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January 07, 2007

I Wish

1. I wish Americans were familiar with something in history beyond Nazi Germany. Denial occurs in every country that's ever done awful things; i.e., all of them. But I didn't think my point about Michelle Malkin would be clear without comparing her specifically to Holocaust deniers.

A better analogy—because the underlying events are more similar in scale to Iraq—would have been with deniers of France's grim history with Algeria and Algerians.

For instance, did you know that in 1961 Paris police carried out a huge massacre of peaceful Algerian demonstrators right in the middle of the city? Probably not, because this somehow dropped out of standard French history for about forty years. French Michelle Malkins still resist any attention given to it.

(And because there must always be SOME connections to Nazis, the head of the Paris police at the time was Maurice Papon...who decades later was found to have been a prominent Vichy collaborator during World War II.)

2. I wish the phenomenon of right-wing attacks on the media were better understood by progressives. The shrieking squad of attack monkeys will go after literally every report that undermines their imaginary world. One time out of a thousand, they'll be "right"—i.e., there will have been significant mistakes or even fabrication by media outlets.

Then the outlet will issue a cowed retraction, and the attack monkeys will scream this proves the media possesses a pernicious liberal bias. At that point, progressives should be saying it actually proves the exact opposite. The media commit one zillion mistakes and omissions per day, most of which cut against progressive interests. But only the small minority of mistakes which tread on right-wing toes are corrected. The rest continue on their merry way, eventually coagulating into the amusing fairy tale we call "history."

3. I wish lots of people would read the article I mentioned by Holocaust denier Robert Faurrison called "Is 'The Diary of Anne Frank' Genuine?" I guarantee you'll be struck by the strong family resemblance it bears to contemporary wingnuttery.

4. I wish.

Posted at January 7, 2007 01:03 PM | TrackBack

Jonathan, your last link does not seem to work, just a heads up.

I do agree with what you say but what can we do? I have tried more than once to explain to friends that the news media is somewhat less than what it presents itself as and you know what my friends say? "You are a radical Rob" that is what they tell me. I have never thought of myself as a radical and what I cannot understand is why trying to explain what is true makes you a radical.

I think it may be as others have said that people need to believe otherwise so they can live with the fact that humanity has indulged in horrific atrocities down through the ages, they call it history I believe and a pretty sad history at that. Meanwhile even some of my liberal friends believe that guys like David Brooks and Mr. The World is Flat are reasonable examples of humanity. What can we do?

Posted by: rob payne at January 7, 2007 08:03 PM

I need to point out that the 1961 massacre of Algerians was not done in secrecy. In fact, it was wildly supported by a largely neo-fascist French populace.

Which does not excuse it. But can you be surprised that Ms. Malkin has supportive ears?

Posted by: Alexis S at January 7, 2007 09:36 PM

Pretty grim stuff, sir. But you inspire me to continue to learn, thank you.

Posted by: Guest at January 7, 2007 09:48 PM

Why MUST there always be "some" (but what kind of?) connection to the Nazis?
1. The Jews in the MSM like to keep the connection and the "never again" (well, least not soon) mantra alive?
2. Because the Nazis made such great, really great movie villains? The goose-stepping, the uniforms, those charming German phrases--"Raus, raus, mach schnell..." Unforgettable.
3. Because you don't have to look for better or genuine historic comparisons, most of which don't work in the first place.
4. Because Americans, just possibly, know even less about the Ausrottung of American Indians and the bombing of Cambodia than they do about Jews on trains and in ovens? Yeah, probably.
Americans don't like history. They are like Sergeant Schulz in "Hogan's Heroes:" I know nozzzink!"
Knowledge is hell.

Posted by: donescobar at January 7, 2007 10:24 PM

I agree with you donescobar. I've always said (well for a couple of years anyway) that violations of Godwin's Law show a deplorable lack of American pride--we've got plenty of atrocities in our own past which can be mined for comparison purposes and so there's no need to make sometimes dubious Nazi analogies.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at January 8, 2007 08:22 AM

Yeah, those Jews in the MSM keep blowing this Holocaust thing out of proportion. We need to be clear-headed and keep it in proper perspective, put it in its historical context, etc.

Posted by: Adam Kotsko at January 8, 2007 12:33 PM

Adam, 'twas a someone who (I believe) is himself Jewish.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at January 8, 2007 01:10 PM

Thank you, Jonathan.
Yes, a joke and in part, as Adam ought to know, to stop facile comparisons to the Holocaust. The US slaughter of Indians can stand by itself as an atrocity. And if comparisons need to be made, let them be made to similiar colonialist conquest accompanied by slaughters of native populations.
I get the feeling that much air on this topic is intended to capture the prize of the baddest holocaust of them all for your favorite one--another result of the marketing mentality imposed on this country.
And this weekend, the holocaust that grossed the highest...
There are, naturally, similarities and differences for every genocidal achievement by homo non sapiens. Carefully informed judgments are appropriate, not bragging or denying rights.
And yes, I'm a refugee from the ("THE") Holocaust, Jewish, if not believing or practicing.

Posted by: donescobar at January 8, 2007 01:47 PM