Charles Johnson calls Brussels Journal “repugnant”

As part of his continuing campaign against the recent anti-jihad conference in Brussels, Charles Johnson, the host of the conservative website “Little Green Footballs,” damns the Belgian party Vlaams Belang, whose leaders attended that conference. The gist of Johnson’s indictment is that VB’s leaders were interviewed on a right-wing Internet radio program on which various right wing figures have also appeared, some of them unsavory, such as David Duke, Paul Fromm, and Kevin MacDonald, but others just right-wing, like Michael Peroutka (2004 presidential candidate of the Constitution Party), Larry Pratt, and Peter Brimelow.

Here’s the way Johnson sets it up:

Out of these many associations, here’s one that’s especially noxious; in February of this year, Vlaams Belang leaders Filip DeWinter and Frank Vanhecke appeared on a radio show called “The Political Cesspool” (a very apt title), promoted at the web site of notorious white supremacist David Duke.

And he finds at the program’s website a partial list of guests on the show:

Gordon Lee Baum, Esq., Peter Brimelow, Filip DeWinter, Dr. David Duke, Paul Fromm, Peter Gemma, Joel LeFevre, Dr. Wayne Lutton, Dr. Kevin MacDonald, Michael Peroutka, Rev. Ted Pike, Larry Pratt, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, Kyle Rogers, Dr. Tomislav Sunic, Jared Taylor and Frosty Wooldridge.

So here’s the chain of association by which Johnson damns the counter-jihad movement. David Duke, a major anti-Semite, has been among the many guests on the program The Political Cesspool, and also, when Duke was a guest, he naturally announced at his own website his appearance on the program (that’s what Johnson is referring to when he says that The Political Cesspool is “promoted” by Duke). Among other guests on The Political Cesspool have been Filip DeWinter and Frank Vanhecke. DeWinter and Vanhecke attended the recent counter-jihad conference. Therefore DeWinter and Vanhecke are associated with David Duke, because they were interviewed on a program which also interviewed David Duke, and therefore the counter-jihad conference is associated with David Duke. Further, Paul Belien, editor of Brussels Journal, has defended the counter-jihad conference from Johnson’s attacks. Therefore Paul Belien is at least implicitly associated with David Duke.

Indeed, a direct attack on the Brussels Journal was next on Johnson’s agenda. Before I read the above linked thread at LGF, a correspondent had sent me the following quote of Johnson’s: “The more I look into what Brussels Journal really stands for, the more repugnant it seems.” Repugnant? Isn’t that rather strong language? Indeed, it’s the same word that Opinion Journal hit man Jason Reilly used a couple of years ago about the very moderate Center for Immigration Studies.

I went back to the beginning of the thread to try to see what Johnson was referring to. It was a long thread with 140 brief comments, and at first it was impossible to make any sense out of it. (I don’t see the appeal of such websites, but evidently many people do.) When I was about to give up, I found an earlier comment by Johnson that seemed relevant to his indictment of Belien’s site:

Brussels Journal slams Ayaan Hirsi Ali:

The link was to an article at Brussels Journal in January 2006. Like me, Paul Belien was criticizing Ayaan Hirsi Ali for being a secularist who wants to drive religion out of society, for example, she wants to end all religious schools. Is Belien’s opposition to Ali’s radical secularism the thing that Johnson finds repugnant? Clearly it’s a part of it. Further comments posted shortly before Johnson’s “repugnant” comment establish the context.

First there is comment #81, at 11:19 p.m., pointing out that Ali took the side of a Dutch court which held that a small Calvinist political party should not get government funds because it opposes homosexual marriage and does not run women candidates. (All political parties in these statist European countries are funded by the government, so a cut-off of state funds is tantamount to killing the party.) The party’s reason for the latter was that “it believes that positions of leadership in politics and society should be occupied by men.” In other words, the party takes a traditionalist, Christian position regarding homosexuality and women’s participation in politics. Mary Jackson, call your office.

