How much difference is there, really, between the far-Left and the far-Right? How do the public stances of Michael Moore, Pat Buchanan and David Duke compare? Proponents of both Leftist and Rightist extreme views -- call them the "Antis", since they're best defined by what they're against -- think and sound so much alike, they've become soulmates. They've moved so far around the political circle that they've met on the other side, spouting identical positions on such issues as Iraq, the broader War on Terror, and, most particularly, the Jewish state of Israel.
Steven ZakSteven Zak is an attorney and writer in California.
Their own words are the best evidence. Take their view of America's war against terrorists and Islamic fascism. The two camps, if they can even be distinguished as such, are rabidly anti-war in precisely the same, delusional fashion:
"There were no WMDs. There was no connection to 9/11. This war was a malevolent hoax." - Llewellyn H. ("Lew") Rockwell Jr. ("libertarian" head of LewRockwell.com)
"There is no terrorist threat in this country. This is a lie. This is the biggest lie we've been told." - Michael Moore (leftist)
"Iraq had not attacked us, did not threaten us, did not want war with us, could not defeat us." - Pat Buchanan (paleo-conservative)
"There is no credible evidence that Iraq poses any real threat to the United States. Dozens of other nations have weapons of mass destruction." - David Duke (white supremacist/"former" neo-Nazi)
But such "pacifist" anti-Americanism just scratches the surface. Dig deeper and you'll find that, for the Antis, the current war only provides more proof of the cunning and manipulative nature of the Jewish race:
"[T]he Bush administration has tied itself firmly to Gen. Sharon and his policies." [The pending war in Iraq] "looks like Sharon's war." - Robert Novak (columnist)
"It's all part of the same ball of wax, right? The oil companies, Israel, Halliburton." - Michael Moore
"Who would benefit from a war of civilizations between the West and Islam? Answer: one nation, one leader, one party. Israel, Sharon, Likud." - Pat Buchanan
"So, for whose benefit does America wage this war? The answer is Israel, Israel, Israel!" - David Duke
"The Israeli puppeteer travels to Washington and meets with the puppet in the White House. He then goes down Pennsylvania Avenue and meets with the puppets in Congress ...It is time for the United States government to stand up and think for itself." - Ralph Nader (leftist former presidential candidate)
"The Founding Fathers of the United States deeply feared that a foreign government [like Israel] might gain this level of control over a branch of the United States government, and their fears have been vindicated." - Juan Cole (leftist University of Michigan history professor)
"The Jews are particularly adept at seizing or insinuating themselves into strategic positions in our society where they wield power far beyond the extent of their numbers.... We White people of America have done nothing so far which would frustrate the Jews' expectations or their ambitions of becoming the world's slavemasters." - Ernst Zundel (neo-Nazi author and publisher)
The Antis, though, won't concede that they are first and foremost anti-Semites. As they would have it, they're just honest critics of malevolent Jews:
"They charge us with anti-Semitism ? i.e., a hatred of Jews for their faith, heritage, or ancestry. False. The truth is, those hurling these charges harbor a 'passionate attachment' to a nation not our own that causes them to subordinate the interests of their own country and to act on an assumption that, somehow, what's good for Israel is good for America." - Pat Buchanan
"But if you care to lay out the clear and copious evidence of... Israel's obvious foreknowledge of the attacks of 9/11, then you are automatically labeled 'anti-Semitic', probably the most hateful and onerous title that can be conferred on a human being." - David Duke (referring to a theory popularized by Antiwar.com's Dennis "Justin" Raimondo)
"Certainly, there are a number of stories sloshing around the news now.... The purveyor of anthrax may have been a former government scientist, Jewish... with the intent to blame the anthrax on Muslim terrorists. Rocketing around the web and spilling into the press are many stories about Israeli spies in America at the time of 9/11...." - Alexander Cockburn (columnist and editor of far-Left magazine Counterpunch)
"Anti-Semitism is no longer a problem, fortunately. It's raised, but it's raised because privileged people want to make sure they have total control, not just 98 percent control. That's why anti-Semitism is becoming an issue. Not because of the threat of anti-Semitism; they want to make sure there's no critical look at the policies the US (and they themselves) support in the Middle East." - Noam Chomsky (leftist linguistics professor at MIT)
"I have no plan whatever for challenging 'the Jews' for what's done in their name. At the same time, I understand the... unnaturally bloated Jewish influence in American cultural affairs and political life (particularly relating to the Middle East)...." - Bradley Smith (Holocaust "revisionist")
"Revisionists are not at all irrational hateful people, but scholars who offer legitimate criticisms of the Holocaust story." - David Duke
"Indeed, it is the charge of anti-Semitism itself that is toxic." - Pat Buchanan
Their point is that if Jews really are the enemies of the state, one cannot be charged with anti-Semitism merely for pointing that truth out. This convenient argument expunges the record of anti-Semitism these forces have so justly earned. After all, one can't be accused of holding to a venomous worldview that doesn't exist. This frees them to pursue their toxic, anti-Jewish agendas.
Take the above-mentioned Juan Cole, who accuses Zionists of holding "romantic" notions of "eternal 'peoples'" and "mystical" connections to a "land":
"Nineteenth century romantic nationalism of the Zionist sort posits eternal 'peoples' through history, who have a blood relationship (i.e., are a 'race') and who have a mystical relationship with some particular territory.... But there are no eternal nations through history.... Since there are no eternal nations based in 'blood', they cannot have a mystical connection to the 'land'. People get moved around."
He all but screams at Jews, "You were dispossessed. Get over it!" Yet in the same breath, Cole argues that Zionism is evil because it deprives Palestinian "peoples" of a "land" to which they're apparently mystically connected:
"Personally, I think that the master narrative of Zionist historiography is dominant in the American academy.... Usually, the narrative blames the Palestinians for their having been kicked off their own land, then blames them again for not going quietly."
Such incoherent arguments show that Anti thinking is warped with an animus against a certain group of people. This allows Cole and all the above to conclude that if the Jews have a home, they must have displaced others and are therefore oppressors; but if Jews are displaced, well, that's life.
That the Antis are most fundamentally anti-Jewish can be summed up in a favorite and pregnant Anti word: "neocons".
"Neo-conservatism... has unleashed a series of wars against foreign countries that posed no threat whatever to the US." - Lew Rockwell, Jr.
"We still tiptoe around putting a name to... the neoconservatives' agenda on US-Israeli relations.... It's time, however, that we say the words out loud and deal with what they really signify. Dual loyalties." - Kathleen and Bill Christison (left-wing columnists for Counterpunch)
"Neocons say we attack them because they are Jewish. We do not. We attack them because their warmongering threatens our country, even as it finds a reliable echo in Ariel Sharon." - Pat Buchanan
"Jewish roots and currents... make the neocon movement nothing more than a Jewish supremacist apparatus." - David Duke
Little wonder, then, that the far-Left is now ready to embrace the Buchananite Right:
"Over the past few years I have been gaining much respect for one Patrick J. Buchanan.... [America] has been high-jacked by a neocon cabal that does not have their best interests, or this country's best interests, at heart." - Web column by Craig Colbert, "A liberal's second look at Pat Buchanan."
And thus do hateful Anti minds meet, far 'round the other side of that circle.
[A slightly different version of this article appeared in Frontpage Magazine on May 12, 2005.]