When is a War Criminal not a War Criminal-Scenario

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
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Roberto
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Post by Roberto » 30 Sep 2002 15:18

Scott Smith wrote:I'm not saying that there was a murder order from Hitler or not.
Why, would an order from Hitler be murder order?

Wouldn’t it be perfectly legal because it came from the highest state authority?

Has Mr. Smith changed his mind in this respect?
Scott Smith wrote: I don't know. I certainly wouldn't say that the evidence is overwhelming.
I wouldn’t have expected the Führer’s Faithful Follower to write anything else, purposefully ignoring the findings of historiography, which has even managed to locate the exact date on which Hitler’s “go ahead” was most probably pronounced.
Scott Smith wrote: It might not be legal for a sovereign-State to do certain things, such as the USA, where rights are built into the foundation of the law itself, which is the Constitution.
Now that’s an interesting way to look at it.

It implies that only constitutional states can behave illegally, whereas totalitarian regimes without a constitution can butcher their citizens and whoever else get in their way as they see fit without ever incurring in illegal behavior.

Very convenient.

It’s not as if there had not been a constitution in Germany when the Nazis came to power, by the way, although the first thing they did was to lock it in a drawer except where it served their purposes.

It’s neither as if there had been no German criminal law sanctioning the actions carried out in compliance with the Führer’s orders in question as murder, of course.
Scott Smith wrote:If his power ultimately stemmed from the People, then does the dictator have the right to issue an order that surely would have been vetoed by plebiscite had it not been secret? It is not clear but I think Hitler, like any absolute Head of State, had the authority to make even secret decisions, albeit his power flowing in theory from the People.
The problem is not the secrecy of the decisions but the violation of both domestic criminal law in force and international law by such decisions and their execution.
Scott Smith wrote:In wartime, "emergency measures" are easily justified.
Slaughering millions of unarmed non-combatants posing no threat whatsoever – except perhaps in the minds of fanatical morons – can hardly be called an “emergency measure” in wartime.

And as becomes apparent from statements such as Goebbels’ diary entry of 27.03.1942, this was not even how the Nazis themselves saw their genocide of Jews, gypsies and other undesirables.
David Thompson wrote:A sovereign state has no right to attack other sovereign states after agreeing with them to keep the peace, and then round up their citizens and shoot them into a pit or deport them for slave labor projects.
Smith wrote:Mostly I'd say that they do, especially if they are superpowers and there are no troublesome human rights laws (as opposed to patriotic and humanitarian rhetoric).
Unfortunately for warlord-minded fellows like Smith, “troublesome human rights laws” not only exist in the constitutions of states stupid enough to subject their power to the rule of law, but are also principles acknowledged by the international community and as such a part of international law.

Superpowers can factually violate this law like everyone else, of course.
If they do, the fact that their power is likely to save them from ever being held accountable for it does not mean they didn't incur in such violation.
Smith wrote:Nations have the right to wage war as they think best to win it and their is huge interpretation for what this might mean, however realistic or not.
Unfortunately for warlord-minded fellows like Smith, the right of nations “to wage war as they think best to win it” had been limited by the Hague and Geneva Conventions and international customary law derived from them long before his beloved Führer saw it fit to shit on these acknowledged principles.
Smith wrote: Anybody can expect the gallows if defeated unconditionally.
If the victor is a warlord-minded fellow like Smith or a warlord like his beloved Führer, that is certain to be so.

Otherwise it takes conclusive proof of individual criminal acts in violation of national or international law.
Smith wrote: The legality, or lack thereof, is defined by the sovereignty in question. Without a higher sovereignty you cannot have law--that's what I've been saying. International Law is a misnomer; it consists of agreements among peers, not criminal statutes issued by a supreme sovereignty.
As a fellow poster said, doesn’t Smith get tired of constantly repeating this beaten nonsense?

Whether Smith likes it or not, prevailing legal opinion considers the community of nations to be a sovereign superseding any individual sovereign nation, and the will of that community called international law, which consists not only of treaties and agreements but also of customary principles acknowledged by their use over a longer period of time, overrides the will or an individual nation expressed in its national law.
Smith wrote:In the case of the Soviet POWs, the Russians did not sign the Geneva convention in the first place
As I have pointed out in another thread, the failure to sign this convention did not deprive Soviet prisoners of war of the protection under the principles of the Hague and Geneva Conventions, which at the time had the force of international customary law.

In a memorandum of 15 September 1941, the Foreign/Defense Department (Amt Ausland/Abwehr) of the OKW under Admiral Canaris pointed out that the basic international principles of war concerning the treatment of prisoners also applied in a war without written conventions, because the provisions contained in the Hague Rules of Land Warfare had been accepted as customary law in the meantime. In this regard the memorandum referred to an enclosed Soviet directive on the treatment of POWs dated 1 July 1941, which largely corresponded with the fundamental principles of international law.

The ideas expressed by the Amt Ausland/Abwehr in its memorandum on the validity of customary law in the field of the law of war were nothing new; this was the opinion prevailing at the time. The source of jus in bello, the law of warfare, is not just limited to positivist rulings. The source can be extended to unwritten customary law, as was emphasized after the war at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials.

The Amt Ausland/Abwehr’s memorandum had no effect. Keitel, rejected it, noting that these reservations corresponded to the soldierly views of chivalrous warfare, whereas this war was about the annihilation of a Weltanschauung. Keitel had been swayed by Hitler’s opinion concerning the nature of war with the Soviet Union, and had thus squashed the plans of the AWA, his department responsible for prisoners of war, to treat captured Russians according to customary law analogous to the Geneva Convention.

