Sunday, September 28, 2008

Andrew Bostom: “Confronting a Mendacious Bully”

As most of you know, for the past year Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs has been attacking many people in the right-wing Counterjihad, including Fjordman, Diana West, Dymphna, and me, accusing us of being “fascist-enablers” and other appropriately odious labels for being willing to associate with Vlaams Belang and other groups he considers “neo-Nazis”.

Late last year I swore off posting about the conflict, and mostly I’ve kept my pledge. From time to time, however, both Fjordman and I have brought the topic up whenever it was necessary.

Today is one such time, even if it’s just to write a coda to the whole sorry affair. Yesterday CJ attacked Andrew Bostom in the comments at LGF, and threatened to publish their email exchange.

I happened to attend an event last night at which both Andy Bostom and Robert Spencer were present (more about that later). Andy told us that this latest attack was a bridge too far, and that he was going to pre-empt Charles Johnson by publishing their email exchange himself.

Today he has done just that. Here’s how he begins his post:

Confronting a Mendacious Bully

Anna Julia Cooper (d. 1964, at age 105), the pioneering black American scholar and educator: “Bullies are always cowards at heart and may be credited with a pretty safe instinct in scenting their prey.”

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Charles Johnson doth protest too much. For months I have endured in silence his distressingly stupid and vicious calumnies and threats — private, as well as public — against colleagues and friends — brave, decent souls who, unlike Johnson, are serious scholars, authors, and journalists, investigating the burgeoning threat of violent and non-violent jihadism/ Islamization in Europe.

When Johnson put my dear friend — the perspicacious writer and journalist Diana West — in his crosshairs, I was compelled to break my silence. Following Johnson’s e-mail threat to another close friend — the brilliant scholar and author Robert Spencer — after Raymond Ibrahim (editor/translator of The Al Qaeda Reader) simply blogged a favorable discussion (subsequently removed by Spencer, pace Johnson’s threat!) of Diana West’s September 18, 2008 Town Hall.com column at the Jihad Watch/Dhimmi Watch website — I noticed that National Review Online had a featured link (on 9/19/08) to the same West column.

As a rather gentle rebuke of Johnson’s bullying (not to mention months of his indiscriminate, irresponsible, and just plain idiotic spraying of charges of “Fascism”), I sent “CJ” an e-mail link to the NRO featured posting of West’s September 18, 2008 essay with the subject line heading, “Lookie!-NRO ‘Fascists’ have featured a link to Diana West’s ‘We are losing Europe to Islam.’“ A week later, when Diana’s follow-up column was also a featured link at NRO (9/26/08), I again forwarded the NRO link with a similar subject heading. And the next day (9/27/08) when social critic Roger Kimball (of The New Criterion, and Pajamas Media) had a lengthy, favorable discussion of West’s 9/26/08 column, I sent another e-mail with the subject line title, “Oh No! ‘Fascist’ Roger Kimball on Cologne and ‘Fascist’ Diana West.”

Johnson responded to this latter e-mail accusing me (on the basis of the three rather innocuous e-mails above, sent during a week) of “stalking” him!
- - - - - - - - -
I wrote back in admittedly (albeit deservedly) caustic language highlighting the hypocrisy of Johnson’s attacks on those he perceived (see Anna Julia Cooper’s observation about a bully’s “pretty safe instinct in scenting their prey”) as vulnerable — independent writers and thinkers such as West and Spencer — while lacking the guts to similarly attack well-established conservative icons such as NRO, or Roger Kimball who had endorsed West’s writings (NRO twice, in successive weeks) on the Islamization of Europe.

Johnson then proceeded to blog the comments (below) at his website, which included a “threat” to publish my e-mails to him. Johnson’s warped characterization of my correspondence, and idle threats to “expose” those e-mails reveal his mendacity and prototypical bully cowardice. The e-mails are included below, preceded by Johnson’s public comments at his blog.

There follow the comments and the full email exchange between both parties. Pay a visit Andy’s blog to read the whole thing.

You’ll notice that one of the things Charles said was: “The only thing you’re achieving is to make yourself look like a fool.”

I’ll leave it to our readers (and for posterity) to examine the evidence for themselves and decide who is a fool and a cowardly bully, and who is a fine scholar and a man of integrity.

Your call.

40 comments:

Yankee Doodle said...

Admittedly I don't get over to GOV as often as I would like to. I have now begun to "follow" GOV, using the new feature in Blogger, in the hopes of getting over here more often.

