I had not intended to write about Charles Johnson anymore, but tonight he has posted a video of two antisemitic idiots singing a song making fun of Holocaust victims. One of them turns out to have been a member of the Belgian Vlaams Belang party, although apparently he has been expelled from it due to this video. Anyway, this has become the occasion for Charles and his sycophants to renew their libels — and since one person encouraged people to contact me, as if I have something to do with these people, I thought this occasioned another statement.
Anyway, whatever the relationship of these people is or was with the VB, as I said here: “I want to emphasize that I have not endorsed the Vlaams Belang. This whole controversy is not about the Vlaams Belang, but about whether or not one can disagree with Charles Johnson and not be defamed as a result.” It was occasioned not by my linking to Vlaams Belang, as someone at LGF falsely claimed, but because I restored links to Gates of Vienna and Brussels Journal. I did this not because I agree with everything written there, any more than I agree with everything written at any site to which I link. In fact, Dymphna of Gates of Vienna has been sharply critical of me in the past. But there are some noteworthy things being written there. In fact, yesterday I was told that Gateway Pundit and Michelle Malkin linked to a Gates of Vienna post. Will Charles Johnson denounce them as neofascist sympathizers?
Charles Johnson says of me in this LGF thread, “I won’t have anything to do with him. He’s behaving despicably.” You can see that here — he has classily blocked links from this site, so you can’t just click and go, but you can paste this link into your address bar and see it: http://littlegreenfootballs.com/showc/287/6184151. He has also fabricated out of whole cloth the claim that “if you believe what Spencer has written, Geert Wilders has apparently softened his opposition to groups like the Vlaams Belang too.” That one is here: http://littlegreenfootballs.com/showc/555/6184555. In reality, I have never written a single thing about what Geert Wilders thinks of Vlaams Belang, and I have no idea what Geert Wilders thinks about Vlaams Belang.
In fact, it is Charles who is behaving despicably, and not only because he is lying and being completely inconsistent in his denunciations. In the first place, I have a disclaimer above my links — he has completely ignored that. In the second place, he blamed me for a genocidal comment left at LGF, with no evidence that I had anything to do with it — and I didn’t. This is the sort of thing that is outstandingly despicable, as I can remember times when his opponents blamed him for unmoderated comments at his site, and he rightfully took exception. And in this case, mind you, he blamed me not for a comment left here, but for a comment left at his site.
Third, he is again inconsistent, linking to others who link to Brussels Journal, and not denouncing others who don’t share his views of the situation in Europe. Even the Wall Street Journal links to Brussels Journal. Is the Wall Street Journal a genocide-encouraging, fascist-sympathizing rag, Charles?
Charles Johnson continues to defame me without just cause or provocation. He is encouraging in his followers the idea that my work is worthless and I am evil, and providing a platform for their Orwellian Two-Minutes’ Hate, because of a couple of weblinks. He ostensibly champions liberty and free speech, but in reality LGF has little to do with either and everything to do with its owner’s singular narrative, featuring his moves to quash all dissent and demonize all dissenters. This is ironic at best and fatuously and pathetically hypocritical at worst. Charles Johnson is, therefore, hardly the kind of ally one needs in the struggle that looms before us, the defense of free speech.
ADDENDUM, November 9: Family Values’ comment below, at November 9, 2008 12:55 AM, makes reference to this LGF comment:
I was sent the text of this comment. In it, the man who wrote me, Walter L. Newton, claims that I am monitoring LGF closely. In fact, I only see what people send me from there. This was sent to me, and I went over there to check it out — the first time I had been there in awhile, and the last time I hope to go there.
Anyway, for the record: Walter L. Newton asked me about my intention to “investigate” the groups that Charles Johnson says are neofascist. I wrote this:
Actually, I am fighting jihad, and have no interest in or intention to investigate these groups. Insofar as they are fighting jihad, I applaud them. Insofar as they are doing anything else, my endorsement is not implied.
Walter L. Newton, perhaps unsurprisingly, takes this to mean that I don’t care if they are Nazis, as long as they are fighting jihad. In fact, as I have said many times, I will not make common cause with neofascists, white supremacists, or neo-Nazis. Just weeks before Charles Johnson and his frenzied hordes decided I was “embracing the neo-Nazi movement” and encouraging genocide, I wrote here that I could not endorse the Cologne anti-jihad meeting because of the involvement of LePen and Jorg Haider. I retract nothing in that post, which you can find here.
