I can't really speak for the Sweden Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna), of which I had never heard before the Brussels Counterjihad Conference a couple of weeks ago. After looking briefly into their past, I did indeed find quite a lot of troublesome material. However, the party seems to have gotten rid of its Nazi supporters a decade ago: at least all the openly extremist members were expelled. They formed a fascist splinter party, the National Democrats, which is actually denouncing SD. Furthermore, I think it's hard to call SD anti-Semitic when it is led by a Jew, Ted Ekeroth, especially when that Jew won the Zionist Herzl Award 2006. Sverigedemokraterna's site also states that it considers the 1948 UN Declaration on Human Rights an inalienable centerpiece of its politics. Jesus, why do I bother you with facts? Check out their site yourself, it doesn't exactly look like Der Stuermer to me. If we are to apply Johnson's standards for judging a party, then the Democratic Party should be steered clear off because its leader in the Senate, Stephen Douglas (D-Illinois) pushed a pro-slavery act through Congress in 1854. Hey wait, now there's an idea...
As for the Vlaams Belang, the first shot fired by Johnson was the allegation that in 2005, the VB shunned a Resolution condemning the Nazi death camps.
The resolution Mr. Johnson is referring to is actually an EU Resolution, more specifically the January 27th, 2005 European Parliament Resolution PE 354.156 on Remembrance of the Holocaust, Anti-Semitism and Racism. Now here's the thing: imho anyone with a clear and objective view on things should notice the stink when a party like the VB is accused of not signing a Resolution condemning the Holocaust, because really, who, apart from the Nazis themselves and Ahmadinejad plus the usual suspects would not sign such a document? Why on earth would a party which is Israel's loudest supporter in the Belgian political landscape oppose a Holocaust Resolution??? The reason is very simple. The VB did not sign this resolution since it is a Leftist/Green fabrication intended to provide "legal" basis for prosecuting any European party opposing or at least questioning unburdened immigration. When we take a close look at PE 354.156 we find under Article 1:
"1. Pays homage to all the victims of the Nazis and is convinced that lasting peace in Europe must be based on remembrance of its history; rejects and condemns revisionist views and denial of the Holocaust as shameful and contrary to historical truth, and expresses concern over the rise of extremist and xenophobic parties and growing public acceptance of their views;"
In Flemish we have a saying: "Het venijn zit in de staart" meaning "the venom is in the tail". PE 354.156 bluntly links anyone denying the holocaust with "extremist and xenophobic parties". In reality, this will boil down to calling all parties who oppose the massive and unchecked immigration wave... Holocaust Deniers. Note that the immigration wave is to a large extent instigated, and fueled, by the same leftist and green parties with the specific aim of catering for the immigrants in return for votes!
It gets even better when we examine PE 354.156 more closely. Enshrined in it is a so-called Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia. Its opening sentence literally states:
The purpose of this framework decision is to ensure that, in the European Union, racism and xenophobia are punishable by effective, proportionate and dissuasive criminal penalties which can give rise to extradition or surrender; to improve and encourage judicial cooperation.
Ladies and gentlemen, there you have it: Punishable by Effective, Proportionate and Dissuasive Criminal Penalties. In other words, this so-called "Holocaust Resolution" provides nothing less than a "legal" instrument to kill parties opposing, a.o., unbridled immigration!THAT is the reason why the Vlaams Belang did not sign it!!! It's leftist reasoning all over again. If you can't beat them, sue them. You do not have to tell Filip Dewinter what that means. In a 2005 interview with a Jewish weekly he said a.o. "Yes, we’re afraid of Islam. The Islamization of Europe is a frightening thing." A multicultural youth organization (KifKif) and an "Anti-Racism" organization (aptly called MRAX, do I see a Freudian Slip there? Or is it rather a not so subtle hint?) promptly lodged a criminal complaint against him using Belgium's notorious "Anti-Racism Law", accusing him of inciting racial hatred. As a result of this complaint, one of the highest Belgian courts, the Council of State, is currently investigating whether the VB can be deprived of public funding (in Belgium, parties cannot receive gifts from companies and get funding from the State). This investigation's purpose is nothing less than an attempt to "kill" the Vlaams Belang financially. You can see how the mechanism works on the Belgian level. I shudder at the thought the same would be possible on the European level, and this is just what EU Resolution PE 354.156 intends to do.
