Stephen J. Sniegoski and David Miller: Promoting an antisemite? [by Vorkoz]
This is a guest post by Vorkoz. Content in square brackets is added by Bob.
University of Bristol professor David Miller has previously been accused of sharing far-right propaganda on a website associated with him, Spinwatch, namely quotations from and links to the works of one Kevin MacDonald, a former professor in the United States whose writings have provided a scholarly cover for many classic antisemitic libels and conspiracy theories. [The extracts from MacDonald's work published by Spinwatch included a list of "characteristics of Jewish intellectual movements", such as that Jews "form a cohesive, mutually reinforcing core" that has "access to prestigious and mainstream media sources, partly as a result of Jewish influence on the media".]
After some receiving some negative attention about this, Miller apologised, removed the references from his website and made a commitment to "tighten the editorial process governing the posting of material", and over time the furore died down. This piece would like to draw attention to the fact that, despite this tightening of editorial process, MacDonald is not the only antisemitic conspiracy theorist whose writings Miller has shared.
An example can be found on a website associated with Miller, Powerbase.info, a project of Public Interest Investigations, the organisation Miller co-directs and co-founded. Powerbase, linked to from his Twitter profile page and official Bristol University page (archived), has a page entitled "Neoconservatives" (archived), which apparently attempts to portray information about the so-called Neoconservative movement.
A book recommended by Powerbase is the Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel by one Stephen J. Sniegoski. Powerbase lists IHS Press as the publisher.
As one can see on the book's Amazon page, its introduction was written by Paul Gottfried. Gottfried is an important character in the US far right scene and he is often credited with creating the term 'alt-right' and for his promotion of the far right conspiracy theory concerning 'cultural marxism' which has been cited by several far-right spree-killers in recent years.
Political Research Associates, a US think tank focusing on investigating the American far right, has published a review of this book in the summer 2009 issue of its magazine The Public Eye (archived). The review, by Michelle Goldberg, posits that Sniegoski views US foreign policy as driven by Israeli interests and its loyal servants in the United States, with Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld acting as mere supporting players.
It’s a long way from there, however, to the claim that Israel alone inspired the Iraq war and that the catastrophic outcome there was intentional, meant to keep Israel’s enemies fractured and disorganized. By treating George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld as mere supporting players in the march to war, co-opted or manipulated by the titular “cabal,” Sniegoski is playing into old stereotypes about covert, omnipresent and almost occult Jewish influence. At one point, he calls Rumsfeld “the fall guy for the war’s failures.” (In fact, as former counterterrorism czar Richard Clark wrote in his book Against All Enemies, “By the afternoon [the day after the attack], Secretary Rumsfeld was talking about broadening the objectives of our response and ‘getting Iraq.’”) The former Vice President is barely mentioned.
For the conspiracist, there are no accidents. Thus Sniegoski assumes that since Iraq devolved into an anarchic bloodbath, that must have been the plan all along. “Now one might be tempted to attribute the rejection of the military’s caution to insane hubris on the part of [Richard] Perle and the neoconservative crowd,” he writes, before dispensing with that notion. “Richard Perle may be many things, but stupid is not one of these. Perle undoubtedly thought through the implications of his plan.” Indeed, says Sniegoski, a “complete fiasco” could work to the neocons’ advantage by throwing the region into chaos and preparing the way for a wider war. (He doesn’t bother to address how Perle’s all-seeing brilliance squares with the total discrediting of neoconservatism and the increased strength of Iran that resulted from the Iraq war.)
A bit further:
Just as the neoconservatives attribute a kind of cosmic evil to many Islamic regimes, and dismiss all efforts at historical understanding as amoral relativism, so Sniegoski sees only the diabolical in Israel. Obviously, that country is in many ways richly deserving of criticism, but there’s something suspect about the reflexive way the author demonizes the Jewish state while downplaying or dismissing the aggression of its enemies. To read this book, one would think Israel started every war it ever fought. Meanwhile, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denial is explained away thusly: “It was not apparent that Ahmadinejad had actually denied the mass murder of the Jews during World War II, though he did, at various times, question various facets of the Holocaust and demanded greater evidential proof.” Here, Sniegoski’s language suggests he finds Holocaust revisionism reasonable.
To be sure, the author goes out of his way to distance himself from antisemitism, and several times he notes that not all Jews support the neoconservative agenda or the Israeli Right. Nevertheless, he quotes openly antisemitic sources as authoritative, at one point citing Kevin MacDonald, who he describes as a “rightist evolutionary biologist.” In fact, MacDonald is a sociobiologist who claims Jews are genetically extremely smart yet clannish, and subversive of whatever society they find themselves in. Among other things, MacDonald has written that eventually universities may have to establish quotas to reduce the number of Jewish students, and that higher taxes on Jews may have to be levied “to counter the Jewish advantage in the possession of wealth.” To quote MacDonald on the subject of dual loyalties in this context is roughly equivalent to appealing to the wisdom of David Duke in an argument over affirmative action.
The review also mentions neoconservatives as pushing for the Kosovo campaign as part of their subversive agenda, which is somewhat odd given that some of the prominent neoconservatives such as Charles Krauthammer seemed to be opposed to such a campaign, while the Republican party inside which the neoconsevative movement operated was not very supportive of then Democratic president Bill Clinton's designs re: Kosovo.
The review also identifies the book's publisher, IHS Press, as a far right Catholic publishing house with other published authors including such as the French fascist Jean Ousset.
