Charles Johnson, drawing on left-wing websites, again smears Vlaams Belang

Having seen Charles Johnson in action so many times against supposed “Euro-fascists,” particularly the Flemish anti-Islamization party Vlaams Belang, we know his method very well: If you actually want to do something to protect the West from the spreading power of Islam, and not just absurdly complain about “Islamism,” AND if you supposedly have some “link” to extremists, fascists, or Nazis, no matter how tenuous or non-existent the link may be, then you yourself are an extremist, fascist, or Nazi and are to be expelled from decent society; and, moreover, anyone who defends you from that false charge (such as journalists Paul Belien, Richard Miniter, and Diana West) is to be labeled a “fascist sympathizer” and also expelled from decent society; and, moreover, any commenters at Johnson’s website, Little Green Footballs (including individuals who have been friends and supporters of Johnson’s for years) who fail to agree with Johnson’s smears are to be expelled forthwith from that website

In the past, Johnson has accused VB leader Filip Dewinter of being a fascist for such offenses as having a small bookend on his shelf in the shape of a Celtic cross, and being interviewed by a radio program which on another occasion had interviewed David Duke. The latter incident was transformed by Johnson into:

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.

Note that Dewinter and Vanhecke themselves had absolutely nothing to do with David Duke. But because they had been interviewed on the same radio program that (as Johnson pointed out) had also interviewed Duke, and because Duke promoted that station at his website in order to publicize his own interview, Dewinter and Vanhecke were somehow “associated” with David Duke and his neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic positions.

Keep that example in mind when reading Johnson’s latest attack on Vlaams Belang, posted July 2 at Little Green Footballs:

When Eurofascists Meet

When neo-Nazi mutant David Duke went to Belgium to take part in a skinhead summit meeting (which included Nick Griffin of the BNP), his host for the weekend: a local council member of the Belgian Vlaams Belang party. You know, that “anti-jihad” party that some bloggers continue to promote.

Here’s the Babelfish translation of the page: LEADER Ku Klux Klan spends the night at municipality Council member. (The original is here.)

LGF reader Red Sock, who emailed about the story, has a more coherent summary/translation:

When David Duke attended a Euro-Rus conference in Dendermonde, Belgium, he stayed the weekend with a local Vlaams Belang council member. The council member, Karin Milik, and her husband Thierry De Rijcke (the personal bodyguard of party leader Filip deWinter) are close personal friends of David Duke. Other council members of Vlaams Belang in the city of Dendermonde are unhappy with this and are demanding the resignation of Karin Milik, but it seems the party leaders will let her get away with this if she admits her error.

Euro-Rus is an organisation wanting the US, Europe and Russia to work together to combat Zionism and immigration. Nick Griffin of the British National Party was also a speaker at this racist conference.

The post is followed by the usual sheep-like bleats of agreement from Johnson’s commenters, who take the post as absolute proof that Vlaams Belang is indeed the “repugnant” and “noxious” party that Johnson has accused it of being all along, and, furthermore, that such American websites as Gates of Vienna and Atlas Shrugs which defend Vlaams Belang are as bad as Vlaams Belang and should be shunned.

In reality, almost every statement or implication made in the LGF post is false:

  • VB has no connection with Euro-Rus, the organization at whose conference Duke spoke. Euro-Rus favors a Russia-dominated Europe as an anti-American bulwark; and is linked with Nieuw-Solidaristisch Alternatief (NSA), a neo-Nazi party with which VB also has no connections. NSA is also close to Russian neo-Nazi groups. Moreover, Kris Roman, the head of Euro-Rus, is a former VB member who was ousted from the party in 1994 for anti-Semitism.

  • Karin Milik is not a high-ranking VB member but one of 1,500 VB council members, that is, people elected to local offices in the municipalities of Flanders.

  • Thierry De Rijcke—who is either the husband, official “partner,” or boyfriend of Karin Milik—has never been the bodyguard of Filip Dewinter.

  • Also, less important, the city where Milik resides and where the conference took place is not Dendermonde but Sint-Niklaas (pop. 70,000).

  • Also, there is no evidence that Nick Griffin attended the Euro-Rus meeting, since his name did not appear on the speaker’s list.

Thus the connection between VB and David Duke that was suggested by Johnson is non-existent. VB has no connection with Duke. VB opposes Duke’s anti-Jewish and anti-Israel ideas. VB, unlike most of the leftist, pro-Eurabia establishment of the EU, supports the state of Israel against those who would destroy it. Indeed, VB, with the exception of its anti-Islamization and anti-immigration stand, is pretty similar to the Republican party, as I’ve previously explained.

All that actually happened here was that one very minor official of VB, without the knowledge or approval of VB’s leadership, had Duke as a guest at her home. And this fact, having nothing to do with VB as an organization, has been used to suggest a link between VB leaders and Duke and thus get VB shunned by other anti-jihad organizations and politicians. The ultimate purpose of Johnson’s tactics of guilt by association is to make it impossible to mount any meaningful, unified front against jihad in the West.

Charles Johnson’s information sources are a key part of this story. Paul Belien last November gave a detailed account of Johnson’s use of Yelloman, a far-left, pro-Palestinian blog, as the source for his attacks on VB. Johnson also references the far-left Expo site as his source for Sweden and the far-left Oyvind Stromme site as his source on the European “far-right,” as Fjordman explained at Gates of Vienna last December. Oyvind Stromme denies that there is a Eurabia project and says that Bat Ye’or’s writings on the subject constitute a fascist conspiracy theory.

