Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Meme That Would Not Die

How many times have you heard that “Vlaams Belang is a fascist party”?

How many times have you read that “Filip Dewinter is a neo-Nazi”?

It’s a persistent and pernicious meme. It has no basis either in history or current events, but it became the “dominant narrative” back when Vlaams Belang was still Vlaams Blok, and it is a lie that simply will not die.

Time for a reality check. Take a look at this photo one more time:

Vbpic3a

Tell me, who are the fascists in this picture? Who wears the jackboots?

I bring all of this up because of a piece that appeared a couple of days ago in The New York Times Magazine. The article is part of the “strange new respect” accorded to Charles Johnson by the Leftist media since he repudiated the last of his erstwhile friends on the Right.

Most of the article covers the same old ground, recounting the Great Blog War of 2007 from a distinctly Johnsonian perspective. But that’s not what interests me. As a part of his research, the author interviewed Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer about what happened back then. Here’s where the relevant portion begins:

IN OCTOBER 2007, Johnson was asked to take part in what was billed as a Counter-Jihad Conference in Brussels, a gathering of fewer than a hundred politicians and opinion leaders from around the world who convened to share ideas and strategies for combating the spread of militant Islam. Johnson was not the only writer invited — Geller was there, as well as Robert Spencer of jihadwatch.org (a Web site Johnson himself designed), to name two — but he did not go. “I’m just not a joiner of these things,” he says.

A couple of points here: I was one of the organizers of the Brussels event, and I was the person who wrote to Charles Johnson to invite him. No one else communicated with him about the conference ahead of time. Although he normally responded to my emails back in those days, he never replied to any of the several that I sent him about Brussels.

We went ahead without him, and Mr. Johnson’s first response was the broadside attack he launched against us the same evening the conference concluded.

The article continues:

The conference finished up in Brussels, and “the next day,” Johnson remembers, “people were e-mailing me saying, ‘You might want to cover this.’ So I started looking into it.”

Yet another suggested correction for Charles Johnson: his attack on Vlaams Belang began the same day, just hours after the conference concluded, and almost as soon as my wife sent him the press release about it.

But now we come to the heart of the matter:
- - - - - - - - -
He discovered that among the conference’s 90 or so participants — though not among the speakers — was a man named Filip Dewinter, a leader of a Belgian-nationalist political party called Vlaams Belang, or “Flemish Interest.”

[…]

Johnson first hinted, and eventually demanded, that [Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer] publicly distance themselves from both Vlaams Belang and the conference itself, and when they demurred, he publicly distanced himself from them.

“Filip Dewinter has said some things I deplore,” Spencer says. “But I don’t consider myself responsible for him just because I was at this conference and he was, too. That’s an outrageous kind of guilt by association. Let me ask you this: a few years ago I spoke at a Yom Kippur service, and one of the other speakers was Hillary Clinton. Does that make me a supporter or her work, or her of mine?”

It pains me to say this, but Robert Spencer has inadvertently done a great disservice to the Counterjihad movement with his words.

First of all, Filip Dewinter was indeed a speaker at the conference in Brussels: he gave the country report for Belgium. I sat on the podium with him while he spoke.

Secondly, to assert that there is some “guilt by association” with Filip Dewinter is to give credence to the idea that the Vlaams Belang leader deserves the “fascist” smears that have been so frequently aimed at him.

Of what, exactly, is Filip Dewinter “guilty”?

Filip Dewinter in Schuman Square, 9-11-2007

Any association with Filip Dewinter is actually an honor, for the man is a hero. He belongs in the same class as Geert Wilders or Pia Kjærsgaard. To imply an equivalence with even Hillary Clinton is an insult to the man.

There is nothing that Filip Dewinter has said that I would “deplore”, and the fact that he keeps a Celtic Cross on his bookshelf bothers me not in the slightest.

If the world were a fair place, Vlaams Belang would be held in the same esteem as the Partij Voor de Vrijheid, and Filip Dewinter would be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Geert Wilders. But, unlike the PVV, Vlaams Belang grew out of Vlaams Blok, which gives it a pedigree that can be traced far enough back that the Left can cry, “Ha! Gotcha, you Nazi!”