According to Hitler, the war with the USSR was the collision of two fundamental world-views, in which the doctrine of the law of war was based solely upon Nazi ideology, with the aim of totally wiping out the ‘Judeo-Bolshevist system’. This ideological definition of war meant that nothing was unlawful that served the execution, security, and consolidation of National Socialism, the preservation of the Nazi state and its people. Hitler considered international law to be old-fashioned, still based upon the ideal of ‘chivalrous war’, as Keitel put it in his statement on the Amt Ausland/Abwehr memorandum. It was an obstacle in the Nazi world-view’s path. Since for Hitler, as in the Third Reich as a whole, the law was merely a part of his world-view, law of war had no place in the total ideological struggle.

It goes without saying that this view is totally contrary to the rule of law. It fails to recognize what the law of war is and what its aims are, and is outside the system of law as we know it. If it was left up to one side in a conflict to decide whether the international law of war is to be applied or not, then that would be the end of the rules of warfare.
Smith wrote: and I would argue their treatment, which was deplorable, revolved around the neglect of Soviet POWs by the General Staff not by racist ideology.
“Deplorable” is a nice word for deliberate mass murder planned and organized at the level of the highest state authorities.
Smith wrote: The treatment of the Soviet POWs may not have been legal if ordered by a general.
Even if ordered by the Führer himself, it constituted a violation of customary international law and was thus illegal, see above.

Which means that it also qualified as murder under German criminal law in force at the time.
Smith wrote: As I have stated, when one is conquered no justification whatever is needed to erect a gallows. Nuremberg claimed to be law and justice.
I'd say that Nuremberg substituted mere vengeance by justice, however hard folks like Smith try to deny this.
Smith wrote:I think that is questionable.
What Smith thinks is irrelevant, given that he has nothing to show in support of his arguments.
Smith wrote: Nuremberg was Victor’s Justice, the rights of naked-force and conquest.
That might be arguable if Smith could demonstrate that the defendants did not benefit from presumption of innocence and from qualified defenders of their choice with the right to challenge the prosecution’s evidence and to produce evidence in favor of the defendants, and that the tribunal’s verdicts were foregone conclusions rather than the result of a thorough and weighted assessment of the evidence.

Which he so far as not been able to do.

Which is why his contentions are just so much hollow whispering.
Smith wrote:It was also propaganda.
Propaganda is what Smith tries to sell on this forum all the time.

He should be accordingly careful with the use of this term.
Smith wrote:Furthermore, some of the “facts” somehow supposedly established at Nuremberg are questionable,
If so, what the heck?

There’s no such thing as perfection within the realms of human endeavor, and hence there’s also no such thing as a perfect trial.
Smith wrote:yet this makes one a “Denier.”
No, the “denier” comes from taking real or alleged minor inaccuracies in the evidence presented at the trial to make a case that the whole trial was flawed, a sweeping argument that is as illogical and imbecile as it is a “Revisionist” favorite.

But then, why deny at all the tribunals’ findings on facts that, to the extent they refer to actions carried out at the orders of a higher state authority, would have been perfectly legal in Smith’s opinion?

Could it be that the fellow is as insecure about his “legitimacy” stance as his beloved Führer and his minions – who took care not to put certain orders and decisions in writing, to apply utmost secrecy in regard to them and to erase the traces of their practical application as best as they could – obviously were?
Smith wrote:And Denial is illegal in some countries. Thoughtcrime is a dangerous idea, IMHO.
Why dangerous, Mr. Smith?

Such misguided legislative measures (for which the term “Thoughtcrime” is rather ridiculous hyperbole) actually benefit your ilk.

Where would you be without such legitimate exercises of state power to make a fuss about?
Smith wrote: YES. And ethnic-cleansing of millions of Germans from their ancestral eastern territories to the tune of two-million German deaths occurred too.
All perfectly legal because resulting from decisions by the governments of sovereign nations, isn’t it?
Smith wrote: Yet only the Vanquished are legally guilty.
No. It is only they who de facto get caught, for obvious reasons. Big difference.
Smith wrote: Where is Truman, Stalin, and Churchill’s place on the gallows? If Nuremberg were lofty law and not mere conquest then why would not these individuals have stood trial?
Is a trial against one drug lord less legitimate because another is not tried for whatever reason, Mr. Smith?
Smith wrote: they have to be caught first, says Roberto. Were they hiding in Argentina with Eichmann, perhaps?
No.

They were in power, which means they were even further beyond the reach of international law.

Which doesn’t mean, on the other hand, that they couldn’t give others of their ilk a fair trial.

Even the drug lord in power can give the vanquished drug lord a fair and proper trial if certain procedural rules are complied with.

And then, the “drug lords”, except for Stalin, were not exactly comparable with Smith’s beloved Führer.

But that’s another story.
Smith wrote: As I said, we are talking about agreements among Victors and not criminal law.
No, we are talking about the victors enforcing criminal law resulting from codified and customary, internationally acknowledged legal principles. Big difference.
Smith wrote: I am merely exposing the hypocrisy of Nuremberg propaganda.
Whether or not those holding trial had the moral authority to do so, it doesn’t make the trials into mere propaganda.

And I neither think that is Smith’s issue. What he and other of his ilk dream of is seeing the damning findings of the Nuremberg trials removed as one of the arguments against a regime they cherish and admire.