What is at issue here is whether Vlaams Belang is indeed a neofascist, white supremacist, neo-Nazi party. That is indeed a matter that requires investigation, since they are not openly or obviously any of those things. Charles Johnson believes he has marshaled a great deal of evidence that shows that they are. Sensible and well-informed people (in fact, much better informed about Europe than is Johnson himself) believe Johnson has not made his case. As I have remarked several times, Johnson himself has become so manichaean and paranoid that he appears to believe that those who doubt that he has made his case are white supremacist neofascists themselves. He has defamed Richard Miniter and others on this basis – which in itself doesn’t say much for Charles’ credibility. He has now even defamed Ilana Mercer, the daughter of an anti-apartheid crusader, as a white nationalist – apparently basing his case on false statements from Wikipedia linking her to a white nationalist organization with which she has no connection. Ilana Mercer wrote to him, asking him to take down the defamatory post, and he actually complied — the first time I know of that he has shown any compunction for his erratic leaps of logic and rushes to judgment. Meanwhile, Charles Johnson’s paranoia increases, and credibility decreases, with every new denunciation.
Anyway, if determining VB’s true nature requires investigation, why did I tell this Walter L. Newton that I wasn’t going to investigate? Actually, I had just told him in a previous email that I was still looking into this matter – which the LGF commenters, true to form, took as a contradiction. It was only a statement of priority. I am going to keep fighting jihad. I will never make common cause with neofascists. I am going to continue examining the situation in Europe in general, and VB, and sifting the evidence. But I am not going to turn Jihad Watch, as Charles Johnson has turned LGF, into a site devoted almost entirely to this question – and certainly not into the witch-hunting hatefest that LGF has become.
But yes, I am going to continue to monitor the situation in Europe. In fact, as far as Vlaams Belang goes, I asked a Dutch speaker to examine the video Charles Johnson posted, of VB leader Filip Dewinter supposedly visiting a neofascist book fair. This is the information he sent me:
In fact, it does seem to be some book fair of student organizations. The title of the video says:
Livres sur le nazisme et le Voorpost (milice nazi du Vlaams Belang) en vente pendant les confÃ©rences du Vlaams Belang – Vlaams Choc de Peter Boeckx (2005) 2/8
(Books about Nazism and Voorpost (the Nazi militia of Vlaams Belang) for sale during conferences of Vlaams Belang — Vlaams Choc of Peter Boeckx (2005) 2/8)
“Vlaams Choc” was an anti-Flemish television program on Walloon (=Belgian French-language) television. This apparently is from the program shown on August 2, 2005.
Belgium is dominated by the French-speaking Walloons. VB wants the independence of Flanders and wants to free the Flemings from Walloon domination.
The book fair is definitely NOT from 2005. Mark the orange logo of Vlaams Blok, visible on the background during the video (on the ribbon against the wall: you see the Flemish lion flag (yellow with black lion) and the Vlaams Blok logo). The Vlaams Blok was officially disbanded in 2004. The logo was no longer in use afterwards. Hence, this video is NOT from 2005 and has to be older. Vlaams Belang was founded in November 2004. It has an entirely different logo.
Here is what the video shows:
0:1 VB members with poster saying “Geen stemrecht voor vreemdelingen” (“no voting rights for foreigners”) and the Vlaams Blok logo
0:2 a student of KVHV putting out posters and books for display on a table.
KVHV = Katholiek Vlaams Hoogstudenten Verbond (Catholic Flemish University-Student Association)
KVHV is a conservative Catholic organisation. Good guys, anti-Socialist, very Catholic (support the Pope). Their enemies call them “fascists”, which they are not, just traditional Catholics.
0:9 Display of “Ons Verbond” (Our Association), the magazine of KVHV. There is also a poster with a stop sign over a communist hammer and sickle.
0:12 Dewinter entering and asking “Where is the president?” (= the KVHV president?)
He shakes hands with a man. Not a student, hence not KVHV.
0:19 Mark the Vlaams BLOK logo on the ribbon against the wall.
0:23 display of booklets, magazines about Flemish volunteers on the Eastern Front during WWII.