The equivalent in American terms would be the Democratic Party, which has its roots in Reconstruction and Jim Crow and racial segregation. The Democrats have a pedigree that can be traced far enough back — say, to 1960 — that we can cry, “Ha! Gotcha, you RACIST!”

However, I subscribe to the principle of “By their fruits ye shall know them.” And Vlaams Belang is the only political party in Belgium that has strongly and officially and consistently supported the state of Israel.

Filip Dewinter was the only national Belgian political leader to speak out publicly in Parliament on behalf of Belgian Jews this time last year, when the Left marched with Hamas supporters on the streets of Antwerp chanting “Jews to the gas”.

Vlaams Belang is the only political party in Belgium that takes a libertarian stance and supports a free market economy.

To refer to them as “fascist” or “neo-Nazi” is not just inaccurate, it is a travesty of the truth.

The uncomfortable fact of the matter is that anti-Semitism is indeed alive and well in Belgium, but 99.5% of it is confined to the hallowed halls of the Socialist Left. To assert otherwise is to ignore the plain truth that can be easily discerned by reading the copious public record.

It’s time to stop ducking for cover every time the topic of Vlaams Belang comes up. Just because thousands of others believe the same lie doesn’t mean that we have to support their statements or give them cover when they promote falsehoods.

It’s better to be a lone dissenter speaking the truth than to join a crowd of people who are screaming lies.


For those who want to acquaint (or re-acquaint) themselves with what occurred at Counterjihad Brussels 2007, the official report is here, and my more anecdotal account of the occasion is here.

29 comments:

lequarius said...

I had wondered what Charles Johnsons 180 was all about. Thanks for clearing a few things up. I can hardly recognize LGF anymmore. The articles now focus on "The Tea-Baggers" and "wingnuts". Hardly a peep about islamofascists unless there is a level of enormity that cant be ignored. And the commenters are now on some liberal PC kick. Very bizarre.

blogagog said...

I've been waiting for someone to give the story of VB. I remember lgf trashed them a few years ago when I stopped visiting, and Rusty trashed VB just a few months ago.

Neither of them said exactly what is so offensive about VB (except that one VB member has a cross with a circle on it, of course).

Baron, could you write about or link to a discussion of what VB ACTUALLY stands for? It's hard to decide to support or oppose them without that critical bit of information.

Fjordman said...

Lequarius: Generally speaking, there are not many possible explanations for why a person betrays his own side like this. Number one is that he has been bribed and/or blackmailed into doing so by hostile third parties. Number two is that he has suffered some kind of personal or emotional trauma, and number three is that he never really was a believer in the cause in the first place. Let's just say that CJ was a liberal who had been "mugged by reality" on 9/11 but later reverted to his old ways and leave speculations for later.

While I greatly disliked yet another unfair stab at the VB, perhaps the other most noteworthy aspect of this article was that it said that LGF today is a weird, online personality cult and compared it to George Orwell's Animal Farm. When that comes from a liberal newspaper such as the NYT then CJ truly is finished, as we have pointed out before.

Zenster said...

The article is part of the “strange new respect” accorded to Charles Johnson by the Leftist media since he repudiated the last of his erstwhile friends on the Right.

It may be that a little patience is in order. Give the MSM plenty of time to ally itself with Johnson's false front. Then sit back and wait for their own "Dan Rather Moment", whereby the patently unsupportable nature of LGF becomes apparent.

Due to the MSM's overwhelming influence there is little else to do but wait for these talking heads to shoot themselves in the foot. Fortunately, both the ammunition and arms they use are quite prone to misfiring and it is simply a matter of time before some podiatric surgery will become necessary.

Baron Bodissey said...

Fjordman, good point.

blogagog -- we have written extensively about VB for several years, and Diana West has done even more. If I have time I will dig out the links.

In the meantime, check out the "Suggested Corrections" link. There may be some relevant material there.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

Reading between the lines (or just reading the lines themselves) it's clear the author of the article wasn't particularly impressed with Johnson. In fact a large portion of the article is openly mocking, in a subdued sort of way. Not really the ego stroke he was expecting. in fact, far from allying with him, I get the feeling they're setting him up as an object of ridicule, perhaps as revenge for his role in bringing down Rather.

michael said...

Hey Baron, thank you for your support for the VB, Sir!