Which due to the woeful fallacy of their allegations will never be anything other than a pious dream, of course.
Smith wrote:I am not advocating brutality.
I maintain that anything happening on my beloved Führer’s orders, however brutal and murderous, was legitimate.

But I’m not advocating brutality.

How could you possibly think that of me? :wink:
Smith wrote:But to understand History we have to examine unpleasant aspects, even about our own natures.
Is that so, Smith?

Then why do you fight with claws and teeth against the evidence to such “unpleasant aspects” insofar as they concern your beloved Führer and his regime?
Smith wrote:Even our Roberto would agree that we have to reexamine ourselves, presumably why he hates Germans of the 1933-1945 era so much.
There are times when I feel sorry for fellows like Mr. Smith, and this is one of them.

It should be clear to whoever has read my post with just a flicker of reason that I don’t hate but in fact admire Germans of the 1933-1945 era, some of whom are/were my relatives and friends.

What I don’t like is the Nazi regime, which unlike the Führer’s Faithful Followers I don’t identify with Germans of the 1933-1945 era.
Smith wrote:But he seems less inclined to look at the Allied cause critically and the postwar German Bundestablishment. That speculum has not been so examined.
Well, my dear Smith, as you also well know I’m as critical of the modern German state as anyone, if usually for other reasons than those suggested by Smith’s fathomless ignorance and stubborn misconceptions of this state.

As to the Allied cause and its crimes, I’d say that the extent to which they have been explored on this forum – which, after all, is a Third Reich forum – is largely if not mostly due to my contributions.

Just who do you expect to buy these stupid lies of yours, Mr. Smith?

And why this need to talk about my humble person in an exchange with another poster?

Are you that obsessed with me, Mr. Smith?

Do I haunt your nightmares?

David Thompson
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Post by David Thompson » 01 Oct 2002 02:40

Scott -- Thank you for your thoughtful and lucid reply. The reasoning added depth to, what for me, seemed like some pretty outrageous statements. FYI, I'm not involved in the "revisionist-traditionalist" arguments about WWII history. Many years ago I decided to read as much primary source material as I could find, and then form my own opinions on the subject without having them formed for me by others.

A recent post from Dan complained about my "long posts based on not well thought out premises." It is easy to keep a post short if you simply present a conclusion with neither supporting arguments nor evidence to back up what you say. I appreciate your having taken the time, in your post to me, to make your points clearly, and to provide the underlying reasoning. I'll try to make this post shorter by posing a few short questions on a single subject, so please excuse me in advance.

On the existence of a murder order:

(1) What do you think of the statements from Ohlendorf, Eichmann, Hoess, Bradfisch, Streckenbach, and Jeckeln that Himmler and/or Heydrich told them that the Fuehrer had decided to solve the Jewish Question by physical extermination? (I'll leave Wolff and Kersten out of it for now.)

(2) Do you think the conversations those folks recounted actually happened? If not, why would they all have the same story?

(3) Whether or not Hitler gave the order to Himmler and Heydrich, do you think that there was a murder order as described by Ohlendorf, Eichmann, Hoess, Bradfisch, Streckenbach, and Jeckeln? If not, why do you think they'd say such a thing?

(4) If Hitler never gave such an order, do you think he knew that large numbers of Jewish civilians were being singled out, collected and killed by the SS? (per your statement, "Nor do I buy the argument that it was 'whisper only.'") Do you think Hitler ratified these acts by acquiescing in them?

(5) If Hitler did not authorize these killings, do you think that Himmler and Heydrich had legal authority under German law to do it?

(6) If Hitler did authorize these killings, do you think he deliberately avoided giving written orders? Why?

(7) If you believe such a murder order was lawful within greater Germany, what is your opinion about its legality when applied to foreign nationals outside Germany?

I don't want you to think I'm trying to dodge your other points. I'm interested in discussing them as well. This is just a first effort. More later.
Last edited by David Thompson on 01 Oct 2002 05:24, edited 1 time in total.

Charles Bunch
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Post by Charles Bunch » 01 Oct 2002 03:24

Scott Smith wrote:
David Thompson wrote:Your answer made some interesting points. But the fact that the SS didn't immediately kill every Jew they laid hands on doesn't disprove the fact that there was a murder order.
I'm not saying that there was a murder order from Hitler or not. I don't know. I certainly wouldn't say that the evidence is overwhelming. At best a Functional thesis might be plausible, IMHO. I don't buy an Intentionalist argument, myself. But Intentionalism would require a Hitler Order, I would think. Nor do I buy the argument that it was "whisper only."
There is no incompatibility between a Hitler order and the functionalist approach. Both schools posit a decision to exterminate European Jewry. The manner in which the decision was made, and the timing, are what differentiates the two. Furthermore, the historical debate has moved beyond a sharp distinction.
As I have stated, when one is conquered no justification whatever is needed to erect a gallows. Nuremberg claimed to be law and justice. I think that is questionable. Nuremberg was Victor’s Justice, the rights of naked-force and conquest. It was also propaganda.
But the Nazis weren't treated to victor's justice. Churchill's initial idea of just executing the leadership certainly could have been done, by pure "naked-force". But what was done was to try the accused under fair trial procedures which permitted defense, some of which were successful. There is nothing about the Nuremberg trials which was any more inherently forceful or propagandistic that any high profile trial of this sort.
Furthermore, some of the “facts” somehow supposedly established at Nuremberg are questionable, yet this makes one a “Denier.” And Denial is illegal in some countries. Thoughtcrime is a dangerous idea, IMHO.
It makes you a denier when you merely deny a piece of evidence for no good reason. That charge is reinforced when you have a long history of similar denials based on your desire to disbelieve, rather than proper historical methods.

