Friday, August 11, 2006

Premature anti-Islamic fascists


Some Muslims have expressed displeasure at Bush’s use of the term “Islamic fascists,” arguing that there can be no Islamic fascism because Islam is antithetical to fascism. And also that Bush doesn’t pronounce his sibilants well, and “fascists” has two of them. Bush started using “Islamic fascists” just a couple of weeks ago, I believe (update: a search of the White House website shows single usages on May 25 and June 14). Originally it was Islamo-fascism, which to me sounds more obnoxious and yet a little bit comical at the same time, that “o” giving it a touch of buffoonery (see also: Defeat-ocrats, David O. Selznik). It took him some months to move from a “Some call this evil Islamic radicalism, others, militant Jihadism, still others, Islamo-fascism” formulation last October to adopting the term without qualifiers by March. He’s also taken recently to describing their ideology as “totalitarian.” I always get a little nervous when I try to discern meaning in these shifts of terminology, given that Bush probably can’t define the words he’s using. Or spell them. These words define the enemy by their goals and philosophy (i.e., telling other Muslims to grow beards and not fly kites) rather than methods (i.e., terrorism), perhaps recognizing that most Americans no longer see much linkage between the war in Iraq and protecting Americans from 9/11-type terrorism.

One of the reasons I started blogging was to clarify my own thinking through the act of writing. Didn’t really work in the previous paragraph. Anyone else have any ideas, or is it just better for the sake of all our sanities not to pay too close attention to the words that come out of George’s chimp-like mouth?

Günter Grass was in the Waffen-SS! What would Oskar Matzerath have said?


For your captioning pleasure, a picture from yesterday’s preznidential tour of Metal-Tech in Wisconsin:


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