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I wish to acknowledge Josh's lengthy post, and as this is incredibly interesting to about four of us in the entire world, I'll take some of our exchange of this off list and keep my foot from going further down my throat. I've been living in the 20s and 30s for the past few years and only now have returned to the 40s and my control of some of these sources is rusty at best. For those of you interested in this moment, please see Josh's award-winning doctoral dissertation on the late 1940s in Syria, which he is too modest to mention. 1) In a rush, I confused my Jundis - Adham rather than Sami. Mea culpa. I even quote the better Jundi in my own article, "'Creating Phantoms:' Zaki al-Arsuzi, The Alexandretta Crisis and the Formation of Modern Arab Nationalism in Syria," in The International Journal of Middle East Studies, 28 (1996), 363-389, which is now on j-stor. 2) The Nazi racialist vector is there. Batatu makes this very apparent in his discussions of al-Arsuzi and observes that this tendency in his thought gained him few followers and "left him bitter." Audo, whom I met in Aleppo several years ago, thought this as well. Consequently, and as I argued in '96, al-Arsuzi only has relevance in the context of Alawite ascendance and has almost no real ideological value in the politics of Baathism - beyond absorbing a tactical understanding of how Republican Turks Turkified the Hatay. But Geoff's, Peter's, Josh's and my posts about fascism and Nazism in the Arab Middle East can be distilled into X areas First: What time is this Fascism? It strikes me that when one became a fascist - before the outbreak of WWII and the Fall of France, perhaps even before the Spanish Civil War - matters. Hence as I argue in my "Steel Shirts, White Badges and the last Qabaday: Fascist Forms and the Transformation of Urban Violence in French Mandate Syria" in France, Syrie et Liban, 1918-1846 - les dynamiques et les ambiguites de la relation mandataire, Nadine M*ouchy, ed., (Damascus: Institut Francais d'etudes Arabes de Damas Press, 2003) 325-347, if we consider INTERWAR "fascist-type" movements, the Steel Shirts, the White Badge, the Phalange, the blue, green, fill in the blank shirts, what was important were the aesthetics and styles of organization of a generic Mediterranean, for lack of a better word, fascism: the overt militarization of relationships of men and boys, the pretty uniforms, the sense of power and dignity derived from being part of a mass movement. There was also the basic question of language: facility in French and Italian was more wide-spread; and travel to Germany for college and post-graduate training while increasing in the late 1930s, was still relatively rare and miniscule when compared to the numbers going to France. The mandate archives in Nantes are filled with paranoid French secret police reports about the Italians seeking influence and worry about subterranean French fascism. Among the most colorful, is one describing how the Banco di Roma rented a theater in Aleppo, showed American movies and Italian newsreels and distributed alcohol for free in an effort to seek influence. What is missing is any credible evidence that Nazism per se was part of the picture in the 30s and here I must underline 30s. Second: What can one point to as Nazism in the political discourse of the period? Again, timing is everything here. As a subsidiary issue: is there something coherent in Nazism that could actually be drawn upon? Sure, al-Arsuzi read Fichte, as I note in IJMES, he translated the Reden, no less, but never published it (?); he and others also read many of those whom the Nazis retroactively adopted as their "thinkers." Last time I checked, Nazism like nationalism is a vacuous ideology, with the exception of "scientific racism" and the role of anti-Semitism, which students of fascism often use to distinguish fascism from Nazism. However this racialism, like anti-Semitism, was not unique to Nazism and was in fact, quasi-dominant in European intellectual circles, left, right and center. Remember: Eugenics was a viable and legitimate science up to and including the time of WWII. What is perplexing therefore is what ideas of the Nazis those in question integrated into their thought and ideology? This isn't a rhetorical question. My sense is that there is of course the revenge motive - the enemy of my enemy - but that's not ideology. What I argue, instead, in very broad terms is that fascism in the colonial non-West should be seen as a loss of faith in liberal-nationalism, a turn away from the Wilsonian moment: and that this loss of faith was increasingly wide-spread by the mid-1930s - fascism, like communism, filled the resulting void. Can we point to something and say "that's Nazi" rather than "that's derivative of generic fascism?" Third: How tied up in the Palestine-Israel conflict are questions of fascism and Nazism (and now DeBaathification)? This is where this discussion began. There is a certain utility to labeling movements in the Arab world Nazi or Nazi-influenced. In current thinking it's a conversation stopper, it delegitimizes ones opponent and consequently, closes down critical inquiry. This is the seeming undercurrent in Jankowski's Egypt's Young Rebels (1975): Pan-Arabism is linked to fascism, especially through the persons of Gamal Abd al-Nasser and Anwar al-Saddat. It creates a metahistory that can cohere the Jewish Holocaust, Arab opposition to the formation of Israel and continued Arab rejection. Just imagine what kind of trouble one could get in were one to question if interwar Zionist movements were influenced by fascism, where we quite easily seek the fascist impulses in other colonial-settler movements? Before we can proceed, we need to uncover what was understood as the tenets of these ideologies and movements - how did interwar young Arabs "see" fascism and Nazism? These question must remain in their proper context: this is Peter's central demand: we must understand what Phillipe Burrin calls fascism's magnetic attraction as it occurs in a manner that recovers its local meaning, while not losing sight of linked international components and strains of thought. Keep the postings going; this is H-Net at its best. Keith Watenpaugh