Third Party & Independents Archives

Hypocrisy Alive and Well in the Old World

Now people are being arrested and thrown in jail for their opinions? Does this sound like the principles of a free and open society, even if it is in Europe? Denying the Holocaust ever took place certainly brands David Irving an ignoramus, but a criminal, I don’t think so.

No rational learned person will deny the German atrocities of World War II, after all they are well cataloged in photos and in (German) writings; the Germans after all kept very detailed records of what they were doing and why. Their records coupled with those of the Allies as they liberated the Nazi death camps, and the eye witness accounts of the Holocaust survivors, Jewish and otherwise, will forever mark 1938 -1945 as one of the darkest, if not the darkest, periods of man’s short existence on this planet.

But cataloging the atrocities has not been a bulwark against it happening again and again and again, while the world waits and watches, reluctant to do anything except talk about it happenstance. And while the United Nations talks, and bickers, and hesitates, millions more people have died at the hands of those who practice Genocide; do Serbia, Cambodia, Rwanda, Sudan, and Croatia ring a bell?

And it is ironic that Europe, including Austria, has historically and habitually thrown their support behind the Palestinians and other Arab groups that seek to ouster Israel from its now well established home on the banks of the Mediterranean. And correct me if I am wrong but don’t some of the group supporting the Palestinians in their cause, just or no, deny the Holocaust ever took place. Can you spell Hamas?

So excuse me if I think it a might bit hypocritical and nonsensical for the Austrians to throw a man in jail for three years because he dared write a book and made two speeches calling into question the passage of the Holocaust some 17 years ago.

Whatever happened to freedom of expression and of speech? In light of the current carton debacle this sentence is laughable. Or is derision reserved for those with brown skin? Yes, the Holocaust was horrific, but denying its rightful place in the annals of human history should brand one a criminal?

Posted by V. Edward Martin at February 21, 2006 8:48 PM
Comments
Comment #128352

Always amusing when people equate the State of Israel with Jews and the Holocaust. One is different from the other.

As for the Holocaust, each Culture has its Taboo Subjects. Muslims have Mohammad’s Face. Europeans have the Holocaust. If you want to know America’s Taboo, try saying “Nigger” out loud.

Lastly, Jewish Persecution and Genocide has ALWAYS been a Christian Thing. There has never been a Muslim who committed genocide on the Jews in 2,000 years. So it is understandable for Muslims to express disbelief in the Holocaust. Killing Jews enmasse has always been a European thing.

Posted by: Aldous at February 21, 2006 9:07 PM
Comment #128355

Aldous—

I do believe the state Israel is inexplicably link to Jews and the Holocaust, without which the country would not exist. Israel was formed to give the survivors of the Holocaust a place to call home.

Just because a Muslim never committed Genocide against the Jewish people—not that they would not like to try—doesn’t mean that can deny the Holocaust with impunity. The Holocaust happened no matter whom, or what race and or culture committed the atrocity. To use your reasoning, since I was not even alive during the Holocaust I can deny its passage and since I had nothing to do with it, be considered perfectly rational for doing so. That line of reasoning makes little sense!

As for the “Nigger” thing, it is far more than just a taboo to Black Americans, it represent oppression, degradation, humiliation, murder, rape, gross disrespect, inequality, injustice, and over four hundred years of bondage at the hands of White Christian men.

V. Edward…

Posted by: V. Edward Martin at February 21, 2006 9:25 PM
Comment #128362

i am not familiar with the situation to which you refer. however, it is in america that the freedom of speech is guaranteed. nazi propaganda is illegal in germany, for instance - that is their law, and i would be surprised if austria’s laws weren’t similar in nature. denying the holocaust is undoubtedly an infraction along this same vein.

different countries value different rights.
(…as you point out, their are far more atrocious events happening in the world to be outraged over than the imprisonment of a fascist).

Posted by: diogenes at February 21, 2006 9:34 PM
Comment #128364

Aldous

History is one thing. Today is another. Muslims seem to have no problem killing Jews today. Whovever they learned from, they are currently foremost in their zeal and effectiveness.

My ancestors were repeately oppressed by Mongols, Tartars and Turks, but I don’t hold it against the current generation. I worry about who is out to get me today.

V Edward

I agree with you that speech should be met by counter speech.

