Archive/File: people/c/cohn.werner/partners-in-hate/hidden-alliances.03 Last-Modified: 1996/12/05 [Archived with author's consent] [Partners in Hate: Page 59] What a friend we have in Chomsky! Guillaume next reiterates the steadfastness of Chomsky's support and even confesses that without it the intrepid little original band of "revisionists" may never have grown to its present strength. And all this is so remarkable, according to Guillaume, since Chomsky is being victimized in his own country, the United States, where the imperial ideology of the West has somehow been able to raise its ugly head once again. As a result, Chomsky, according to Guillaume, has had his home audience greatly reduced and his popularity endangered. Guillaume is not insensitive to the problems posed by ChomskyOs ritualistic affirmations that his, Chomsky's, views are "diametrically opposed to those of Faurisson." Yes, but Guillaume understands the difference between a truth and a wink, n'est-ce pas (p. 163, my translation) : Each time that Chomsky has said that his opinions remain "diametrically opposed" to those of Faurisson, he has done so in terms that are absolutely incapable of hurting Faurisson; and he has always indicated, by a word or a phrase, that his "diametrically opposed" view was more a matter of opinion than of scientific knowledge. Guillaume replies here to criticism from one Chantal Beauchamp, who, presuming to be more "revisionist" than he, had objected to VT's collaboration with what she apparently regarded as an inadequately neo-Nazi Chomsky. Guillaume can reassure her even further (pp. 167-8, my translation) : Chomsky was involved in very taxing struggles ..... Dramatic events were taking place in the Middle East. His own work -- the exposure ... of American imperialism there, of the realities of Zionism and of the state of Israel -- took on an immediate significance, something that could lead to practical results. How is this work less important than Faurisson's ... ? The important work of Faurisson is the denial of the Holocaust. The important work of Chomsky is the struggle against Israel. And the common denominator of these, in the eyes of Guillaume and his followers, can only be anti- Semitism. Now comes the most interesting part. Guillaume has told us how close a political friend Chomsky has been, how he had sacrificed self-interest to political principle by publishing his book with VT rather than commercially, how Chomsky's "diametric opposition" to Faurisson did not really mean what it said, how Chomsky's work concerning Israel is part of the same overall cause as FaurissonOs denial of the Holocaust. And now, after all that, Guillaume says that he submitted his report to Chomsky for possible corrections or disagreements. So Chomsky was given the opportunity to tell his story should it differ from that of Guillaume. And it turns out that Chomsky indeed has a demurral that he needs to press, and which Guillaume magnanimously publishes as a sort of addendum to his own report. It seems that Guillaume had gotten one very important point completely wrong. It is not at all true, says Chomsky, that he is less popular now in his own country than he had been in the days of Vietnam. "I cannot accept even a fraction of the many speaking invitations that I receive, and now it's no longer, as it was in the sixties, a matter of speaking to five people in a church. Now there are real crowds at colleges and in the community." That is the sum total of Chomsky's correction. It confirms, in the most direct way possible, the close political collaboration between Chomsky and the French "revisionists." Not only did Chomsky publish his Political Economy of Human Rights with Guillaume's organization. He also prepared a special booklet for Guillaume, not published anywhere else, of some of his self-justifying correspondence concerning the Faurisson affair. This publication, Reponses inedites,<37> carries Chomsky's name as author and Guillaume's initials, "P.G.," as editor. Guillaume explains that Chomsky had personally reviewed all translations from English to French. For his part, Faurisson very frequently uses the Chomsky connection in his ceaseless pursuit of some sort of credibility. Bill Rubinstein of Australia reports that he had originally learned of the Chomsky-Faurisson connection only when an Australian Faurisson supporter flaunted correspondence that showed Chomsky furnishing Faurisson with information and advice.<38> It is just about impossible to come across a French "revisionist" publication -- be it by Guillaume, Thion, or Faurisson himself -- that omits the obligatory reference to Chomsky's patronage.<39> What does Guillaume's movement do to deserve such warm friendship from the famous linguist of MIT ? The tiny movement of _La Vieille Taupe_, though having a history of quite different concerns that I will sketch later, seems to be doing little but Jew-baiting these days. Through a micro-empire of publishing enterprises, operating under its own name and such others as _Spartacus, Editions de la Difference_, etc., the movement brings out a flood of "revisionist" and anti-Semitic propaganda. First and foremost it publishes numerous writings by and about Faurisson. It also features several titles by the late Oleft-wingO anti-Semite Paul Rassinier and the notorious OThe Myth of AuschwitzO by the German neo-Nazi Wilhelm Staeglich. Recently Guillaume and Ogmios have started to publish a very pretentiously-presented quarterly journal Annales d'Histoire Revisioniste. In appearance this magazine resembles a scholarly publication but its function is to show that the Holocaust never happened. The first two issues contain, among other items, translations of articles that have previously appeared in the California neo-Nazi journal Journal of Historical Review.<40> In the spring of 1985 the movie Shoah was showing in Paris and VT's leader Pierre Guillaume, obviously seeking more notoriety, personally proceeded to hand out leaflets in front of the theater. The leaflets denounced the "political- financial" swindle by all those who claim that Jews were killed by the Nazis. As Guillaume tells the story, the incident became the basis of a defamation suit against him brought by the International League Against Racism and Anti- Semitism.