Fascist pseudo-anti-fascism in Dutch-Turkish tiff
So, Turkey's aspiring dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan (who is carrying out his own ethnic cleansing against the Kurds) exploits the Srebrenica genocide in vulgar manner and calls the Dutch "Nazis".... while the actual Dutch neo-fascist Geert Wilders happily exploits the resultant anti-Turkish backlash, wedding outrage against Erdogan to his xenophobic agenda and harnessing it to propel his bid to become the Netherlands' prime minister. Could this possibly be any more fucked up?
The JTA reports that the Turkish and Muslim immigrants who rioted in Rotterdam over the weekend shouted anti-Semitic slogans, alternating between cries of "cancer Wilders" and "cancer Jews." How interesting that "Nazi" and "Jew" are used as seemingly interchangeable insults.
The riots broke out after the Dutch government barred Turkish cabinet minister Zaken Mevlüt Çavusoglu from entering the country to attend a rally urging Turks in the Netherlands to vote in favor of a pending referendum that would give Erdogan expanded executive powers.
Erdogan famously called the Dutch "Nazi remnants" over the blocking of Çavusoglu—seemingly very confused on his history. The Netherlands were invaded and occupied by the Nazis in World War II, and Turkey was neutral.
He seemed equally confused when he brought up the Srebrenica genocide, saying: "We know the Netherlands and the Dutch people from the Srebrenica massacre. We know how rotten their character is from their massacre of 8,000 Bosnians there." (BBC News)
Now, the Netherlands do indeed have plenty to answer for in the Srebrenica genocide—Dutch UN "peacekeepers" (sic) appear to have let Serb rebel forces overrun the "safe area" (sic) of Srebrenica without resistance, and summarily massacre some 8,000 of the town's inhabitants. The Netherlands' own courts have found the Dutch government liable in some of the deaths. But Erdogan's implication that the Dutch carried out the massacre is dizzyingly hubristic revisionism.
And making it more hideously perverse is Erdogan's own campaign of cleansing against the Kurds in eastern Anatolia. If Erdogan has not actually crossed the genocidal threshold as the Bosnian Serb leadership did a generation ago, he is certainly rapidly approaching it.
So this is another example of the alarming phenomenon of fascist pseudo-anti-fascism. When Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic, who ran actual concentration camps, was convicted of genocide for his role in the Srebrenica massacre last year, he similarly compared the European prisons holding accused Serb war criminals to "Hitler's camps."
The good news is that Wilders and his ironically named Freedom Party (beloved of every freedom-hating right-wing extremist in Europe) seem to have been dealt a handsome defeat in today's Dutch elections, though he defiantly warned that the Netherlands' ruling party "has not seen the last of me." (Reuters)
We only hope that Erdogan is dealt a similar defeat in his bid for expanded powers next month—and that Turkey's would-be strongman is soon following the Dutch demagogue he loves to hate into the fabled dustbin of history.