I would add, however, that I have visited Auschwitz five times. I saw the gas chambers and the walls of death. I talked to survivors wiht numbers tatooed on their arms. If you go to Poland or Ukraine, you see whole villages that used to be full of Jews, but are not now. You see cemeteries where nobody was buried after 1940 and synagogues in ruins. If you deny the Holocaust, besides the physical evidence, you have to explain where all these Jews went. I got a hint. You find them in ash piles and at the bottoms of ponds. The oak trees grow profusely on this.

Holocaust deniers really piss me off. I saw big piles of childrens’ shoes. Soap made of human flesh. Anyone who denies the Holocaust is an idiot. He doesn’t deserve to be allowed in polite company. I would not associate with such a person and I might venture to punch the guy in the nose, but I wouldn’t put him in jail. We don’t punish idiots by jail or we would have no space.

Posted by: Jack at February 21, 2006 9:48 PM
Comment #128383

Edward and Jack:

Israel was indeed formed due to the European guilt for the Holocaust. A fact that unfortunately prevented an even partition with the Palestinians. Why should the Palestinians pay for European Failures?

As for Muslims committing genocide on Jews today, there are sizeable populations of Jews in Turkey who seem to be very much alive. Kindly do not attribute the actions of a few to the entire Muslim Country. As you obviously do not know, the entire population of England, Germany and other European Countries committed genocide. You need an entire population’s support to kill an entire ethnic group. This has not happened in the MiddleEast for 2 THOUSAND YEARS and likely never will. You’re belief that it MIGHT happen is your fantasy and has no basis in culture or history.

Kindly take your Islamophobia somewhere else.

Posted by: Aldous at February 21, 2006 10:54 PM
Comment #128389

Aldous

I have some sympathy with the Palestinians, but the problem is artificial and maintained by the Arabs themselves.

I lived in Poland. In 1945/6 millions of Poles were pushed out of their homes in the East. They pushed millions of Germans out of their homes in the west. These populations had been in place for a thousand years and then they moved. Germans and Poles absorbed their countrymen, even though they were sometimes very different in culture and traditions. The Palestinian problem started in 1948. As I understand it, the Palestinians are among the most educated of the Arabs. Surly the other Arab countries could have absorbed this population. You don’t see German suicide bombers in Warsaw. The Palestinians have no more of gripe than an East Prussian or a Silesian when you really think about it. Each had a thousand years of tradition. In fact, the German populations were denser and had more of a settle tradition on the land. The Arabs kept this wound in the Middle East open for generations at great expense.

Beyond that, if Palestinians had pursued peaceful integration, they would have had much better chances for life. Finally, there is no Arab country where the Arab citizens have greater rights than in Israel.

Posted by: Jack at February 21, 2006 11:21 PM
Comment #128404

Jack:

You’re arguments are irrelevant since the UN was established before the 1967 War which pushed out these particular Palestinians. The Rights of Refugees dictates their right to return home.

Can you give a single example AFTER the UN was created where refugees are prevented from coming home? This isn’t the Middle Ages, you know.

Also. Had the Palestinians pursued “peaceful integration”, odds are the Israelis would have annexed the ENTIRE West Bank instead of just taking the high ground, the arable land, the water, the borders, the coastal areas, the air space, the underground aqueduct systems, the mineral rights and the right to travel. The Palestinian are lucky to get everything else like a waterless desert Gaza Strip.

There is still no such thing as Palestinians commiting genocide against Israelis either.

Posted by: Aldous at February 22, 2006 12:28 AM
Comment #128407

Jack:

One more thing…

The reason other Arab Countries won’t accept Palestinian Refugees is the same reason you don’t like illegal immigration coming into the US. Past a certain point, Spanish WILL become the national language of the USA.

Posted by: Aldous at February 22, 2006 12:35 AM
Comment #128412

If the Palistinians want a home land let them go to Saudi, Jorden, Iran, or some other rag head country. Isreal won the war for that land so it’s their’s.
We’ve all seen the pictures of the Death Camps in Germany. We’ve all heard the stories of the survivors of these camps. Few of us have ever had the privilege of meeting one. I concider it a great honor to have known one of these survivors. His name was Jacob Goldburg. 104265 I believe was the number on his arm.
He was the only Jewish person I knew as a kid. He lived and owned a store in town and would always have a kind word for everyone. Even the German family that lived close by.
This man lost his whole family Auschwitz. Both his parents, 4 brothers, 3 sisters, wife, 2 sons, and 4 daughters. He said that if the Allies hadn’t got there when they did he had know doubt that he would have been killed too.
Just before he died in 1988 he told me of his experience there. I had asked him one time when I was 11 or 12 and he wouldn’t tell me anything. After hearing it as an adult, I’m glad he didn’t tell me then.
To deny that the Houlocaust ever happened is to disrespect what this man went through.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 22, 2006 1:13 AM
Comment #128414

