Fred Siegel

Crossing the Varwicon

05.4.2005 | Fred Siegel | National Affairs | 1 Comment
Massey claims to have uncovered a 1997 plot by the Varwicon (his name for the vast right-wing conspiracy) for war in Iraq. He seems unaware of the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, approved unanimously by the Senate and signed by President Clinton. Was this, too, a right-wing plot?

Letter from Amsterdam -- Fear of Mosque and Superstate

You don't have to go there to know that Holland is gripped by growing fear of Islamic extremism. What I learned on a recent visit to this famously easy-going city was that the Dutch response to the Islamists is tied up in a larger critique of European welfare statism.

Rise of the Aca-Deaniacs

03.22.2005 | Fred Siegel | The Academy | 13 Comments

"Bush is bullshit," the student told me, "the most evil man in the world." Like the fascist writers of the 1930s from whom their postmodern teachers had drawn their ideas, these Deaniacs were both engaged in politics and deeply cynical about democracy. Doubtful that informed debate could settle much, they hoped to impose their will on a backward country that wickedly refused to see the appeal of a "Fuck Bush" platform.

Why Florida Fears Belgium, or, The Creative Class Schtick

03.2.2005 | Fred Siegel | Urban Affairs
In expanding his notion of cool cities and the creative class to embrace the entire world, Florida takes his one oversimple idea and spins it out into 315 pages.

View From the Old World -- How Europe Sees the US

Paris in the summertime actually hosts as many conferences on the crisis of French national identity as it does striptease shows. One professor asked: "How is it that such a brilliant nation has become such a mediocre power, so out of breath, so indebted, so closed in its own prejudices?"

Iraq in the Cold Light of Day

The war wasn't a good idea -- it was just the best available option.

The New Strain of Europe's Old Disease

The most dramatic example of the conjoining of the hard left's and the Middle East extremists' respective strains of anti-Semitiism can be found in a French prison -- in the person of Carlos the Jackal, the most famous terrorist of the 1970s. Born Illich Ramirez Sanchez in Venezuela, Carlos led numerous terrorist attacks in the name of the Palestinian cause and other revolutionary undertakings; he is now serving a life sentence. Once a convinced Marxist-Leninist, he has converted to Islam on the grounds that "only a coalition of Marxists and Islamists can destroy" the United States and its allies. In a book he managed to sneak out of prison and publish on the first anniversary of 9/11, Carlos lauds Osama bin Laden and praises "revolutionary Islam" as the only route to just societies.