On the many times I have been here, I have consistently found the articles to be well-researched and thoughtfully-articulated. Furthermore, I have found them to be fair and impartial -- the anti-Islam spin that comes out is, in my opinion, far, far more a result of the actions of those who call themselves adherents of the "Religion of Peace" than of any attempt to foment hatred at GOV, which, in my view, is a blog that advocates law-abiding tolerance of that which is tolerable, and lawful action against that which is not.

I have been far less impressed with LGF, so much so that some months ago, I deleted my link to them.

My criteria for links is to link to sites that I find pertinent or of interest to myself or possibly to my readers; I use my links as a resource. This is regardless of whether those sites I link to link back to me. The fact that I have deleted the link to LGF should speak volumes regarding my estimation of LGF's pertinence; on the other hand, on slow-blogging days when I have little to offer, I have proudly suggested to my readers that they visit GOV.

All things considered, when the smoke clears, I think we will find that LGF has more in common with the Islamists than with those of the counterjihad.

"Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"

Fjordman said...

YD: After the Cologne weekend, I think we can say pretty definitely that LGF has lost this encounter 100%. After spending a full year trying to undermine other people's reputation, CJ has only succeeded in undermining his own. LGF wasn't always as bad as it is today. I don't know why he decided to destroy his own website, but it was nevertheless his choice.

Conservative Swede said...

Great! This was the death blow against CJ. Bostom has finished him off.

I also notice that Bostom interprets CJ exactly like I have done -- like a school yard bully with a scent for going after the weak. (Like Siggy said, co-operating with Stalin was all OK since he was powerful, it's associating with Vlaams Belang that is evil since they are weak).

Anonymous said...

Whoa! Charles actually might be more stupid than I thought. Good for Bostom for standing up to him. More people need to do so.

Anonymous said...

With apologies to LtCdr Queeg and the Caine Mutiny-

"Lt. Commander Charles Johnson: (Rolling steel balls in his hand while blogging) Ahh, but the Nazis that's, that's where I had them. They laughed at me and made jokes but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt and with ... geometric logic ... th-that a dangerous Euro-nationalist conspiracy did exist, and I'd have produced that conspiracy if they hadn't pulled the Football out of action. I, I know now they were only trying to protect some fellow blogger ... (Pause as he stops in realization) Naturally I ... I can only cover these things from memory. If I've left anything out, why ... just ask me specific questions and ... I'll be glad to answer them ... one by one. (He continues to roll the steel balls)"...

USorThem said...

According to Bostom:

"Following Johnson’s e-mail threat to another close friend — the brilliant scholar and author Robert Spencer — after Raymond Ibrahim (editor/translator of The Al Qaeda Reader) simply blogged a favorable discussion (subsequently removed by Spencer, pace Johnson’s threat!) of Diana West’s September 18, 2008 Town Hall.com column at the Jihad Watch/Dhimmi Watch website — "

I recall that post and how it simply disappeared without explanation. Now we know why.

So now CJ is trying to censor what is posted at JihadWatch! How much more bullying will Spencer take before he confronts CJ with a set of brass knuckles?

First, Fjordman, GoV, and Atlas, then West, now Bostom, will Spencer be far behind?

THAT would be the end of LGF.

islam o' phobe said...

When is Charles Johnson going to denounce Henry Kissinger for being a party to America's Cold War alliance with Franco's Spain?

[crickets chirping]

Conservative Swede said...

Hey Charles Bogle!

No that's not Charles Johnson, it's Lawrence Auster. See here.

Curiously enough, I also mix them up actually.

FluffResponse said...

Charles Johnson attacks .... Andrew Bostom? ANDREW BOSTOM?

My experience of the last years, learning a bit about Islam and realizing how differently people see the same phenomena... well, I hope that wisdom will prevail, but see that it may not.

Will Charles Johnson re-consider his "not pure enough for me" shtick? Isn't the man insisting on an identical point of view to his, on every detail?

What was Freud's phrase: "the narcissism of small differences"?

Attacking a scholar like Andrew Bostom? Too weird.

A public apology would be sweet.

jeppo said...

Charles Johnson should go back to blogging about bicycling, or computer programming, or whatever it was he used to blog about pre-9/11. Let's review a short list of anti-Islamists he's insulted and denigrated:

Andrew Bostom
Robert Spencer
Diana West
Lawrence Auster
Richard Miniter
Fjordman
Gates of Vienna
Atlas Shrugs
Brussels Journal
Oriana Fallaci
Bat Ye'or

And let's not forget the hundreds of LGF commenters (including me) that he's banned for supporting the European counterjihad. Yup, old CJ has really jumped the shark this time.

