[Marxism] Militant Islam and the Extreme Right

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Apr 21 10:58:03 MDT 2006

The Chronicle of Higher Education has an article by U. of Virginia 
professor George Michael (not the gay British rocker, I don't believe) 
titled "Strange Bedfellows" that makes an amalgam between the far right and 
political Islam. It is based on Michael's new book " The Enemy of My Enemy: 
The Alarming Convergence of Militant Islam and the Extreme Right."

It is based on a cherry picking of facts about political Islam that 
carefully omits the far more real and far more dangerous convergence taking 
place, namely between that of Western governments with democratic 
pretensions and the skinhead right against Muslim immigrants. The most 
graphic example of that is the Danish cartoon incident which brought 
together a newspaper that urged that Denmark follow the Nazi model during 
the 1930s, a government which sent troops to occupy Iraq and the Danish 
People's Party--a first cousin to France's Le Pen, the BNP in Great 
Britain, etc.

Michael's article points out correctly that Iran's president Mahmoud 
Ahmadinejad has begun to repeat some of the arguments found in the world of 
"holocaust denial", a calling card of the ultraright globally. He points 
out that after Ahmadinjad began to make revisionist arguments, David Duke, 
the former Klan leader came to his defense.

There are, of course, some problems with dragging in David Duke, who not 
only campaigned for the House of Republican as a Republican in Louisiana in 
1999 but was never criticized once by the Republican governor at the time. 
As long as we are in the business of making amalgams, why not make one 
between the Republican Party, David Duke and all of the Democrats who have 
caved in to Bush for the past 6 years?

Professor Michael also feels that the ultraright and the Islamists are bent 
on creating "utopian versions of homogeneous societies." Of course, this 
pretty well sums up the Zionist project in the Middle East as well. In 
1923, Vladimir Jabotinsky--the ideological forefather of the Likud 
Party--wrote an article titled "The Iron Wall: We and the Arabs" that 
contained the following observation:

"The vast areas of the U.S. never contained more than one or two million 
Indians. The inhabitants fought the white settlers not out of fear that 
they might be expropriated, but simply because there has never been an 
indigenous inhabitant anywhere or at any time who has ever accepted the 
settlement of others in his country. Any native people – its all the same 
whether they are civilized or savage – views their country as their 
national home, of which they will always be the complete masters. They will 
not voluntarily allow, not only a new master, but even a new partner. And 
so it is for the Arabs."


Thus we see that the founding myths of the state of Israel were rooted to 
some degree in the racist extermination of the American Indian. Even today, 
these myths endure in a 2004 Ha'aretz interview with Israeli historian 
Benny Morris (an erstwhile 'progressive') who openly endorsed the concept 
of an "iron wall" and reminded Israelis that "Even the great American 
democracy could not have been created without the annihilation of the Indians."

While this should not be interpreted as an apology for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, 
it would appear that with such an identification with an exterminationist 
policy by the likes of Jabotinsky and Morris, there will be a tendency in 
the Muslim world to give tit-for-tat--at least verbally.

Dipping into the barrel of Zionist apologetics, Michael makes a big deal 
out of the fact that "Adolf Hitler maintained a cordial relationship with 
the grand mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who spent several of 
the World War II years in Berlin, where he was received as a foreign 
dignitary after fleeing British-occupied Palestine." What this neglects to 
point out, however, is that the Grand Mufti was appointed to this post by 
the freedom-loving British in the 1920s who actually created the office to 
begin with. As was almost always the case in the British Empire, local 
flunkies were selected on the basis of a willingness to accommodate to the 
outside powers. Furthermore, al-Husseini was not the only denizen of the 
Middle East who flirted with fascism. Remember that Jabotinsky found 
inspiration in Italian fascism, to such an extent that even Mussolini was 
forced to concede to David Prato, who would later become the chief rabbi of 
Rome, that: “For Zionism to succeed you need to have a Jewish state, with a 
Jewish flag and a Jewish language. The person who really understands that 
is your fascist, Jabotinsky.”

Full: http://www.marxists.de/middleast/brenner/ch10.htm

For Michael, Arab support for Hitler's war against the British and French 
is further proof of some deeper affinity with fascism. He writes, "In Egypt 
a protofascist organization, Young Egypt, also known as the Green Shirts, 
attracted many army officers, including a young lieutenant colonel, Anwar 
el-Sadat, who was involved in a failed scheme to provide Rommel's Afrika 
Korps with secret information on British strategy and troop movements."

This is in line with the general thesis of his book that Arabs have adopted 
a policy of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". If this is the case, then 
a much longer book could be written about the United Stateswhich went much 
further than any Arab state after WWII in making bedfellows out of Nazi war 

The most infamous example was Klaus Barbie, the Gestapo officer recruited 
by the U.S. Army Counterintelligence Corps (CIC) in 1947. But there are 
many other examples as well. We should also acknowledge "Operation 
Paperclip" which brought Nazi scientists, many guilty of war crimes, into 
the U.S. where they were put to work doing pretty much what they were doing 
under the Swastika, namely preparing war against the Russian menace.

Whatever the Arabs did in comparison to this was small potatoes indeed.

Michael makes much of the fact that "After the war, several former German 
military officers and Nazi party officials, such as Otto Skorzeny, Johann 
von Leers, and Otto Remer, were granted sanctuary in Arab countries, most 
notably Egypt." He neglects to mention, however, that "According to several 
published accounts, including one by former U.S. intelligence agent Miles 
Copeland, Skorzeny, who died in 1975, helped the CIA train the Egyptian 
security services in the 1950s."

Full: http://archive.salon.com/news/feature/2000/05/03/nazi/index.html

So, if you are going to make amalgams between the Arabs and the Nazis, 
you'd better throw the U.S. into the hopper as well.

Continuing along in his merry but error-prone fashion, Michael concludes 
that "The rise of Palestinian terrorism in the early 1970s caused some 
elements of the extreme right in Europe to once again take interest in the 
Middle East. Members of a small German neo-Nazi group, 
Hoffmann-Wehrsportgruppe, for example, sought to develop an operational 
alliance with Middle Eastern terrorist groups."

But this was not the only alliance between Middle Eastern political actors 
and the ultraright. Although it might have slipped from Professor Michael's 
memory, others of us less intoxicated on ideology must recall that the 
government of Israel was building alliances throughout the world with 
groups just as unseemly as Wehrsportgruppe but far more powerful.

During WWII the future South African Prime Minister John Vorster was 
interned as a Nazi sympathizer, but three decades later he got the red 
carpet treatment in Jerusalem. On the occasion of that state visit, an 
official South African government publication stated that "Israel and South 
Africa have one thing above all else in common: they are both situated in a 
predominantly hostile world inhabited by dark peoples." Meanwhile Yitzhak 
Rabin completely ignored Voster's Nazi-loving past and toasted "the ideals 
shared by Israel and South Africa: the hopes for justice and peaceful 
coexistence". Both countries supposedly faced "foreign-inspired instability 
and recklessness".

This only covers half of Michael's prolix article. I could go on refuting 
it, but that would be like using a grenade launcher to kill a catepillar. 
The article serves the same purpose as much Zionist or "war on terrorism" 
propaganda today. It is meant not to win any new adherents to a totally 
bankrupt cause but to harden the ranks of the True Believers. Lord knows 
that they can get all the help that they need.



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