And last but not least, thank you for highlighting the travesty that is the Wilders trial FROM AMERICA, at a time when such an important election took place in MA. I wrote nothing up to now 'bout the trial. You make me feel ashamed.


Outlaw Mike/Belgium

Dymphna said...

blogagog--

Waiting for the real story on VB is like waiting for Godot.

The leftist political parties in Europe hate Vlaams Belang for very doctrinal reasons. If you wanted to transplant VB to the US, they would fit in our political spectrum as right-of-center. Given the lengths to which the Lefties in this country go in their efforts to smear anyone on the right, the reception for VB would be about the same as it is for, say, Sarah Palin (eeewwww. She's dumb. She's a hick. She's a Christian extremist. She has no experience., etc., ad nauseam. But above all, she's not a powerful member of the Political Class which makes her forever an Untouchable, even for some of the Republican Political Class).

The woman could walk on water, raise the dead (like maybe our dead & dying crime-plagued cities) and she'd still be an Untouchable.

IOW, it's not what you do, it's what the chattering class says you are and Palin is a leper. So is Vlaams Belang in Europe.

However, VB remains popular in Flanders. The Flemish have been forced to carry the much-less productive Walloons. The latter will fight to the death any idea of Flemish secession. What would they do without Flemish money to support their welfare system.

The boots on the ground that you see in the photo at the top of the page are Walloon boots called in especially by the thug mayor, Freddy Thielemans to handle VB.

====================

@ Archonix:

I get the feeling they're setting him up as an object of ridicule, perhaps as revenge for his role in bringing down Rather...

You're probably right. The LA Times article earlier in the month was less ambiguous, so Chazzer probably thought this would be the same.

It may well turn out to be that he was set up. He's already fighting them on his blog. I wouldn't have known except I was trying to find a further link to Richard Miniter's essay re his misapprehension of VB, but the PJM link has aged out & the only other one was to Chaz.

The boy is in for some hard times as he tries to cement his place in the leftosphere.

govfan said...

That reminds me. I keep forgetting to remove lgf from my bookmarks. There. Done. :-)

Lgf was good for only one thing - providing a link to GoV way back.

After the Vlam rabid invectives on lgf it was all downhill from there.

Conservative Swede said...

Fjordman,

why a person betrays his own side like this

Well you mean why CJ betrayed his liberal stance during a few years after 2001? Well, he was "mugged" for a moment, quite as the neocons were.

Funny thing how CJ got famous during the period while he betrayed his own side. But now everything is back to normal.

Afonso Henriques said...

"It’s better to be a lone dissenter speaking the truth than to join a crowd of people who are screaming lies."

Is it? I think that in a perfect world, perhaps. But this is not a perfect world and I would advise everybody to cede some terrain whenever they feel it is the most valuable thing to do.

Anyway, that is nothing to do with this specific case as we shall all stand with and for Vlaams Belang.

I have to say, however: Again?? Boring!

P.S. - Baron, I like it to read from you that part... how was it? "The man is a hero". Really, very... I don't know, a strong and brave stance for the true, don't matter how it may hurt. I like it.

Zenster said...

Conservative Swede: ... you mean why CJ betrayed his liberal stance during a few years after 2001?.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that Con Swede may have nailed this one quite precisely. Is there any record of Chaz being conservative or anti-Islamic prior to 9-11?

If not then perhaps, as Con Swede notes, this may be more a case of reversion than conversion. Certain personality traits and hobbies of Chaz point towards a strong possibility of leftist leanings prior to 9-11.

Having once been thrall to Liberalism, its siren song−not to mention current popularity−may just as well have drawn him back into the Leftist fold as opposed to somehow converting him away from what may have merely been erstwhile conservatism.

Dymphna said...

Zenster--

I think Chaz yearns for the altitudes of the Olympians like Daily Kos, up there where the air is rare and mere mortals get nose bleeds. It's not for nothing that green is the color of envy.

And yeh, Con Swede nailed it.

=======================

All of y'all, listen up:

Mike, who appears in the comments here, is a rare visitor. You should have some background on a very unusual fellow:

If you want to meet just a regular citizen from Belgium who is very pro-American and very pro-VB, let me introduce Michael, the proprietor of Downeast blog.