Today has been a great day for our cause, not that you would ever know it from reading LGF. Two conservative nationalist and anti-Islamist political parties in Austria have won nearly 30% of the vote in today's election. The leftist/Islamist thugs might rule the streets, as in Cologne, but our side is growing ever more powerful where it really counts, at the ballot box.

awake said...

Johnson accusing Bostom, who is Jewish, of aligning with "known" white supremacists and anti-Semites is laughable.

usorthem wrote:

"I recall that post and how it simply disappeared without explanation. Now we know why."

In the name of accuracy, Spencer did a follow up post explaining why that post by Ibrahim was removed.

http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/022665.php

That also beindg said, I do not believe Spencer to assume the fascist nature of these organizations as a presupposition.

I do suppose that in time all these questions will be explicitly answered.

heroyalwhyness said...

Posting three links to CJ's link dump is now considered 'stalking'? Good heavens, now I've heard everything!


I've read Dr. Bostom's books on topics of jihad and antisemitism. I've read Bat Ye'or's books on dhimmitude. I've read two in the trilogy of Orianna Fallaci's books reflecting on Islamic hegemony.
I've read some of Auster and Miniter's writings. Daily I explore Robert Spencer at DW/JW, GoV, Atlas and read all of Fjordman's essays with great satisfaction.

What exactly has Charles Johnson produced? His demonstrated expertise is in web design with user friendly commentary options. OK, he clearly has technical expertise. He offers an open forum to discuss jihad related, political, musical and bicycling issues, and filters all commentary with technical trip wires. Dinging 'up' an article yields instant gratification. Dinging 'down' an article alerts CJ to opposing views and potential banning offense. (HRW, guilty as charged)
His increasingly frequent posts exhibiting his technical skills, as well as recurrent 'open registration' opportunities helps fill the void created by his antagonism - yet that void continues to expand proportionate to his threats and intimidation.

C'est la vie.

Conservative Swede said...

Jeppo,

Yes, that's an impressive list. What is striking is that there is no one left that is actually a scholar on Islam (unless CJ would like to include Bernard Lewis, Esposito and Armstrong).

Who has he got left? Bruce Bawer, Oyvind Strommen. Who else?

To illustrate my point even better, let me put it in this way: CJ took down the photo of Oriana Fallaci. If he were to replace it with another photo of someone symbolizing the struggle against Jihadist, who would he pick? Would he put up a photo of Geert Wilders? And if he did, how long before he felt compelled to bring it down? Maybe Robert Spencer? And if he did, how long before he felt compelled to bring it down? I think you see my point when you look at it from this perspective. There's virtually no one left.

And let's not forget the hundreds of LGF commenters (including me) that he's banned for supporting the European counterjihad.

In addition to how he insulted and denigrated them. Not forgetting to mention the dozens of smaller bloggers (non-members) he did that to too.

PS. Trifkovic is not on your list. But this is since he is such a clear case of a fascist-by-default that CJ did not need to insult and denigrate him to make him one. Hey, Trifkovic is also pro-Russia, so he's even a fascist-by-default by the standards of several commenters here at GoV.

USorThem said...

Awake,

Thank you for the link. I was unaware that R.S. wrote an entire post with explanation. It must have appeared several days after the original post was removed because I was checking for some follow-up. It was very un-JW like to not explain.

I read the explanation and although I strongly disagree w/ RS, and wished I participated in that thread, appreciate R.S. for doing that.

Conservative Swede said...

Nevertheless, I think that the most remarkable revelation in Bostom's post about CJ is that CJ actually reads emails! We all remember how he made a big thing out of how he didn't read the invitations to the Brussels' conference 2007.

I guess the reason Bostom got through CJ's brain filter was by writing simple one-liners.

heroyalwhyness wrote:
His demonstrated expertise is in web design with user friendly commentary options.

I think "user friendly" would be what they would call the perfect totalitarian state. No way to click in the wrong place, or enter the wrong phrase. 100% fault-proof. Only "good" actions approved. Only "good" actions possible.

christian soldier said...

I've been reading Robert Spencer's articles in Human Events for years...He's been ahead of the curve.
Mr. Spencer removed a piece because of a threat from CJ-LGF...for what reason?
What actual power does CJ-LGF have?