Erik
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Post by Erik » 01 Oct 2002 06:41

Erik wrote:
Nobody who has read about the Third Reich and the Holocaust can avoid What will ensue if you try to make “sense” of it all? Are you “celebrating” (Prof Israel W. Charny) the Holocaust if you stand back from treating its “facts” as black holes that destroy and deform every information you try to get?



Sorry.This is somewhat too vague for me -Are you trying to say here that the motivations behind the the acts of Holocaust organazires are so obscure that there is no any sense in trying to understand them.?Did I get it right ?
Sorry about the vagueness! Sometimes you get to talking to yourself and make “self-references”.

The metaphor of the “black hole” for the Holocaust is old and well-used. (See the links below.)
I tried to elaborate on the simile on the “Otto Moll” thread, and compared the “loss of information” that some physicists maintain for the black holes of physics, with the “loss of information” that followed from the Holocaust extermination procedures.

We are supposed to “know” what happened from decoded documents and witnesses that survived something that – according to the black hole metaphor – was meant to devour all information.

The loss of information is curiously “selective”. We are left with what has been described as the most well-documented event in history. If we “follow the facts”, that is. Only “ideological bubbles” can obscure the flagrancy of its “self-evidence”.(I refer to earlier discussions on the Holocaust&Warcrimes).

Of course, the referring to a “black hole” in Holocaust literature is not always meant to suggest “loss of information” but rather to allude to the “physical” horror that the destructive forces of its processes entail.

But it seems that we are supposed to know what we cannot know. Like the mysteries of religion.

Your phrasing “…the motivations behind the the acts of Holocaust organazires…” can be edited to mean “the motivations behind the acts of the organizers of the Holocaust”, right?

“..the acts…” meaning the acts of the Holocaust? The “black hole” of it?

The acts of madness?
But then the human mind is wired this way -always trying to operate in the frame of "cause -result " mode.Of course we will never be able to be sure that we get a mirror image of what was happening in reality even if we apply the most penetrating analisys.Does it mean we have to give up all the attempts of explanation ?What could be helpful here is the simple fact that all these Nazis including Hitler were first of all people and therefore predictable (to a certain extend of course )from the psychological perspective.


Here is an extract from the booklet “..tell ye your children...” , a book about the Holocaust in Europe 1933-1945 by STÉPHANE BRUCHFELD AND PAUL A. LEVINE
Distributed to all Swedish households by the Swedish government some years ago.(“Living History Project”.)

Remaining indifferent and not trying to understand the “why” of the Holocaust, could threaten our common future. Not because it is a Jewish concern – it is a universal human concern. Author Primo Levi said that: “It is neither easy nor agreeable to dredge this abyss of viciousness (…). One is tempted to turn away with a grimace and close one’s mind: this is a temptation one must
resist.”

We can wish that the Holocaust never happened. But it happened in the heart of Europe and will forever be part of the European heritage.

Historian Omer Bartov believes that the most frightening thing is “the impossibility of learning anything from the Holocaust … of putting its facts to any use”. For him the Holocaust renders vain all questions about learning and progress. It is, he fears, “precisely the meaninglessness
of the event … the utter uselessness of it all, the total and complete emptiness … that leaves us breathless, bereft of the power of thought and imagination”.

This is a strong argument. The Holocaust is a black hole in the history of Europe and the modern world. Yet it must be understood, at a minimum, that the Holocaust took place because people like you and I chose to make it happen. They chose to plan mass murder and carry it out over a period of many years. They could have chosen otherwise. They should have chosen otherwise.
We are asked to understand the “why” of a black hole, and if our understanding falters, “bereft of the power of thought and imagination”, before the “impossibility to learn” something from “the total and complete emptiness” of it all, there is minimum that yet ”must be understood” :

“that the Holocaust took place because people like you and I chose to make it happen.”

There is a black hole in our history, that ” happened in the heart of Europe”, and that ”will forever be a part of the European heritage”.

And ”people like you and I chose to make it happen”.

You ask:
Are you trying to say here that the motivations behind the the acts of Holocaust organazires are so obscure that there is no any sense in trying to understand them.?Did I get it right ?
I was trying to say that the efforts to “make sense” of a concept like the Final Solution are referred to a “black hole” (see links below) – or, if you refuse some of the “facts” of this black hole in your efforts, accusations of “celebrating” the Genocide.

There is a déjà vu from religious history here. The Jews were supposed to accept the black hole of the Crucification of God, in the heart of the Holy Land, and because people like ”them” – God’s chosen people – chose to make it happen.

If they accepted this ”black hole”, created by themselves, they would partake in the New Covenant, and live forever. Refusal meant ”celebration” of the Christ-murder.

But history shows that those who did accept it were still left the sin of their fathers, like the many who refused. The stigma was ”formally” extinguished at the conversion to Christianity, but not ”really”.

It changed from religion to politics, from Christ-killing to Nation-killing, or something of the sort.

Will the accusation of the Holocaust be used in the same way? From the fascists of the interwar anticommunist period to “people like you and me” – now ?

You write:
What could be helpful here is the simple fact that all these Nazis including Hitler were first of all people and therefore predictable (to a certain extend of course )from the psychological perspective.


