Thursday, March 08, 2007

Frum & Perle: Fourteen

AETE pg 49. This is where we get into their history lesson. Apparently the Arab world was a monolith of Nazi sympathy. They give a laundry list of Arab people and parties, but, you might have guessed, left one important group of Nazi-lovers off the list:

The United States first arrived in the Middle East as a major power during World War II. It was not a propitious introduction. We were allies of the British and Free French; local opinion had strongly backed the Germans. The Nazis had promised to liberate the Arab world from Anglo-French colonial rule, and Nazi views on the Jewish question were widely approved in the region. In 1941, a pro-Nazi regime seized power in Baghdad and had to be ejected by a British military intervention -- but only after the regime had incited an anti-Jewish pogrom that killed two hundred people and terrorized and impoverished one of the oldest Jewish communities in the Arab world. The defeat of the Baghdad coup deterred overt pro-German militancy for the remainder of the war, but there could be no doubt which side had won the battle for Arab hearts and minds. The religious leader of the Palestinian Arabs, the grand mufti of Jerusalem, Haj-Amin al-Husseini, took refuge in Germany in 1941, met Hitler, and made propaganda broadcasts on the Germans' behalf. In 1947, two nationalistic young Syrians, one Christian and one Muslim, founded the Baath ("Renaissance") Party in Damascus, to promote Arab awakening based on fascist ideals and ideology. Throughout the Arab world, idealistic young officers -- including future peacemaker Anwar Saddat -- plotted how they might sabotage the British and French and help the German armies.

Wow! See? Palestinians and the Baath are Nazis. Hell, all Arabs are Nazis; why even (or they might mean to emphasize, especially) the peacemakers like Sadat are Nazis, too! Sabotage, plotting, Nazi-puppetry: these are all awful things, it's true, and we must re-appraise leaders who did such things in their youth.

Which is why, unlike the tribalist hacks above who like to pretend it's only an Arab issue, I will mention the Stern Gang, Irgun, Yitzhak Shamir, and Monachem Begin.