Aldous:
*You need an entire population’s support to kill an entire ethnic group. This has not happened in the MiddleEast for 2 THOUSAND YEARS and likely never will. You’re belief that it MIGHT happen is your fantasy and has no basis in culture or history.
Kindly take your Islamophobia somewhere else.*
Posted by: Aldous at February 21, 2006 10:54 PM

Is this an all or nothing thing? In other words at what percentage of a given population becoming interested in rising up an destroying you is it appropriate to respond?

The belief that this might happen to the Israelis is driven by several solid sources such as the statements of the newly elected Palistinean president and the stated desire of the Iranian president. Prior to the Iraq invasion, Saddam Hussein called for the destruction of Israel.

If you can’t take people at their word that they are going to try to destroy you, how can you take them at their word that they won’t.

Posted by: goodkingned at February 22, 2006 1:23 AM
Comment #128417

Aldous—

It is unrealistic for the Palestinians to think that they cab actually return to the lands they held before the state of Israel was formed. Clinging to that nonsensical fantasy will gain them nothing but frustration. I am not without sympathy for the Palestinian cause, but I believe the best interests of the Palestinian people are best served by compromise, compromise born of reality and not religious fancy.

As far as the Arab countries are concerned: they claim to have the Palestinian peoples back; have fought several wars of their behalf, or so they claim, but are unwilling to give up any of their soil to form a Palestinian homeland. Frankly I find their motive suspect; if not to kill the Israeli state, what then the purpose of their wars? And what of Hamas’ refusal to recognize Israel and Iran’s call to “wipe Israel off the map?” That sounds a lot like “proposed” genocide to me, all Islamophobia aside.

Posted by: V. Edward Martin at February 22, 2006 1:29 AM
Comment #128424

Kindly cite a single instance where Arabs commited genocide against Jews. There is a very big difference between saying something and doing it. As I said, to commit genocide you need a vast majority of the population working with you. Regardless of what Hamas or the President of Iran says, it means nothing if no one follows through.

As for the Right of Return, there is a reason why forced migration was made illegal by the UN. The Occupation of the West Bank is ILLEGAL under LAW. The same way the forced migration of Darfur is illegal. Am I to understand that you support the expulsion of Black Africans provided enough time has passed?

As for the Holocaust… What does this have to do with the Palestinians? How many Palestinians took part in the Holocaust? How many Arabs? Why should they pay for European Sins?

“Isreal won the war for that land so it’s their’s.”
Ron Brown, you have some serious issues if you think this justifies anything. By your logic, the Holocaust would be perfectly legal and moral had Germany won WW2. We are no longer in the Victorian Age here people. Kindly read the UN Charter that Israel signed. The UN may be toothless but the US signed the Charter same as everybody else.

Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and the rest won’t accept the refugees anymore than you would accept an unlimited number of Mexican Immigrants.

By the way. After reading the pro-Israeli side in this, I can finally understand why Iran wants a Nuke. The Iranians probably have a Ron Brown telling them to.

Posted by: Aldous at February 22, 2006 1:56 AM
Comment #128430

Almost three quarters of Israel was purchased for prices way above market value from palistinean-to-be eager to accept these inflated prices for their miserable property. Any examination of the right of return issue must remove land legally purchased by Israilis from the equation.

Next, legitimate security concerns arose in Israel when palestineans living in Jeruselum engaged in armed revolt simultaneously with the external attack from Lebanon. Some Palestineans were ejected from Israel proper at that time. I think that these exiles must also be removed from the equation. Through their actions they forfeit their right to live in Israel.

Now once we remove those individuals who have been imprisoned or exiled due to criminal activity from the pool of potential returnees, we can then begin to consider the Right to Return.

Posted by: goodkingned at February 22, 2006 2:36 AM
Comment #128431

goodkinged:

Jerusalem is part of the Occupied Territories. You can’t have an armed revolt when you are occupied by a foriegn power. You have an uprising. A Revolt is a refusal to accept legal authority. Legal Authority is something Israel does not have.

