Hanson’s brain has flatlined

(Drafted in early September.)

If President Bush is, as I’ve often said, both witless in himself and the cause of witlessness in others, then Victor Davis Hanson is his chief acolyte. A prolific and popular promoter of the Bush Doctrine, Hanson has quite literally lost the ability to think, using words in such a way that they bear no relationship to their correct meaning, or rather in such a way that they convey the opposite of their correct meaning. In the below passage, which was approvingly quoted by Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, Hanson catalogues several aims of our terrorist enemies, namely restoration of the Caliphate, imposition of sharia law, opposition to the Crusader and Jew, and religious purity, and he then concludes from these classical Islamic beliefs, not that the terrorist killers are Muslims, but that they are fascists:

Islamofascism [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

From VDH today :

we in the West who worry about all this are told to fret instead about being “Islamophobes.” Indeed, a debate rages over the very use of “Islamic fascism” to describe the creed of terrorist killers—as if those authoritarians who call for a return of the ancient caliphate, who wish to impose 7th-century sharia law, promise death to the Western “crusader” and “Jew,” and long to retreat into a mythical alternate universe of religious purity and harsh discipline, untainted by a “decadent” liberal West, are not fascists. It is almost as if Alfred Rosenberg has returned in a kaffiyeh to explain why Jews really are apes and pigs, and why we must recapture the spirit of our primitive ancestors.

However, to blame Hanson’s amazing mischaracterization of Islam as fascism on a failure to think is not the most accurate way of putting it. What Hanson is evidencing here is not simple brainlessness, but the complete takeover of his brain by the all-consuming need to defend a false ideology, namely the false belief that our adversary is not Islam, but a fascist offshoot of Islam that has nothing to do with Islam itself. He is, as I said, the ultimate Bushite.

- end of initial entry -

Jake F. writes:

I honestly think you’ve got Hanson wrong. I read him very differently than you apparently do.

Although you may reasonably complain that Hanson should be saying that “Islam” is the problem rather than “Islamic Fascism,” or “Muslims” rather than “Muslim Fascists,” I think you got too far when you say “he then concludes from these classical Islamic beliefs that the terrorist killers are not Muslims, but fascists.”

I read him as saying that these people are fascists because they are Muslims.

Consider this paragraph again:

“The only surprise about the edition of Hitler’s Mein Kampf that has become a best seller in Middle Eastern bookstores is its emboldened title translated as ‘Jihadi’—as in ‘My Jihad’—confirming in ironic fashion the ‘moderate’ Islamic claim that Jihad just means ‘struggle,’ as in an ‘inner struggle’—as in a Kampf perhaps.”

Jihad, even the supposedly moderate jihad of the supposedly moderate Muslim, is the problem.

And this one:

“First, Islamic fascism is already the creed of the government of an oil-rich and soon to be nuclear Iran. Secular authoritarians like Pakistan’s Pervez Musharraf could easily fall, and the nation’s nuclear arsenal with him, into the hands of the madrassa Islamists. It is not inconceivable to envision several nuclear bombs among one or more theocratic governments in the years to come.”

He clearly thinks that “theocratic governments” run by “madrassa Islamists” are more of a problem than “secular authoritarians.” The missing ingredient in the latter is classical Islam: theocracy and jihad.

I think Hanson is one of the good guys when it comes to the Muslim situation.

LA replies:

I don’t see your point being demonstrated by the two quotes.

In the first quote he is not saying that moderate Islam is the problem, he’s only making an ironic point about the moderate Muslim claim that jihad means “struggle,” as in Hitler’s “My Struggle.” He is not thereby saying that moderate Muslims’ beliefs are Nazi-like.

Second, his quote about “theocratic governments” run by “madrassa Islamists” being the threat is in line with his general point that radical Muslims are the problem—and it’s these radical Muslims, whose beliefs are in fact classically Islamic, whom he absurdly calls “fascists.”

This is his uncontrollable incoherence, the twists and turns of which I have been tracking for years. Even when he tacitly admits that the radicals’ beliefs and aims are those of classical Islam (as shown by his phrases I summarized in the original blog entry), he then turns that around and calls those beliefs and aims, not Islam, but fascism. The man is unwilling to look rationally and clearly at the reality of Islam and make non-contradictory statements about it. His liberalism—meaning his horror of identifying an actual enemy, as distinct from the fictional, fascist, enemy—forces him to keep veering all over the place to avoid making true and consistent statements about the nature of Islam.

I’ll agree with you that Hanson is a good guy when he stops mucking up his discussions about Islam with a lot of confusing escapist nonsense.

LA continues:
Whoops, I missed one of your key points, possibly because it didn’t make sense to me. You wrote:

“I read him as saying that these people are fascists because they are Muslims.”

But of course that’s what I’m saying, too. He is defining Islam AS fascism. Apparently you see that as a valid point. I see it as an absurdity, which adds up to subordinating the 1,400 year old global conquering religion of Islam with its unique institutions of jihad and sharia to a 20th century nationalist ideology that dominated Italy from 1923 to 1943.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 18, 2006 10:12 PM | Send

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