Trump raised a few eyebrows when he hired Sebastian Gorka, the National Security Editor for Breitbart, who promptly scrubbed his own website. After I wrote about him previously
, one of my readers reminded us not to forget about his wife Katherine, another Trump hire with an unsettling resume
Sebastian Gorka turns out to be even scarier
than we originally thought. After he vigorously defended the omission of Jews from the Holocaust Remembrance Day statement, a reporter found a photograph of Gorka wearing a medal issued by a WWII pro-Nazi group in Hungary.
Gorka, who worked in the UK and Hungary before immigrating to the U.S., was photographed at an inaugural ball wearing a medal from the Hungarian Order of Heroes, Vitezi Rend, a group listed by the State Department as taking direction from Germany’s Nazi government during World War II.
Miklós Horthy, regent of the Kingdom of Hungary from 1920 to 1944, established Vitezi Rend for both civilian and military supporters of Horthy’s government. The group was initially open to non-Jews who served in distinction during World War I.
The new fascists and anti-Semitism.
Although Horthy’s personal views about Jews are still debated, he was explicit in endorsing anti-Semitism even while showing some unease with the pace of the Holocaust. In an October 1940 letter to Prime Minister Pál Teleki, Horthy said:
As regards the Jewish problem, I have been an anti-Semite throughout my life. I have never had contact with Jews. I have considered it intolerable that here in Hungary everything, every factory, bank, large fortune, business, theatre, press, commerce, etc. should be in Jewish hands, and that the Jew should be the image reflected of Hungary, especially abroad. Since, however, one of the most important tasks of the government is to raise the standard of living, i.e., we have to acquire wealth, it is impossible, in a year or two, to replace the Jews, who have everything in their hands, and to replace them with incompetent, unworthy, mostly big-mouthed elements, for we should become bankrupt. This requires a generation at least.
Gorka's odd behavior forces us to confront the larger question of the new international fascist movement (largely founded on the writings of Alexsandr Dugin) and its complex relationship with anti-Semitism. This issue deserves a long article of its own. No: a book
of its own.
The man who first alerted the world to the presence of this "new" strain of fascism was Anders Brevik, the neo-Nazi Norwegian mass-murderer. He is a supporter of Israel who frequented Pam Geller's site.
I believe that the neo-fascists have finally learned the lesson that Julius Streicher instinctively grasped while on trial at Nuremberg. (You should read his testimony, which is online. Pretty amazing stuff.) In the last moments of his odious career, Streicher fastened his claws onto a new strategy: The easiest way to "sell" anti-Semitism is to adopt a strong pro
-Zionist stance -- because when you think about it, Zionism and a "Juden raus!
" ideology are perfectly congruent.
That's what's going on right now. Unfortunately, America is filled with ill-educated dullards who define "fascism" purely in terms of Hitler-worship and a desire to exterminate Jews. In order to understand the current political threat, we need to get our heads around a couple of counter-intuitive facts:
1. Modern fascists usually avoid all mention Hitler -- in fact, some of them truly seem to detest
Hitler. (They also know better than to wear the swastika or to apply the f-word to themselves.)
2. The new fascists continually bleat about how much they love, love, LOVE Israel. Many of them may not like Jews very much on a personal level. Many of them have fastened onto a conspiratorial weltanschauung that comes straight out of The Protocols of Zion
. Nevertheless, they will yowl and howl about how much they love, love, LOVE the idea of a Jewish state.
Just as Julius Streicher did at Nuremberg.
That's pretty much Steve Bannon's whole act these days, isn't it? From the Guardian
For Bannon is the boss of the far-right Breitbart website, which as well as attacking women, Muslims and African-Americans has targeted Jews. A recent column denounced the journalist Anne Applebaum: “Hell hath no fury like a Polish, Jewish, American elitist scorned.” Another slammed the Republican editor of the Weekly Standard as a “renegade Jew”. Of course, one should always be wary of the accusations divorcing spouses make against each other, but Bannon’s ex-wife testified that he once objected to her choice of school for their daughters because “he didn’t want the girls going to school with Jews”. (Bannon denies this happened, pointing to the fact that his wife prevailed in her choice of school.)
If it were just Bannon’s back-catalogue that was at issue, perhaps the concern could be contained. But the problem is that Trump’s campaign trafficked in the full range of antisemitic motifs and tropes. It’s not just that Trump himself retweeted neo-Nazis, or that his campaign put out an image of Hillary that had been lifted from an antisemitic site – depicting Hillary Clinton against a giant backdrop of cash and a six-pointed star uncannily like a Star of David. It’s that last month Trump warned that Clinton “meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of US sovereignty” – a line that could have been lifted straight from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the notorious Tsarist-era forgery that purported to be evidence of a global Jewish conspiracy.
But you can't accuse Bannon of anti-Semitism. If you do, he will simply insist that he loves, loves, LOVES Israel, as though that
. Most of the other followers of Dugin do likewise. A canny lot, they are.
