It’s time to detail the full facts of the controversy over Vlaams Belang simply because the main issue around the feud has become entirely obscured in the back and forth and the emotions of the spat.
I want to lay out the argument and the facts I know in concise form, because many are are confused by the piecemeal nature of the back and forth posts over weeks. The problem with the back and forth is the focus on single details and rationalizations rather than the collective mass of facts or larger picture.
You should also be aware before you read that I’ve decided on the matter — my conclusion is that allying with Vlaams Belang would be strategically inept while providing little value, and would both harm our efforts to stem illegal immigration and sap support for our anti-Islamofacist efforts.
This is the case whether VB is taking a course to reform or not. There is too much evidence from their own sites, manifestos, statements, party publications, and affiliated groups that their leadership is not distant enough from the stance on collaborators, identity politics, and immature political theater to make any alliance with them sane. Even if they are making whole-hearted honest efforts to reform, the track record is just not long enough. (Some in their leadership are I think, some others aren’t.)
There is a also a large moral question in the midst of this bickering which I cannot decide for you — what I can do is leave the moral questions aside for the moment and put forth just the facts and the positions.
What I know
After investigating Vlaams Belang I found many indicators that their post-Vlaams Blok metamorphosis for their leadership is surface-veneer only; somewhat forced by the Belgian court decsions against their prior incarnation as well as EU laws against overt anti-semitism and overt Nazism. Couple that with the realpolitic of the alliances they need to control Antwerp, and you have a posture, not a firm stance.
The court order would have stopped public funding and since public funding is the only type that parties in Belgium are allowed to spend, the order would have killed Vlaams Blok; hence the softer, kinder, more compassionate Vlaams Belang.
Since the court order a second attempt has been tried to cut funds from Vlaams Belang based on Filip Dewinters statement that he is an “Islamophobe.” There’s really nothing wrong with that other than choice of words. (He is essentially saying that he is not rational – the definition of a phobia is an “irrational fear” – regardless, that’s not something that should be taken to court, and it’s wrong of other parties to do so.)
[For the record - I think the Belgian ruling stupid, and antithetical to liberty as most hate-speech and hate crime law is. All political views must be freely expressed, and all parties should have open access to the arena of ideas, no matter how hateful or stupid - the bar to speech is when you call for violence.
Victimizing them adds to their mantle of martyrdom and just empowers them further. Evil is best seen and fought in daylight, so even though I hate Nazis, I support the ruling that allowed them to march in Skokie a few years back.]
The catalogue of problems and proofs:
So what is the beef against Vlaams Belang?
To state it concisely: the leadership bases their politics almost entirely on three tenets of Flemish Nationalism which flow from a value system and metaphysics that emphasizes blood, race, tradition, and soil — they amalgamate that in their favorite words: culture and identity. They are in my well-read opinion a single-note party willing to adopt any popular cloak or sentiment of the moment to further their three main aims.
- Nationalism / Independence (or in some cases joining with the Netherlands and taking land from France.)
- Flemish Identity (anti-immigration and anti- all foreign culture and language, from Islamic to American, from French to English, or in other words Flemish Apartheid. (A search on “TAK vlaams” will give you the pertinent websites for that subgroup)
- Amnesty for Nazi War Collaborators
They have ties to a historic tribal nationalist/racist view, they have modern party philosophy, strategy, and tactics based almost solely on group politics, and group politics usually leads to evil. It doesn’t matter whether the aim is for a group, or for multi-culturality, group politics suck, and they mostly lead to ills.
Group politics is the practice of our enemies in the radical Islamic world (their richest recruiting grounds are in the tribal nationalist areas of Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, it’s not just the religion in other words – Qutbists look for sores to exploit, so does Vlaams Belang, so do the multiculturalists – where there are no sores, they will manufacture them.) Group politics is also the traditional playing field of preference for our enemies on the left and the multi-culturalists.
A recent example of how this can backfire — they’ve outlawed headscarves in public jobs in two cities in Flanders. There are now lawsuits from the Islamists to outlaw other things from other religions – are Kippahs next, then Rosaries, must nuns soon doff their headgear on entering a public building? This furthers the cause of the leftist multi-cultis in the end. It is a slippery slope leading to unintended consequences and they are foolish to try to fight that way. This is an example of theater vs. effectiveness.
