MARK STEYN RESPONDS to bogus charges that he favors genocide:

My book isn’t about what I want to happen but what I think will happen. Given Fascism, Communism and ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, it’s not hard to foresee that the neo-nationalist resurgence already under way in parts of Europe will at some point take a violent form. That’s pretty much a given.

That Steyn was warning of a future, not advocating one, has always been obvious to me. And it’s a serious warning, especially given that the current civil authorities in most European countries are ineffectually waffling in full Weimar mode. To blame Steyn for foreseeing the likely consequences of current fecklessness seems an absurd stretch. The reason, to answer Mark Kleiman’s question, why the anti-holocaust groups have been silent about Steyn is that only the most tendentious and purblind misreading could possibly lead to Kleiman’s conclusion. (But then, Kleiman has been doing that a bit often, lately).

Back in the Vietnam days we heard a lot of accusations of genocide hurled at war supporters — but it was when the war opponents got their wish that the mass murder began, and they were very quiet (or, in some cases, actually defensive of the Khmer Rouge) once it happened. (Read this history of those years by James Webb.) We see a similar irresponsibility today, and I can’t help but feel that these bogus charges are an effort to deflect attention from it.

UPDATE: Reader Rich Daisley emails: “Glenn, reading that Jim Webb piece made me laugh and then it made me cry. I wonder if he ever goes back to read his old writings. Line after line, you could replace a Vietnam reference and add an Iraq reference.” Yes, it felt that way to me, too.

Meanwhile, Kleiman is sliding toward an unhealthy obsession, with a seemingly endless series of posts designed to demonstrate my perfidy, and expressing his hopes that Jim Webb will break my teeth. Let me be clear — though clarity is never clear enough, with Kleiman — I supported the invasion of Iraq, and the rest of the terror war, because I think the alternative would have been something much, much worse down the line, resulting in far more deaths for all concerned. And fearing something worse is the opposite of advocating it. But I fear Kleiman is beyond reason on this point. He just wants to call war supporters names, and at this he excels, in intensity if not in skill.

ANOTHER UPDATE: More on Kleiman’s piece from Dave Price: “An amusing exercise in deliberately missing the point over at the inaptly named ‘Reality Based Community’ blog.”