Charles Johnson got mail from his Belgian buddies again. This time he was provided with photos showing current VB European Parliament member Koen Dillen, son of the late Vlaams Blok founder Karel Dillen, in the company of Léon Degrelle. The photo dates from July 11, 1992. Johnson must have gotten it via the extreme leftist hatesite Blokwatch.
And on this photo you see the same Léon Degrelle, be it somewhat younger, shaking hands with a well-known socialist, deceased in April 1945:
Who was Léon Degrelle? He was the prewar founder of the Rex Party, Belgium's Wallonian fascist movement in the thirties. Like in other industrialized countries, the economic crisis had struck hard, and the traditional parties seemed unable to turn the tide. In 1936, the charismatic and populistic orator Degrelle scored high with Rex, conquering 10% of the vote. This was to be the movement's peak moment, however. News of Rex's contacts with the NSDAP and Mussolini's fascists, together with a better performing economy, had shrunk it to a marginal party by the time war reached Belgium in 1940. Initially, the Nazis ignored Degrelle and Rex, deeming the "latin" Walloons inferior to the "germanic" Flemings. That changed after Nazi Germany attacked Russia on July 22, 1941. Degrelle offered a Walloon Legion to help fight communism on the Eastern Front and the Nazis, eager for manpower, accepted. The Walloon Legion, under the - brave, it must be admitted - personal leadership of Degrelle, fought with distinction and Degrelle made quite a name of himself, so much that at one point Hitler said "that he was the only Belgian useful to him". By 1943, a bitter rivalry for manpower and resources had developed between the Wehrmacht and the Waffen SS. The power-hungry Degrelle, seeing that promotion in the latter organisation tended to be much faster than in the Army, had already managed to get his Walloon Legion transferred to the Waffen SS, where it had been named "SS Sturmbrigade Wallonien", see the propaganda poster. The charging knight evokes the glorious "Walloon" past with its powerful medieval counties, a.o. the County of Hainaut, and the Prince-Bishopric of Liège (the name "Wallonia" does in fact not emerge until the 19th century). In the winter of 1943-1944, Degrelle's unit was encircled, together with various other Waffen SS and Wehrmacht units, in the notorious Korsun Pocket near Cherkassy, Ukraine. SS Sturmbrigade Wallonien managed to extricate itself from the pocket, but was very badly mauled. For his bravery, Degrelle was personally awarded the Ritterkreuz by a grateful Fuehrer, and at this occasion Hitler reportedly said "that if he had had a son, he had wished him to be like him [Degrelle]." During 1944 the brigade was brought up to strength again and by fall even upgraded to a Waffen SS division, the 28th Waffen Grenadier "Wallonien", still under Degrelles leadership. It withered away in the spring of 1945 under the Soviet onslaught, and disintegrated completely in late April alongside - the irony! - the Flemish Waffen SS division, the 27th Waffen Grenadier "Langemarck". An opportunistic Degrelle evaded the fate that awaited many Rexists and Eastern Front veterans in Belgium - execution - by fleeing to Spain where he made a lot of money as an entrepreneur building barracks for the Spanish Army. Over the years, he became something of a celebrity among the other Third Reich fugitives there. An unrepentant hardcore Nazi to the end, who kept calling Adolf Hitler "the greatest statesman he had ever known", Degrelle died in Malaga in 1994.
To say that our friend Koen Dillen thus found himself in pretty seedy company is therefore the Mother of all Understatements. It is ironic that two Belgians, "antagonistic by nature": the one a Fleming, the other a Walloon, only found mutual understanding in their admiration for the epic combats fought by the grenadiers of the "Langemarck" and "Wallonien" divisions. All the more so since the photo session took place on... July 11, the Flemish "National" holiday, birthday of the Battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302, in which an army of Flemish volunteers virtually destroyed a French Knight's Army.
I have known about this notorious visit for a long time, and this is just one of the examples I have often referred to when I mentioned the VB's "murky past". Yes, Dillen's meeting took place fifteen years ago. And yes, it should be noted that unlike most if not all purely German Waffen SS divisions, the "Belgian" ones have no record of savagery or criminal conduct on the Eastern Front. I suppose this has a lot, if not all, to do with the fact that the Flemings and Walloons were drafted into the Waffen SS without the inhuman ideological indoctrination the German Waffen SS men received. In the case of the Flemings, Himmler simply "picked" the Flemish Legion away from the Army and the men found themselves wearing, from one day to another so to say, SS-runes. It is said that a lot of them kept wearing their necklace crosses behind those dreaded runes. Belgium was a deeply catholic country in those days - and quite a few priests exhorted glory-hungry youngsters to go fight the godless bolsheviks (the most notorious among these being a certain Cyriel Verschaeve). In the case of the Walloons, Degrelle, more a Nazi at heart than his Flemish counterparts, was even more eager to get the transition done than Himmler himself - but the effect for his men was the same. Either way, both groups fought and died bravely, and seem to have behaved "humanely" vis-à-vis the Russian population, insofar that was possible of course. But... there is no excuse here.