Thomas Mann called Hitler a “Bruder”, brother, in a famous essay(Bruder Hitler 1938), written in exile from Hitler’s Germany. He felt some awkward identification or relationship with the failed artist he saw in Hitler.

In one of the links below (on the “black hole” metaphor), Ken McVay says that his “humanity” is “offended” by Holocaust “revisionism”. That is why he fights it.

“They stand for decay - death and destruction. How could one not be offended?”

http://www.spectacle.org/695/mcvay.html


Did Thomas Mann “celebrate” Hitler by calling him “brother”?

Does Ken McVay “celebrate” the Holocaust by “defending” the black hole of it against revisionism?

Mann’s humanity was offended by Hitler’s hate speech. McVay’s humanity is offended by the “hate speech” of Holocaust Denial, ie “revisionism”.

The German revisionist Germar Rudolf is offended by the allegation of the Holocaust Genocide to the Germans. His “humanity” is perhaps offended by the allegation. That is why he fights it?

Some physicist are “offended” by the alleged “loss of information” implied by the concept of black holes. It stands for “decay and destruction” of the principles of physics. Stephen Hawking says that it is their “humanity” that is offended, since they want to live forever, in the form of “information” at least. They have a “psychological need” to fight the concept. (see “Otto Moll” thread, side 2).

Even Hitlers “humanity” could have been “offended” by the “decay – death and destruction” of WW1. The subsequent failure to establish himself as an artist awakend the all-too-human propensities of envy and hatred, and made him embrace antisemitism.

The psychological perspective has a view for all needs – “predictably”.
Quote:
But the Holocaust of Orthodoxy is “something else”, all together
I am not sure what you imply by "Orthodoxy " here.
It is a short-hand designation, borrowed from the world of religion, of the “view according with” received opinion. But you know that, of course.

You give a fair but not exhaustive outline of the Holocaust of Orthodoxy in the following, really!!:
I think Holocaust is indeed quite unique phenomena compare to all other
"Deportations, slavery, executions, mass murder, torture, starvation policies ".The uniqueness of it in that, that the people (Jews) were selected for murder not because they did something which the Nazi regime deemed wrong or criminal and not because the Jews failed to do something which was expected from them .The whole people in this case
were singled out from other nations and groups just because of the fact of their existance.I think this is what makes Holocaust “something else”.
You forget the gas chambers. All you write is true, but not unique to the Jews of this epoch. It becomes unique if you add that they were destinated for the gas chambers of the death camps and Auschwitz, that “they were singled out from other nations and groups just” for this.

Without this uniqueness, the rest of the description could be applied to “the policies of Colonialism” since human history began.

Colonialism had often a religious veneer of a “mission”. (It still has, one might say.) The Nazis wanted to make the world safe from “Bolschewismus”. This “-ismus” was “deemed wrong”, and it was allegedly connected with the “nation of the Jews”.

This “nation” had “failed” to “break up” during the course of history, because the Jews have the uniqueness of having been “selected” during all of their existence – selected by God, according to their history writing, selected by Paulus(?) as “non-heathens”, subsequently accepted by Christian and Muslim nations as “something else” than pagans and heathens, their ghettos accepted as “economic zones” in medieval and modern Europe.

When the Nazis wanted to emulate the English and Russian imperialism 200 years too late, they had to face the “modernisers par excellence”, the latecomers to emancipation and to “European citizenship” from centuries of “apartheid” in all the nations that lodged them. The Jewish intelligentia was – by pure instinct of self preservation if nothing else – an enemy to any “reaction” to the ideals of the Enlightenment. The romantic idea of “Blut und Boden”-nationalism and so on was unlikely to appeal to a people that had been denied citizenship and the right to landownership in most countries. So they were bound to be “selected” by the Nazis as the “natural” enemy to their ideas.

The "modernizing" ideology no 1 of the 20th Century was Communism. It spelled out the End of History and all its miseries, and to all nations of the world. It appealed to the traditional “this-wordliness” of the Jewish religion and to Christian ideals of righteousness too – in fact it can be derived from the sources of its prophesies. (“The principles of hope”?).

Fascism was the “reaction” to Communism. Its German branch, at least, was antisemitic. It was anti-christian too, but that had to wait till after the war. The traditional antisemitism(religious, not racist) of the Churches could be mobilized against Communism, and was too valuable to be alienated by racial paganism (“Aryan” religion) at the initial stage.

When the Germans occupied Europe the Jews “were singled out from other nations and groups just because of the fact of their existance”, as you say. But this “singling out” was facilitated by “out-singlings” that had occurred long before and throughout history. This made “ethnical cleansing” easier for the Germans, and they could count on the support of local antisemites to round up the Jews for transportations. If the Germans needed slaves for slave labor in their planned Eastern colonies, the Jews were the obvious victims.

This is not a unique Jewish fate. It is the corollary of Colonialism.

But the gas chambers are unique. They don’t fit into the “realm” of Colonialism. There is madness here.

Quote:
Orthodox Marxist interpretation saw the Holocaust as “all in a day’s work” of Capitalism. Auschwitz was the last(?) logical stage of the capitalist mode of production. The Jews as factors of “production” at the crematories were just a “conclusion” of the alienated workers at the factory assembly line. The “irrationality” of the Holocaust was just matching the irrationality of Capitalism. Its ideology, the race doctrines of the German branch of Fascism, represented the last stage(?)of capitalist thought, the superstructure of Imperialism. (Or something like that- I have no pretence of being “nuanced”.)

