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The war in Iraq is in a heap of trouble, and the war in Afghanistan has seen better days too. But the war of words out of Washington, aimed at Al-Qaeda and a whole lot more, has never been hotter.

And the big word of the moment is "fascism" or more specifically, "Islamo-fascism." The neo-cons have used it for years. Now it's front and center in the rhetorical toolkit of the President of the United States.

Islamo-fascism, Islamic fascism, and all the images that tumble in behind — Hitler, Mussolini, Nazis, Brown shirts, World War, Global struggle, American victory.

The White House says this is the hard truth. Critics say it's bald politics and bad strategy.

Hear about the White House and GOP's Islamo-fascism line.

Quotes from the Show:

"Fascism is a very offensive term in Europe and the United States but not in the Middle East." Walter Laqueur

"There is not a single label one can affix to Al Qaeda." Walter Laqueur

"When I first developed the concept of Islamo-fasciscm, it was an attempt ... to understand the phenomenon of Wahhabism in the Sunni Muslim world and then the role of Wahhabism and the Saudi Kingdom in the creation and support of Al-Qaeda." Stephen Schwartz

"It [Islamo-fascism] is in my view a narrow and intellectually rigorous concept that draws a parallel between Nazis and Italian fascism on one side and Saudi Wahhabism and to a much lesser extent some Shiite phenomenon on the other." Stephen Schwartz

"I think terrorism is becoming a rather worn and overused term. ... People are really getting demoralized about the war in Iraq so they [Bush administration] have got to escalate the rhetoric to justify the invasion and occupation and the way you do that is you demonize the leaders and the country in order to keep attacking it." Michael Parenti


Walter Laqueur, historian, political scientist and one the pre-eminent scholars in the study of fascism. He is author of "Fascism: Past, Present, Future" and "No End to War: Terrorism In The Twenty-first Century." He is also founder of the Washington Quarterly and The Washington Papers and Chairman of the International Research Council at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.;

Stephen Schwartz, contributor to Weekly Standard, Executive Director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, and author of "The Two Faces of Islam: The House of Saud from Tradition to Terror." His forthcoming book is "Is it Good for the Jews?: The Crisis of America's Israel Lobby.";

Michael Parenti, political scientist, former professor at various universities including, and author of over 20 books, including "Black Shirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism.";

Fawaz Gerges, holder of Christian A. Johnson Chair in Middle East and International Affairs at Sarah Lawrence College, resident Carnegie Scholar in the Middle East, and author of "Journey of the Jihadist: Inside Muslim Militancy" and "The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global."

This program aired on September 6, 2006.


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