Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Return of the Son of A&L Daily Watch--The Sequel, part III

It took a little over a month, but my February 22 candidate for "the worst article linked to on Arts and Letters Daily, ever" has officially been beaten! I hope you're as super excited about this news as I am, because we've got a real winner on our hands, here: Ladies and gentlemen, I give you--Hugh Fitzgerald!

Let's learn a little bit about our winner, shall we? Hugh is "Vice President of the Board" of Jihad Watch*, an immensely popular website "dedicated to bringing public attention to the role that jihad theology and ideology play in the modern world and to correcting popular misconceptions about the role of jihad and religion in modern-day conflicts. By shedding as much light as possible on these matters, we hope to alert people of good will to the true nature of the present global conflict." How noble of them! And as we soon learn, "jihad" is not confined to terrorists: no, jihad is "a central duty of every Muslim" (italics mine). Hugh himself is the author of such classics as "Palestine [sic]" and "The re-primitization of the world" (guess whom under!). In other words--well, there are no other words, really. Draw the only conclusion there is to draw.

Hugh has a sterling bit of prose posted at the New English Review, a website which I previously thought was a stomping ground for a class of people whom I shall call "Semi-Intelligent yet Prone to Revolting Arguments"--people like John Derbyshire and Theodore Dalrymple. However, now I see that any chauvinist with a keyboard and a copy of The Turner Diaries is a persona maxime grata there.

The only interesting thing about this piece is that it reveals the possibility of criticizing Bernard Lewis from the right--and how! Lewis, you see, and not to mention everyone in his "circle," including Dick Cheney, the American Enterprise Institute, and the whole sick neoconservative crew, doesn't understand the real threat posed by Islam; what's worse, they try to "civilize" them through "spreading democracy"! (If one really believes that Cheney, Lewis, et al believe in that stuff, and aren't just interested in material and hegemonic gain, then I suppose Fitzgerald's criticisms show a big difference between two strands of conservatism, the "neo-" and the "paleo-", or in any case between "batshit crazy" and the "really fucking batshit crazy.")

Hear Fitzgerald's definition of "the most terrifying danger to the survival of the West ever":
that of the Muslims now settled deep within that West, and playing not only on the two pre-existing mental pathologies of antisemitism and anti-Americanism, but also on the sentimental weaknesses of the entire Western world, that has forgotten its own achievements, the legacy that needs to be protected, and its own superiority to Islam and everything about Islam.
How can you top that? In spades, that's how:
I assume that like all educated Europeans he thinks that the efforts of Masaryk and Benes, by which 7 million Czechs and Slovaks managed to expel 3 million Germans, was justified, but why does he not hint that perhaps the same kind of expulsions like those which were required to reduce what at the time was merely a theoretical future threat posed to 7 million non-Germans in Czechoslovakia, could certainly justify the need to preserve the civilizational legacy โ€“ Plato and Spinoza and Hume, Leonardo and Shakespeare, Dante and Quevedo (from whom Lewis borrowed some affectionate Spanish for a dedication) โ€“of the Western world, lest it be undone by the most inexorable, and entirely unworthy, of subversives โ€“ mere demography, mere migration and overbreeding.
Advocacy of ethnic cleansing: That's a new one, I think, for the pages of A&L Daily. Martin Peretz, eat your heart out.

And now, just in case I haven't said this before, in case I seem obsessive, or overly censorious, or out to silence those whom I disagree with, in case you're thinking, "Jesus, scantron, we get it, A&L Daily hosts some shite articles, but it's a bloody link dump, it doesn't necessarily reflect their views, give it a rest"--I say, Arts and Letters Daily is a widely read, "intellectual" website which is an official appendage of the Chronicle of Higher Education. It is no way above criticism, and this sort of racism calls for the harshest criticism imaginable. Mr. Fitzgerald in no way furthers "scholarly debate"; his articles reveal an almost pathological hatred of Muslim people, the sort of hatred, I think, that would be a tough match for the grossest antisemitism taught in the vilest of terrorist recruiting camps. Arts and Letters Daily deserves nothing less than an academic boycott for hosting such garbage. Its prominence is largely due to word-of-mouth praise among educated people; let that praise be reversed, let the readership drop, and let them lose favor in the "marketplace of ideas." This bullshit has gone on too long, and this latest screed, a David Duke piece in sheep's clothing, is the piece de resistance of said bullshit.

*Look up this filthy offal for yourselves, I refuse to link to it.


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