There is no greater an indication of how desperate American society has become than Rick Santorum who is being considered a serious presidential candidate. He has managed to escape the type of media scrutiny of his racist rants that is currently being heaped on Ron Paul and this observer wonders why. Perhaps it’s because his target, Muslims and Arabs, is the cause celebre of people who want to score points with Americans during an election year, whereas Paul’s newsletter attacks on African-Americans is viewed as far less acceptable. Max Blumenthal hashes it all out in this piece
For the past two weeks, the entire mainstream American media homed in on newsletters published by Republican Rep. Ron Paul, an anti-imperialist, conservative libertarian who finished third in last night’s Iowa caucuses. Mostly ghostwritten by libertarian activist Llewelyn “Lew” Rockwell and a committee of far-right cranks, the newsletters contained indisputably racist diatribes, including ominous warnings about the “coming race war.” At no point did Paul denounce the authors of the extreme manifestoes nor did he take responsibility for the content.
The disturbing content of Paul’s newsletters was a worthy campaign outrage, and one he should have been called to account for, but why did it gain mainstream traction when the reactionary views of the other candidates stayed under the radar? One reason is that Paul threatened the Republican establishment by attacking America’s neo-imperial foreign policy and demanding an end to the US-Israel special relationship.
Those who pushed the newsletters story the hardest were neoconservatives terrified by the prospect of Paul edging into the mainstream with his call for a total cut-off of US aid to Israel. In fact, the history of the newsletters was introduced to the American public back in early 2008 by Jamie Kirchick, a card-carrying neocon who has said that Muslims “act like savages” and once wrote that I possessed “a visceral hatred of my Jewish heritage.” Having declared former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney as their favorite wooden marionette, the neocons had a clear ideological interest in resuscitating the newsletters story once Paul emerged this year as a presidential frontrunner.
Though Romney won Iowa, he succeeded by a mere 8 votes over former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. The mainstream press is now fixated on Santorum, praising him for his “authenticity” and predicting he will continue to win over “gritty Catholics,” as MSNBC host Chris Matthews said today. But now that Santorum is in the limelight, he is also going to be thoroughly vetted. So the question is whether the media will devote anywhere near the same level of attention it gave to Ron Paul’s newsletters as it will to Santorum’s record of hysterically Islamophobic statements and anti-Muslim activism. So far, I have seen nothing to suggest that it will.
In 2007, a few months after Santorum was ousted from the Senate in a landslide defeat, he accepted an invitation from right-wing provocateur David Horowitz to speak at “Islamo-Fascism Campus Awareness Week.” As I documented in my video report on Horowitz’s appearance at Columbia University that year, “Islamo-Fascism” week was a naked ploy to generate publicity for the frenetically self-promoting Horowitz while demonizing Muslim-Americans as a dangerous fifth column who required constant government monitoring and possibly worse. The event was so extreme that even Jewish groups like Hillel known for promoting Zionism on campus rejected it.
There is no video documentation or transcript of Santorum’s speech at Horowitz’s “Islamo-Fascism Awareness” event. However, I was able to find a transcript of a speech Santorum delivered at Horowitz’s invitation in March 2007. During his address, the ex-Senator declared the need to “define the enemy,” but he made little effort to distinguish between the general population of Muslims and violent Islamic extremists. If anything, he seemed to conflate the two.
Here are a few of the remarkable statements Santorum made at Horowitz’s event:
“What must we do to win? We must educate, engage, evangelize and eradicate.”
“Look at Europe. Europe is on the way to losing. The most popular male name in Belgium — Mohammad. It’s the fifth most popular name in France among boys. They are losing because they are not having children, they have no faith, they have nothing to counteract it. They are balkanizing Islam, but that’s exactly what they want. And they’re creating an opportunity for the creation of Eurabia, or Euristan in the future…Europe will not be in this battle with us. Because there will be no Europe left to fight.”
We should “talk about how Islam treats homosexuals. Talk about how they treat anybody who is found to be a homosexual, and the answer to that is, they kill them.”
“…the Shia brand of Islamist extremists [is] even more dangerous than the Sunni [version]. Why? Because the ultimate goal of the Shia brand of Islamic Islam is to bring back the Mahdi. And do you know when the Mahdi returns? At the Apocalypse at the end of the world. You see, they are not interested in conquering the world; they are interested in destroying the world.”
“The other thing we need to do is eradicate, and that’s the final thing. As I said, this is going to be a long war.”
The Islamophobic rant Santorum apparently delivered at an event organized by a known bigot was no less extreme than anything contained in Ron Paul’s newsletters. But don’t wait for the American mainstream press to discuss Santorum’s disturbing views on Muslims as anything other than proof of his “authenticity.”