Then there is comment #85, posted at 11:20 p.m., which quotes Belien saying:

The Dutch government decided to appeal the verdict, but Hirsi Ali, as we reported at the time, applauded it, saying that any political party discriminating against women or homosexuals should be deprived of funding and, hence, effectively banned. Are these “the values of tolerance and justice” that Reader’s Digest wants “a young woman born outside Europe” to “show Europeans?”

The commenter then adds:

That is some seriously twisted logic. Are we supposed to tolerate sexism and homophobia? Is that what [Belien is] saying?

At 11:22 p.m. Johnson replies:

Yep, that’s pretty much what he’s saying.

And then at 11:23 p.m., Johnson comes in with his graceless coup de grace:

The more I look into what Brussels Journal really stands for, the more repugnant it seems.

Johnson evidently doesn’t feel he needs to explain or justify his judgment that “sexism” and “homophobia” render a publication “repugnant.” For him, the conclusion is self-evident. Belien has supported the right to exist of a political party which opposes homosexual marriage and which, for traditionalist reasons, does not run women candidates; and, without more ado, Johnson declares Belien’s website to be “repugnant,” end of subject.

Isn’t American conservatism a great thing?

In recognition of Charles Johnson’s style of argumentation, I hereby name him the first recipient of VFR’s AMERICAN THUGGEE AWARD. To deserve the AMERICAN THUGGEE AWARD a person must be a nominal conservative who passes a damning, left-wing-style judgment on someone without feeling any obligation to explain or justify the charge. The Award is named after Thomas Lifson, editor of The American Thinker, who set the gold standard.

But Charles Johnson is a fortunate man, because today he is a double winner. He also receives VFR’s Order of Achievement for Emulating the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Ascription of Guilt Through Collateral Association.

Charles Johnson and Morris Dees, Perfect Together.

- end of initial entry -

Milos L. writes:

About Charles Johnson and his “arguments” against Vlaams Belang, David Duke recently appeared on CNN (or some other U.S. mainstream network), commenting on the Teheran Holocaust denial conference. According to Johnson’s logic, Duke has got a pretty long and distinguished list of associates.

Also, regarding the concern you expressed in the earlier LGF thread about the prospect of Johnson, Ralph Peters et al. supporting the sending of U.S. troops to put down a hypothetical nationalist rebellion in Europe, Fjordman over at the Gates of Vienna expresses similar fears:

Many Americans say they are tired and will never become involved in Europe again. Fine, I can understand why. But another question is, if native Europeans actually start fighting back against Islamization for real, whose side will Americans be on? Will they be on ours, or will they back the poor, Muslims victims of European racism and xenophobia, just like they did in Yugoslavia?

Judging from the aggressive hostility towards anything European they are indoctrinated with, I fear the latter.

Justin T. writes:

Charles Johnson’s bizarre beliefs regarding Vlaams Belang are based entirely on ignorance. VB is by far the most pro-American and pro-Israeli nationalist party in Europe, aside from Norway’s Progress Party, and its positions are more conservative than President Bush’s, in my opinion. Based on the sites that he mentions, you’d think the VB was like Germany’s NPD, when really it is nothing like them. Any sane American conservative can find much to like about the VB, whether it be its strong support for a market economy with minimal government interference, balanced budgets, welfare reform, tax cuts, Israel… I think Barry Goldwater would find himself quite at home in the VB. Unfortunately, I think Goldwater would probably shy away from the modern Republican Party.

To sum it all up, Charles Johnson is an idiot. VB deserves our support, not our condemnation. We need allies like them in Europe and the future of Western civilization depends on it, because if left to the other two choices, socialists and fascists, it will be destroyed.

Jake F. writes:

Regarding Charles from LGF: give him time. He was a modern American West Coast liberal before 9/11. He has changed, but it is very hard to root out all the areas in which your old ideology still exists—especially when your truly leftist enemies attack you all the time by calling you a Nazi, and your defense, in part, is to show that you don’t hate any particular race of people. He is smart; he serves a useful function; if he doesn’t get overwhelmed by the cult of personality that has built up around him, he may change yet more and get closer to the truth.

LA replies:

From the few LGF threads I’ve read, there does seem to be a cult of personality there.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 01, 2007 11:54 AM | Send

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