By EMERSON VERMAAT
October 4, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Wali ur-Rehman, a senior Taliban commander in Pakistan's lawless tribal areas, recently issued a direct threat against the Netherlands and the Dutch people. "The Dutch government is on a dangerous course," he was quoted on Friday, October 1, in the Dutch TV program RTL4 News. "Therefore, we will teach them a lesson and they will pay a price because of recent anti-Islam laws." A direct threat to stage terrorist attacks in Holland. Obviously, Taliban terrorist leaders are following closely what is happening both in Europe and Holland.
In February, the ruling Dutch Labor Party caused a cabinet crisis over Dutch military presence in Afghanistan. Their Christian Democatic coalition partners wanted the Dutch army to stay there. However, the Labor Party, a member of the Socialist International, insisted on withdrawal of all the troops, and consequently, the coalition government of Christian Democrats, Labor and the leftist Christian Union Party (CU), which sided with the Christian Democrats, fell. The Taliban publicly congratulated Dutch Labor Party politicians for their decision. The Dutch were the first to withdraw unilaterally from Afghanistan. It was a victory for Al-Qaeda and the Taliban who hoped that others would soon follow the Dutch example.
Why did Wali ur-Rehman recently threaten a small country like the Netherlands? Last June, there were parliamentary elections in Holland. There were two victors, the conservative Liberal Party VVD led by Mark Rutte and the anti-Islam Freedom Party PVV led by Geert Wilders. The Christian Democratic Party CDA led by Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende lost the elections. The Christian Democrats then selected a new party leader: Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen, a fairly conservative politician. Several attempts to form a new coalition government failed, partly because neither Rutte nor Verhagen really wanted the Labor Party to return to power. The Labor Party leader's conditions were unacceptable to them.
It was in January and February that Verhagen seriously clashed with the intransigent Labor Party over the Dutch military mission in Afghanistan. Verhagen, NATO and the Obama administration were strong proponents of extending that successful yet unpopular mission. However, Labor Party leader and Finance Minister Wouter Bos flatly opposed it – for silly electoral reasons. There would be municipal elections early March and the social democrats weren't doing well in the polls.
After the parliamentary elections in June, the only way out seemed to be an attempt to form a minority government consisting of VVD and CDA, having tolerance support of Wilders' Freedom Party PVV. On September 30, Rutte, Verhagen and Wilders finally presented a "Coalition Agreement" between VVD and CDA, Wilders pledged to tolerate the new government in a separate "Tolerance Agreement." Wilders emphasized that the future coalition government would take measures to curb immigration and "Islamization." "We want the Islamization to be stopped," he said. These remarks were well noted by a leading Taliban commander named Wali ur-Rehman operating in far away Waziristan. He immediately threatened the Dutch with retaliation (terrorrist attacks, and the like). What he said was taken seriously by the National Coordinator for Terrorism in The Hague.
Rutte and Verhagen do not endorse Wilders' view of Islam ("a totalitarian ideology, not a religion"), but both of them are in favor of curbing mass immigration from non-Western countries.
Is Geert Wilders a Fascist?
In the past few weeks many prominent CDA members as well as three former CDA prime ministers (Dries van Agt, Ruud Lubbers and Piet de Jong) have voiced their opposition to the talks with PVV leader Wilders, and his prominent role in the Tolerance Agreement. (For some reason, van Agt now fanatically embraces Palestinan causes, whereas Foreign Minister Verhagen tends to side with Israel.) Two members of the CDA parliamentary party, Kathleen Ferrier (originally from Surinam) and Ad Koppejan, also frequently voiced their opposition to Wilders' role. VVD, PVV and CDA have 76 of the 150 parliamentary seats, so any CDA parliamentarian who chooses to distance himself or herself from the future government, is in a position to topple it, unless other small parties would vote against such a dramatic step. The two representatives from the conservative Christian SGP have already announced they would not join the opposition if that were to happen. Just like Wilders, they, too, take tough positions on immigration and "Islamization."
There was a major CDA party conference on Saturday, October 2. Nearly two-thirds (68 %) of the CDA members present endorsed party leader Verhagen's agreements with the VVD and the PVV, 32 % opposed them. Among those who voiced their opposition was the pro-Palestinian Dries van Agt, a former prime minister and justice minister.