There is no excuse here, not then and not fifteen years later. One cannot simply reduce this to the judgment errors a young man often makes. All the more so, since I have never known Koen Dillen to excuse himself. These are the things the Vlaams Belang, successor to the Vlaams Blok, has to live with, just as Sverigedemokraterna has to live with its history of Nazi adoration and Italy's Gianfranco Fini with his neofascist MSI days.
The very serious problem I have with Charles Johnson's logic - apart from his most unnerving Holier-Than-Thou attitude - is that in his static worldview people and parties cannot change and that the efforts of hundreds of thousands cannot atone for the long past missteps of some. Some compromising photo from the old days is dug up somewhere and a whole people's movement is branded a bunch of Neonazis. If we are to apply Mr. Johnson's logic to the Democratic Party e.g., then no decent individual should ever cast his vote again for it because it has a 200-year history of racism, from promoting slavery before and during the Civil War, over Jim Crow laws, Black Codes, outright support for the Ku Klux Klan and voting against the 1957 and 1964 Civil Rights Laws, to Senator Christopher Dodd praising former KKK member Robert Byrd and saying he would have been a good Confederate General. How about that??? I however, as a Rightwinger (and a Neonazi according to Mr. Johnson), am convinced the Democratic Party IS NECESSARY in American politics. Though in all honesty, I wish less clowns would take shelter there.
The second problem I have with Mr. Johnson, is that he displays a willful ignorance of the historic background of the Flemish struggle. As stated before, for a long time and even till today, Flemings have been second-rank citizens in Belgium. During the entire nineteenth century, and the bigger part of the twentieth century, all power echelons in the Belgian state were reserved for the French-speaking Walloons, since Flemish, which relates to Dutch the way American English relates to "British" English, was considered a vulgar peasants language. In the nineteenth century, schoolchildren could be punished for speaking their mother tongue on the schoolyard. During World War I, many Flemish soldiers died because they could not comprehend their orders given to them in French by their Walloon NCO's and officers. For them, it was "Pour les Flamands la meme chose!!!" (For the Flemings, the same!!!). Ghent, one of Flanders's most famous cities, only got its first Flemish university during World War I through the efforts of... the German occupier. It took a century since the Independence in 1830 before a Belgian monarch, Albert I, addressed Parliament in Flemish. And the famous university at Leuven, a city only known in Anglosaxon countries as "Louvain", after the French way to write it, was not entirely Flemish until 1968... It is with this in mind that one has to look at, say, the - very disturbing, admitted - show of leading Vlaams Blok politicians laying flowers on the graves of Flemish Waffen SS soldiers. For besides their role on the Eastern Front, in the service of one of humanity's most evil regimes, these men had often made a name for themselves in another struggle, the Flemish struggle. YES, they chose the wrong side, and a DEAD WRONG side at that, in vain hoping that the Germans would reward their efforts and sacrifices against the USSR with at least a limited degree of self-rule. Naturally, the Nazis simply abused them. STILL, if anno 2007 we have come a very long way from the days when Flemings were looked down upon by La Belgique's Walloon establishment as an uncivilized, vulgar people speaking an atrocious, incomprehensible dialect, this is in part ALSO thanks to these men. No matter how inhuman the regime was they served. Before judging a controversial video ripped out of its context in his usual knee-jerk fashion, Charles Johnson the Anti-Racist would do better to get himself acquainted with some essential history.
The third grave problem I have with LGF's Chief Editor, is that he swallows the data being fed to him by extreme leftwing sites without criticism, while bullying away any person on or outside his blog who offers a different viewpoint or even a more nuanced approach. A lot of "material" seems to come directly or indirectly from the extreme leftwing hatesite Blokwatch or from the obscure communist Yelloman. For example, after Yelloman posted a French documentary on the "hidden face of the VB" on October 31, a link to that same video appeared on LGF on November 10. Sure, Johnson said he "got it from a Spanish reader", but after seeing his minions referring and linking ad nauseam to the same commie hateholes, I'd wager he'd have, by now, serious reason for listening to another bell. The opposite is true, however. Longtime commenters on LGF suddenly find themselves shut out, and very reasonable counterarguments by TBJ's Paul Belien are downright ignored.