FluffResponse said...

power? no. a far more likely interpretation is that Spencer agreed with johnson's perception.

Conservative Swede said...

FluffResponse said:
"Charles Johnson attacks .... Andrew Bostom? ANDREW BOSTOM?"

Yes, staggering indeed. However, now take in the full magnitude of it. He's attacking Andrew Bostom... accusing him of... believing that we should all join forces with white nationalists!!

He's quite an act.

islam o'phobe said:
When is Charles Johnson going to denounce Henry Kissinger for being a party to America's Cold War alliance with Franco's Spain?

I just heard that Kissinger is the foreign affairs adviser of McCain. I guess he'll have to pretend that this never happened, and that Kissinger do not exist. Quite as he pretends that Italy does not exist.

heroyalwhyness said...

Christian Soldier asks: "What actual power does CJ-LGF have?"

Influence is more the term I would use. If you go to Jihadwatch.org's main page and scroll down on the left sidebar, you will notice that Robert Spencer's Jihadwatch site posts a logo stating: "designed by Little Green Footballs "(aka: Charles Johnson).

*********

Conservative Swede said..."Only "good" actions possible."

due to technically placed enhancements to the blog . . .ie: trip wires

Conservative Swede said...

"designed by Little Green Footballs "(aka: Charles Johnson)

Makes one wonder if CJ made the JW design "user friendly" (if you get my gist) in any sort of way?

He's like the mad James Bond villain, trying to control the whole world from his computer. A sort of a overgrown hacker boy.

Conservative Swede said...

due to technically placed enhancements to the blog . . .ie: trip wires

I see that my analogy completely passed you by.

Anonymous said...

CS, maybe we shouldn't assume anything about the missing picture of Oriana Fallaci. The LGF front page is more austere than it used to be. Other expected features are gone, too. (I despise Charles Johnson, I just don't think we should assume anything about the pic.)

Anonymous said...

latte island, the reason why I personally would make assumptions about Fallaci's picture missing is because it disappeared exactly at the time that Dewinter got that award. Personally, I think it's too much of a coincidence.

Trifkovic is one of my favourite people... Conservative Swede mentioned him. And I do think I remember seeing commenters at LGF insulting and denigrating him. I don't know if Charles ever did.

Fjordman said...

CS: Spencer is a good and decent man who can simply make an honest mistake. Let's just move on. CJ has alienated so many influential people, including most likely Jihad Watch by now, that we should continue ignoring him as much as possible. He doesn't constitute a threat to anybody, except possibly to himself.

AngleofRepose said...

With one exception Fjordude ~

Posted in: Obama Blatantly Flip Flops on Missile Defense

#284 Charles 9/27/2008 9:31:15 am PDT

That clash in Cologne is interesting, by the way, because when this issue first came up last year the pro-fascists put up an incredible smokescreen of arguments insisting that I was either making everything up and those groups weren't fascist at all, or wildly exaggerating and taking everything out of context.

If I was so off-base to blow the whistle on DeWinter and his pals, why did tens of thousands of Europeans show up to protest against them? Did I brainwash all of them too?

And one more point: there were violent anti-fascists there, yes, but there were also many thousands of people who protested peacefully against the so-called "anti-Islamisation" meeting. To portray this as an apocalyptic battle between two bad sides is simply bullshit.


Useful Idiot much?

Henrik R Clausen said...

Short, sweet and functional by Bostom. This should be the end of anyone worrying over CJ bullying.

As for Spencer removing the post, I think he's merely erring to the side of caution. Not much to worry about. Being a close associate of Bostom, he's probably glad the trouble is over, and getting on with life.

Henrik R Clausen said...

why did tens of thousands of Europeans show up to protest against them?

Ignorance, and misplaced idealism.

As far as I know, more stayed at home anyway.

Mass rallies, as we know _very_ well here in Europe, can easily be a display of mass stupidity, not a profound expression of Truth.

Conservative Swede said...

Hi Fjordperson!

It's OK if you call me CS. However, if you use that to refer to Christian Soldier too, you are confusing us.

Conservative Swede said...

Henrik,

Short, sweet and functional by Bostom. This should be the end of anyone worrying over CJ bullying.

You read the situation like me. I'm glad to see. Andy wasn't as sure that his post will have such significance. As he said, it won't make CJ stop with his calumnies. And of course he won't, but that's not the point. The point is that virtually nobody will care about it from now on.