The persuasive power of the Marxist interpretations of history has crumbled since the demise of Communism to the market economy of free enterprise
Can you point me out where you did get this "Marxist inerpretation" from ?

You are right to ask. I got it from a cursory reading of Marxist writers years ago, and I am too lazy to rummage for references in my stored-away book cartoons. I associate the name of Günther Anders with this kind of “reasoning”, but he certainly wasn’t an “orthodox” marxist.

Anyway, here is what I had the luck to find when I made a Google search for “Günther Anders Holocaust capitalism” (first hit, even!)

http://www.geocities.com/wageslavex/capandgen.html

Trust me and I know what I am talking about - the fact of Holocaut was mostly ignored by Soviet ( and as a result any other )Communist propaganda amd historiography.
Holocaust was always an issue in the West never in the Soviet block countries.
There was always a strong emphasis put on the 'suffering of all Soviet
people from Fascists dogs". Any attempts to indicate the unique character of the Jewish sitiation always evoked str9ng irritated response from the
Soviet authorities accusing the"Western Zionost propaganda " in downplaying sufferings of other nations.


Your are undoubtedly right. But if you read my “parody” of the alleged Marxist analysis above it is the opposite of an attempt to make the Holocaust unique to the Jews. On the contrary, it is meant to make the Holocaust into a common “all in a day’s work” of the Capitalist mode of production. The Jews of Auschwitz shared the situation of the proletariat working under Monopoly Capitalism.

Quote:
To explain the Holocaust policy (-ies?) from the psychology of Hitler has all the problems that follow from any "Psychologisation" of History. It either explains too much or nothing at all. You can choose to believe it or reject it altogether
As I said there is always some motivation behind the acts of human behavior ( rational or irrational ).Not to try to figure out the motivations of the men responsible for such phenomena as Holocaust would be strange to say the least. Alive people create history with their own psychology..

Here is a quote from the Marxist interpretation in the link above:

“(Holocaust denial)…which constitutes a denial of the most lethal tendencies inherent in the capitalist mode of production, of the very barbarism of capitalism, and thereby serves as a screen behind which the death-world wrought by capital can be safely hidden from its potential victims.”

There is the worn adage of the fallacy of “putting the cart before the horse” that comes to mind when you read theoretizations like this. The Marxist thinker cannot spare the excellency of the orthodox relation of the Holocaust, since it illustrates perfectly the “death-world wrought by capital”. He knows that the Holocaust relation is right, since it can be deduced from the laws of capitalist production. He suspects that denial of this relation has the purpose of “screening” the next “black hole”(?) of its “lethal tendencies”…(Any “déjà vu”?)

“Alive people create history with their own psychology..”, you write. ANY history? False or “real”? Or both? Can psychology tell us which history is false or “real”?

I suspect that psychology doesn’t care. It can “figure out the motivations for such phenomena” they bloody well like. Even for those who doesn’t care for it. I suspect.

Black hole:

http://www.thirdreichforum.com/phpBB2/v ... 3&start=25

Analogy used here:

http://www.jafi.org.il/treasurer/ops/vatican.htm

http://athena.english.vt.edu/~exlibris/ ... carton.htm

Note particularily the quote from Claude Lanzmann here:

http://www.swastika.com/holocaust.html(Please note! Not a Nazi link, in spite of name!)

http://www.aj6.org/jpbo/106/page5.html

http://www.chiefrabbi.org/speeches/holmem.html

http://www.artscroll.com/Chapters/sunh-002.html

http://www.bepress.com/til/default/vol1/iss2/art4/

http://www.spectacle.org/695/mcvay.html

http://www.ushmm.org/research/library/faq/wiesel.htm

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Roberto
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Post by Roberto » 01 Oct 2002 09:39

Erik wrote:The German revisionist Germar Rudolf is offended by the allegation of the Holocaust Genocide to the Germans. His “humanity” is perhaps offended by the allegation. That is why he fights it?


Rudolf is not a revisionist, first of all.

He is one of those lying propagandists who inappropriately call themselves “Revisionists”.

The former is what all historians are insofar as they uncover previously unknown evidence or come up with alternative interpretations of existing evidence. It is part of the historical method, nothing that historians make a big deal of.

The latter are adherents of pre-conceived notions who by all means at their disposal try to twist the facts so as to fit these notions, distorting, misrepresenting, dismissing or denying existing evidence as they see fit.

Rudolf was linked to the extreme right even before he became a Holocaust denier.

What was offended by the evidence to one of the largest mass murder programs in history (what the philosopher, a true believer himself, calls an “allegation”) is thus most likely to have been his faith in the virtues of the National Socialist regime, a system he saw as a model and to which he looked up.

Like others of his ilk, he saw that the damning evidence of the Holocaust stood in the way of the advancement of authoritarian and xenophobic ideas he adhered to. Maybe he also feared that his pension might one day be eaten up by lowly immigrants “following the buck”, like the philosopher does.

Hence he decided to do something about it: build a wall of pseudo-scientific nonsense around his articles of faith to shelter them from the onslaught of inconvenient evidence.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the following statement of one of his elder colleagues was also subscribed by Rudolf:
Keep the Faith fellow revisionists. The Nazis and the SS were the good guys--but the anti-Nazis and the anti-revisionists dare not admit it for fear of losing their fabulous, ill gotten gains from the war.
“Hoaxbuster” Friedrich Paul Berg on the Codoh discussion forum.
http://www.codoh.org/dcforum/DCForumID9/143.html#10

It is unfortunate that some governments, who see in hate speech a threat to public order and ethnic minorities, react to such nonsense with criminal prosecution, which is incompatible with the basic civil right to free speech and gives the propagandists a pretext to whine about being “persecuted” or “silenced”.