To get a further idea of the kind of publication where Charles Johnson finds the “information” with which he smears European conservatives and anyone who defends them, Yelloman has written (quoted by Belien):

Whenever I see people such as [Geert] Wilders and [Rita] Verdonk [the Dutch immigration minister], I think of the Kristallnacht! The moment the Jews were rounded up…

Thus the people Johnson relies on for his knowledge of European politics are leftists who condemn as Nazis anyone who opposes the Islamization of Europe.

At Yelloman, the title and subtitle of the site are:

The extreme right in Flanders
Weblog against hate and racism

And here’s the title of the article that was Johnson’s main source on the Duke story:

Holocaust denier and neo-nazi David Duke has been a guest of Dewinter’s bodyguard

As a European source explains to me,

The far-left Yelloman is Johnson’s source on the Duke story and has been his source for earlier attacks on VB. The interesting thing is that as its own source it links to Anti Fascist Front (AFF). The AFF piece says that the founder and president of Euro-Rus, the organization that gave the conference where Duke spoke, is Kris Roman. Further, according to the AFF article, Roman was a member of the VB until 1994 “when he was ousted by the VB for his “anti-semitic and negationist [holocaust denial] views.”

In other words, the same sources that Johnson used to claim that VB is linked with the Euro-Rus conference also contained the information that strongly indicated that VB has no connection with Euro-Rus but opposes it. Yet Johnson did not mention that the Euro-Rus leader had been expelled from VB 14 years ago.

Vlaams Belang’has issued an official statement about the David Duke matter:

Vlaams Belang Denounces David Duke

Our party, Vlaams Belang, has been named in an involvement with the American “politician” David Duke. Karin Milik, one of our 1,500 local councilors, had Mr. Duke over at her house when he was in Belgium to speak at a conference with which our party had nothing to do.

Vlaams Belang does not wish to be associated or linked in any way with David Duke or his ideas. Vlaams Belang has no ties or affinity whatsoever with David Duke, the organisations he belongs to or the ideas he stands for.

Ms. Milik has apologized because it was never her intention to incriminate or associate Vlaams Belang with the figure of David Duke. Vlaams Belang will not accept any repeat of such incidents.

Vlaams Belang strives for the independence of Flanders, fights the Islamization of Europe, defends the Judeo-Christian values of Western civilization, opposes anti-Semitism and all forms of racial prejudice, and regards the state of Israel as an invaluable ally in the struggle in which we are currently entangled with an enemy—radical Islam—that is bent on destroying our liberties and depriving our nations of their identity.

Bruno Valkeniers
Vlaams Belang party leader

Richard Miniter at Pajamas Media has also written about this story and quotes the VB statement. Miniter concludes that Karin Milik ought to be dismissed from the Vlaams Belang. I agree. The VB leadership evidently feel that a warning to Milik and other members not to repeat “such incidents” is sufficient. But what does “such incidents” mean? Letting Duke stay overnight in one’s home? Inviting Duke to one’s home for dinner and a chat? Or socializing with Duke in any way at all? Is VB saying that it’s ok for a VB official to be a friend and supporter of Duke, so long as one does not actually meet with him socially? But isn’t the friendship and support, without the actual socializing, bad enough, from the point of view of linking VB with someone with whom it should have no links at all?

Of course it’s not fair that VB should be held to such exacting standards. Consider the atrocious individuals with whom high-level Democrats and Republicans publicly associate in this country, with no damage to their reputations. President Bush even had Al Sharpton as a guest at a White House gathering, and engaged in the usual Bush joshing repartee with him—Sharpton, the unrepentant racial arsonist and false accuser, who has done far more harm to individuals than David Duke has ever done. Bush received virtually zero criticism about his legitimization of Sharpton, when, if there were fairness and justice in this world, the incident should have led the conservative movement to reject Bush completely. The fact remains, however, that David Duke is uniquely poisonous, and a political party such as VB, which is in such a vulnerable position, under constant accusations of fascism that threaten its existence as a party, must not tolerate any support for him in its ranks, even by a single, local official.

As I gather from indirect contacts I’ve had with the VB leadership, they do not fully understand the meaning of Duke, the poison associated with his name. This lack of comprehension apparently stems from the fact that Duke is far less well known in Western Europe than in the U.S.

- end of initial entry -

Tim W. writes:

David Duke was elected to the Louisiana legislature as a Republican, and once ran for the U.S. Senate as a Republican. I hope Charles Johnson remains consistent and denounces the GOP and John McCain for their ties to fascism. He should then completely disassociate himself from the Republican Party. Also, Louisiana’s Republican governor Bobby Jindal, an Indian-American, might be surprised to learn that he’s a white supremacist, using Johnson’s guilt-by-extremely-tangential-association reasoning.

LA replies:

I don’t think this argument works. The national Republican party strongly denounced Duke and dissociated itself from him … But wait. Vlaams Belang kicked out that Kris person who then became head of Euro-Rus, yet Johnson still associates VB with the Euro-Rus conference where Duke spoke. So by Johnson’s logic, the Republican party is a David Duke party. By the same token, he should denounce Robert Spencer, Bat Ye’or, and Andrew Bostom, who were all at the Brussels anti-jihad conference that Johnson denounced because Vlaams Belang leaders were there.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 08, 2008 01:00 PM | Send

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