Even CJ's main audience, i.e. Robert Spencer, should have been snapped out of the charade by this. The day Spencer says "naah, I don't worry much about what CJ says", that's the day CJ is completely finished as a bully.

Conservative Swede said...

"why did tens of thousands of Europeans show up to protest against them?"

Henrik: "Ignorance, and misplaced idealism."


Isn't that like saying that people joined Hitler's Sturmabteilung, and their rallies and riots, out of ignorance and misplace idealism?

Nazism - misplace idealism? Surely formally correct, but there was definitely more to it.

People joining such rallies do it because they are full of hate, want adrenaline kicks. etc.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Isn't that like saying that people joined Hitler's Sturmabteilung, and their rallies and riots, out of ignorance and misplace idealism?

No, that'd be a bit of twisting of what I said. The Sturmabteilung, SA etc. were the ones who did the dirty work, and would appropriately be likened to the violent Antifa people. What we are talking about here is the majority of peaceful demonstrators, who joined something they did not quite understand but were assuming was benevolent.

Not unlike the average German, joining the huge rallies and supporting the party line (most did during the 30's) did so out of ignorance (of the real evils of Nazism) and of misplaced idealism, hoping that the revival of 'Germanness' would bring in a new era of happy lives.

Ignorance painted over by an idealism too lazy to check the details is a killer mixture :(

Conservative Swede said...

OK, so they are like the people following the SA troops, peacefully protesting the presence of Jews, but didn't smash any windows themselves.

What do you mean with ignorance? The people in the tail of the leftist stormtroopers who regularly smash windows in the cities and create havoc: do you mean that they are ignorant about how violent destruction of others property. etc., is wrong? You are truly suggesting that their level of intelligence is that of monkeys, or lower.

And what about "misguided ideology"? Barring misguided, what ideology, what ideals are in favour of smashing windows, and violence in general? Are protesters truly peaceful at heart if they support such ideals?

Henrik R Clausen said...

What do you mean with ignorance?

That they didn't do enough fact-checking, but assumed that when the elite called out to demonstrate against 'Racists' and 'Nazis', there were in fact some racists and nazists to demonstrate against. That would be a worthy cause, but the willfull lack of fact-checking turned it into a mockery.

And what about "misguided ideology"?

That's for the leftist elite to have. Like Antifa, whose Danish branch declares themselves in favor of political violence here.

A large number of people ignorant about the true ideology of the elite, who in turn seem to be ignorant about the fact that they apply fascist methods themselves.

Note that I'm not assessing intelligence here, only knowledge. The elite, in their ideological frevor, is misleading the masses. Again.

Zenster said...

Two words: Attention Whore

Conservative Swede said...

That they didn't do enough fact-checking

Huh? Fact-checking? By their very presence there they *see* the violence of the stormtroopers with their very own eyes. And how they violate the fundamental political right of free assembly and public meeting. And they have seen it many times before. They know. They surely know. No ignorance here. Not any window smashing this time, but everybody knows that this is part and parcel of these SA troops.

A large number of people ignorant about the true ideology of the elite

Well, they fully consciously support their violence and their abuse of the right of free assembly, etc., etc.

Are you seriously suggesting that these protesters are peaceful at heart? I cannot see that at all. They present themselves as peaceful of course, and enough people fall for this charade.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Huh? Fact-checking?

Yes, fact-checking. Their elite had told them that the purpose of the demonstration was to remove inhuman scum of the earth from their beautiful city (at least in parts :), and that such cleansing of the ideologically impure justified violation of a few fundamental civil liberties.

It's dehumanizing all over again. It still works.

Conservative Swede said...

Their elite had told them that ... and that such cleansing of the ideologically impure justified violation of a few fundamental civil liberties.

OK, so no fact-checking in the world would make them snap out of their ideological "misguidance". They believe that the hate and violence is justified. So how were these people different from the "peaceful" tail of the SA troops again?

Henrik R Clausen said...

By way of principle no difference worth mentioning.

Gregory said...

Yes, that Charles Johnson is a Richard Cranium. I stopped visiting his site a long time ago. He is a talker. He talks the talk, but doesn't walk the walk.

Ed Mahmoud said...

I think Chuckles uses meth.

I can't think of any other reason that was once such a good blog, with so many good posters from all corners of the globe, has become a pathetic echo chamber where all dissent is banned.

Meth induced paranoia- Chuckles sees Nazis under every bed.