The Return of the Neocons’ Prodigal Son
Anders Behring Breivik and the Axis of Hate
(AntiWar.com) -- by Justin Raimondo --
Suggestions that the “counter-jihadist” ideology spread by such websites as Frontpagemag.com, run by neocon David Horowitz, and the affiliated “Jihad Watch,” inspired – and provoked – the Norway killer Anders Behring Breivik have been met with cries of outrage by the neoconservative Right. This is hardly surprising: confronted with the sight of someone who put their hateful and inherently violent ideology into practice, what else are they supposed to do?...
...For what Breivik and the counter-jihadists are saying is that Islam is at war with the West – and that a “culture of appeasement” prevalent on our side of the barricades is delivering us to the Enemy. If you go through the material published by Robert Spencer, who is quoted in some 64 instances by Breivik, one central idea leaps out at you: we are at war with the one billion Muslims on the planet Earth. Not that we should be at war, or will be at war – the battle, in Spencer’s view, has already commenced, not on account of anything we in the West have done, but because Islamic doctrine is inherently violent and expansionist. Likewise, Pamela Geller, his collaborator in “Stop the Islamization of America” – and its European affiliate, which Breivik supported – denies the very existence of moderates in the Muslim camp. David Swindle, who writes for Horowitz’s website, describes the internal debate among counter-jihadists at one of their West Coast retreats:
“Breakfast begin [sic] with a debate between Robert Spencer and Dr. Zuhdi Jasser on the prospects for reform within Islam. Andrew McCarthy moderated and begin the talk by explaining that he still debates amongst himself over whether we’re at war with Islam or Islamism. This is a healthy debate to have and the position I find myself in at the moment. I’ll dissect Spencer and Jasser’s engaging back and forth once we have the video posted but in the mean time my position is basically that I embrace Spencer’s intellectual skepticism about the challenges reform faces but Jasser’s optimism and spirituality about the necessity of the project still wins me over.”
Even the hardcore ideologues within the Horowitzian camp find the blanket condemnation of an entire religion a bit hard to take. For if all Muslims are the Enemy, then Breivik’s agenda – mass deportations and/or mass murder – takes on an aura of legitimacy.
Spencer seems to realize this, which is why he has been backtracking and fuming over the sudden attention to his “work”:
“The hapless Adam Serwer in the Washington Post lies outright when he says that ‘most of Geller and Spencer’s blogging consists of attempts to tar all Muslims with the responsibility for terrorism….assigning collective blame for an act of terror through guilt-by-association.’ In ten books, hundreds of articles, and over 25,000 blog posts, I have never “attempted to tar all Muslims with the responsibility for terrorism,” and challenge Serwer to prove his claim.”
Horowitz “defends” Spencer by writing:
“Robert Spencer has never supported a terrorist act. His crime in the eyes of the left is to have told the truth about Islamic fanatics beginning with the Islamic prophet who called for the extermination of the Jews and said in his farewell speech that he was called to fight until all men say that there is no God but allah. (see Bruce Thornton’s article today’s Frontpage).”
While not coming right out and saying all Muslims should be deported and/or killed, Spencer – and Horowitz – believe Muhammad’s followers pose a deadly and imminent physical threat. Oh, and by the way, go read another Islam-is-evil rant, which supposedly proves Horowitz’s point. These people condemn themselves out of their own mouths.
Spencer is a fake-“scholar” whose innumerable polemics are all about the same thing: the intractable evil and danger posed by Islam. He believes there is a conspiracy to impose Sharia law on America, and annex the United States to a “global caliphate.” This is the stuff of pure fantasy, and yet anyone who takes it seriously and accepts its premises has to believe that the Muslim world must be challenged militarily – which is precisely what neoconservatives have been urging since well before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. And they succeeded in their mission, to a large degree: today we are embarked on a worldwide crusade which involves the invasion and occupation of a great deal of the Middle East. Breivik and his collaborators – if any – are simply taking it one step further, and in that they are more consistent than their neocon brethren, who prefer to have other people fight their wars of choice.
The neoconservative agenda [.pdf] is about one thing and one thing only: the desirability and necessity of a war to the death against the Muslim Enemy. Their relationship with Breivik is identical to the links between the “theoreticians” of yesterday’s New Left – Herbert Marcuse, Franz Fanon, etc. – and the activist rank-and-file, the college professors and the kids. Spencer is the theory: Breivik is the practice.
A screed posted on Horowitz’s website defends Spencer as being a mere “researcher” whose job it is to “monitor” the Muslim Threat. The pose of impartiality is supremely unconvincing. Spencer is a “researcher” in the same sense as Breivik: both start out with a foregone conclusion and then “research” assiduously to rationalize their preexisting agenda.
Breivik’s hate, expressed in terms of violence, is repulsive and therefore “fringe” – and yet Spencer and his ilk are the “respectable” proponents of the same basic ideology. Breivik was consigned to the margins, a member of a small sect – the “Knights Templar Europe” – which may very well have consisted of one member, himself. Spencer, on the other hand, has achieved a measure of quasi-respectability – or, at least, respectable enough to be included in a “training session” for military intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
Do we really want the man who inspired the worst mass murder in recent memory “training” our military and instructing our police in the intricacies of “Jihad in America”? That is just asking for trouble...
Breivik, Spencer, and the burgeoning anti-Muslim mini-industry that sprang up after 9/11 constitute an Axis of Hate, one that inevitably grew out of the “axis of evil” rhetoric employed by the Bush administration and their neoconservative Rasputins to justify the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. For over a decade, the West has been awash in a sea of propaganda targeting the Muslim world as a “swamp” which has to be “drained” for the good of humankind. Is it any wonder that some took seriously the comparison of Muslims to mosquitoes and embarked on an eradication campaign?...MORE...LINK
Mass-murdering Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik: inspired by anti-Islamic ideology and writings of "mainstream" neocons