What the Palestinians did was an Uprising.

Posted by: Aldous at February 22, 2006 3:39 AM
Comment #128446

Ron Brown,

To deny that the Houlocaust ever happened is to disrespect what this man went through.

While I agree with you and most of us too, the question is “does disrespecting should be a crime?”.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at February 22, 2006 7:12 AM
Comment #128465

VEM,

I agree that it should not be a crime these days, even if it made a certain sense in the years after the year. There is no danger now of the Nazis coming back.

I have a question though: Where’s the hypocrisy? I am honestly not sure what you have in mind. Have the Europeans criticized us for doing something similar?

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 22, 2006 8:36 AM
Comment #128516

Aldous
If every country had more Ron Browns in them we’d all either be dead or at war all the time.

Philippe Houdoin
Is disrespect as form of speech?
Why is it ok to call it a crime to say things derogatory against one race and not another?
Isn’t that a form of speech too?
Doesn’t our Constitution protect our freedom of speech?
In this Country we have the right to freedom of speech. However I don’t concider disrespect speech. It’s not against the law though. At least not in the US. However to show open disrepect of any group of folks is in very poor taste.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 22, 2006 12:20 PM
Comment #128534

V. Edward,

I agree. It makes no sense that he should go to jail. I think maybe they should have instead imposed community service that might actually have the power to change his opinions on the subject. For instance, they might have made him work at one or several of the museums on the grounds where concentration camps were located in Germany, like Bergen Belsen, Buchenwald, or Dachau.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 22, 2006 12:58 PM
Comment #128665
or some other rag head country

Ron Brown,

The rest of your comment from 01:13 AM was thoughtful and right on track. Yet I almost didn’t read it because you started off with this unnecessary insult.

Why did you start a thoughtful comment with a big sign that said “Don’t take me seriously - I’m a blowhard!”

I don’t get it.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 22, 2006 6:04 PM
Comment #128791

LawnBoy
I just call them as I see them. Sometimes it aint to very pretty.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 23, 2006 1:09 AM
Comment #128793

LawnBoy
I just call them as I see them. Sometimes it aint to very pretty.

With around 6,000,000 Jews and who knows how many others that weren’t Jews killed at the Death Camps, it’s not any wounder that Germany would want to forget the Houlocaust. But try as they might, they cann’t alter history.
It’s just like slavery in this country. It happened and that cann’t be changed. The only thing any if us can do is to try to learn from history and do our best to keep the bad from happening again.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 23, 2006 1:17 AM
Comment #128844
it’s not any wounder that Germany would want to forget the Houlocaust. But try as they might, they cann’t alter history.

Obviously, you don’t know Germany. They have been very good about remembering the Holocaust and trying to make amends. In contrast, Japan still doesn’t acknowledge all of the crimes they committed in the War.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if Germany tried to alter history like you propose. However, the truth is that they don’t.

And that has nothing to do with using an insulting term for another group.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 23, 2006 9:01 AM
Comment #128892

LawnBoy
From what I’ve heard from Servicemen that have been stationed in Japan, they are pretty much an aarogant buch and still believe that they were right in WWII. So it’s no supprise that they won’t own up to the crimes they committed than.
I don’t personally know any Japanese folks so I cann’t for sure if that’s true or not.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 23, 2006 1:03 PM
Comment #129144

Edwin,
Your citing of the support given to Palestinians and other Arab groups in their efforts to destroy Isreal shows the necessity of the limit on speech in these countries. Actions show intent (much better than words) and the actions of these countries does not always show their “friendliness” to Isreal or to Jews. Imagine if they could combine their actions with words? If they could grow political parties on the denial of the Holocaust?

The restrictions on speech concerning the Holocaust weren’t made arbitrarily, but with a specific purpose in mind. People seem to believe that once Hitler died and Germany surrendered that all was warm and rosy. That was not the case at all.

There were (are) many unrepentant Nazis and people were aware of the probablity of the denials to start. Eisenhower ordered the touring of German civilians through the camps so they could not deny what had happened.

Part of the arrogance of American’s is their insistance that their way is the only way. Differences brought about because of historical, cultural or religious differences are not understood or believed to be important.