Let us now have a close look at these sources. As said before, they seem to be the obscure Belgian extreme leftwing blogger Yelloman as well as the extreme leftwing Blokwatch, a group of multiculti commie loons if ever there was one. One of its leading figures, a certain Patrick Coeman, kept sticking to his alien multicultural beliefs even as his 16-year old pregnant daughter Jasmijn was violently assaulted and kicked in the belly by a bunch of Moroccan teenagers, who called her a whore and a slut. Blokwatch is affiliated with such gems as Verzet.org, another extreme leftwing site which recently sported a scathing attack on Brig. Gen. Paul Tibbets, the man who bombed Hiroshima and thus ended World War II. Another close ally of Blokwatch is the site Mensenrechten (Human Rights), an outfit curiously not interested in Human Rights violations if they happen to be at the hands of their ideological confrères.Their homepage proudly displays an ad for the upcoming movie My enemy's enemy, on Nazi henchman Klaus Barbie. As you can see from the poster, this notorious killer is linked in a not so subtle way to a certain country somewhere in the north of the American continent. A look at Mensenrechten's Board of Directors will in all likelihood not tell you very much, but no. 2 on that board is Eddy Boutmans, from the Green Party, who was a minister in the previous government. One of his aides was a certain Peter Terryn, nicknamed on Boutmans' cabinet the "Minister of Agitation" for his anarchist sympathies. On his website Terryn had called the 9/11 attacks "aesthetically beautiful". Sure, Boutmans fired Terryn... after one week of intense pressure from more sane-minded colleagues. Afterwards, Boutmans' spokeswoman deplored "that a heavy gun had been used to shoot on a trivial bug", and described Terryn's comment as "satire".
If you'd have though this was the high point of Belgian foolishness in the early days of the WOT, you'd be mistaken. In 1993, Belgium passed a so-called "Universal Jurisdiction Law", which allowed foreigners to file complaints against individuals accused of war crimes and genocide, no matter where they resided on the globe. Ten years later, the Liberation of Iraq stirred a number of Belgium's colourful association of leftwing bozos to emphatically support the complaint laid down by some Iraqis against former US President George Walker Bush and former US Army Chief of Staff General Colin Powell, for their alleged role in the bombing of a Baghdad bunker in 1991, whereby as many as 400 civilians would have been killed (curiously, the loons seem not to have discovered the excellent possibility the law gave them to prosecute a certain Middle Eastern dictator who gassed Kurdistan). The monstrosity was repealed in August 2003 when Rummy, who was also in the targets, threatened to move NATO HQ out of Belgium, a decision Blokwatch, Verzet, PvdA, the socialist party, Mensenrechten et al would actually have cheered. The crux of the matter is that Charles Johnson, who I believe referred to this stupid law back in 2003, should know that his trusted sources were all fiercely supporting the "lawsuits" against Bush 41, Powell, Cheney, Sharon and Rummy. Shall we then say, in the man's own words: "Nice company Johnson runs with"?
The proverbial elephant in the Hall of Political Correctness is that while all leftists cry murder whenever some compromising photo taken twenty years ago comes out, they, on the other hand, still demonstrate a kingly nonchalance in the practice of revering "their" heroes. In Spring 2006, Animo, the youth chapter of the Flemish Socialist Party SP.a, sported a poster of Mao on their website, announcing the good - cough - news that the winner of the May 1 Personality of 2006 Contest would be carried around on Labor Day "in true Maoist fashion". FYI, most historians now agree that during Mao's rule between 60 and 70 million Chinese died of non-natural causes, be it execution, mass stravation or other niceties. It's even worse. Leftists somehow take it for granted that they will keep enjoying absolute moral immunity in the presence of leftist dictators. A good example is Cuba. Almost fifty years have gone by since Castro removed the "rightwing" dictator Fulgencio Batista from power there. And after all those years, during which Portugal's Salazar, Taiwan's Chiang-Kai-Chek, Spain's Franco, South Korea's Chun-doo-Hwan , Guatemala's Mejía or Chili's Pinochet - ALL of them rightwing dictators - bloodlessly gave way to democratic rule... the Cubans STILL find themselves living under leftist tyranny. Let that be no problem for our moral betters at home: leftwing politicians still revere the old monster, and while there visibly enjoy being in a country where society and even Man itself is still makeable. The photo, taken a few years back, shows you former Foreign Minister Erik De Rijcke, now Minister of State, enjoying the company of El Lider. De Rijcke is a prominent member of the Flemish socialist party SP.a. Leftists fret about Guantanamo, where at most 500 islamoterrorists simultaneously were held. The gruesome truth is that the real jail begins OUTSIDE Guantanamo's gates, and at any given moment over the past fifty years it has contained over ten million people. The Cuba/Gitmo paradox is not an elephant in a room going mysteriously unremarked, it is one of those 20 mile diameter disks from Independence Day wiping away Greater Roswell including Vegas and the Air Force still pretending it was just a weather balloon.
