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A journalist for National Public Radio and frequent panelist on Fox News Channel’s Special Report with Bret Baier along with some Democrats are taking heat after suggesting that the American, British, and Canadian troops who landed on the beaches of Normandy, France, during the D-Day operation to liberate Europe from Nazi Germany were akin to modern-day “Antifa” members.
Writing on Twitter Saturday, the 76th anniversary of the June 6, 1944 invasion, NPR correspondent Mara Liasson wrote, “Biggest antifa rally in history,” along with a time-lapse graphic of how Allied troops moved across the continent, pushing German forces back.
Biggest antifa rally in history. https://t.co/ypa46PvYx1
— Mara Liasson (@MaraLiasson) June 6, 2020
Other journalists made similar comments.
“Friend points out on D-Day anniversary that the men who stormed the beaches of Normandy were the true and original antifa,” tweeted Washington Post reporter Paul Farhi.
The D-Day invasion involved some 160,000 troops, the largest amphibious invasion ever and since, producing 9,000 casualties.
Meanwhile, Matt Duss, the foreign policy advisor for Sen. Bernard Sanders’ failed 2020 Democratic presidential bid, tweeted a similar message. “June 6, 1944. Largest ANTIFA operation in history.”
June 6, 1944. Largest ANTIFA operation in history. pic.twitter.com/TlpfsySKwr
— Matt Duss (@mattduss) June 6, 2020
The backlash to the tweets and the implications the statements made — that today’s violent Left-wing Antifa movement is the same, ideologically and structurally, as the forces fighting Nazi Germany — was immediate.
Megan McCain, co-host of “The View” whose late grandfather, John S. McCain Jr., was a U.S. Navy officer who rose to the rank of admiral and who served during World War II, blasted Liasson.
She called the NPR reporter’s tweet “wildly and grossly disrespectful to our greatest generation of veterans. Not to mention just … historically ignorant.”
This is wildly and grossly disrespectful to our greatest generation of veterans. Not to mention just… historically ignorant. https://t.co/oZHSbEmEyI
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) June 7, 2020
“Yes, because crushing Hitler is exactly like burning down a mom & pop store in NY & throwing liquid cement into the faces of fellow Americans,” tweeted Fox Nation host Tammy Bruce. “For all those heroes who suffered the D-DAY invasion, how dare you compare them to terrorists. What the hell is wrong w you @maraliasson?”
Yes, because crushing Hitler is exactly like burning down a mom & pop store in NY & throwing liquid cement into the faces of fellow Americans. For all those heroes who suffered the D-DAY invasion, how dare you compare them to terrorists. What the hell is wrong w you @maraliasson? https://t.co/Eq3WaJMLqR
— Tammy Bruce (@HeyTammyBruce) June 6, 2020
And Erielle Davidson, associate director of the Center for Middle East and International Law at George Mason University, tweeted, “D-Day soldiers defeated anti-Semitic fascists. Antifa is busy defacing synagogues. Enough of this gaslighting. It’s so pathetic.”
D-Day soldiers defeated anti-Semitic fascists. Antifa is busy defacing synagogues. Enough of this gaslighting. It’s so pathetic. https://t.co/JIAPrXtfY4
— Erielle Davidson (@politicalelle) June 7, 2020
Several analysts and historians have noted, however, that ‘antifa’ — which stands for ‘anti-Fascism’ — is misnamed.
They note that the violence and intimidation employed by Antifa members against political opponents is reminiscent of the Italian and Nazi ‘Brownshirts,” who were fascists ‘enforcing’ the National Socialist Party ideology in the 1930s.
“Outfitted in brown uniforms after the fashion of Benito Mussolini’s Fascist Blackshirts in Italy, the SA men protected party meetings, marched in nazi rallies, and physically assaulted political opponents. … [and also] intimidat[ed] voters in national and local elections,” the Encyclopedia Britannica notes, according to the Washington Times.
“Direct action and physical assault is the Antifa modus operandi. Interestingly, Antifa attacks journalists and newsmedia personnel who do not report Antifa in the most favorable light. Attacking every facet of society is a tenet of the Antifa code. This is similar to the Nazi and fascist mentality of physical assaults, injury and death which is reminiscent of Mussolini’s Blackshirts and Hitler’s Brownshirts,” notes historian and former U.S. attorney James Walsh.
By comparison, many Antifa members claim they are taking their cues from an anti-fascist movement in the early 1930s — groups that fought the Italian and Nazi Brownshirts.
But that assumes that conservatives and supporters of President Donald Trump, indeed the president himself, are ‘fascists,’ which is overwhelmingly untrue. As such, when Antifa members attack Trump supporters and others who simply disagree with their political points of view and objectives, their tactics mirror those employed by the Brownshirts and Blackshirts pre-World War II.
“Antifa members fight fascism with even greater fascism. Their stance is not defensive. It’s offensive,” writes Dr. Michael Hurd. “They are contemporary Communists fighting contemporary Nazis (real or imagined, mostly the latter). They pose as opponents of Nazi racism and extermination camps, or the reinstatement of Jim Crow laws, but they fail to tell you what they’re for: Brutal coercion and collectivism under a different flag. Totalitarian rule, only under their guys (and gals), rather than anyone else’s. It’s gang warfare masquerading as something noble and different.”
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