Home base for Downeast is Brussels where Michael is a businessman, husband, father, and member of Vlaams Belang. I can no longer remember how it is that he ended up with a blog which has a state of Maine nickname for its title. Maybe he'll tell us sometime.

I know he frets that he doesn't have time to keep up the blog as much as he'd like but I think someday it will be a small chunk of Belgian history, especially some of the wonderful photos he has of Belgian military stuff (hey, I'm a gurrl. It's "stuff")

Here's a gem of a post, which wanders about, window shopping French customs and culture. Mike includes the accumulative stats for that favorite past time of French youth, car burnings. In the last five years they've managed to (pay attention here, blogagog) make toast of 217,055 vehicles --give or take a few police vans.

Mike is one of my favorite people. If you read his blog (dead links in the sidebar. He doesn't have the time) you'll see why Americans would find him congenial.

Yep, VB is definitely an American kinda thing.

Conservative Swede said...

Afonso is right of course: It's better joining a crowd of people who are screaming lies -- the feelgood factor is immense! Try it sometime, it's better then sex.

PS. Thanks Zenster and Dymphna.

PPS. And yes I definitely remember Michael's blog from the good old days :-)

PatriotUSA said...

Con Swede; I will stick with sex, thanks.

It’s better to be a lone dissenter speaking the truth than to join a crowd of people who are screaming lies.

The above is so true. Cannot
really add mcuh to the above
great comments except that CJ
and LGF is getting what he
worked so hard for. Once a troll,
always a troll.

4Symbols said...

"There is nothing that Filip Dewinter has said that I would “deplore”, and the fact that he keeps a Celtic Cross on his bookshelf bothers me not in the slightest."

The Celtic Cross is almost the norm in my environs, a fascinating design.

babs said...

Baron -
As soon as you mentioned the dreaded "Celtic Cross" I thought "Oh boy, here we go..."
I clicked on D's link to Downeast and the footage of Christmas Day in Paris. I wonder what would have happened if women were to have joined in?

The Poster Formerly Known as Gordon said...

Not to spoil a Vlaams Belang lovefest, but this article sheds a different light on Vlaams Belang. I would argue that "fascism" is much more than just anti-semitism. Do you deny this, Baron and Dymphna?

Anyway, here are two quotes from the article:

During the 1980s, the party carved a niche for itself on the right of the political spectrum by championing the cause of Flemish nationalism, anticommunism, anti-abortion, pro-apartheid and pro-amnesty for the Nazi collaborators. With the end of the Cold War, the party discovered immigration as a new issue. This gave the party a new dynamic that continues to this very day. In June 1992, the new star of the party, Filip Dewinter, published a ‘programme of 70 points’ aiming to combat immigration. The 70 points included the forced repatriation of all immigrants up to the third generation, educational apartheid, and the division of social security.

In a recent newspaper article, Filip Dewinter explains the changes in the party in the following way: ‘The changes in the name of the party, the modernisation of the statutes and the structure of the party, the remodelling of the style and use of language . . . and the updating of a twenty-five year old declaration of principle have nothing to do with content but everything to do with tactic.’


Any thoughts, Baron and Dymphna, on this article? The two quotes I have taken seemed to be based on fact, unless the author is outright lying about the Filip DeWinter's 1992 publication and 2004 direct quote.

IoshkaFutz said...

Johnson's sin was not betrayal of either leftwingism or rightwingism. A man can honestly change his mind... as a matter of fact that is the purpose of opinionating, to change the opinions of others... and what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Finding him changed might have been cause for disappointment, but without any of the feeling of dirt and insult to intelligence.

His sin was dishonesty, self-centeredness and self-worship, despotism, a total lack of integrity. Had he (with the help of his followers) not banned people, but agreed to allow others to disagree, (requiring only a standard level of comity), then LGF would have profited.

I can separate a man from his current opinions and cut enough slack to maintain respect. Opinion blogs don't need to be comfort zones. But he banned brilliant minds, good writers, keen thinkers. He went through the trouble of checking other people's links and banning them if he found one he didn't like.

Johnson's problem really wasn't political, but moral and perhaps psychological. His was the behavior of a cult leader or a sort of cyber Howard Hughes afraid of a speck of dirt. Frigging Islam-on-line is more liberal (old European sense) and certainly more hospitable.