That doesn’t make the nonsense these people produce any less nonsensical, however.
Richard J. Green wrote:It is much easier to tell a lie than to expose one. Perhaps, that is one of the unspoken reasons that motivates people to advocate censoring hate-speech. Whereas I am opposed to censorship and hate speech laws, I am not embarrassed to call Holocaust-denial hate speech. That is what it is. People who are smart enough to obfuscate using pseudoscientific arguments are also smart enough to know what they are doing: propagating a lie. Although some people may be attracted to Holocaust denial because of gullibility and/or mental illness, these people are not the same people who write these clever but mendacious pseudoscientific reports. The people who write these reports are motivated by a desire to rehabilitate Nazism, an ideology of hate. Hate-speech is what it is, and in calling it that I am merely exercising my right of free speech.
Source of quote:

The Chemistry of Auschwitz
by Richard J. Green

http://www.holocaust-history.org/auschwitz/chemistry/

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Scott Smith
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Post by Scott Smith » 01 Oct 2002 18:29

Roberto wrote:
Erik wrote:The German revisionist Germar Rudolf is offended by the allegation of the Holocaust Genocide to the Germans. His “humanity” is perhaps offended by the allegation. That is why he fights it?
Rudolf is not a revisionist, first of all.

He is one of those lying propagandists who inappropriately call themselves “Revisionists”.
And Roberto knows so very much about him and his work.
The former is what all historians are insofar as they uncover previously unknown evidence or come up with alternative interpretations of existing evidence. It is part of the historical method, nothing that historians make a big deal of.
Yes, it is okay to be a historical revisionist as long as one does not ask the wrong questions. Rudolf started using his scientific training to examine questions about the orthodox Holocaust story. Germans can't do that.
:)

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Roberto
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Post by Roberto » 01 Oct 2002 18:51

Scott Smith wrote:
Roberto wrote:
Erik wrote:The German revisionist Germar Rudolf is offended by the allegation of the Holocaust Genocide to the Germans. His “humanity” is perhaps offended by the allegation. That is why he fights it?
Rudolf is not a revisionist, first of all.

He is one of those lying propagandists who inappropriately call themselves “Revisionists”.
Scott Smith wrote:And Roberto knows so very much about him and his work.
Knowledge of what the fellow's fans (or shall I say "disciples"?) like to dish up from time to time is more than enough to form an opinion.

And then there's also Dr. Green's thorough de-construction of Rudolf's nonsense.

But I'm aware that these faithful creatures not only read everything Mr. Rudolf writes but also blindly believe in it.
Roberto wrote:The former is what all historians are insofar as they uncover previously unknown evidence or come up with alternative interpretations of existing evidence. It is part of the historical method, nothing that historians make a big deal of.
Scott Smith wrote:Yes, it is okay to be a historical revisionist as long as one does not ask the wrong questions.
There are no wrong questions.

The only thing wrong is propagandistic lies supporting a hate speech agenda, pseudo-scientific or not.
Scott Smith wrote:Rudolf started using his scientific training to examine questions about the orthodox Holocaust story.
I'd say he used it to create pseudo-scientific herrings that it sometimes takes scientific training like his own to discover and refute accordingly.

As to the "orthodox Holocaust story", I presume that Smith is referring to the historical record that is supported by conclusive evidence, as opposed to the "unorthodox" baloney that his gurus produce (and that the professed "skeptic" piously and uncritically believes in).
Scott Smith wrote:Germans can't do that.
They should be allowed to produce as much crap as they like, in my opinion.

But the fact that German legislation minds this doesn't make their nonsense any less nonsensical.

Instead of lashing out in defence of his hero, why doesn't Smith try to explain to the poor man that what he frantically tries to deny was perfectly legal insofar as it constituted an execution of his beloved Führer's orders?

And how about answering David Thompson's questions, so that we may have something to laugh about?

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Post by Scott Smith » 01 Oct 2002 19:19

Roberto wrote:And how about answering David Thompson's questions, so that we may have something to laugh about?
I haven't forgotten about it and enjoy answering serious questions, or at least explaining my views. But some of us actually have some serious work to do besides posting on message forums, and I certainly spend more than my share of time with it. In any case, I can't guarantee that I will have all the answers, something that not everyone on this forum can boast about.
:mrgreen:

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Roberto
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Post by Roberto » 01 Oct 2002 19:29

Scott Smith wrote:
Roberto wrote:And how about answering David Thompson's questions, so that we may have something to laugh about?
Scott Smith wrote:I haven't forgotten about it and enjoy answering serious questions,
I haven't seen much of that.

Or is it that the questions you're not able to address are not "serious" enough for your taste?

How convenient ...
Scott Smith wrote:or at least explaining my views.
To those few who still feel in need of an explanation about what goes on inside Smith's mind, that is.
Scott Smith wrote:But some of us actually have some serious work to do besides posting on message forums,
I'm one of them. It's just that I have this ability to walk and chew gum at the same time.
Scott Smith wrote:In any case, I can't guarantee that I will have all the answers, something that not everyone on this forum can boast about.
Don't be so modest, Smith. Someone who knows what happened and what did not regardless of the evidence can be expected to have eaten wisdom by the spoonful.

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Post by Scott Smith » 01 Oct 2002 19:50

What's the point behind your post, Roberto?
:?