You can see their philosophy not only laid out in their manifesto, and the old 70-point plan, but also in their magazines and party websites. They also have ongoing indoctrination of their youth leaders in all of these things. (Vlaams Belang Jongeren, NjSV, NSV, and numerous other youth groups all were spawned to create the next generation of Identity Statists, several of these groups have been founded by Vlaams Belang leaders and VB leaders are active in the group’s leadership, and the publications, and they are ultimately all tied together by Voorpost, of which Filip DeWinter was a co-founder.)
What we know, (keep in mind that multiple proofs and sources exist for each of these statements, most are not leftist.):
- The US political left is already aware of Vlaams Belang and salivating over the idea of tying them to conservative groups during election season ’08. Here you can see two think-tank pieces on them from last April; both well prior to the current brouhaha, and before the anti-jihad meeting was close to happening. You can also see them trying to diminish the Minutemen by comparison to VB.
- Vlaams Belang’s Current Manifesto is furtherance of Identity or group/tribal politics, a policy that would create a lesser version of “Flemish Apartheid” if acted upon. (Ask yourself : Who defines “Flemish Habit?” after reading the manifesto; note that it has many fine sounding goals, but they are coupled with contradictions to those goals – Liberty for the Flemish, but not others as one example.)
- Racist statements and strategies – Political slogans like “Eigen Volk Veerst”(our folk first,) “Vlaams Kracht” (Flemish Power,) “White Europe” Speech by DeWinter, backed up by his statements in the recent Shire News podcast, the 70-Point plan, etc.
- Support from a multitude of white power groups on both sides of the ocean – you find many news articles on Vlaams Belang at most white nationalist sites, along with discussion and support for them in the forums. Voorpost demonstrations are regularly posted in Stormfront forums.
- You also find posters and connections to some of these extreme groups at Voorpost offices.
- Links to white nationlist organizations from sub-affiliate group websites (Voorpost, VMO, NSV, VBJ etc.)
- Claes from VB spoke at Voorpost this year as well.
- Advertisment for extreme group rallies & operations in their magazines (Voorpost, NSV, NjSV)
- Odal signs (Nazi Runes) in the VB party magazines
- Odal signs in the VB youth magazines
- Cartoon rats in their Youth magazines wearing white power symbols
- Songbooks in their youth organization with White power symbols and nazi runes on their covers
- Their leaders march and appear often at rallies with extreme groups including VJW, Voorpost, NSV, NjSV and at some VB rallies these groups have shown up with White power flags. While it’s not VB carrying the flag, they don’t chase the ones with them off either.
- Their leaders attend Ijzerwake annually, where wreaths are laid commemorating Nazi collaborators such as Staff LeClerq, Borms, Cyriel Verschaeve, and Irma Laplasse, and they actively observe those ceremonies led by the Vlaams Nationalisch Jongeren, this happened again in August 2007. (VNJ — marching band of kids in Lederhosen)
- They were founded by a Holocaust denier (Karel Dillen)
- Their founder, Karel Dillen, translated Maurice Bardeche’s “Nuremberg the Promised Land” – a holocaust denial book, diatribe against the Nuremberg trials, and a call for a Nationalist-Fascist state paradigm for all of Europe, as opposed to democracy and the Marshall plan. The political philosophy in this book closely matches much of that found in the strategem, political direction, and tenets of Vlaams Belang. Maurice Bardeche could be called the father of Neo-Fascism.
- Filip Dewinter was President of NjSV, the school division of NSV, the group’s publication printed anti-semitic articles while he was president.
- Some of their leaders were in Vlaamse Militant Orde, an outlawed private militia responsible for terror-like activities and ghoulish operations to transplant the corpses of Nazi-Collaborators to graves in Flemish soil. It’s VMO you see in the now famous video that Babba Zee and Gambini have translated and shown. You can see the “Operations and Acties” on VMO’s own site here. Do follow some of the links in the left sidebar.
