THE Austrian right-wing firebrand Joerg Haider said yesterday he plans to change building laws to prevent mosques and minarets being erected in his home province of Carinthia. — from this article
Jorg Haider is akin to, but worse than Le Pen. He is one of those Austrians who drove the late Thomas Bernhard to maddened distraction, the kind who claim that Austrians were the “first victims” of Hitler (forgetting those cheering crowds, that delight at Anschluss). He exhibits every sign of antisemitism except, perhaps, that exhibited by the BBC World Service and The Guardian and Robert Fisk — that is, not quite so systematically vicious when it comes to the state of Israel.
Haider, by the way, owes his considerable wealth to a fluke. In 1938, someone fleeing Austria had to give up his castle in Carinthia (it’s the title of an old book: “A Castle in Carinthia”), selling it , out of desperation, for a song to Jorg Haider’s uncle, who then left that bit of booty, when he died, to his nice heel-clicking nephew. Many fortunes in Europe were made that way. Why, the book and antiques trade in Austria and Germany has been living off such goods — see the sale of Kafka’s library, which he left to his sisters who were murdered in Nazi death camps, and ask just how that library came into the possession or this or that antikvariat or auction house, and multiply that by tens of thousands of examples. Oh, there was money to be made, and there still is.
When Kurt Waldheim, the late Secretary-General of the U.N. and an unpunished Nazi war criminal, was under siege (stoutly defended by, among others, his own son, “Gerhard Waldheim, Ph.D.”), Haider was among the many Austrians who rallied to his defense.
Let’s review the war career of the man he rallied to Waldheim was present during the round-up of Salonika’s Jews, who were forced to stand for hours and hours, absolutely motionless, under the sun of the city’s main square, while all around them the Nazi soldiers, and especially their wives (who had been allowed to accompany them to Greece), watched and jeered, until those Jews who had not died were sent off to the death camps. Waldheim took part in what was called “Operation Kozara,” whose tens of thousands of victims were mostly unarmed civilians, Serbs and some Jews, and he even won a Nazi medal for his performance in that operation. At the war’s end, Waldheim was an intelligence officer serving in a small unit that was later held guilty of war crimes but he escaped detection as a member of that unit. And later, when the photographs of him in his Nazi uniform set off the investigation that led to the outcry that led to the…that led to nothing, in the end, did it? He, Waldheim insisted that it wasn’t him, or it was he but he was never there, or there, or there, or at least not when people claimed he was. And for at least one of those episodes he absurdly maintained that he had been back home in Vienna, studying or taking an exam. He claimed; they all claim.
Haider is awful, and in ways that are not the usual ways, that even when he has done something that may be right, it cannot be held up for admiration or approval, as in this case. The real right-wing, which must include all defenders or apologists for Nazis, or for other defenders or apologists of the Nazis, cannot be tolerated. Besides, these are exactly the kind of people who, when it looks like the Neu Ordnung of Islam is winning, will quickly go over to the other side, just the way so many Nazis became dutiful and loyal servants of the Soviet Empire in Eastern Europe.
Ordinarily one has to be careful and sparing about the use of “right-wing” and “far right-wing,” because these terms are used, by The Guardian (and the inimitable Robert Fisk in The Independent), to blacken the name of so many who have given no signs of being “far-right” but only signs of recognizing the menace of the Muslim presence in the tolerant, advanced, and so-far helpless-to-resist countries of Western Europe. So we found that charming and articulate Pim Fortuyn, “libertin et egoiste,” and the uncowed unlibertine and conservative Geert Wilders, both described as “right-wing.” No doubt Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the grateful child of Spinoza’s Dutch Enlightenment, has also been described as “right-wing.” Whole communities, such as the Maronites of Lebanon, fighting for their lives during the PLO-imposed civil war in Lebanon, were demonized in the Western press as “right-wing.” It was Eugene Ionesco who noted thirty years ago that the phrase “right-wing Christians [of Lebanon]” was always employed by “the newspaper that everyone reads” — i.e., Le Monde — to describe not plutocrats, but Christian villagers, farmers, small merchants. He wondered what could conceivably make them “right-wing” except their desire to stay alive and not suffer the fate of the Christian women and children disemboweled by Muslims at Damur and other cities.
Today the phrase “right-wing” is systematically placed before the name of any person or group or journal or website that sturdily tells the truth about Jihad and Islam. Many called “right-wing” or “far right-wing” may merely be victims of a campaign to undo them in the public’s mind before they can be listened to, and judged on their merits, by what they actually say and do. But Jorg Haider is not one of them. By what he has, over the past few decades, said and done, he does deserve the epithet “far-right” — so that, even when he does something that is correct, he should not be noticed, and passed over in silence. One can be sure that Muslims will be delighted to pretend that they are outraged by this act by what they will call a “neo-Nazi,” though they and Jorg Haider, in many respects, should get along with each other very well.
So there it is. He supports the right legislation — the banning of further building of mosques and minarets. No doubt his support will be cleverly used by Muslims everywhere to undercut such measures, supported by much better people. And he’s also a far-right-wing swine, and if you accidentally stepped into his galÃ¨re to be ferried around the lake, get out of that boat at once, and take another.
What more is there to say?