Some of Wilders' opponents claim he is a Fascist. They compared him to former Dutch Nazi collaborator Anton Mussert and his "NSB party" (Rick Daudi), others called him "mad Geert" (Maarten van Rossem) or "Mussolini."
Until he was murdered in May 2002, Dutch writer and politician Pim Fortuyn was equally demonized as "Mussolini" by Jan Blokker, another Dutch columnist. "Another ten polls, and Pim Fortuyn is definitely the Mussolini of the 21st century." Anti-immigration politician Fortuyn was about to win the parliamentary elections in May 2002. Fortuyn wrote a bestseller against the "Islamization of our culture." Like Mussolini he was bald-headed, but he was not a Fascist at all. Fortuyn hated Hitler, Mussolini and the Fascists and loved Israel and the Jews.
Eight years later, Blokker wrote a column, quoting Sebastian Haffner's book "Von Bismarck zu Hitler": "In 1932, National-Socialists presented themselves as populist leftists." Does this refer to Geert Wilders who not only pursues an anti-immigration and anti-Islam agenda but also embraced (and still embraces) some typical leftist social-economic issues?
Jan Blokker, who died one day after the above mentioned column had been published, was a rather authoritarian and disagreeable person himself. During the Cold War, he did not seem to like East European dissidents who courageously opposed communist regimes. Instead, Blokker and his ilk flirted with the Palestinian "El-Fatah" movement. A Jewish man named van Praag complained about a biased TV report on Israel in January 1968. Dutch journalist Dick Verkijk heard how Blokker then made the following anti-Semitic remark: "Yes, van Praag, what do you expect? The name says it all."
Dutch columnist Renate Rubinstein once criticized Blokker for joking about Cambodian mass murderer Pol Pot who in Blokker's view "sent townpeople to the countryside to recreate." Just to recreate? It was plain genocide in the infamous "killing fields." Pol Pot, a pro-Chinese communist, was Cambodia's Heinrich Himmler. Back in the 1970s Western liberals and politically naive liberal religious leaders could not imagine that Asian communists could be turned into mass murderers. Some of these liberals even flirted with Maoism and praised Mao's bloody "Cultural Revolution." I still remember a press conference in the headquarters of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Geneva where I posed an important question to Dr. Philip Potter, a Jamaican pastor who was then the WCC's General Secretary. I asked him if he could comment on recent reports in the French press about mass killings in Cambodia. Potter refused to condemn the Cambodian "Khmer Rouge" atrocities, emphasizing that it is the West that is to be blamed first.
Another vocal leftist in Holland is sociologist Geert Mak. He is author of the historical study "In Europe" and does not hesitate to link Wilders to "National Socialism." Between 1970 and 1972 Mak was active in the fiercely anti-American "Pacifist-Socialist Party" (PSP). The party's 1971 election poster showed a nude woman, obviously an attempt to attract dirty minded male voters.
Geke van Velzen, an Amsterdam city council member for the Labor Party, called the future CDA-VVD coalition cabinet tolerated by Wilders' PVV "a brown coalition." "Brown," of course, refers to the notorious Nazi "brown shirts" in the 1920s and 1930s. It is rather strange that those who blame Geert Wilders for insulting others and are advocates of suing him in court for hate speech, do not hesitate themselves to insult Wilders and the more than one million PVV voters. Even some of those CDA members who are vehemently opposed to Wilders, claim he is a Nazi or a Fascist. At a major CDA party conference in Arnhem, the Netherlands, on October 2, a rather hysterical man shouted into the microphone: "The color of this coalition agreement is brown and brown stinks! We will never surrender! I am against it, against it, against it!"
Twittering on the internet Gerda Dijksman, a female police chief in Holland, called Wilders' party the "Fascist PVV." Dijksman is a former member of parliament for the Labor Party. Police chiefs should stay out of politics, should they not? Let them focus on crime instead.
All these allegations, of course, are outrageous. Wilders is neither a Nazi nor a Fascist and the PVV voters and MP's are not Nazi "brown shirts" either. Wilders and the PVV claim that the Judeo-Christian-humanistic tradition is vital to the survival of the West. Therefore, he is not an anti-Semite. But Hitler and the Nazis did hate the Jews and advocated a policy of genocide. Although they did not always say it publicly, many Nazis also hated the Christian tradition. Instead, they glorified Germany's pagan past ("Heidentum") when the Germans defeated the Roman armies. The Nazis claimed that the so-called "Aryan race" was superior.