We accept certain restictions on speech because it has been shown historically or through law that certain speech can be used to the detriment of society… Libel, slander, lies, crying fire in a crowded theater, violently overthrowing the government of killing of a politican. Because these are the restrictions we believe are important then are they the only restrictions that are important? Can other nations decide to limit speech? Go to Turkey and deface their currency with its picture of Atturk on it and see what happens. Go into a Muslim country and cross your legs so the sole of your feet are facing someone in authority and see what happens. Turky has always considered itself more “western” in its view then “eastern”.

So many American’s believed that we would be welcomed with open arms in Iraq… because we believed that everyone valued the same things we do. SUVs, Wal-Marts and the opportunity to consume. Religous differences mean you go to different churches, not that it defines who you are.

Somehow, we believed that once we “liberated” them from Saddam we would explain the benefits of a secular government and they would step right up and form a government in our image.

Post WWII Germany and Japan are often cited as examples of what we hoped to accomplish… though we were not really at war with the Iraqi people, so they were not really “defeated” based upon their actions towards us leading up to and during a war.

Their culture and religion do not have a history of democracy or obedience to secular rule. Throughout Muslim history, only the Turks have been able to establish a secular government in any real sense. That was done internally and it was done with a great deal of pain involved.

It is still a real possibility that a fundamentalist party might try to gain power in Turkey so the Constitution empowers the military to monitor the politicans and to take power if need be.

If you want to get a sense of this great idea of bringing Muslim countries into the western fold of democracy and freedom and economic opportunity take a look at what is happening with Turkey trying to get into the EU! Remember, this is the most secular, reasonable Muslim country in the world. It is a democracy and has been a member of Nato for decades!

To all the neo-Cons (and I am talking about real neo-Cons) who believe that America, through its superpower status can bring about change into the world through power… take a look at Turkey. Almost 100 years after secular rule (right after WWI) it is still a dicey proposition for them and for the rest of the world trying to fit a Muslim nation within a Western world.

Posted by: Darren7160 at February 24, 2006 11:20 AM
Comment #129150
So many American’s believed that we would be welcomed with open arms in Iraq… because we believed that everyone valued the same things we do. SUVs, Wal-Marts and the opportunity to consume. Religous differences mean you go to different churches, not that it defines who you are.

O Yeah, They welcomed us with open arms alright. Machinegun arms, rifle arms, rocket arms, roadside bomb arms, all opened up on us.
An the same will be true with Iran i we go in there. The thing we have to remember is none of these Arab countries like the United States. We stand for everything they’re against.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 24, 2006 11:35 AM
Comment #129215

Hi Ron,
Individually, I met a lot of really wonderful people from Iran and Iraq. However, they were all young, well educated and not living in their country at the time.

There are “modern” moderate Arabs out there. However, even with their appearance of moderation, we still need to be aware of the their differences. We need to work to support them.

As in my example with Turkey, what we will have as a result will not be like America. It will be different… sometimes very different. However, that will be there choice.

We, as a nation, have done many wrongs in the Arab world. To deny them would be to turn a blind eye to our history in this area.

There are many legitimate complaints against us that we will have to own up to. One of the most important things we can do today is to act above reproach and to be willing to deal with the people of the middle east as human beings.

That is one of the reasons I am not so much against the ports being run by an Arab country. Am I getting a bit of pleasure out of both parties nailing him on this? Maybe. But, it isn’t helping with our dealing with things rationally.

His administration should have informed him of this deal and he should have carefully explained it to Congress before it came out in the news.

Again, secrecy does not make for good democratic governing.

Posted by: Darren7160 at February 24, 2006 4:01 PM
Comment #129393

Darren
Your right that we haven’t always acted like we should with other countires.
However, to let foreign countries run our ports is inviting trouble.
I don’t understand why Americans want to give our country away. And thar’s exactly what we’re doing with this deal and others like it.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 25, 2006 2:01 AM
Comment #129832

Check this out.
Why would they do this?

Posted by: d.a.n at February 27, 2006 8:45 AM
Comment #129946

What kind of a stupid country claims to be a modern, western democracy then jails someone for speaking his opinion? The whole thing is idiotic.

Yes, the guy is an ignoramus and what he said is wrong, but what do they think will happen, that everyone will start believing him and then revolt and establish a Nazi government?

As much as I find it distasteful, part of freedom of speech is allowing people to say things offensive or that you don’t agree with. I guess western Europe allows you to say what you want as long as it’s not considered unpopular.

Posted by: John at February 27, 2006 2:02 PM
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