PE 354.156, a Leftist/Green fabrication, is in its essence a shameful thing, as it recuperates one of the greatest horrors humanity has ever known for vile political purposes. To explain the VB's decision, Filip Dewinter wrote in an Open Letter to the Jewish Community on January 28, 2005:
As a result of the unfortunate and untrue reports in the media concerning the attitude of Vlaams Belang in the European Parliament regarding a resolution “concerning the commemoration of the Holocaust, anti-Semitism and racism” I would be more than glad to put right what I for one and others would like to clarify.
Naturally Vlaams Belang bows down in deep respect for the suffering of all the victims of the Holocaust. The genocide against the Jewish people committed by the Nazi regime no one can never forget. The 60th anniversary of the release of the prisoners from the camp at Auschwitz is an excellent occasion to honor the victims and stands as a warning memory to the victims of every form of anti-Semitism and racism. I can refer to the MEP elected and party President Frank Vanhecke, who has also put this explicitly in his speech in the European Parliament with the following words: “Vlaams Belang bows down in deep respect for the Jews and for all the other victims of the criminal National Socialistic regime” [Nazi regime].
Unfortunately, some find it necessary to demonize a number of people from a successful and growing opposition with the use of a shameless abuse of the holocaust tragedy in the year 2006...
FYI, the VB did endorse a resolution condemning the Holocaust... in the Flemish Parliament. Because that resolution dispensed with the angle allowing for prosecution of immigration-critical parties. I wonder why Charles Johnson did not tell you that. Either way, LGF's Chief Editor took the accusation thrown at VB's feet hook, line and sinker. For a fella who has debunked the EU's "famous" soft-power resolutions so many times on his own blog, I thought he was smarter.
Now for his "Exhibit 2". According to Johnson, "a White Power flag at a Vlaams Belang rally this month. The other flags are Vlaams Belang."
Except this is not a VB rally, and these are not VB flags. It is a July 10, 2006 VJW rally, in which VJW stands for Vlaamse Jongeren Westland, or Flemish Youths Westland. This is their site. They are really a fringe group - until LGF posted the photo, I had not even heard of them - and it is quite hard to describe them. They appear to be fiercely nationalistic, anti-muslim but also anti-Israel, definitely anti-USA (burning US-flags), and heavily leftist leaning in their economic recipes (they favor nationalization!). And yes, I'd label these guys white supremacists. They amply use Celtic crosses, Odal runes and other (Neo)Nazi symbols, and they worship Flemish Waffen SS volunteers. To be sure, after some Internet rummaging I did find out that a handful of VJW members have ties with, or are also member of, the VB. I can only deplore this, and while I think it's a good thing the VB leadership almost from the beginning removed the (very few) VJW members from any post of importance, I'd rather like these idiots-stupid fucks-scumbags-morons-take your pick, to disappear from my party altogether.
But the bare fact remains that Johnson, when he claimed this was a VB rally and these were VB flags (the official VB flag can be seen here) was dead wrong. One really wonders why he unconditionally trusted his source, the obscure Belgian extreme-leftist blogger Yelloman. One last word about the use of Flemish flags together with a White Supremacist symbol: if we follow Johnson's logic, the US flag itself is a vile symbol, since Code Pink does also use the Star Spangled Banner at their rallies. How about that?
