Friday, February 27, 2009

"Nazis," Said Indiana Jones. "I Hate These Guys."

Christopher Hitchens is wrong about God.  He was wrong about Bush and Iraq.  But he is right about Nazis.  He always has been, in a deep, visceral way.

This got him into trouble on a recent trip to Beirut.  He defaced a political poster featuring a swastika, and was assaulted by a gang of brownshirts.  

Turns out much of Beirut is controlled by the Syrian Social Nationalist Party.  They swear they aren't real Nazis -- after all, they're not National Socialists, they're Social Nationalists.  And they also swear that their logo isn't really a spinning swastika, it's a cyclone.

To which dispassionate observers respond:  If it goose-steps like a duck ....

The SSNP, as described by the Atlantic,

... is a party whose leaders, men approaching their seventies, send pregnant teenagers on suicide missions in booby-trapped cars. And it is a party whose members, mostly Christians from churchgoing families, dream of resuming the war of the ancient Canaanites against Joshua and the Children of Israel. They greet their leaders with a Hitlerian salute; sing their Arabic anthem, 'Greetings to You, Syria,' to the strains of 'Deutschland, Deutschland über alles'; and throng to the symbol of the red hurricane, a swastika in circular motion.

Michael Totten describes the SSNP, in his excellent piece linked above, by saying, "They aren't just a street gang, they're a street gang with a state.”

To which Hitchens, having been beaten up pretty badly, has the cheek to reply, “Yes.  And also a Greek Orthodox repressed homosexual wankers organization, I think.”

The story, as told by Totten, is exciting and sobering.  It's also a reminder of just how bad the bad guys are -- and, incidentally, why John Williamson's Holocaust denial is not a just a harmless quirk.

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