Mais sobre Islamo-fascismo", e os fascismos europeus
George Winston Bush? Invocations of Munich and a parade of new Hitlers won’t be enough to convince Americans that this is a good war, by Leon Hadar, The American Conservative
"(...) Nor does the term “War on Islamo-Fascism” make much historical sense in the context of the war of terrorism and U.S. policy in the Middle East.
First, the term seems to jumble together secular nationalist regimes and movements, like the Ba’ath in Iraq and Syria, with religious fundamentalist governments and groups—the radical anti-American (Sunni) al-Qaeda and the Lebanese-based (Shi’ite) Hezbollah; the fundamentalist Sunni Wahabbi movement that is headquartered in pro-American Saudi Arabia and the Shi’ite clerics that rule in Tehran; the anti-Western Muslim Brotherhood movement (including Hamas in Palestine) and the Shi’ite clerics in power in (pro-American?) Baghdad.
The Islamo-Fascism label seems to be applied to movements and governments that have nothing in common with each other—much less European fascism.
Unlike al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, or Hezbollah, the fascist movements in Europe in the 1930s were rooted in modern and secular Western ideologies, and their economic nationalist agendas had won many followers in the democratic nations, including the U.S., then beset by the Great Depression.
While fascism had strong atavistic roots, not all the political parties associated with it were anti-Semitic. Italy’s Fascist intellectual and political leadership included quite a few Jews, and Mussolini didn’t adopt anti-Jewish policies until he decided to form a military alliance with Hitler when he was under pressure from the Nazi leader.
Moreover, Western leaders, including Churchill, regarded Mussolini for a long time as a potential ally against Nazi Germany. Here is what Churchill said about Il Duce in 1938: “It would be a dangerous folly for the British people to underrate the enduring position in world history which Mussolini will hold; or the amazing qualities of courage, comprehension, self-control, and perseverance which he exemplifies.”
In fact, Churchill and his other World War II allies maintained close links to the pro-Fascist regimes in Spain and Portugal and succeeded in persuading them not to enter the war on the side of Hitler. (Spain and Portugal also helped save thousands of European Jewish refugees fleeing the advancing German armies; the two governments also joined the pro-American NATO alliance after the war.)
Americans may also forget that the pro-Hitler collaborationist Vichy regime was acknowledged as the official government of France by the United States and other countries, including Canada, even when they were at war with Germany. And can anyone imagine a contemporary Western musician idolizing our latest “Islamo-Fascist” enemy, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the way Cole Porter lyrics, adapted by P.G. Wodehouse for the 1935 London production of “Anything Goes,” did: “You’re the top! You’re the Great Houdini! You’re the top! You are Mussolini!”
But then we shouldn’t forget that Saddam Hussein, the ex-president of Iraq and the leader of its Ba’ath Party—whose political platform mishmashes Arab nationalist, Communist, and Fascist ideological orientations—was for most of the 1980s a strategic ally of the United States in the Middle East. Hence Ronald Reagan ended up providing the man who would become Hitler with economic and military assistance to help him fight Iran’s mullahs and in the process encouraged Saddam to launch what would become the bloodiest war in the modern history of the Middle East. And guess who was dispatched then by Washington to make those deals with Saddam? A hint: it’s a current U.S. defense secretary who has been comparing critics to those who appeased Hitler.
If the Bushies insist on continuing to mention the war, we can urge them to imagine the following scenario that includes all the historical analogies that neoconservative ideologues like to apply—World War II, Hitler, appeasement. As American and Allied forces invade Nazi Germany in 1945, Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, and several SS troops flee to Fascist Spain, where they hide in the Pyrenees Mountains and mount guerrilla attacks against the free French government. The American response? To ask Generalissimo Francisco Franco if he would be kind enough to send some of his forces to catch those Nazis. Does this sort of alternate history remind you of a certain U.S. administration that allowed Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda associates to flee to Pakistan, where they are now hiding as Washington continues to plead with the military dictator who rules Pakistan to try to capture the evil ones who were actually responsible for the 9/11 terror acts? Where is your umbrella, George Chamberlain?"