0:28 book about Joris van Severen (see below. JvS was a Belgian fascist, pro-Belgium, anti-Flemish independence in the 1930s. He was an admirer of Mussolini, but an opponent of Hitler. JvS was murdered in May 1940 by French soldiers.) There is also a booklet marked “Voorpost”. Voorpost is a small right-wing Flemish organization. They are very anti-American. Voorpost is independent from VB, but many of its members vote VB. They often speak aggressive language and seek confrontation with enemies such as leftists and Walloons. I think they are infiltrated by the Belgian state security and deliberately provoke incidents in order to give VB bad press.
0:30 book display of Hitler: une fatalite allemande by Ernst Niekisch, a Communist opponent of Hitler. http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Ernst-Niekisch Niekisch was imprisoned by Nazis from 1937 to 1945. Also there is the anti-immigration novel Camp des Saints of Raspail, and “The Fenian Movement” (the Fenians were 19th century Irish nationalists fighting the British domination of Ireland).
It is not clear whether this is the KVHV bookstand (I doubt it since the books are in French). It is not clear either whether these are the books that Dewinter is looking at.
0:36 an open book with a picture of Joris van Severen.
0:40 picture of German soldiers.
0:42 Dewinter at a book stand (PS Not clear whether it is the book stand shown before).
0:50 Dewinter grabs a book. I cannot see which one. He says “Vu de Droite” (The Right-wing View). Vu de Droite is a book by French philosopher Alain de Benoist. De Benoist is anti-American, anti-Christian, and calls himself a “neo-Pagan.” (Btw: Benoist opposes Le Pen and called on his followers to vote Communist. He also admires Muslims for their fighting spirit. For Benoist and his followers Christianity has caused the weakness of the Europeans. They Europeans have to rediscover their pagan fighting spirit.)
1:00 Dewinter asks a KVHV member (recognisable by his red-brown student cap and the ribbon with the KVHV arms) whether he has already read this book. The student says he has not read it because he is “illiterate”. (If the book is. indeed, Benoist’s book, the Catholic student does not seem very impressed with it. It is possible that Dewinter is joking: showing the anti-Catholic book to the Catholic student).
1:08 Dewinter asks whether the magazine (on the table) is the KVHV magazine. The students say he is allowed to take some copies.
1:18 Dewinter at another book stand. Apparently with literature from the independence movement in Brittany (a Celtic-speaking region in the West of France).
He asks the man: “You are a Breton?”
1:20 The man says he is indeed a Breton and tells Dewinter “You are an example for us. Your party is a model for us.”
1:32 Dewinter says: “If we can help you we will do so.”
PS Dewinter is no longer carrying the Benoist book, but has a glass in his hand, the other hand is free (as we can see when he is shaking hands with the Breton).
Here is what Charles Johnson says about Dewinter’s conversation with Andries, the Catholic student:
Filip deWinter: “Have you read this, Andries?” (asks as he points to book)
Bookseller : “No I am illiterate.” (Sarcasm… meaning he actually read it)
Filip deWinter: “Is this a good book?” (asks about another Nazi book on display)
Bookseller: “It served my beliefs.”
In reality Dewinter showed the anti-Catholic book to Andries, who answered he had not read it because he is “illiterate.” I do not hear Andries and Dewinter talk about another book that “served his beliefs.” Andries says he is illiterate. Then Dewinter asks whether the magazine on display is their (KVHV) magazine. They say it is, and tell him he can take some copies. I do not hear Dewinter asking “Is this a good book?” Nor do I hear anyone saying “It served my beliefs.”
I do not know where Charles Johnson gets this from.
On the table there are a lot of books on Flemish volunteers to the Eastern Front and the Verdinaso movement of the Belgian fascist Joris van Severen. Van Severen began his political career as an MP for the Flemish nationalists (and a democrat) in the 1920s, but later became pro-Belgian and founded a Belgian-nationalist fascist party ‘Verdinaso,’ modeled on Mussolini’s party.
He admired Mussolini, but loathed Hitler, and called on his followers to fight the Nazis in the event of an invasion of Belgium. Nevertheless, he was arrested by the Belgians in the beginning of the war and murdered by French soldiers on May 20, 1940, together with a group of Belgian communists and Hungarian and Czech Jews, who had also been arrested by the Belgian authorities.
After his assassination his party fell apart. Some of his followers joined the resistance, others collaborated with the Germans.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joris_Van_Severen says this:
Joris Van Severen ideological thinking was also influenced by Charles Maurras and Maurice BarrÃ¨s, whilst failing to come to any accommodation with the Rexists or the Flemish National Union. Van Severen was equally opposed to Adolf Hitler and on the outbreak of World War II he banned his followers from producing any material in support of Nazism.
