Conservatives who seek to banish anti-jihadism, as the EU seeks to criminalize it

The anti-jihad blog US or Them has a blow-by-blow account of a controversy at the very popular website LGF. It seems that LGF’s owner Charles Johnson has attacked the recent anti-jihad meeting in Brussels on the grounds that it included the leaders of the Belgian immigration restrictionist party Vlaams Belang, which Johnson called extremist, and he also deleted comments at his blog advocating the deportation of Muslims from the U.S. I haven’t read Johnson enough to know much about his politics. Basically I’ve not read his website (except for occasionally linking items there that readers tell me about) because of an instinctive, and no doubt backward and prejudicial, feeling I have that a publication named “Little Green Footballs” cannot possibly be serious.

Meanwhile, over at Brussels Journal, Paul Belien lays out Johnson’s charges against Vlaams Belang and replies in detail. I haven’t read Johnson’s original article yet, but if, as Belien writes, Johnson said that VB must be shunned because “Nazi skinheads applaud the party,” and because “neo-Nazis link to VB videos,” (the logic being that if David Duke approves of something I write then my beliefs are the same as David Duke’s), then Johnson is a PC liberal and useless to any serious defense of the West.

More important and alarming is the initial subject of Belien’s post, a proposal in the EU to outlaw racism and xenophobia, with racism and xenophobia defined as “belief in race, colour, descent, religious belief or national or ethnic origin as a factor determining aversion to individuals.” Meaning, that since non-discrimination is now (as I’ve been saying for years) the ruling principle of Western society, disobedience to this principle shall henceforth be a criminal offense. So, if I prefer not to associate with Muslims, or perhaps even if I say that Europe should not admit Muslim immigrants because Islam is inherently dangerous to the West, I go to jail.

We must keep in mind that the view underlying the EU proposal is not extreme by the standards of modern liberalism and its offshoot, modern conservatism. I’ve previously mentioned that Joseph Bottum, formerly of the neoconservative journal The Weekly Standard and now the managing editor of the neoconservative Catholic journal First Things, has said that if we stopped admitting Muslim immigrants into the West, “we would be as immoral as the terrorists.” Well, how should society treat people who are the moral equivalent of terrorists? Hmm?

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Cord Raeside writes:

You wrote: “I haven’t read Johnson’s original article yet, but if, as Belien writes, Johnson said that VB must be shunned because “Nazi skinheads applaud the party,” and because “neo-Nazis link to VB videos,” (the logic being that if David Duke approves of something I write then my beliefs are the same as David Duke’s), then Johnson is a PC liberal and useless to any serious defense of the West.”

This is asinine. Charles Johnson’s site Little Green Footballs is one of the best and most popular anti-Jihad sites on the web. Forget the commentary there or Johnson’s political views. LGF is one of the best places to find out all the Jihad horror stories that the MSM does not and will not report on. Post 9/11 I knew nothing of Islam but I was spurred on to learning more about it not through someone as obscure as you but because of Johnson’s site and Spencer’s site (another person you call a liberal). I get your point about the neocons sharing leftist premises, but your pit-bull style of calling everyone a “liberal” and thus worthless for the “defense of the West” who is not a 100 percent surrender-your-life-to-Jesus Traditionalist conservative marks you as useless to the defense of Western Civilization.

LA replies:

I did not attack LGF as a website (other than to say that I find its name silly), and I have regularly posted items from LGF. What I said was that someone who seeks to banish a European immigration restrictionist party from consideration merely because some other party (in this case a skin-head group) agrees with it or quotes it, is someone who is operating on a knee-jerk liberal basis. And someone operating on a knee-jerk liberal basis will always undermine our side in the end. There are many conservatives who have been good in calling attention to the dangers of Islam, but who, the moment anyone suggests doing anything about this danger, shut down the conversation.

