Last week I posted a link to a very good article by Steven Schwartz that provides a comprehensive explanation of "Islamofascism" as well as a good understanding of what fascism in general involves.
On Tuesday, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld gave a blistering speech that compared today's events in the Middle East to Europe in 1939. Liberals and Democrats went nuts, most probably because they feel that they own the copyright to the term "fascist," and that they are the only ones allowed to apply it to their enemies with impunity.
In light of the storm that followed Rumsfeld's speech, let me again reference Schwartz' article and provide an outline of just exactly what fascism involves:
- An angry, resentful middle or working/"backbone" class that feels betrayed and abused
- A charismatic leader who promises to create a new society in which the current disillusioned middle class will become the ruling class
- The development of a set of totalitarian ideals; an attempt to re-envision society and government in an "us vs. them" fashion
- Use of paramilitary forces to disrupt society and terrorize elements of the general population who do not support the fascist movement
- Use of paramilitary forces to usurp established laws and public policies and gradually replace them with elements of the fascist's totalitarian vision
- A vision of imperialism and expansion of the fascist's totalitarian vision beyond the homeland borders (thus ridding the immediate region -- or the entire world -- of ideological enemies)
Those who have been heavily drinking the moonbat Kool-Aid during the past six years will probably be able to list "examples" of how points 1-3 and 6 "accurately" describe George W. Bush and the legion of angry kook religious fundamentalists who are supposedly trying to turn the USA into a fascist state.
To be sure, the "religious right" is upset about WalMart stores asking their employees to stop saying "Merry Christmas." And they are unhappy about attempts to remove "In God We Trust" from US currency, and to remove the Ten Commandments from government property. But there are no Christian brownshirts roaming the streets, terrorizing citizens and intimidating lawmakers. Pat Robertson has yet to issue a proclamation ordering his minions to burn abortion clinics or vandalize the campaign offices of Democrat political candidates.
It is also ludicrous to equate political partisanship with fascism. After all, didn't Bill Clinton and Al Gore promise to "reinvent government"? And isn't it fair to say that much of Hillary Clinton's base consists of die-hard Clinton supporters who are dying to see the Clintons become the First Family again? Are they "fascists"?
Finally, equating fascism with a direct explanation of the difference between the forces of good (liberal democracy) and the forces of evil (terrorism), and the desire to see good to triumph over evil, is simple-minded sophistry of the highest order. America may have a problem with hegemony, but it is more likely the result of capitalism than of a well-orchestrated diplomatic and military strategy by the Bush administration. And it has been ongoing since the end of World War II.
As much as I am not a "warmonger," I still have to agree with Rumsfeld's assessment. We are facing a new kind of fascism in the Middle East. And these fascists are preparing to build nukes. We had better pay attention while there is still time.
(Updated to re-edit some paragraphs and add a few additional thoughts.)