Frum v. Fleming

In conducting research for an article I recently completed, which will be a bit of an introspection on paleoconservatism, I once again came across an infamous article written by speechwriter-in-chief David "Axis of Evil" Frum, the notorious neocon who coined that lovely phrase. In the severely flawed 6,500-word piece untitled "Unpatriotic Conservatives", Frum blasts certain principled activists who opposed the Iraq War, and their ideology - everyone from Lew Rockwell to Pat Buchanan.

But what really struck me in the course of my research was an argument made by Frum that frankly, made to me a convincing point when first I read it several months ago upon initially coming across the piece. In the midst of a string of paragraphs seemingly designed to convince his readers that paleoconservatives should be characterized as jew-haters (wrong), Frum quotes Pat Buchanan's "flavorful malice" in a March 2003 cover story in The American Conservative (a paleoconservative magazine that I have blogged about previously):
Who would benefit from a war of civilizations between the West and Islam? Answer: one nation, one leader, one party. Israel, Sharon, Likud.
To which Frum responds:
The echo in that previous paragraph of the Nazi slogan "Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer" is unlikely to have been unintentional.
At first, I thought: well, the translation (one people, one state, one leader) is not exactly a word-for-word match but, jeez, Pat, you stepped over the line on that one! But recently, as I refreshed myself on the content of the French History courses taught by my favorite professor at Johns Hopkins, early modern expert Orest Ranum, I came across a number of mentions of the famous French phrase "une foi, une loi, un roi" (one faith, one law, one king). The phrase adorns France's history and dates back centuries before the Nazis.

Come to think of it, in Senegal, where I spend a great deal of time, there is a national motto: "un peuple, un but, une foi" – one people, one goal, one faith. And perhaps most prominently, Ephesians 4:5 speaks of είς κύριος, μία πίστις, έν βάπτισμα - "one Lord, one faith, one baptism". So it seems that this catchy string of three unifying elements, each preceded by the word "one", is pretty ubiquitous and – believe it or not – not a definitively anti-Jewish grammatical construct.

So, to borrow what Frum's arch-nemesis, Chronicles Editor Thomas Fleming quipped in his rebuttal to the attack from the "NRO brat-pack", which is also highly recommended reading, not to mention extremely entertaining:
If Frum read books instead of web logs, he would know this.


D. Beckelman said...

Two things I gather from this:
1. Neo-cons are trolls.

2. The Simpsons version of you is a nice touch on the site.

Terence Grado said...

Here are two things I gather from this post (other than neo-conservatism being a horrific ideology): 1) I will agree with Dan and say that The Simpson's version of you is really awesome. 2) www.buchanan.org will now be one of my news sources I view daily. I am almost ashamed I haven't been reading it longer, especially since I view Buchanan as my political idol.

Joachim Martillo said...

Buchanan is quite religious. I think the parallel he sought was the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

Israel is the patria. Sharon is the faithful son that serves the patria, and the Likud represents the spirit of the patria.