Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Pepper Archives

I've had so many different nicknames at Jihad Watch comments threads over the years that I'd forgotten them all.  The reason for the different nicknames wasn't just for the spice of life of variety, but because each new nickname along the way was born of the necessity of creating a new account because the last one was banned by Robert Spencer (and/or one of his henchmen -- or henchwoman, the former Marisol; about whom, incidentally, I had a particularly unfortunate episode of banning back in 2010 which I documented in a few Hesperado essays (that was, coincidentally, the only time on Jihad Watch when my nickname was "Hesperado"), including this one, Banned again from Jihad Watch comments: O the humanity (of Muslims)!). Since then, I found my way back to Jihad Watch comments under subsequent, new nicknames ("LemonLime" and nowadays (fingers crossed...) "voegelinian").

At any rate, recently I stumbled on perhaps one of my first nicknames, going back to 2005, which must be close to the time I first started commenting there (perhaps I started as early as 2004).  At that time, the moniker I chose was "Dr. Pepper".  I'm glad in retrospect I chose that seemingly flippant nickname, because it makes it that much easier to Google and find the Google page of many (if not all) of my former comments under it.  Re-reading a few of those, I was struck (if I may toot my own horn here) by how cogent and informative many of my comments were.  So I got the bright idea to re-print many of them over the next week; hopefully every day until the new year.

So far in my re-reading, I note to my own amusement my former hobbyhorse against "Leftists".  I too (along with most, it seems, in the Counter-Jihad) back then thought the only problem with the West vis-à-vis the problem of Islam had to be "Leftism" -- though I do notice in those old comments written by my former Dr. Pepper self signs of my incipient learning curve to a more subtle analysis of the problem.  One reason why I went through that strange process -- called changing my mind -- was that over time, I kept noticing the data of Conservatives & Centrists (as well as that under-appreciated sociopolitical demographic, the Comfortably Apolitical) showing too many indications of parroting the same PC MC bullshit about Islam which the Leftists traffic 24/7.  As I said, I have noticed little signs that even back then, I was progressing along a train of thought that would eventually free me from the relatively simplistic notion that "Leftism" exhaustively explains the problem of Western myopia -- a train of thought that eventually led me (on this blog copiously, as well as elsewhere on the Internet, including Jihad Watch comments) to refine my symbolism of PC MC (Politically Correct Multi-Culturalism) as a viable term in political science in this regard.

So now, without further ado, I re-print a comment I wrote about a decade ago on Jihad Watch comments -- this one in response to a typically anxious comment by a Jihad Watch Softy (one "Cornelius") to the effect that the French Presidential Candidate (Jean-Marie) Le Pen was unacceptably "anti-semitic" and therefore he should not be supported even given his relatively robust anti-Islam sentiments.  I began by noting that a link Cornelius gave to substantiate his misgivings was inadequate, and then I proceeded to articulate an analytical report (the link I gave back then no longer leads directly to it) by a perhaps more reputable source on Le Pen, a Haaretz Daily interview of him:

From this Haaretz Daily interview (which I link at the bottom) with Le Pen, I see nothing wrong with his views (except somewhat, see my following two paragraphs); and he does not come across as a person trying to deceive — indeed, his candor and bluntness are what have gotten him in trouble in our PC-hairtrigger times.

From this interview and Le Pen’s response noted here, I do agree this particular response seems disingenuous:

When asked to elaborate about this “detail” in 1997, Le Pen explained: “If you take a thousand-page book about World War II, the concentration camps would take up two pages and the gas chambers would take up 10 to 15 lines. That’s what I call a detail.”

However, his statements about Israel show that he cannot be an anti-Semite in the most important sense today:

Interviewer: Can you understand the complaints in Israel about the “hypocritical” European reaction?

Le Pen: “Certainly. After all, I got a similar reaction during the war in Algeria, when I served in General Massu’s 10th division. We were called upon to fight the terrorism of the FLN (the Algerian nationalist movement that fought against French colonialism). The intelligentsia at home criticized our actions. It’s very easy to criticize from the armchair in the living room. I completely understand the State of Israel, which is seeking to defend its citizens.”

Interviewer: Do you condone the Israeli action against the Iraqi nuclear reactor?

Le Pen: “Yes, of course. That was an act of prevention. True, it doesn’t conform to international law, but in such a situation, there is no need to use it.”

Again, Le Pen: “The Israeli government says that it is a victim of terrorist activity, but this activity is less visible than the military strikes. I belonged to the 10th paratroop division that was ordered to destroy the terror in Algiers. This was after a series of terror attacks against civilians in public centers. The division did wipe out terror, and it didn’t do this by being gentle with the terrorists. A war on terror is a brutal thing.”

This Haaretz Daily interview has many other revealing things about Le Pen — none of which offend, and all of which endear:

Le Pen was asked of his opinion on a variety of things:

The French Revolution – “A bloody calamity for the French people. This revolution spawned two dreadful bastards: Nazism and communism.”

The skullcap – “The skullcap that Catholic priests wear? I don’t have anything against the skullcap. It’s a personal choice.”

The Muslim veil – “It protects us from ugly women.”

The Dreyfus Affair – “Dreyfus was exonerated and that concluded the affair. We should remember that among those who sided with Dreyfus at the time were people from the right, and that some from the left were among his opponents.”

Collaborators with Hitler – “France was an occupied country. There were two kinds of collaborators: those who were forced by the Nazis to collaborate and those who viewed Hitler as the realization of anti-communist socialism. The latter were almost all leftists, by the way.”

What is your definition of torture?

Le Pen: “I don’t know. I would define it as `a series of violent acts that cause physical injury to individuals, actions that destroy the personality and leave traces.’ Police and military interrogations do not fit this definition of torture. What’s surprising is that the people who fought against torture here are the communists. And the communists are the ones who used to practice systematic mass torture in their own countries. The suffering caused by the terrorists is the real torture. The struggle against terrorists sometimes requires secrecy and it has its own rules. The enemy must not be allowed the advantage that permits him to plant bombs when and where he wants. In this struggle, everyone must carry his own burden.”

Le Pen was asked about fascist elements alleged to have been in his party, the National Front:

Le Pen: “In [my party, the National Front], there was no mention of fascism or national-socialism. In my speeches, I always condemned communism, national-socialism and fascism. Incidentally, I define all of them as leftist movements that were spawned by the French Revolution. The only reason that our movement was pegged with the extremist label is because of our loyalty to the principle of `French Algeria’ and our opposition to the policy of separation from Algeria, which De Gaulle instituted.”

Do you agree with Jacques Chirac’s 1995 statement about France’s responsibility for the crimes of the Vichy government?

Le Pen: “No. France was not responsible for this criminal policy. France was an occupied country, a country that surrendered and was left without the right to choose. Therefore, to be fair, you cannot say that it was a willing partner in this policy. On this I agree with De Gaulle [who viewed France as a `resistance country’ – A.P.], and with practically all the French leaders aside from Jacques Chirac. I am sure that he made this statement for electoral reasons. It was a showy move designed to win sympathy in certain circles.”

Which circles?

Le Pen: “In this case, Jewish circles. In a successful book that was published recently [“L’homme qui ne s’aimait pas” – “The Man Who Didn’t Love Himself”], Eric Zemmour, a journalist from Le Figaro, quotes President Chirac as saying after his declaration of French responsibility for Vichy crimes: `I hope the Jews will stop pestering me from now on.'”

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