Then Johnson's "Exhibit 3". He writes: "As mentioned above, the predecessor to Vlaams Belang, Vlaams Blok, was outlawed in 2004. Their comeback as Vlaams Belang was applauded in 2005 by David Duke and the neo-Nazi skinheads at Stormfront." If you follow the Stormfront link, you come upon the start of a Discussion with the subject being "Pro-White Vlaams Belang Now Belgium's Strongest Party." First of all, the "Pro White Vlaams Belang" is a projection made by the Stormfront bozos. "Pro White" is not, and has never been, repeat NEVER, a VB denomination or motto. The VB-slogan which came closest to advocating white supremacy was "Eigen Volk Eerst" (Own People First), and even then it was a (very) far stretch, since "Eigen Volk" (Own People) stood for all "good" citizens with a Belgian ID, including the hundreds of thousands of Italians, French and Greeks who became, in decades past, respectable countrymen. The "Eigen Volk Eerst" slogan was dropped four years ago, when Vlaams Belang's predecessor, Vlaams Blok (Flemish Bloc) was outlawed. To be sure, I do feel more comfortable now that that motto is gone, but let us be honest here, what precisely is wrong with such an attitude? Does not a government has as its first priority the interests of its own people, and then the interests of citizens of other nationalities? Should by the logic of the Belgian Court not the whole population of Japan be outlawed, since they barely - if even that - allow immigration? A government has at its disposal a limited set of resources with which to pay employees' wages, pensions, infrastructure, hospitals, schools and what not. Is it not logical that a government uses these resources for its native inhabitants first? "Eigen Volk Eerst" is a cry from the early eighties, when nationwide unemployment was skyhigh and the leftist red carpet treatment (including positive discrimination) for newcomers, who did not even want to learn the language, started in earnest. Anno 2007 it is a demographic reality that Antwerp, the place where the slogan "Eigen Volk Eerst" was born, is slowly but steadily running out of "Whites" and people of other color fill the space. Close to 4,000 "White" Antwerpians flee the inner city every year, and 5,000 "Non-White" newcomers flow in. Is it asked too much WHY there is a White Flight? Why did native Belgians not move away when Italians moved into their neighborhoods en masse during the fifties? Furthermore, does not, in light of the stark reality of the rise of sloppiness, poverty and crime after the newcomers' arrival, sound a cry like "Eigen Volk Eerst" more like a sane, sad wish post factum than a racist battlecry? 2006 marked the first year that immigrants who do not even WISH Belgian nationality, were allowed to vote in municipal elections - exactly the reason why I joined the VB, btw. It was a common phenomenon that Moroccans, Turks and Algerians voted only for "their" candidates, which resulted in hitherto unknown Ahmeds, Fatimas and Alis, posted on "unelectable" places on (especially socialist and green) voting lists, miraculously jumped over the gullible indigenous "white" candidates. In Ghent, a Turkish candidate, Fuat Korkmazer, profiled himself in the first place as a Turk, NOT as a Belgian. Just LOOK at that poster (in Turkish!), and now look at the site of Bobby Jindal, US Congressman of Indian extraction, now Governor-Elect of Louisiana. What kind of flag is that huh? Were I an American in Louisiana, I'd feel verrrrry comfortable with my "brown" governor. Were I living in Ghent, I'd feel extremely uncomfortable with a mayor like Mr. Korkmazer. The Vlaams Blok had to drop the "Eigen Volk Eerst" slogan. "Non-whites" openly applied "Eigen Volk Eerst" - and the leftist loons pretend that their noses are bleeding.
Now back to Stormfront and David Duke. Are we to assume that the VB is a Stormfront susidiary, as Mr. Johnson alleges, just because that hatehole links to the VB site? If some Neonazi clusterfucker reads a DowneastBlog post, comes across twenty times "Stop Muslim Immigration to Western Countries", presumes I'm and links to it, does that make DowneastBlog a Neonazi site? In this very post I link to an extreme leftist blogger, the nutjob who provided Johnson with false photos. Plus, I link to the leftozoid hate site Blokwatch. Does that make ME a Code Pinko??? Jesus, and I wonder how many VB staffers even know David Duke. I will tell you one thing. David Duke may praise the Vlaams Belang, which he perceives as white supremacists because they happen to question the flood of non-whites flowing uncontrollably into our country. But the Vlaams Belang will NEVER praise David Duke.
To cut a long story short, the technique Charles Johnson uses here to attack the VB is known as "guilty by association". I read a book recently, "Digital Fortress" by Dan Brown. In it, a murderer (US government paid of course, what did you expect) kills each and everyone who came into contact, even randomly, with his target, a Japanese encoder. Guilty, or shall we say, "burned" by association. Dare I say that Mr. Johnson follows the same logic as that killer? Just because Stormfront links to the VB... the VB is guilty of the sins of Stormfront. Honestly Mr. Johnson... I am BAFFLED.
