly supine renuncia­tion in contradistinction to self-sacrifice. War alone keys up all human energies to their maximum tension and sets the seal of nobility on those peoples who have the courage to face it." —Mussolini

Fascism is very similar to ... (Below threshold)
GeminiChuck:

Fascism is very similar to socialism/communism in that they are: For the State, Of the State, By the State. Islam political leadership is certainly that. But in addition, Islamic political leadership is also the religious leadership - they only answer to God and Mohammed's interpretation of the Quran which directs that the only valid religion for all people is Islam. Thus most correct term then is Religious Fanatic Islamic Fascists. Islamo-fascists for short works good.

You're not going to reso... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

You're not going to resort to calling me "Anti-American," are you now?

No, but an "idiotic, uneducated, conspiracy-driven American whack job" pretty much fits the bill. That, and the word "tool" also comes to mind.

I always felt governmental ... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

I always felt governmental systems are multi-dimensional. That you can't put fascism, communism, democracy, etc on a straight line.

For example on one dimension you might have:
Democracy, Republic, Parliament, ... Monarchy, dictatorship.
On another axis you might have:
capitalism to socialism

For example, Communism was Fascist and super extreme - Socialism. Much of Europe is Parliament and moderate Socialism.

I think the 1-dimensional view of systems is a product of leftie compaign to paint Conservatives or Republicans or Righties as being on the same end of the stick as Nazis. That just doesn't work.

People who get paid to thin... (Below threshold)
greenstater:

People who get paid to think about these things do not have that simple-minded view of political models, jpm. Ordinary people do, because ordinary people aren't experts (and a lot of them are in fact quite stupid).

The dumbing-down of America isn't a "leftie campaign", dude. Kill. Your. Television.

I think a better term would... (Below threshold)

I think a better term would be Islamic Nazi, because it was the German flavor of fascism that had the added value of wiping Jews out of existence.

Let's all keep in mind that Jihad in German is Mein Kampf




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