Frankly I would ignore his opinion shifts. He was entitled to them. That's the game being played, and only a true ideologue would allow disappointment to become utter disgust and visceral contempt.

Libertarians can become NeoCons and vice versa. The voters of Massachusetts can give Obama a 26% percent advantage over McCain and then one year later vote in a Scott Brown to sink Obama's policies. Certainly it is our own ardent hope that people will come around concerning Islam. But who needs the sickness of a personality cult? The sticky, gummy, grimy feeling of total control with no slack whatsoever?!

The Poster Formerly Known as Gordon said...

Loshkafutz: very well said!

Baron Bodissey said...

With all due respect to our commenters --

It's all very well to discuss yet again the foolishness and foibles of Charles Johnson, but that was not the point of this post. As far as I'm concerned, that vein has been mined out. The motherlode is exhausted. It's a spent scene, man.

No, my major point concerns what Robert Spencer said. By "deploring" Filip Dewinter's words, he implicitly confirms and supports the meme that VB are "fascist".

Coming from someone of Mr. Spencer's stature, this is a devastating quote.

Afonso Henriques said...

Conservative Swede, you do not understand what I was trying to say and I don't blame you because my statements are usually in the manner of the shadows... or as the people say it here: "The colour of a runned away donkey". I may (most likely) have not been explicit. Let me try again:

In America: What good is it to say that American courts usually favour minorities against white Americans even though it's true? What good does it make to continue to present OJ Simpson as an example of that? Let's not press this more! Let's move on, even though there was a legitimate case and, "it hurts".

In Europe: The Treaty of Versailles in 1918 was a shame, but let's forget about it and not talk more about it because everyone who points that out is a crypto-Nazi.

Here where I am: Let's forget we lost the Euro 2004 in Lisbon, in Benfica's stadium to the Greeks (who think that the ball is a square) because we were never so close to win it. Even though we never throw away something like that. / Let's stop justifying our poverty with the accounts of centuries past, even though the cause is there...

---------------------------

Mosto of the time you have to think strategically and give a step back in order to advance two the following morning. You know that better than everybody.

With "truth" is the same. We ought not to stay stick in the past over some point in which we are right because we may be losing the chance of "advancing" in the present.

P.S. - Patriot, when the crowd is the only thing that exists, I'd advise you to be silent, just that.

Dymphna said...

Nodrog--

I don't think you can help making snarky comments when you post here. Your behavior is so predictable and tedious by now that surely even you must be a bit tired of it?

I looked at the CV of the fellow who wrote the essay you cited. Can you say "extreme left wing socialist academic"? The man has never held a job outside the field of "Social Sciences".

Then I looked at his bibliography. It left me wondering, as those kinds of papers always do, why academics of his persuasion cannot simply say "right wing parties". They are always labeled extreme right wing parties.

So I take issue with your sources, nodrog. I'll stick with Diana West's personal investigations. I'll stick with looking at who it is in Belgium that stands to profit from the destruction of Vlaams Belang.

And I'll stand by James Lewis' original assessment of Vlaams Belang's accusers: Belgian black psyops.

People of integrity, Belgian people whose opinion I respect, are members of Vlaams Belang and vote for them.

Go over to Brussels Journal and give that quote to Paul Belien. His wife is a member of Parliament for VB. Ask him what he thinks of your source from Budapest.

Jan Erk has lived off the government dole his whole life. In exchange, he writes papers like that one. I have little respect for the left wing academics in this country and even less for those in Budapest. The latter really ought to know better by now.

I'm not interested in your definition of fascism and I don't trust your good faith intentions enough to share mine with you. I base this distrust on a history of unpleasant remarks you've dropped here over the course of the last several years.

You know, the more I think about it, that preface you wrote to the body of your comment is so ungracious that I may yet remove the whole thing.

For the moment, however, I'll leave it up for a bit so readers have the opportunity to peruse your source and decide what they think of Erk's credibility.

Afonso Henriques said...

@ ex Gordon:

"Flemish nationalism, anticommunism, anti-abortion, pro-apartheid and pro-amnesty for the Nazi collaborators."