Just three "exhibits" debunked, 27 to go still... Or is it 28? Because Charles does not seem to get enough of it. In the process, got involved in a serious brawl with The Brussels Journal's Paul Belien. Called The Brussels Journal "Repugnant"... and gives as "proof"... three COMMENTS. Shall we examine LGF's comments section? No, honestly, can any sane individual who has regularly read Paul Belien's site over the past years claim in all seriousness that The Brussels Journal is "Repugnant"??? Either way, in my opinion Mr. Belien has done a fine job of defending both his site and the Vlaams Belang. I might add that neither I, nor Paul Belien, nor the Vlaams Belang itself have ever hidden the party's past, which has its ghosts. I wrote about that here. And I wrote again about it, not mincing my words, here:
...The struggle for recognition of the rich culture of Flanders and its language, Flemish (which relates to Dutch like American English relates to British English) inside a francophone Belgique has been long and hard, and on two occasions important organizations of Flemish activists have, in vain hopes of getting from under the Wallonian yoke, sided with a party they should have avoided: the German invader, both in World War I and in World War II. In 1914-1918 the German occupier had his Flamenpolitik, promising a degree of Flemish independence and a.o. a Flemish University in Gent. In 1940-1944 the Germans went further and extracted apart from political cooperation military cooperation: enough Flemings were drafted to finally form a Waffen SS infantry division, the 27th Waffen Grenadier “Langemarck”. In both conflicts, opportunistic Flemish populists got themselves used for unsavoury purposes for a bait, Flemish self-rule, which all to soon proved illusory – the German yoke simply replaced the Wallonian, and it was much worse. The awakening after the armistices in 1918 and 1945 was hard, and left the country with a body of embittered Flemish nationalist outcasts.
In the seventies, such various groups of Flemish Eastern Front veterans – tough men who had seen the endless steppes and proudly worn the typical shoulder patches with the Flemish Lion on a Feldgrau sleeve, almost inevitably flocked to the new political formation promising once more glory for Flanders: the Vlaams Blok, as it was called then and until 2004, when the party was banned by Belgium's politically correct establishment and it quickly had to take another identity as the Vlaams Belang.
But whether they went to Russia to fight Bolshevism or not, whether they were proud Flemings or not, I am sorry to say that among these men were convinced Nazis too, and they left their mark on the young formation. They were not in a majority position, but they were unmistakably there. And so nazi rhetoric from time to time surfaced, as well as references to white supremacy and contempt if not hatred of other races. Needless to say, back in those days I would never have joined the VB...
But that was then, and this is now. As far as I am concerned, my party is clean. No photos of Filip Dewinter (whose father and uncle were in the Resistance) with Jean-Marie Le Pen can change that. That one goes the rounds now on LGF, and it reminds me eerily of the photo with Rummy on Saddam's payroll. The (few) neonazis were expelled long ago, and today the VB is a decent, pro-free market, ethically conservative party any true GOP member would feel comfortable in. I am very glad to see that several powerful American bloggers and commentators have taken up the defense of my party, notably Pamela Geller from Atlas Shrugs. She has written very eloquently and with authority. View From the Right is truly excellent. But perhaps it is even better to let Diane West have the last word:
I refer to the very upsetting and undeserved Internet attacks — mainly being lent credence by the blog Little Green Footballs — on Vlaams Belang, the Flemish secessionist party in Belgium. The attacks allege that Vlaams Belang has ties and allegiance to Nazi-type ideologies and organizations. I find these attacks both sloppy and unconvincing. Vlaams Belang is not only the most stalwart, resolutely anti-jihad party in Europe that I know of, but also — and, not at all incidentally — the most pro-Israel party in Europe that I know of. In other words, it is ridiculous to suggest that they are Nazis — neo-, South American, Religious Right, or Other.
Indeed, it is crucial to understand that Vlaams Belang’s political opponents in Europe are the Islamo-Socialist Left, which is where vicious anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism now finds its ideological home. Vlaams Belang is fighting, virtually alone, the Islamization of Europe. For that they deserve both our gratitude and our support.