Only a reincarnated Chamberlain or Daladier could think that there is no Islamist commonality among the recent hostage-taking of Western telejournalists on the West Bank, Iranian threats to extinguish Israel and end the American presence in the Gulf, terrorist attacks on soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, plans of killing thousands in Britain and Germany, or plots to blow up American airliners in London — as if Japanese fascists, Italian fascists, and German fascists could not have made war in unison against the liberal democracies given their differing agendas and sects, and lack of coordination. ~Victor Davis Hanson
On the other hand, only a monomaniac who sees parallels with fascism and the 1930s everywhere (and keeps bringing them up with a ridiculous frequency) could imagine that the kidnapping of telejournalists in Gaza (no points to Hanson for accuracy), the strategic interests and anti-Israel hostility of Iran, the terrorism of alienated Pakistanis in multicultural ghettoised Britain, a resentful Lebanese man in Germany (whatever could he have to be resentful of, I wonder?), insurgents in Anbar province and the Taliban in Paktia have any substantial connection whatever beyond the fact that all of these do involve Muslims and the places where large numbers of Muslims have come into close contact with Western powers and societies. Their common Islamic identity is relevant to understanding each one of these cases. But does it mean that they are somehow joined together, Axis-like, in some common, coherent cause? Hanson clearly thinks so–why else the completely inapt reference to the Axis powers? Does it mean that they are even all generally on the same side? Simply put, no, and only someone with the myopia of a neocon would continue to nurse this illusion.
By the way, Hanson’s abuse of the term fascist knows no bounds–the Japanese were imperialists and militarists, yes, but to call their state fascist is really to stretch the term beyond recognition. Theirs was a militarised, wartime form of constitutional monarchy. It might interest the history-challenged Hanson to know that the “Japanese fascists” continued to vote during the early part of their war (which, let us remember, began in China proper in 1937), having an elected Diet up through at least 1942 (when a single-party Tojo-backed slate took complete control of the Diet), so there was no question of needing to “persuade” them to do any voting. Whether that voting had any real significance is another question (admittedly, real party control of the Diet had ended after the assassination of Inukai Tsuyoshi in 1932), but even in his throwaway lines Hanson manages to commit errors of fact. Someone please remind me again why anyone listens to these people.