"The 70 points included the forced repatriation of all immigrants up to the third generation, educational apartheid, and the division of social security."

You see, in essence, you are right. They are a little bit less radical but I hope, the base is still there. Let's see what's so wrong about it:

Flemish Nationalism: Good.
Anti Communism: Good.
Anti Abortion: Good, even if debatable.
Pro Apartheid: ui!
Pro Amnesty for the Nazi collaborators: You have to drop your ethnocentrist, mythological American worldview and embrace that of Flanders. I bet there were lots of collaborators with the Nazis and I bet many Nationalists helped the Nazis in the hope of get rid of Belgium? Is it wrong? No. What is wrong is to persecute old people just because they acted in some anti-Belgian (phony state that should have little respect) way when murderers and tanks where appointed at them. This policy, is good for Flemish Nationalists.

Deportation of 3 generation immigrants: While I'm against this as it is, I think those immigrants could, if not should, have another legal status than the Flemish. It is only normal in "Nationalist" States. So it's not that bad. The principle is actually good from a Nationalist perspective.

Educational Apertheid: This surely means to prevent immigrants to take over schools and teach Flemish or Dutch over French. This is good.

Division of Social Security: That's their problem.

In the end, only the pro-Apertheid thing is somewhat not okay. And I am not sure of what it means. So Gordon, what is really your problem with Vlaams Belang?

You probabily are against Nationalism, I reckon that. But why this dirty war against Vlaams Belang?
Anyway, with the Lisbon Treaty, Brussels rules supreme, so...

Sean O'Brian said...

If VB were pro-apartheid due to the Cold War then how is that any different from the British Conservative Party's stance? Of course, a lot of liberal denunciations rest on 'proving' (through bald assertion) that the guilty party feels burning hatred towards a minority in their secret thoughts.

What else: anti-Communism, anti-abortionism, immigration restrictionism. This is standard meat and potatoes for conservatives. That isn't fascism except maybe by the standards of the paranoid Homeland Security domestic terrorism report.

The argument that VB are fascists seems to rest on a dispute over Flemish nationalism and an amnesty for WWII-era collaborationists. So basically we're back into esoteric (to non-Belgians) local disputes which we cannot have any first-hand grasp of and which Mr. Johnson struggled with in vain.

We're essentially going around in circles here. Didn't the Walloon Nazi collaborators all get amnesty years ago? I seem to remember reading that somewhere. Also, I don't see why the position taken by Filip DeWinter's leftist enemies should be the default to be disproved. Let them present some real evidence.

It's unfortunate that Robert Spencer "deplored" Filip DeWinter. As good as it would be, one can't just be a detached Islam scholar: when you enter the political arena you're entering it all the way whether you like it or not. So Mr. Spencer should have been long ago disabused of the notions put about by DeWinter's leftist enemies, before he even left for Brussels. Just my 2c.

The Poster Formerly Known as Gordon said...

Dymphna, I acknowledge that the author of the piece I quoted from may indeed be an "extreme left-wing socialist academic," although I would counter that not everyone within the universitariat, at least in the United States, is an "extreme left-wing socialist academic" (perhaps you should ask that question of the law professors who make up the Volokh Conspiracy, for instance).

I am particularly interested in the two actual quotes. In the first, Filip deWinter proposes (in 1992)

the forced repatriation of all immigrants up to the third generation

This seems to me to be an extreme position. Now I am going to assume the deWinter did not want to deport Belgian immigrants such as my brother, a white American who has taught in an International School in Belgium for a couple of decades (and his children) and has attained Belgian citizenship, but rather non-white immigrants. Do you really think that deporting all non-white immigrants, regardless of how well they have fit into Belgian society, back three generations, is a "moderate" policy, acceptable in any nation?

educational apartheid and the division of social security

Now the first of these is clearly a loaded term, and I'm going to assume that deWinter was talking about dividing up Flemish and Wallonian school systems and pension systems, which is certainly not an extreme position.

And as for the alleged quote from DeWinter, allegedly made in 2003 or so, it would indicate that the Vlaams Belang is the same as the Vlams Blok in terms of policy, and that all of the Vlaams Blok policies from the past are being carried over, including the forced repatriation of immigrants back to the third generation, the exculpation of remaining Nazi war criminals in Belgium, etc.