When Germany began executing Fall Gelb (the invasion of the Low Countries by Germany) in 1940 the Belgian government arrested him, together with many other Flemish-nationalist en communist politicians, and thousands of foreigners, and transported him to France for lack of space in Belgium. Van Severen belonged to a group of prisoners who was imprisoned in Abbeville, where, during havy German air attacks at May 20, he was shot with 20 other prisoners by French soldiers who thought they were dangerous spies.
The death of its leader left the Verdinaso without a leader and it soon began falling apart. Some Verdinaso-members joined forces with the Germans, others joined the (now almost completely unknown) resistance group Dietse Eenheid and others just stopped involving themselves in politics.
But aren’t the book fair operators wearing neo-Nazi uniform caps? No: “the caps are student caps. Flemish student organisations have caps (cfr German student organizations). You can recognize the organization by the cap’s colour. The KVHV color is brown-red with a black and yellow (colors of Flanders) ribbon beneath it.”
So we have a book fair selling one book by a fascist, another by a Communist, and an anti-Catholic book. This is a neo-Nazi book fair? Dewinter is a neo-Nazi for going in and glad-handing people there?
Even if Vlaams Belang were everything Charles Johnson says it is (and it clearly isn’t), nothing about it is established from this video. Nor is anything established by the activities of people who were expelled from the party for those very activities. Charles Johnson will no doubt keep witch-hunting, and I will keep approaching all the groups in Europe, without exception, with open-eyed reserve. But no one should be under the impression that Charles Johnson is fairly or dispassionately presenting evidence about them.
SECOND ADDENDUM, 7PM PST, November 9:
Charles Johnson is a liar, and even the Lizards — some of them — are beginning to wake up to it. I was just sent this comment from someone who is braving the stench and reading LGF:
In this one Johnson brushes aside the fact that he had posted a tissue of fabrications regarding this book fair jaunt by Dewinter:
608 Charles 11/09/2008 5:33:00 pm PST
re: #601 brotherofchronos
I’m not defending that. I’m simply saying that the video was badly translated, which could be used to cast doubt on your other evidence. I don’t understand why you would want to take that risk.
At this point, it’s far beyond any nitpicking that comes from those people. Let them go ahead and “cast doubt” all they like – it’s all they have left.
Then the commenter “BrotherofChronos” dares to respond to The Master by reminding him that truth and integrity are, well, important:
Nevertheless, the translation was wrong. It’s not right, charles. I realise it’s your site and you can do what you like with it but I can’t see any moral justification in using what is effectively manufactured evidence to prove this. The video says one thing. The translation you were provided with says something completely different. If you’re not careful it could bounce back at you.
Oh, it’s bouncing! Bouncing just like a…little green football…
And so honest readers are bouncing right out of the defamation and lie factory that is Little Green Footballs.
UPDATE November 12: I have been informed that Charles Johnson has completely revised his presentation of this book fair, removing without explanation (in the main post, anyway) the false translation he earlier posted. Now, apparently, the big problem is the book Dewinter picks up, Vu de droite by Alain de Benoist.
I’m not sure how Johnson and his Little Green Moonbats can rationalize the idea that picking up a book means that one endorses it, but of course rationality has nothing to do with this. The book that Charles Johnson called a “Nazi book,” and that his sycophants at LGF are apparently calling a “fascist book,” actually received the Grand Prix de l’Essai from the AcadÃ©mie FranÃ§aise in 1978. The AcadÃ©mie FranÃ§aise did not in 1978 and does not now award prizes to “Nazi books.” The neofascist rag known as the New York Review of Books reviewed the book in 1980 and said that de Benoist condemns “fascism of the left and right.” His book Vu de droite, in Charles’s world so unforgivably handled by the demonic Dewinter, according to this actually won praise from that noted fascist…FranÃ§ois Mitterrand.
Little Green Moonbats now devotes a considerable amount of time wringing its hands over the horrors of Bobby Jindal, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Human Events, and the Conservative Book Club. I would rather fight Osama bin Laden, Omar Bakri, Anjem Choudary, Abu Bakar Bashir, and people who share their ideology — people who are much less of a concern at LGF than they used to be.