April 04, 2010

Defining Down the Dangerous

My friend Gudrun Eussner has discovered Lawrence Auster's VFR and made me aware of this entry on Dutch novelist and writer Leon de Winter, whose oeuvre is well known to both of us:
My brain is running out of the neurotransmitters that transmit amazement. The Wall Street Journal has an article this week that calls on the Netherlands to cancel the trial of Geert Wilders--but not because it is wrong to put a man on trial for stating opinions; and not because it is totalitarian to send a man to prison for criticizing Islam. In fact, the author, Leon de Winter, does not actually find fault with the Netherlands' "hate-speech" laws under which Wilders is being tried, and his strongest criticism of the effort by Dutch prosecutors to put Wilders in prison for his opinions that it is "preposterous." He does not call it tyrannical Why, then, does de Winter want the trial to be stopped? Because the trial will expose the violent, hate-filled teachings of Islam, and that must be prevented at all costs. As he writes: "On trial is not so much Geert Wilders, but the Holy Book of Islam."

There's a secondary harm de Winter sees resulting from the trial: Wilders might be convicted. But, as de Winter makes clear, the reason he wants to prevent that outcome is not that Wilders would be fined or go to jail and that the people of the West would be scared into silence on the subject of the encroaching power of Islam. No, de Winter want to prevent the conviction of Wilders because it will make Wilders more popular and help advance his cause.

From de Winter's reasoning it is clear that if Geert Wilders had not declared at the opening of the trial on January 20 his intention to make the truth of his statements about Islam the basis of his defense, de Winter would not have called for the cancellation of the trial. He is doing so, not in order to protect Wilders and other besieged Islam critics from tyrannical leftist governments, but in order to protect Islam from the truth.

One last point. From a quick look around the Web, it appears that conservative websites think that de Winter's column is pro-Wilders, mainly because of its title, "Stop the Trial of Geert Wilders." They don't seem to realize that the column is anti-Wilders, and pro-Islam.
While de Winter's bigotry is indeed stunning, it's not all that unusual not to read past the headline and there seems to be such a dearth of followers for conservatives, that they seem to jump on any impossible partner, like a fortyish spinster desperate for a husband, or start drooling like Pavlovian dogs, only it's not the dinner bell but some random key words that match with their "conservative detection" nodes inside what is left of their grey matter. But there is more to this article, and about that later.

Again by Gudrun, I was made aware of this entry by de Winter at Pajamas Media: Obama Is Now Showing His True Colors as a Radical. No doubt that will push the salivary glands of the partner-starved conservative spinsters into overdrive. (Pardon the mixed methaphors!)
As a community organizer, Barack Obama was heavily influenced by the theories of Saul Alinsky, who was a non-partisan neo-Marxist focused on the non-violent transformation of civil society. In Germany, a similar model was called der Marsch durch die Institutionen — “the long journey through the institutions.”
This conventional Obama-critique, something I have read countless times before, and better argued, for that, is not particularly noteworthy. However, what IS, is de Winter's translation of the German word "Marsch" as "long journey". How a child of Holocaust survivors and neighbour to the German people can NOT know what the German word "Marsch" means AND IMPLIES, is beyond me. Besides, "Marsch durch die Institutionen" is an idiomatic term within political science with a defined meaning.

What about this, Mr. de Winter?

"After the violent suppression of the Jewish revolt, the Germans took a long journey into the Warsaw Ghetto."

Or this?

On September 1st, 1939, the German Wehrmacht embarked upon a long journey through Poland."

It doesn't seem to be totally off to say now that he probably doesn't know any German. Granted! But even if he doesn't know a smidgeon of that language, which I doubt (Dutch people are fond of pretending to, but usually they DO know, and even more than just a smidgeon), what about that:

English: "Right about face!"
German: "Rechtsum kehrt, marsch!"
Dutch: "Rechtsom keert, mars!"

So there! He uses a euphemism to exculpate the left, a left who purposefully chose that very military term, from any militant deportment. And in the same spirit he uses in the WSJ article Lawrence Auster quotes for the Koran the definition -- Listen well! -- "the Holy Book of Islam", as normally only a Muslim would and lo and behold, it is, like German radical leftism, not dangerous anymore. And all that by means of a linguistic little trick.

What makes somebody tick who sounds more like a disciple than a critic of Communist/Marxist fellow-traveller Saul Alinsky?
In the Alinsky model, "organizing" is a euphemism for "revolution" -- a wholesale revolution whose ultimate objective is the systematic acquisition of power by a purportedly oppressed segment of the population, and the radical transformation of America's social and economic structure.
So there again! And for that child of Holocaust survivors the German militant (and antisemitic) left didn't proclaim to "march" through the institutions in 1968 but to make "a long journey" through it, and for that Jew, whose iconic country of Israel is under threat by X million hateful Muslims, the Koran is "the Holy Book of Islam". Intellectual sluttery and moral cowardice won't take you very far, Mr. de Winter. Not that Pajamas Media will stop publishing you. After all, even Phyllis Chesler doesn't give them the creeps. Your (rather interesting) novels will go on selling well. But the Germans (in spite of enjoying your books), the left and the Muslims will go on hating you and your brethren, however much you will suck up to politically correct prescribed terminology and thinking.


Universal Realist said...

Have the Dutch always been this strict with speech? I was surprised when the Swedes printed the Lars Vilks Muhammad drawings. As well as a Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard Muhammad cartoons and the Jyllands-Posten that printed 12 Muhammad cartoons. Are the Dutch more liberal than the Swedes and Danes?

Wasn’t a Dutchman by the name of Theo van Gogh killed by a Muslim in the Netherlands because of a movie van Gogh made about violence against women in Islamic culture?

As for de Winter I never heard of him. Sounds like another practitioner of intellectual dishonesty. Well minus the intellectual.

Oh yea I read that Islam means “Submission”. In fact van Gogh’s movie was titled “Submission”. So “the Holy Book of Islam” is “the Holy Book of Submission”. Sounds like the Dutch are doing a good job at that.

The_Editrix said...

You are right and as far as submission is concerned: The occupied Danes managed to save their entire Jewish population whereas the valiant Dutch surrendered to the Germans without firing a single shot and delivered their Jews free railway platform. Don't get me started on the Dutch!

De Winter is a fairly well known novelist in my nicks of the woods. Obviously, that gave him delusions of grandeur.