I didn’t say that someone who behaves this way is useless as an informative source on dangers to the West. I said that someone who behaves this way is useless to any serious defense of the West, meaning doing something to rescue the West from the danger it faces instead of just talking about the danger.

Finally, my characterizaton of various conservatives as “liberals” is not mere mindless aggression, as you suggest, but is based on my definition of modern liberalism in terms of its first principles, a definition that I explain almost as often as I use the word “liberal.”

Emerson writes:

Would you please link or source Bottum’s quote. You’ve referred to it four times in the last few weeks and it’s almost unbelievable. And what is this guy’s genetic background. He more than “just a liberal.”

LA replies:

It was not something he published. I heard him say it in person. I was at a meeting about the Islam problem in Spring 2006 in New York City. The main speaker, who is a noted person from Britain, warned of Islam in the most alarming terms. When the discussion opened up, I said my usual thing about stopping Muslim immigration. Then Bottum said, “If we stopped all Muslim immigration, we would be as immoral as the terrorists.” I impulsively blurted out, “That’s the most naive thing I’ve ever heard.” Of course, “naive” was not the right word, but I didn’t want to say “stupid,” and “naive” was the substitute that came to mind. He then physically recoiled in surprise at my comment and said something along the lines that I was trying to shut him up. I forget what I said next, if anything, but I did not have the wits to say, “You’re the one trying to shut down this entire discussion on the Islam problem by saying that someone who says we should stop Muslim immigration is as evil as the most evil people who have ever lived on this planet.”

I was not pleased with my performance because I blurted out something instead of calmly and logically exposing his position for what it was.

Ever since that evening, and even more so after First Things later published an article by Mary Ann Glendon echoing the U.S.-Mexican Catholic bishops’ document on immigration which was tantamount to a call for open borders , I have regarded Bottum as a traitor and fifth columnist. Of course, he and Glendon are among the neocon JPII worshippers.

I had never met Bottum before that evening. I had never liked him, based on the things he wrote during his years at The Weekly Standard. As for his background, he is a fair-colored individual, presumably Anglo-Saxon from his name, and he is Catholic, and based on the things he was saying at this meeting is evidently very knowledgeable about inside baseball stuff at the Vatican. He seemed far more interested in such matters, about which he went on at great length, than in the Islam problem and what to do about it.

I’ve sometimes wondered about the ethics of my publicizing a comment made at a non-public meeting. Normally I would not do that. But when a person in an influential position expresses such a shocking, treasonous view, I feel people ought to know about it.

James P. writes:

Charles Johnson has been viciously attacking European rightwing parties and their supporters all week. His “lizard army” (regular posters) have shouted down any dissent on his blog, as I found out to my chagrin. When I pointed out that Diana West wrote that the Vlaams Belang was the most pro-Israel political party in Europe that she knew of, I was immediately labelled a jackbooted goosestepper.

Charles has been banning non-PC posters like gangbusters, many for the most innocuous comments imaginable. Not just deleting comments but banning long-time posters permanently. I haven’t been banned yet, but I’m sure I’m on the short list.

Fjordman has been posting his usual commonsense observations and has been called just about every name in the book for his troubles. LGF is becoming more like a cult than a blog; follow the Great Leader’s pseudo-anti-Muslim liberal line or face banishment. They’re now attacking Nick Griffin, the BNP and the college Republicans who dared to invite him to speak at Michigan State. I’m going back there just now to push the limits and see if I can’t further enrage the lizards.

Michael B. writes

Thank you for acknowledging the LGF debacle. LGF’s attack on Vlaams Belang and the Sweden Democrats was shameful. Charles was using unsourced photos and even Swedish leftist-multiculti propaganda sources to make his “point.” The charges are beyond ridiculous. The Sweden Democrats are easily one of the most pro-Zionist, pro-Jewish parties in Europe today. LGF has now enabled Muslim groups like CAIR to pick up and run with the Nazism charges against VB and SD. This attack could not have come at a more inopportune time. Many of us have been very filled with renewed excitement and commitment to the cause after the successful Brussels conference, and we’re also in the middle of a very perilous period as far as EU power-grabbing goes.

