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Propaganda Offensive

America will be more secure the sooner Rumsfeld resigns.. In an historical sense, the term "Islam fascism" is absurd, a contradiction in itself.. The fascism reproach is not true for any of the Moslem groups resisting Anglo-American control of the Middle East.
PROPAGANDA OFFENSIVE

US government starts a propaganda offensive: Bush and Rumsfeld warn of "Islam-fascists" and denounce critics of the Iraq war as "Hitler-appeasers"

By Rainer Rupp

[This article published under the title "Neuer Typ Fascismus?" in Junge Welt, 9/1/2006 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web,  http://www.jungewelt.de/2006/09-01/035.php?print=1/]


With thunderous speeches, US president George W. Bush and his secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld promote their war in Iraq these days. Given ever-stronger resistance against the occupation forces in the Tigris-Euphrates land and louder demands from the public and opposition in the US, Bush clearly rejected a withdrawal of his army. A rushed withdrawal would transform Iraq into a terrorist state, the president said on Wednesday at an election event in Nashville, Tennessee. "Much is at stake," Bush said, a victory in Iraq would be "an important ideological triumph in the battle of the 21st century."

In the most caustic speech of a long career, Rumsfeld spoke days before to veterans of the "American Legion" in Salt Lake City of a battle against a "new type of fascism." The US defense secretary compared critics of the war policy of the Bush administration supposedly directed against "terrorism" with "allied appeasement politicians" toward the Nazis before the Second World War.

THREATENING ELECTION DEFEAT

Since the republicans could lose the majority in both houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives, in the midterm congressional elections in November, the Bush administration with a new propaganda offensive is trying to present its worldwide "crusade against terror" as an epic battle of the US against a new fascism and so win the favor of voters. After alleged terror attacks on ten transatlantic airplanes supposedly prevented in July 2006 in London, Bush reminded his compatriots "that we are a nation in a war with Islam-fascists." Despite massive criticism above all from the Moslem side, the US president repeatedly used the term whispered to him by his neo-conservative advisors since 2005 to give a catchy name to the anonymous enemy in his "worldwide war against terror."

Bush and his secretary have now triggered a vehement debate with their reference to "Islam fascism." "Rumsfeld is right in all things and everyone with another opinion is wrong and a danger for freedom," he said after the Salt Lake City speech in a first reaction in the online edition of the Washington Post. According to Rumsfeld, all critics of the Iraq war are "appeasers" in allusion to the misguided appeasement policy of the British Neville Chamberlain toward Nazi Germany. They are appeasers toward "Islam fascists." At the same time he compared himself and his government colleagues implicitly with those statesmen of the 1930s who foresaw the war and urged from the first a harsh fight against Hitler when he wasn't so strong. The "war against terror" can be "compared with the war against the fascist countries in the Second World War," Rumsfeld said, because America's battle against "Islamic terror" is a battle against a "new" type of fascism. The Pentagon chief urgently warned all honest Americans not to make the same mistake as the appeasement politicians made toward the Nazis.

TOO MUCH NEGATIVE NEWS

Rumsfeld saw the real enemy as critics in the West, especially in his own country where "cynicism and moral and intellectual confusion" are widespread. They could "weaken the staying power of free societies." These people "have not learned the lessons of history." "Instead of facing the new dangers threatening the country," they are "mainly occupied with dividing the land." Whoever criticizes the "war against terrorism" waged by the US government "contributes to the demoralization of the population," Rumsfeld ranted and raved. The media that allegedly do not report fairly are particularly responsible.

The journalists intentionally exaggerate negative news about the situation in Iraq and devote all their attention to the misdeeds of a few soldiers without writing anything about the first soldiers awarded the highest military medals in Iraq. Rumsfeld directed his special rage against the human rights organization Amnesty International that described the US camp at Guantanamo as a "contemporary Gulag." This charge is "inexcusable," the Pentagon warlord bellowed.

In a first reaction, the Democratic Party accused Rumsfeld of a "political smear campaign." He is only trying "to divert from his own mistakes as defense secretary." "Joe McCarthy would have been proud of his style," democratic representative Pete Stark said alluding to the anti-communist witch-hunter of the 1950s. "America will be more secure the sooner Rumsfeld resigns," Stark said according to the Washington Post.

PROPAGANDA FORMULA "ISLAM FASCISM"

One of the most dangerous propaganda terms from the hotbed of gossip and intrigue of the neo-conservative advisors of the Bush administration is "Islam fascism or "Islam fascists." This is the new catch term that now circulates in America's Christian fundamentalist and rightwing conservative circles. US president George W. Bush used it last week when he spoke of the Palestinian Hamas and the Lebanese Hezbollah. Both are democratically recognized parties with members in a democratically elected government.

In an historical sense, the term "Islam fascism" is absurd, a contradiction in itself. However no other term could serve as a better justification of Bush's wars to create a "new Middle East" conforming to the US. As an explosive term "Islam fascism" mobilizes dangerous emotions, especially racist hatred against Arabs.

Using middle class definitions like those of American professor Robert Paxton, the fascism reproach is not true for any of the Moslem groups resisting Anglo-American control of the Middle East. The only approximately fascist group that arose there was the Marxist-Christian Phalange party in Lebanon that ironically was an ally of Israel's radical rightwing government in the 1980s.

In a greatly praised book "The Anatomy of Fascism" (2004), Paxton lists five criteria characterizing fascism: 1) a feeling of an overwhelming crisis that cannot be solved with traditional means, 2) the conviction that one's group or one's nation was the victim and all measures are justified beyond all legal and moral limits, 3) the need for authority by a leader standing above all law who trusts the superiority of his instincts, 4) the right of the elected people to dominate other people without legal or moral restraint, and 5) fear of foreign control.

Fascism demands one war after another to conquer and dominate foreign countries. At the same time it needs many internal threats to keep a nation in fear and terror and develop "patriotic" hyper-activism so every critic is branded as a traitor. Last but not least, Paxton points out that all successful fascist regimes have sought support from corporations, especially from the military-industrial complex. If one follows this definition, the fascists can be found in Washington, not in the Middle East.

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