- Their leaders attended St. Maartensfonds regularly until they were canceled in 2006, these gatherings were to commemorate and celebrate the Oostridjers, or Flemish SS brigade and to gather donations for support of those exiled in Argentina and other countries as well as their families.
- They associate and make politcal appearances with holocaust deniers, as recently as this May LePen of France’s FN was invited to the funeral of their founder, Karel Dillen, both Vanhecke and Dewinter posed for photos with him.
- They visit the other extreme-right nationalist party groups with their youth groups and trade guest speakers regularly (Alsacian independence group leader fond of Front National spoke at the VB Antwerp youth group in September.)
- Their EU parliament members were part of the Identity, Tradition, Sovereignity group in the EU parliament until that group fell apart over prejudiced bickering between the far-right extreme parties. This group included Alessandra Mussolini, and other known fascists and anti-semites.
- White power signs on their leader’s bookshelves and office flags.
- A sheathed dagger and helmet on their leader’s bookshelves (VMO Gear? “Nostalgie” Gear? As far as I know Filip Dewinter did not serve in the Belgian Army.)
- The Seventy-point plan; an anti-immigration plan that amounts to Flemish Apartheid also in their leader’s bookshelf, this is nearly identical to the Front Natcionale plan, which is a clone of South African Apartheid policy.
- A signed photo of holocaust denier Le Pen on their DeWinter’s bookshelf
- A biography of their founder, Holocaust denying Karel Dillen, recently re-released and updated, titled from a famous Nazi poem by Wies Moen. The title alludes to a line from a Wies Moens poem, roughly translated “Rather a wolf in the forest than a fat dog on a chain.” The title: “Liever Wolf in Het Bos”.
- Youth camps where VB leaders teach the jongeren (youth) politics of nationalism. These camps are held in other countries with other nationalist movements, and they are taught about the other far right splinter nationalist movements while there. Recent trips include Catalonia and Wales is coming up I believe.
- Filip Dewinter has called for a white Europe in speeches.
- Filip Dewinter states there is no difference between Vlaams Blok and Vlaams Belang (“Vlaams Belang is Vlaams Blok”, at the upcoming 30 year celebration they will serve champage with labels that have Vlaams Blok /Belang on them.)
- Recent and past associations with holocaust deniers (le Pen, Legrelle, etc.)
- Calls for amnesty for nazi war collaborators, and party platform and propaganda for amnesty.
- Publications that play up post-war grievances from the collaborators.
- Ethnicity-Based crime studies by Gerolf Annemans
- Founding, and continuing underlying associations and support for groups that make up the backbone of tribal supremacism and the splinter Euro nationalist movements, (Voorpost, BNP, FN, Alsace d’abord, etc.)
- Video of party leaders attempting to lay flowers on graves of SS at Lomel
- The estate of the St Maartenfonds will pass to the Vlaams National Jongeren (VNJ) youth group that performs at Ijzerwake and Zangerfeest celebrations, their symbol, the blue-footed gull (Blauwvoet)
- Berkenkruis, the publication of the St Maartensfonds association, stopped publication in 2006, and the last of the official Martensfonds get-togethers was then. The magazine carried articles about Langermarck SS division, and was a fund raising vehicle for exiled Nazis and collaborators.
- You can’t trust Vlaams Belang’s word – they broke it with SIOE at the Brussells 9/11 Demonstration by marching with Flemish nationalist flags; the Danes also showed with small hand flags, but put them away when requested. VB in contrast took over the show, changed the march, and by political theater took the media focus.
- They will force their way to center stage at every event, as demonstrated at the old Ijzerbedevaart, where they staged intramural riots for control, and had the VNJ blow whistles and horns whenever someone else was on stage that they didn’t like in succeeding years. They eventually moved the old commitee out due to the the attempt to de-radicalise the event and take it to the original form of commemorating the fallen of WWI, when VB and VNJ wanted it to be about WWII as well. They succeeded, and changed it from Ijzerbedvaart to Ijzerwake. Within two years posters of collaborators were memorialized there.
- Publication of many far right magazines and tracts over the years, some with overt anti-semitism and articles supportive of anti-semites. (Revolte, Berkenkruis, etc.)