Another article by the US organization Southern Poverty Law Center, known for its advocacy of civil rights and opposition to far right extremists, goes into further detail about IHS Press' extensive far right connections. [The SPLC calls IHS, along with the closely related Legion of St Louis, "two of the most nakedly anti-Semitic organizations in the entire radical traditionalist Catholic pantheon".]
The SPLC identifies the two men directing this company. One is former US Navy public affairs officer John Sharpe and the other is Derek Holland, who has used the pen name D. Liam O'Huallachain to contribute to a few of the books.
Holland is quite infamous amongst the European far right scene (see this long thread by Alexander Reid Ross). An activist in the far right scene since the 1970s, he was involved with the National Front in Britain alongside Nick Griffin. In 1984 he authored a pamphlet, The Political Soldier, which became popular amongst the fascist scene. Later he went on to found a neo-fascist group International Third Position with Nick Griffin and Italian Roberto Fiore.
Did you know about these two books that were published by IHS and received loads of praise from prominent lefties? They were co-edited by John Sharpe & Derek Holland under a pseudonym pic.twitter.com/NiFrYqUyVI— Anti-Fascism & Far Right 🥤 (@FFRAFAction) July 25, 2021
A more thorough treatment of Holland etc. can be found for example in "Pan-European thought in British fascism: the International Third Position and the Alliance for Peace and Freedom" by Ryan Shaffer or Oxford University historian Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke's Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity, pp 68-69.
Thus the IHS publishing house can be said to be very networked into both European and American far right movements, and, with a bit further digging, this seems to be the case with regard to Mr. Sniegoski as well.
Sniegoski has articles published in far right publications on both sides of the Atlantic. For example in Europe, he has published a 2003 article in a journal called The Revisionist (also called Viertelsjahrshefte für freie Geschichstsforschung in German) edited by a German Holocaust denier called Germar Rudolf (convicted for Holocaust denial in Germany and more recently for indecent exposure at a kids' play park in Pennsylvania).
In the United States, Sniegoski has published articles in The Occidental Quarterly of Kevin MacDonald, for example this one promoting Pearl Harbor revisionism [a cause he has explicitly embraced in another antisemitic publication, the Unz Review, which has published 92 articles by Sniegoski].
[His list of contributions to The Occidental Quarterly also includes a glowing review of Patrick Buchanan's argument that America shouldn't have fought the Nazis in WWII, in a 2009 issue which also features de Benoiste.]
The Occidental Quarterly's staff and regular authors have included the likes of Jared Taylor, Sam Francis, Ted O'Keefe and others, familiar to those who follow the far right scene. O'Keefe for example is affiliated with the Holocaust denialist Institute for Historical Review (IHR) and used to be involved with the American neo-nazi group the National Alliance founded by William Luther Pierce. A far-right website containing articles from the IHR's Journal of Historical Review, directed by above-mentioned Mark Weber, contains a 2002 article indicating Sniegoski has penned a "laudatory" review of a book published by IHR, a translation of a German language book penned by an American Holocaust denier called David Hoggan.
Further connections to MacDonald are also evident from a 2009 article on a website affiliated with MacDonald claiming both were part of a conversation about 'Jewish power' together with hosts Mark Glenn and James Morris on the far right Republic Broadcasting internet radio network.
Mark Glenn, a traditionalist Catholic who also hosts the "Ugly Truth" internet radio show, is a well-known antisemite with connections to Willis Carto's publications.
Articles by Sniegoski can also be found on the website of the former KKK-leader David Duke, one of them, from 2007, lamenting the IHS' above-mentioned John Sharpe's firing from the Navy for antisemitism, and the other, from 2005, blaming Israel for the Iraq war and talking about "Jewish power" as a "taboo topic". [The latter article is re-posted from the far right website The Last Ditch, where Sniegoski has a regular column and which also publishes Jared Taylor and Sam Francis - but the piece on Sharpe seems to be published only by David Duke. -B.]
Yet another example of Sniegoski's far right association would be his appearance at another far-right radio show, The Political Cesspool, and hosted by white nationalist James Edwards. [Sniegoski appeared a week after David Duke.]
One can see that on November 15 2008 Dr. 'Sneigoski' (sic) and Paul Gottfried were discussing Transparent Cabal's publication. The Political Cesspool was hosted in 2008 by the Republic Broadcasting Network and simulcast on Stormfront Radio, a service of the Stormfront, one of largest and oldest hate-sites on the internet, Stormfront.org. [The Political Cesspool, sponsored by the IHR, was described in 2009 by the SPLC as "the primary radio nexus of hate in America". MacDonald has been a regular guest.]
There are even more examples of Sniegoski's connections to the far right on both sides of the Atlantic, so David Miller's promotion of Transparent Cabal is indeed no less worrying than his earlier implied endorsement of Kevin MacDonald's views on his website. Yet Transparent Cabal is still offered as a reference on Professor Miller's website.
Regular readers will recognise that Professor Miller as a member of the "Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media", co-authoring their 2019 article claiming the OPCW's investigation of the Syrian government chemical attack on Douma (which they believe was "staged") was "nobbled"; he is also the director and sole shareholder in a company called Campaign for Chris Williamson Ltd. For more on that, see Brian Whitaker, Dominic Kennedy, Eleni Courea and Tendance Coatesy.
- Keith Kahn-Harris "Into the Flatlands with Professor David Miller"
- David Hirsh "The Meaning of David Miller"
- Fringewatch on Derek Holland and John Sharp