Yet, leading Nazis (Hitler, Himmler, Goebbels and Eichmann among them) formed alliances with radical "non-Aryan" Muslims who also pursued a genocidal anti-Semitic agenda. I wrote two books on this subject (in 2008 and 2010). My books were quoted by Martin Bosma, an influential PVV member of parliament, whose book "De Schijn-élite van de Valse Munters" was published at the end of September. In a chapter on "The New Nazis" Bosma correctly points out that "Islamic anti-Semitism" is posing a serious threat today. He mentions the case of a Dutch Jew named Eli Bouscher who addressed a meeting in a Dutch school. The hall was filled with young Dutch Muslims. One of them asked how many Jews there are in the world. "About 15 million," somebody replied. " "That's 15 million too many," somebody else said. Many of those who were present in that hall applauded this anti-Semitic statement. And for some reason nobody protested.
The Nazis and the Fascists enjoyed and employed violence and intimidated political opponents by mobilizing paramilitary formations. Indeed, after they came to power they formed a new and efficient oppression apparatus (secret police, etc.). Wilders and the PVV can in no way be compared with German Nazism or Italian Fascism and inherent practices of brutal intimidation and oppression. We may not agree with everything Wilders says, but he never ever advocated violence as a method to achieve his political objectives. On the contrary, radical Muslims want to kill him just as they killed that other Dutch critic of Islam Theo van Gogh on November 2, 2004.
These radical Muslims, and not Wilders or the PVV, are today's real Fascists. People like Taliban commander Wali ur-Rehman, Al-Qaeda's Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri, and, last but not least, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Bin Laden once publicly said that the Jews must be killed. Ahmadinejad invited neo-Nazi Holocaust deniers to a Holocaust deniers conference in Tehran in December 2005. A former marxist "Red Army Faction" terrorist named Horst Mahler who later converted to the neo-Nazi cause, was also invited by Ahmadinejad, but the German government temporarily and wisely withdrew his passport to block him from traveling to Tehran. Mahler commented: "The Holocaust is the biggest lie in history."
Wilders on Trial in Amsterdam
Wilders' opponents want the Amsterdam court to convict the PVV leader for "hate crimes" and "insulting Muslims." Wilders advocates prohibition of the Koran by a comparison with Hitler's anti-Semitic book "Mein Kampf." He says Islam is a totalitarian ideology just like Nazism and Communism once was. However, Wilders also repeatedly emphasized that he is not against those Muslims who fully integrate into Dutch society.
The Wilders Trial in Amsterdam took a dramatic turn on Monday morning (October 4), the first day of the trial, after Wilders had invoked his right to silence. On the basis of unspecified media reports presiding judge J.W. Moors suggested that Wilders is good in putting forward a position, yet it is being said that he subsequently avoids discussion. "It looks as if you are doing the same right now," Moors said. Wilders' defense lawyer Bram Moszkowicz then challenged the judges' impartiality. "The right of silence is a fundamental right," Moszkowicz said. "Wilders does not avoid discussions in parliament," Moszkowicz said in court. "After the 'Fitna' film he sent many invitations to debate the film with him." By suggesting that Wilders avoids any debate even right now in the court room, the judges give the impression of not being impartial, it is their (biased) interpretation of media reports, Moszkowicz claimed.
Before the trial began, Wilders and Moszkowicz emphasized that what is really at stake here is the fundamental right of freedom of expression. Wilders is a prominent politician and politicians should be allowed to freely voice their opinion on a variety of political issues, Moszkowicz claims. Moszkowicz and Geert-Jan Knoops, a Dutch expert on penal law, further point out that previous European Court of Human Rights' rulings make it unlikely that Wilders will be convicted. The rulings of the European Court supersede verdicts passed by domestic Dutch courts.
Another Dutch legal expert, Guido Breedveldt Boer, wrote that is not proper to silence a parliamentarian by prosecuting him. "That would totally conflict with the idea of the separation of powers." It is also essential to take into account that Wilders' statements could be interpreted by the court as "contributions to the public debate." As long as no one is being insulted personally on the basis of religion, we should not resort to the means of prosecuting people, Breedveldt Boer, argues.