I will take your advice and send along a link to this article and the quotes to Mr. Belien at Brussels Journal.

As for your threat to delete my posts and demurral regarding my questions, it's your blog.

Afonso Henriques said...

ex-Gordon,

Again, get out of that infantile, over protected, ethno centrist, mythological American cage!

The expulsion of immigrants up to the third generation is not that bad. You have to let it in in your mind that Belgium *is not* America or Australia. Belgium/Flanders, despite having had many immigrants during its history was not constructed and built by "immigrants" for "immigrants".

You see. Here in Portugal and Spain, not only did we expelled the muslims whose presence was felt here since the VIII century as we expelled the Jews who were present among us even before we have built our own Hispanic Nations.
Gypsies faced similar programs and laws that, while not so widespread were, in my view more agressive.

Pakistan and India expelled populations in that fashion that we all know of.
After WWII many Germans were expelled from Poland while East Prussia was German as long as... it existed!

To expell immigrants in America is one thing. But in the old World, is usual business. The North Africans had lots of Jews. Their population vanished in the 60s. Jews in North Africa were present for long but the majority of them were Sephardim Jews expelled from Portugal and Spain in the end of the XV century.

Really Gordon, get out of that cage! I don't mind that you don't agree with VB, but please, stop this dirty war you're directing at them.

P.S. - I think it is obvious an extreme position and I don't agree with it. However, I aknowledge them the right to do that. And in 1980s I think the most undesired immigrants were Southern Europeans: Mainly Spaniards, Portuguese and Italians. At least in France it was so in the 50s and 60s, where their presence was greater than the extra Europeans.
Guess what? They have the right to do it.

Step out of the cage! Step out of the cage!

Dymphna said...

Afonso--

You fisked ex-Gordon's limited world view quite well. But remember that the cage is a liberal cage so his areas of ignorance are somewhat different than those of the conservative cage.

I am always taken aback to remember how young you are when I see the depth of some of your comments. This sentence, for example, regarding Flanders in WWII:

I bet many Nationalists helped the Nazis in the hope of get rid of Belgium...

Exactly! Belgium was cobbled together most cynically by monarchs with a vested interest in having a buffer between them and German militarism...

If you haven't read Paul Belien's book on Belgium, I recommend it highly.


A Throne in Brussels


The Amazon link is to an expensive used edition but if you look around, I'm sure you can find a paperback much more cheaply. I didn't have the time to research it further, but I remember that a paperback edition did come out.

You, above all, would enjoy this book, Afonso. Its theme is suited to your interests. It would be worth your while to try to find it.

BTW, Paul Belien has suffered for his allegiance to VB. He can no longer work as a journalist. The police have persecuted him for home schooling his children, and to top it off, know-nothing Charles J.savaged him repeatedly. It was awful to watch the dishonest and unjust smear attack on Paul. He is a man of integrity.

Afonso Henriques said...

Dymphna, this will be my last comment in this post and I only comment because I feel it would be unfair to leave you without a reply.

You know, I kind of live in Morocco so I do not have an internet account (with money and that). And that's just a book that is not sold here in Portugal. So, I gave my parents a list in which A Throne in Brussels appear. They sometimes sent an english language book of that type, but a Throne in Brussels did not appear yet. I've read Clash of Civilisations (and borrow a friend who kind of stole me the book) and I'm currently reading An Unnecessary War by Buchannan. Very thought provoking.

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I just want to say one thing, regarding "serious stuff". Of course Gordon's cage is principally a liberal cage. But there is a trans Atlantic barrier as well. Both Northern and Southern Americans have a wold view that differs significantly from Europeans. I did not count on that but I realised that the mythologies (deep inside our minds, and the ideals are different). I discovered this talking more with South Americans - mainly Brazilians - and interacting variously with North American culture.

It's like, while we descend from the poors who wanted to be Royal blooded, Americans descend from the poors who stood up and created their own destiny, diverging from the European ideal.
Both Euros and TransAtlantics, influence each other imaginary, let's say so.

So, it is more shocking for an American to see someone defend the VB and it is more shocking for an European to see social differences like those that are more intensified in the Americas (or Russia). And it's not necessarily leftism from both parts.

This being said, have a nice night Dymphna.