Conservative Swede (who also attended the conference) has written an excellent overview of the situation. This whole scenario also ties in extremely well with your recent analysis of the current PC leftist paradigm and its “Hitler-behind-every-Bush” fixation.

I know LGF has many followers, but I personally find their general Budweiser-type tone and discourse appalling. LGF, with 400 vapid, hormone-driven comments per post, is the very antithesis of VFR.

LA replies:

Could they be the Islam critics that John Derbyshire is so turned off by?

Richard B. writes:

I also rarely visit LGF. It is the Charles-Johnson-we’re-all-on-the-same-page-and-don’t-we-all-love-Charles self-indulgence fest (see, we all have the same enemies). Juvenile, in so many ways. I never understood why it’s popular, but then there are a lot of juveniles out there.

I always like your book reviews, and when you post great works of art.

LA replies:

I must do more of that.

N. writes:

Perhaps Charles Johnson is “fighting the last war”? That is, he’s fretting over some right-wing from the past, because that is easier than looking at what is going on in Belgium right now? We all carry baggage with us of past conflicts. Maybe Charles’s load has gotten heavier for some reason?

Buck R. writes:

I visit LGF frequently, am a member but rarely post there. I was surprised how he attacked SIOE and the groups involved, so quickly and with very little verification of the evidence he presented. Brussels Journal refuted many of the photos Charles posted as proof. Ironically, this is what the mainstream media does to those who oppose Islam. Charles can’t have the perfect resistance to support, it doesn’t exist. Waiting for the emergence of a resistance that would meet his standards is hopeless.

Likewise, his disagreement regarding banning Muslim immigration is irrational. The West has the right to discriminate against who gets to immigrate and to remove those immigrants who show themselves as a fifth column.

LA replies:

From what people are saying, Johnson sounds like a Ralph Peters type, a “conservative” who hates Europe and sees it as Nazi-like.

Milos L. writes:

I wanted to write to you about Charles and the LGF attacking Vlaams Belang and European nationalists in general and signal him as one of your “usual suspects,” but never got round to it. I’m glad you took notice yourself of the whole sorry affair. However, it seems to me you still have some doubts whether Charles is a PC liberal or not. To give you conclusive proof I present two comments on the infamous LGF thread that started the whole thing.

Dymphna of “Gates of Vienna” intervened with some explanations which provoked a comment #823 from the user “Trrumax”:

Charles, quick question. Are you cool with dymphna’s comments about “those who prefer to live among their own kind” and “protecting the ethnic swede”? I don’t know about you, but to me they’re kinda borderline.

To which Charles replies in comment #827:

Quick answer: no, I’m not.

Tells you all you need to know, really.

The other topic I’d like to write about is Greg Davis. From your introduction of him (“someone named Greg Davis”) it seems you have never heard of him. Greg Davis is the producer of the documentary “Islam: what the West needs to know,” which features Spencer, Trifkovic, Bat Ye’or and Walid Shoebat. I caught it on Youtube some time ago, but now it seems it’s been taken down. I warmly recommend it.

LA replies:

The quote doesn’t show Johnson as a Usual Suspect but as a liberal. Usual Suspects may ultimately be liberals, but not all liberals are Usual Suspects. A Usual Suspect is a person who warns of Islam as a great menace to our society but rejects the idea of stopping or even reducing Muslim immigration.

LA continues:

To return to a nightmare scenario discussed at VFR a few months ago, we could ask the following question. If there were popular nationalist uprisings in Europe against the forced imposition of Islam on Europe, and if the EU forces were unable to contain this uprising, would Charles Johnson and Ralph Peters support the use of U.S. troops to put down the nationalists? I think there’s a reasonable chance they would.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 27, 2007 05:21 PM | Send

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