The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Friday, April 13, 2007

The Right's Favorite Historian, Part 2

Less than two weeks ago, I put up a post on the British author that was being roundly praised by the White House:

Bush invited [conservative British writer Andrew] Roberts for a discussion over lunch at the White House earlier this month. The author was joined by Dick Cheney (who was recently photographed carrying the book), Rove, and a group of neoconservative intellectuals including Norman Podhoretz and Gertrude Himmelfarb, along with various other officials and conservative journalists.

Sure, we already know these people are frighteningly delusional. And we've seen their messianic zeal to rule the world. Not to mention their disturbing sense of entitlement-- that they're the rightful rulers of the earth, and can therefore do no wrong.

But TNR has a new look at this "historian" who (as if you didn't see this one coming) is derided by actual historians as a dangerous fraud with ties to racist and fascist groups. Be sure to watch for him on Fox News as their expert historical analyst.

Bush, Cheney, and--in a recent, glowing cover story--National Review, have, in fact, embraced a man with links to white supremacism, whose book is not a history but an ahistorical catalogue of apologies and justifications for mass murder that even blames the victims of concentration camps for their own deaths. The decision to laud Roberts provides a bleak insight into the thinking of the Bush White House as his presidential clock nears midnight. . . .

n 2001, Roberts spoke to a dinner of the Springbok Club, a group that regards itself as a shadow white government of South Africa and calls for "the re-establishment of civilized European rule throughout the African continent." Founded by a former member of the neo-fascist National Front, the club flies the flag of apartheid South Africa at every meeting. The dinner was a celebration of the thirty-sixth anniversary of the day the white supremacist government of Rhodesia announced a Unilateral Declaration of Independence from Great Britain, which was pressing it to enfranchise black people. Surrounded by nostalgists for this racist rule, Roberts, according to the club's website, "finished his speech by proposing a toast to the Springbok Club, which he said he considered the heir to previous imperial achievements."

And it just gets scarier from there. Highly recommended.