Friday, April 24, 2009

Concerning the "Anti-Jihadist" Blogosphere

I need to set out some positions regarding the flame up that's been roiling the conservative blogosphere in recent weeks.

As readers know,
Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs has taken something of a rigidly intolerant turn in recent months, attacking any vestige of robust right-wing activity as "extremist." A number of Johnson's own commenters have begun to ignore him, being burned out on the "Lizard King's" attacks on Christian traditionalists and neoconservatives as "fundamentalist wackos."

I first wrote about this a month or so back, in "
On Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs." My initial inclination was mostly fascination at how Johnson could turn off so many people who were previously intensely loyal followers. What happened? Who changed?

despite his protests to the contrary, it does seem that Johnson's lost some of his raison d'etre with the Democrats in power, and now he's attacking bloggers on the right as the new enemy.

Well, the battles continue to escalate.

Here's Johnson's latest: "
Pamela Geller: Poster Girl for Eurofascists." And Robert Stacy McCain responds to Johnson: "Pam Geller: 'Poster Girl for Eurofascists' or Just Another 'Rightwing Extremist'?"

And a couple of days ago, Michael van der Galien commented with his post, "Civil War Raging in the Right-Wing Blogosphere."

That one caught my attention, since I'm identified, along with
Stacy, not as "anti-jihad," but as a "foreign policy hawk":

Let one thing be clear: in the battle between Gates of Vienna, Atlas Shrugs on the one hand (I do not count Donald Douglas as truly being on their side for he is much more than an “anti-Jihad blogger” and he is not a xenophobe) and LGF on the other hand, I stand by the latter. I do not always agree with Charles - I’m pro-tea party for instance - but he meant such a great deal to the (international) conservative movement in years gone by that turning against him would be a sign of despicable ungratefulness.

Furthermore, GoV and AS have gone off the deep end, and Charles is right to point out that they have and continue to associate with far-right parties and individuals. “Anti-Jihad” bloggers, as they call themselves, have become Anti-Muslim, Anti-Islam, Anti-Tolerance, and Anti-Equality. Reading the comment sections of these websites is a horrific experience for all who care somewhat about common decency and tolerance. These people - again, I am not talking about people like Donald or
Robert S. McCain for they are not “anti-Jihad bloggers” but simply conservative bloggers who are also foreign policy hawks - have become radicals in their own right. Associating with them does not merely destroy one’s credibility, it is also a crime against decency.

To conservative bloggers like RSM and DD I have only this to say: make no mistake about it, AS and GoV are not ‘conservative blogs.’ Nor are they websites you should be associated with. They are ignorant radicals driven by hate. Conservatives everywhere are wise to distance themselves as much as possible from them.

I don't know Charles Johnson, but I'm friends with all the other parties to this debate. I communicate with Pamela Geller by e-mail every few days. Robert Stacy McCain is the coolest "blogfather" out there, and we talk by telephone in addition to e-mailing. And I've been friends with Michael van der Galien for a couple of years now, sharing blog posts and what not.

Pamela is passionate and vigilant in what she does, but to attack her as "fascist" is beyond the pale.
I know fascists. I've been attacked by fascists. I've repudiated fascists. Pamela is no fascist. She points out that Michael van der Galien is a convert to Islam, however, which might explain why he's so quick to choose up sides (see, a bit on Michael's views at "'Pure Islam' and Michael van der Galien").

Now, to be clear: I'm not out to ruffle feathers, and not Charles Johnson's by any means. But sometimes you have to take a stand: I think Michael's wrong on this one: Little Green Footballs gives aid and comfort to the enemies of conservatism, or as
The Educated Shoprat notes at this post, "He's done an Andrew Sullivan. No other way to put it."

But I'm going to let
Robert Spencer have the last word on Johnson's latest screed:

Today he is once again attacking Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs, whom he clearly fears a great deal (inasmuch as she tells the truth about him), along with Paul Belien and me for being invited to speak at an anti-Islamization conference by the group Pro-Köln. Pro-Köln, he says, is a neo-Nazi group, and he has a photo of some guy who is not involved with Pro-Köln but is wearing a Hitler-style overcoat to prove it. And if Pamela, Paul and I are speaking there, well, we must be Nazis too, right?

In reality, the fact that we were invited to speak indicates in itself that Pro-Köln is not a neo-Nazi group. We are known to be pro-Israel, and if I go I would speak in defense of Israel and against neo-Nazism, Holocaust denial, etc. Outside of Charles Johnson's fantasies, no one has ever actually seen a pro-Israel neo-Nazi. Racist parties such as the BNP and antisemites such as Jean Marie LePen's National Front are not welcome and have not been invited.

Moreover, as John Rosenthal reported in Pajamas Media last year, the German intelligence service in Hamburg has found that real German neo-Nazis despise Pro-Köln because it is ... pro-Israel.

And finally, this whole line of inquiry is absurd. The idea that if someone speaks somewhere, he must therefore hold all the same views that the other speakers hold, is not worthy of serious consideration. Question for Charles Johnson:
as he well knows, since I met with him at the time, I once spoke at the same event at which the featured speaker was none other than Hillary Clinton. Does that make her a neo-Nazi as well? (Or does it make me a Leftist and a socialist?) After all, she spoke on a bill with someone who once spoke on another bill with someone who was accused of being in the same room with someone who was once photographed at a funeral with someone who...

For that matter, is Johnson a neo-Nazi as well, since he met with me then also? Of course not - because after all, he renounces all neofascism, race supremacism, etc., right? He sure does. And so do I.

It is astounding that otherwise reasonable people fall for his sort of "analysis."

Related: Gates of Vienna, "Expedition to Cologne."


Always On Watch said...

I'm not out to ruffle feathers, and not Charles Johnson's by any means. But sometimes you have to take a stand...His feathers will be ruffled. You are not toeing his line.

What happened to me:

Despite my having taken a strong and public stand against ethnic supremacism, the same stand as Charles Johnson took (See this post I did back in 2007), I was banned at LGF some time back, around the time I interviewed Robert Spencer on The Gathering Storm Radio Show. As far as I know, nothing in that interview was in any way directed at Charles Johnson, nor had the great rift between Spencer and Johnson yet occurred.

Charles Johnson bans commenters based on those bloggers' blogrolls. Link to anything of which he disapproves, and out you go. I wonder if he bans bloggers who link to Christian sites? LGF has taken a decidedly anti-Christian turn in the past several months.

Jordan said...

I've never liked Pam, but I've never liked Charles either.

So torn.

Anonymous said...

I was banned by Charles Johnson for expressing scepticism on what is happening in the Balkans (he allows an Alabanian/Moslem chick with jihadist sympathies to badmouth the Serbs, Christians and Jews without checking her credentials). I was also disgusted with attacks on Creationists and Christians in general. Something is very wrong with Charles.

Anonymous said...

Unknown said...

Charles banned me for committing the thought crime of defending Pamela.

The sooner Charles fades into oblivion the better.