Beyond all that, they are prone to blustering ineffective political grievance theatrics, and they like to wear the victim hat. They would become the “Code Pink & ANSWER” of our anti-jihadi and anti-immigration efforts if we let them in. (If you don’t understand why that is unwise, please visit www.zombietime.com. )
Before the Anti-jihad conference started, leftist think tanks in the US were already associating Vlaams Belang to our anti-immigration efforts, so everything that’s been written at right-wing blogs against allying with VB was already known to these groups prior to this spat starting, and they are waiting to use it to tear down our efforts in the US.
Associating with Vlaams Belang when they bring so little to the cause while carrying so much bad baggage is not only poorly thought out, it’s also politically naive.
A short synopsis of sources:
The analysis, conclusions, and facts detailed are based on Belgian Television news footage, Belgian Documentaries on VB, The Vlaams Belang websites, The Vlaams Belang Manifesto, Affiliated Flemish Nationalist Organisation websites and publications, The Anti-Semitism World Report (various years,) The Vlaams Belang Youth Magazine, Historic writings by Maurice Bardeche, Karel Dillen and others, The Biography of Karel Dillen, Some facts on the history of Ijzerbedevaart and Ijzerwake were gathered from Kafka, a socialist cataloger for Antifascist org, (a socialist organisation diametrically opposed to VB,) however the facts were validated by other sources such as newspaper articles, official commitee sites, Vlaams Belang member blogs, White Nationalist forums, and Vlaams Belang videos of Ijzerwake and Ijzerbedevaart. Blog posts from Gates of Vienna, Brussells Journal, Little Green Footballs, Jihad Watch, Center for Vigilant Freedom, The Outraged Spleen of Zion, Van Der Galien Gazette, The SIOE blog, Politics.Be forums, as well as Stormwatch, BNP party forums, and various other white nationalist and Euro-nationalist groups were researched.
How We Got here:
At the counter-jihad conference in Europe, there were some attendees that have questionable pasts, presents, and if you judge by their words in recent speeches and intent in written manifestos, futures.
It is a noble cause to seek alliance against the forces that would try to overcome Europe, however Charles had the temerity to question the wisdom of alliance with a couple of the attendees after the conference, notably the Swedish Democrats and Vlaams Belang. That started a lot of infighting between blogs, mostly ad hominem against Charles for daring to question.
Charles put some real thought into it before he posted the first question — he discussed it a bit before he did. He knew the flack that was coming, as great as any you would get from the Ron Paul camp. He’s a brave soul, and so he confronted the problems and the questions raised by alliance with the parties in question.
Since then it’s been a non-stop thrill ride of whines, plaints, attacks, rationalizations, and downright masks-falling-off racism, comment-stalking and blog stalking. Fun eh?
After lengthy investigation of the Swedish Democrats, most have come to the conclusion that they have disavowed their past and really are attempting to change to a mainstream party. They’ve booted the extremists, who went to the ND party in Sweden.
The more we investigate the leadership of the Vlaams Belang however, the more they stink.
There are many members of VB: this is not a diatribe against them all – many are just ardent Flemish patriots who simply want self-determination and freedom from the forced marriage to the French-speaking Walloons. Some are fundamentalist Catholics who view the EU as the new mask of communism, and there’s nothing at all wrong with that — VB’s traditionalist stance, stance for families, and anti-crime stance appeals to those folks.
Part II will contain the challenges to this, and the data. If you don’t care for the facts or the conclusions, the internet is out there and has both postive and negative on Vlaams Belang — if you want to objectively look into this yourself here are a few helpful searches — please look for contrasting sites. IF you hit an Antifa site on a topic, check the VB site on the topic, check news sources on the topic, and check for forums on the topic. Then you have a whole view to draw conclusions from.
The recommended search term pairs:
St maartensfonds vlaams
suid afrika vlaams
any Vlaams Belang leader name
Note that you will need to hit the “translate this” link. If the translation is too unclear, try the non-translated link, and cut and paste the text to babelfish. Also note that many Dutch words are combinatory – you can sometimes break an untranslated word into its parts and get the general meaning by translating the separate parts in babelfish.
Parts II and Parts III of this series will continue with much more data, evidence, and the conclusions.