<41> VT's anti-Semitism is not confined to Holocaust-denial. It has discovered something it apparently thinks is a very clever find. It so happens that the young Bernard Lazare, later one of the founders of left-wing Zionism, wrote a curious little book in the years before the Dreyfus affair made him a partisan for Jewish rights. This self-hating early book, Anti-Semitism, Its History and Causes, is actually not at all a discovery of La Vieille Taupe. It has been used by anti-Semites and anti-Semitic movements from the days of Dreyfus to the days of Vichy. It is a curious hodgepodge of accusation and self-accusation, particularly bitter about the Talmud and its alleged influence on the Jews. The book can tell us very little about its professed subject but it has consistently been cited by anti-Semites as confirmation and justification of their hatred. <42> There is no possible reason for anyone but an anti-Semitic organization to republish it now. VT has proceeded to issue a new edition over the legal objections by members of the Lazare family and the organization Friends of Bernard Lazare.<43> La Vieille Taupe is among the very smallest of the tiny political sects of Paris yet it publishes as if it were a major institution. The physical appearance of VT products is very professional and certainly belies the very marginal nature of the organization. I recently sent a one-paragraph note to the group in which I requested a list of its publications. By return air mail I received twelve books and pamphlets. Eight of these were marked with list prices that amounted to a total of 456 French francs. I estimate the four other items to come to at least another fifty francs, or a total of approximately 500 francs for the material in the package. Since the postage cost a further 148.50 francs, the value of the gift that I received from_La Vieille Taupe_ amounts to 648.50 francs, or about $117 in US currency. I am obviously not the only person to enjoy this kind of largesse. I know nobody in the group, as far as I can tell nobody in it knows me, and I did no more than express a simple request for a book catalog. Where does the money for all this come from? Ogmios, a bookstore of the extreme right wing which is associated with VT in various enterprises, has been linked to the government of Iran (see above). The source of Vieille Taupe's own obviously substantial finances has so far remained a mystery. Chomsky has of course been criticized for his involvement with Faurisson and the VT movement, not least within the Left. Chomsky has sought to meet all such objections by saying a) that he does not agree with Faurisson but is merely defending freedom of speech; b) that Faurisson and the VT are being maligned by opponents; and c) that the whole affair is unimportant and should not be discussed. Of these three arguments only the first -- the civil rights argument -- needs detailed examination, which we shall give it later. The other points can be dealt with more summarily. Chomsky has persistently misrepresented the politics of Faurisson and VT. In his famous "Preface" he calls Faurisson a liberal.<44> He has also seen fit to praise Serge Thion, Faurisson's associate, as a "libertarian socialist scholar"<45> without mentioning that Thion has for the last nine years or so written lengthy books and articles to the effect that the Holocaust is a Jewish lie. Both Bill Rubinstein of Australia and I have sent detailed proof of Faurisson's anti-Semitism to Chomsky. I have most recently sent him Faurisson's article which declares all witnesses to the Holocaust at Auschwitz to be Jews and liars because they are Jews,<46> but Chomsky has remained obdurate. To Rubinstein he wrote the following: I see no anti-Semitic implications in denial of the existence of gas chambers, or even denial of the holocaust. Nor would there be anti-Semitic implications, per se, in the claim that the holocaust (whether one believes it took place or not) is being exploited, viciously so, by apologists for Israeli repression and violence. I see no hint of anti-Semitic implications in Faurisson's work ... Rubinstein has published this excerpt from a letter that Chomsky sent him.<47> As he does routinely, Chomsky objected to the publication of his correspondence but he has not denied either the authenticity or the accuracy of the passage. Chomsky and his friends ordinarily try to suppress all information concerning his neo-Nazi connections. The best publicized case of such suppression involves the British linguist Geoffrey Sampson who wrote the biographical sketch of Chomsky in the British publication Biographical Companion to Modern Thought. Sampson wrote a laudatory description of Chomsky's linguistics but allowed himself the following few words of reservation about his politics: ..he forfeited authority as a political commentator by a series of actions widely regarded as ill-judged (repeated polemics minimizing the Khmer Rouge atrocities in Cambodia; endorsement of a book -- which Chomsky admitted he had not read -- that denied the historical reality of the Jewish Holocaust).<48> Sampson has now told the story of how Chomsky was able, through his influence with American publishers, to ban Sampson's contribution from the American (Harpers) edition of this reference work.<49> A new book of almost 500 pages, The Chomsky Reader, has now been published by Pantheon under the editorship of James Peck.<50> It purports to "[bring] together for the first time the political thought of America's leading dissident intellectual." The work is well indexed. It contains no reference to Faurisson, La Vieille Taupe, Guillaume, "revisionism," or to any other topic that might give the reader an inkling of Chomsky's neo-Nazi involvements. The one mention of Thion suggests that this French neo-Nazi is actually no more than a Marxist intellectual. If Chomsky likes to bad-mouth the Communists from time to time, they, on their part, know how to appreciate an ally and are willing to lend a hand in the cover-up. The Communist magazine Canadian Jewish Outlook (now known simply as Outlook) ran an article in October of 1983<51> that praised Chomsky's attacks on Israel but completely suppressed any mention of his role in the neo-Nazi movement. Communists are usually sensitive to neo-Nazism but in the case of Chomsky there are obviously other considerations.<52> I have spoken so far only of Chomsky's connections with the neo-Nazis of France, who seem to have been responsible for his recruitment to the cause. But the "revisionist" movement also has an American branch and Chomsky has become embroiled on this side of the Atlantic as well.
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