Emerson Vermaat, a law graduate, is an investigative reporter in the Netherlands. He is author of the 400 page study "Heinrich Himmler en de cultus van de dood" ("Heinrich Himmler and the cult of death"), Aspekt Publishers, the Netherlands, 2010.
RTL4 Nieuws (Dutch TV), October 1, 2010 (7:30 p.m. ). ("Talibanleider bedreigt Nederland"). Video on internet.
www.vk.tv, October 3, 2010 ("Gekke Geert", "Vervang 'Wilders' door 'Mussert' en 'PVV' door 'NSB'…")
Hoeiboei.blogspot.com, September 29, 2010 ("Over Ybo Burema contra Geert Wilders").
René Marres, De aanvallen op Pim Fortuyn en Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Soesterberg: Uitgeverij Aspekt, 2006), p. 17 (Jan Blokker: "Nog tien (peilingen), en Pim Fortuyn is definitief de Mussolini van de 21ste eeuw geworden.")
NRC Next, July 5, 2010, p. 18 (Jan Blokker: Joseph Goebbels en Walter Ulbricht). Quote from Haffner on the Nazis: "In 1932 lieten zij zich vooral van hun 'linkse' populistische kant zien."
NRC Handelsblad (Amsterdam/Rotterdam), June 13, 2009 ("PVV schuift naar links over economie"); NRC Handelsblad, October 2, 2010, p. 18 ("In sociaal opzicht is dit een erg links kabinet").
Dick Verkijk, Van pantservuist tot pantservest. Zestig jaar (on)journalistieke ervaringen (Nieuwegein/Soesterberg: Aspekt Publishers, 1997), p. 113 ("De modieuze linksigheid was toen bij de VPRO al uitgebroken onder het regime-Jan Blokker. Daar paste het gedoe met Oost-Europese intellectuelen niet in."), p. 281 (El Fatah; van Praag), 282-285 (Jan Blokkker against dissidents in Eastern Europe).
Piet Hagen, Villamedia Magazine (Amsterdam), July 30, 2010, p. 29. "Renate Rubinstein hekelde ooit in Vrij Nederland de grappen van bourgeois satisfait Blokker over de Cambodjaanse dictator Pol Pot, die de mensen de stad uitstuurde om te recreëren op het platteland – dat ging wel over de killing fields."
Historisch Nieuwsblad, juli/augustus 2010, p. 21. Geert Mak: "Wilders vindt het nationale socialisme opnieuw uit."
De Telegraaf (Amsterdam), September 19, 2010, p. 1, 3 ("'Bruin 1' wekt woede bij VVD'ers").
Dutch TV, October 2, 2010. The party conference was broadcast live on Dutch TV. "De kleur van deze coalitie is bruin en bruin stinkt! We will never surrender. Tegen! Tegen! Tegen!"
De Telegraaf, September 2, 2010, p. 3 ("Dijksman twittert door over Wilders").
Emerson Vermaat, Heinrich Himmler en de cultus van de dood (Soesterberg: Aspekt Publishers, 2010), p. 131-177. Himmler on Islam: "A practical sympathetic and religion for soldiers." Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels agreed.
Martin Bosma, De schijn-élite van de valse munters (Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Bert Bakker, 2010), p. 270. I met Mr. Bosma several times and know him as a fierce opponent of Nazism and Fascism. He presented his book to Mickel Aziz, a former Iraqi asylum-seeker and a Christian. Aziz's current employer, the Amsterdam municipal transport company GVB, forbade him as a streetcar conductor, to visibly wear the Christian cross. "Yet, the same company provides headscarves – also clearly a religious symbol – to Muslim female streetcar conductors," Mr. Aziz told me when I met him on September 29, 2010. He and other Christian Arabs are quite worried about what they perceive as the gradual "Islamization" of Holland.
De Telegraaf, October 2, 2010, p. TA1 ("Het gaat om veel meer dan Geert"). Bram Moszkowicz, Wilders' defense lawyer. Als quotes form Geert-Jan Knoops.
Guido Breedtveld Boer, Wilders hoort niet voor de rechter, in: NRC Handelsblad, October 2, 2010, p. 5 ("Opinie en Debat").
© 2010 Emerson Vermaat. All rights reserved.