Either way, the sad thing about the whole LGF/TBJ blogwar is that a precious front in the defense of Europe against the mortal threat posed by Islamization is critically weakened because Mr. Johnson seems not to be able to see anything but Nazis in what has, over the years, become a decent rightwing party - possibly the most GOP-like party on the European Continent. As I have stated before, I would never have joined the VB back in the streetfighting days - even though then already, I recognized, and acknowledged, the sheer necessity of their message. And this despite the at times unfresh odor emanating from the package. But today, the Vlaams Belang has moved on. It is "clean". Not as clean as can be, perhaps, but which party is? Perhaps the best rebuke of Johnsons long diatribe against a movement he should actually praise, is the VB's programme. I have copied and translated some key points. Here they are, and judge for yourself:
IDENTITY AND DEMOCRACY.The Vlaams Belang is a "nationalist party of the right" (In the continental-European semantic context, as opposed to the collectivist, etatist "left". In an Anglosaxon context the term "conservative" would be used, as opposed to "liberal"). Indeed, we recognise man as a free agent, with all his human qualities and flaws, and we reject ideologies that presuppose the "makeability" of mankind and that advocate social engineering. Tradition, virtues and morality, as these have grown through time, must be respected and are constitutive elements of the society of the future. The Vlaams Belang chooses unequivocally for democracy as political model. The people decide.
FREEDOM.Human beings are free persons. The Vlaams Belang is dedicated to protecting the individual from abuse of power by the state. The party defends the freedom of speech, as the first and most important principle in the democratic organisation of society. Other principles include - among others - the right of free assemblage and association, freedom of education, freedom of conscience and the right to life. The right of ownership and free enterprise - which constitute the foundation for economic development, employment and prosperity - are inherent freedoms of our society. In its political activities the Vlaams Belang will respect, as a minimum, the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of 4 November 1950 and the related protocols which apply in Belgium. The party will ensure that itself, its various components and elected delegates also observe the right to self-determination of nations.
LAW AND ORDER.The authorities must respect the rights of every citizen and guarantee law and order. The Vlaams Belang believes that democracy and the rule of law are the best safeguards for personal freedom. Security, and the curtailment of crime, are essential to society. The authorities of a state must guarantee security for all its citizens. The criminal's personal responsibility must be recognized and appreciated as a cause of insecurity. For the Vlaams Belang a tough line on crime and zero tolerance are central to government, and the judiciary and the prison system must cooperate in this.
ECONOMY.To sustain the present level of prosperity our party is in the first place convinced that Flanders has to become an independent state [note: although a VB member myself, I do not subscribe to this view]. Furthermore, Vlaams Belang pleads for supply side economics. This means a policy steered "from beneath" and which gives ample room to individuals and companies to deploy... Free entrepreneurship is of course of the utmost importance. Freedom gives the determined individual the chance to choose a professional activity which best suits one's own talents and preference. By individually choosing education, labor, a sector and specific professional initiatives well suiting one's person, a maximum of added value for the whole of society and thus economic prowess, is generated. The role of the government is first and foremost creating a climate leaving entrepreneurs sufficient room to act in a creative and innovative way. A favourable entrepreneurial climate is only possible when taxes on wages are lowered, administrative overload disappears and the necessary incentives are available. Free competition must be assured as much as possible. A sober government limits entrepreneurs as little as possible. Decision making has to be relocated - following the subsidiarity principle - as much as possible to the lower levels. This implies a drastic reduction of government interference. Only a lean government shall be able to effectively lower and simplify taxes.