These protestations of love provide small comfort to those concerned about stuff like this
Yiannopoulos and Bokhari acknowledged that a large contingent of alt-right posters on social media were trafficking in blatantly racist and anti-Semitic material, often using it to harass Jewish critics of Trump. But they not only hand-waved this conduct as mere rebellious antics by young people fed up with PC nannyism but lavished compliments on the alt-right “meme brigades” known for anti-Jewish caricatures and gas chamber jokes: “fresh, daring and funny,” an “outburst of creativity and taboo-shattering.” Real neo-Nazis, the article assured readers, were a tiny percentage of the alt-right, openly derided and scorned by the rest of the movement.
In fact, as I wrote at the time, a look at alt-right Twitter profiles shows that most of its active posters seem to be quite serious about their white supremacist and anti-Semitic beliefs. And it’s not just a handful of marginal users: One of the leading alt-right accounts, “Ricky Vaughn,” who made MIT’s list of 200 top “election influencers” before being banned from Twitter in early October, tweeted regularly about “feral blacks” and the evil of Jews.
Bannon hired Yiannopoulos to write for Breitbart, the site which Bannon himself considers the vanguard of the Alt Right movement. And yet we dare not call Bannon an anti-Semite -- because Bannon loves, loves, LOVES Israel.
We should also note that Breitbart has published scary articles on the dangers facing Jews in Europe. I don't think that those pieces exist in order to make life easier for European Jews. I don't consider these articles to be a plea for tolerance and brotherhood. I think that they function as a subtle re-phrasing of the message "Juden raus!
If the Breitbarters truly cared about the Jews of Europe, they would denounce the growing Alt-Right movement on that continent. That's the real
Nevertheless, as long as they scream about how much they love, love, LOVE Israel, the Breitbarters and their partners-in-paranoia have the freedom to indulge in all sorts of ancient canards about Jewish banking conspiracies. All they have to do is change the nomenclature a bit: Instead of railing against the Rothschilds, they rant against "globalists" and "international bankers." When addressing the particularly gullible, they talk about the Illuminati.
As I've said before: They serve up every slice of the Nazi sausage except for that really nasty bit at the end.
Proclaiming allegiance to Zionism offers another benefit. For the nonce, at least, the Alt Rightists can rely upon the ultimate strange-bedfellows partnership -- a partnership with Israeli far right. Believe it or not, there are Israelis who consider Netanyahu to be an old softie. These people genuinely seem to think that Jews will be safer if they all leave America and Europe and relocate to a tiny, easily-nuked strip of real estate by the Mediterranean.
The Alt-Rightists like that idea just fine
Of course, once the relocation program is largely complete, the disciples of Dugin will all turn on a dime. That's when they'll show the world what they really
think of Jews. Nukes away!
He's back, True Believers: The murderous menace of...SAUL ALINSKI!
Let us return to the comedy stylings of Sebastian Gorka. I direct your attention to a recent Breitbart story which bears the charming headline "Gorka: Left Cares About Alinsky Tactics and Political ‘Triangulation’ More Than Safety of Americans."
In this piece, Gorka comes to the defense of Michael Flynn, whom he considers the latest victim of the dreaded ALINSKI MENACE
Marlow proposed that Flynn was but the latest target of the Left’s “pick a target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it” strategy, as defined by Saul Alinsky in Rules for Radicals.
No, Sebastian. That's what the right
does. You'd have to be completely insane to argue that the right does not
personalize, demonize and polarize.
Let's say it yet again: The Alinski conspiracy is pure delusion.
I've been locatable somewhere on the left for all my life, and to the best of my recollection, I've run into only one person who made a passing reference to Alinski -- and this was, what, the better part of thirty years ago. I had completely forgotten about that man until the Breitbarters and other right-wingers started to blather on and on about him. These days, right-wing conspiracy-peddlers are the only ones who read Rules For Radicals
. Nobody else gives a shit about that book.
As I said on an earlier occasion
What a bizarre situation! I've been chatting with lefties since the Carter administration, yet I've never run across anyone who said: "You've gotta read Rules For Radicals! Saul Alinksy is a friggin' genius!" The guy simply hasn't been on my radar, and my radar takes in a rather large amount of territory.
Yet if you wander into RightWingerLand, you'll soon see that the folks there believe that guys like me have spent the past forty years eating, drinking and breathing Alinksy. The right thinks that Alinkyism controls our every action and every utterance.
Oddly enough, if you type the name "Saul Alinsky" into Google, you'll see that only right-wing political sites make the front page. Very few people on the left care about Alinsky -- even though the reactionaries love to hallucinate otherwise.
Question: Does Gorka himself actually take this Alinski crap seriously?
I know that the lumpenprole nitwits who get all their news from Breitbart and Alex Jones are dumb enough to believe this malarky. Is Gorka captiously trading on the foolishness of his audience, or does he believe in his own inane propaganda?
We've seen a spate of stories lately claiming that Flynn is hanging on by a thread. This one
, for example. My prediction: Flynn is not going anywhere. One the most important goals of this fascist conspiracy was to put Flynn into position; he's more important to that movement than is Trump himself.