THE FAMILY AND MARRIAGE.The Vlaams Belang is an outspoken Family Party. As the Cornerstone of Society, the Family provides stability, comfort and education of children. Families form the solidarity between the generations, between the past and the future. Families are best suited to pass on norms and values. They throw up a dam against egoism and materialism, aginst indifference and the mounting violence on our society. A family-friendly climate is the best condition and guarantee for a healthy society... Marriage forms the strongest basis for families. That is why for the Vlaams Belang, marriage is a basic structure of our society.
ABORTION.The Vlaams Belang has always denounced abortion, for the following reasons: a.) Unborn Life in the mother's womb is also Human Life. b.) Innocent Human Life cannot be killed. c.) Other solutions are possible. That does not mean that we close our eyes for the painful situation of girls who unexpectedly become pregnant...
In the case of rape or in situations whereby the life of the mother herself is in danger, abortion has never been prosecuted, let alone condemned, which means that the current legislation need not be amended... In the meantime, abortion has become an ordinary operation. No serious monitoring of the phenomenon exists. For the VB human life cannot be touched. The State has as its first priority to protect the weakest in society. And the weakest is without doubt the unborn child. In order to have this protection signed into law, the VB has introduced a bill granting legal personality to the unborn child.
EUTHANASIA.The Vlaams Belang is principally against every change of the law which would render euthanasia no longer a punishable crime. Naturally, our resistance against euthanasia does not mean that the Vlaams Belang advocates therapeutical stubbornness or needlessly prolonging life and suffering. Stopping a useless medical treatment with terminal patients and administering painkillers which shorten the dying process are allowed, medical experiments are not allowed.
IMMIGRATION.Flanders is no immigration country and should not have a policy attracting immigrants. He who arrives here as an immigrant and wants to settle permanently, adapts to our language, culture and habits and is in the first place loyal towards his new country, Flanders. The solution is not, as the multicultural dogma proscribes, that numerous cultures must live next to each other. The solution is of course, that the newcomers have to adapt to our culture, not the other way round. This whole theme cannot be seen detached from Flemish history. The Flemings have very nasty experiences with people speaking other languages who did not want to adapt to our language and culture. Our capital is a painful reminder of a Flemish culture usurped by French culture, and currently by other cultures. We want to avoid a recurrence of that phenomenon in other Flemish cities. Francophones who do not want to adapt to the Dutch language in the public sector, educational system and judiciary are not welcome in Flanders. In the same manner, those who adhere to another culture must adapt to us or get back to their country of origin, where they are free to live as they want.
HOMOSEXUALITY. The VB believes that the sexual nature of individuals belongs to the private realm and what consenting adults, be it homosexuals, lesbians or heterosexuals do in the private sphere of their house or sleeping room is not our business. The VB most definitely does not plead for discrimination of gay people. But that does not mean yet that we are cheering the sexually-tinted orgies of gay parades. For the VB the marriage between a man and a woman is and remains the norm. Can it? Gay marriage and gay adoption are, as far as we are concerned, foolish and dangerous nonsense, a bridge too far. This principled rejection has nothing to do with disrimination, but everything with our concern for a healthy society and a healthy education. In the ideal situation children are raised by their biological mother and father. When that is not possible they are best brought up in an environment as stable as possible. But in no way children may become the subject of experiments with gay marriage. We would like to conclude that the VB has a fair number of otherwise oriented members, apart from several homosexual and lesbian politicians. They feel good at home within our party but don't want to make a show of it. And especially, they were not elected because of their orientation, but because of their viewpoints, engagement and other qualities.
RACISM.According to a dictionary, racism is the belief that one race is superior to another. The notion that one race would be superior to another race is just as stupid and short-sighted as the dogmatic and utopian conviction that all people would be equal. People are not equal, but in our view of equal value... The Vlaams Belang is not, as is being claimed so often, against immigrants, but we do oppose the foolish immigrant policy the authorities have applied for decades. A woolly policy standing in the way of any real integration and which has only resulted in the creation of ghettos, school troubles, unemployment, high societal tensions and a disturbing level of criminality. Self-declared "democrats" have always shoo-shooed these problems away, but taboos have never led to a solution for them. The fact that the VB opposes the multicultural society has nothing to do with racism, even though it is often portrayed as such. Our criticism on multiculturalism is no plea for ethnic cleansing. But, we do want to stay boss in our own country. Furthermore, for a well functioning democracy, the population has to agree on a number of shared norms and values... We do not want to sacrifice our freedom and our norms and values on the altar of multiculturalism.
HEY CHARLES JOHNSON!!! SOUNDS ENOUGH LIKE MEIN KAMPF FOR YA?????!!!!????