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Roberto
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Post by Roberto » 01 Oct 2002 19:53

Scott Smith wrote:What's the point behind your post, Roberto?
Commenting Smith's beaten rhetorical nonsense, as usual.

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Post by Scott Smith » 01 Oct 2002 19:57

Roberto wrote:
Scott Smith wrote:What's the point behind your post, Roberto?
Commenting Smith's beaten rhetorical nonsense, as usual.
So, just an attack, not an argument of substance. Very instructive, my Dear Roberto.
:)

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Roberto
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Post by Roberto » 01 Oct 2002 19:59

Scott Smith wrote:
Roberto wrote:
Scott Smith wrote:What's the point behind your post, Roberto?
Commenting Smith's beaten rhetorical nonsense, as usual.
Scott Smith wrote:So, just an attack, not an argument of substance.
No, the comments are pertinent.

Which can rarely if ever be said of what Smith produces.

At least when his articles of faith are at stake.

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Post by witness » 03 Oct 2002 09:56

Erik wrote: We are supposed to know& what happened from decoded documents and witnesses that survived something that according to the black hole metaphor was meant to devour all information.
Are you implying that we can as well give up any attempts to know by definition ,because of this comparison of the Holocaust with the black hole.?
But then metaphor is only that -mataphor even if a valuable one because of its usefulness in descriptions...Not the real fabric of reality itself.
I was trying to say that the efforts to make sense of a concept like the Final Solution are referred to a black hole
The Holocaust happened,,It was planned for some reason.It might seem as totally irrational product of somebody's warped minds but it was rational for its planners.I assume that the Holocaust was the necessary cohesive factor cementing the Nazi ideology by giving them the eternal enemy in the image of the Jewish nation.Giving them material to sacrifice for the sake of the Nazi unity.

You forget the gas chambers. All you write is true, but not unique to the Jews of this epoch. It becomes unique if you add that they were destinated for the gas chambers of the death camps and Auschwitz, that they were singled out from other nations and groups just for this.
I m not sure what difference it makes if the Jews were killed in the gas chambers or by the firing squads into pits ?
I think the uniqueness of the Holocaust in the targeting of the whole nation for the murder purpose only.
This is what distinguishes Holocaust from any "Colonialist'' actions in history.Colonialists are corncened with profit.The extermination of the whole nation is not profitable in the classical sense of the word.
The Nazi policy towards Slavs was definetely "Colonialist" cause Nasiz
aspired to enslave them and expand their living space on the Slavs expence.
Jews were not designated for profit -they were designated for sacrifice.
This nation& had failed to break up& during the course of history, because the Jews have the uniqueness of having been selected during all of their existence selected by God, according to their history writing, selected by Paulus(?) as non-heathens, subsequently accepted by Christian and Muslim nations as something else than pagans and heathens, their ghettos accepted as economic zones in medieval and modern Europe.
Interesting..I am not sure I really understand what you mean by "break up'' ?
The Jewish intelligentia was by pure instinct of self preservation if nothing else an enemy to any reaction to the ideals of the Enlightenment. The romantic idea of Blut und Boden-nationalism and so on was unlikely to appeal to a people that had been denied citizenship and the right to landownership in most countries. So they were bound to be selected by the Nazis as the natural enemy to their ideas.

The "modernizing" ideology no 1 of the 20th Century was Communism. It spelled out the End of History and all its miseries, and to all nations of the world. It appealed to the traditional this-wordliness of the Jewish religion and to Christian ideals of righteousness too in fact it can be derived from the sources of its prophesies. (The principles of hope?).

Fascism was the reaction& to Communism. Its German branch, at least, was antisemitic. It was anti-christian too, but that had to wait till after the war. The traditional antisemitism(religious, not racist) of the Churches could be mobilized against Communism, and was too valuable to be alienated by racial paganism (Aryan religion) at the initial stage.

When the Germans occupied Europe the Jews were singled out from other nations and groups just because of the fact of their existance, as you say. But this singling out& was facilitated by out-singlings that had occurred long before and throughout history. This made ethnical cleansing& easier for the Germans, and they could count on the support of local antisemites to round up the Jews for transportations.
Absolutely agree with you here.Difficult to say better..
If the Germans needed slaves for slave labor in their planned Eastern colonies, the Jews were the obvious victims.
I think Slavs were designated for this role. Jews for killings..( I repeat myself :) )
I suspect that psychology doesnt care. It can figure out the motivations for such phenomena& they bloody well like
Psychology is the very useful tool for understanding human motivations.
It can be manipulated as every other science.Does it mean we should give up all kinds of scientific analyses ?
Thank you for the very interesting links.

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Post by Scott Smith » 05 Oct 2002 08:03

David Thompson wrote:Scott -- Thank you for your thoughtful and lucid reply. The reasoning added depth to, what for me, seemed like some pretty outrageous statements. FYI, I'm not involved in the "revisionist-traditionalist" arguments about WWII history. Many years ago I decided to read as much primary source material as I could find, and then form my own opinions on the subject without having them formed for me by others.

A recent post from Dan complained about my "long posts based on not well thought out premises." It is easy to keep a post short if you simply present a conclusion with neither supporting arguments nor evidence to back up what you say. I appreciate your having taken the time, in your post to me, to make your points clearly, and to provide the underlying reasoning. I'll try to make this post shorter by posing a few short questions on a single subject, so please excuse me in advance.
Sorry about taking so long to get back to this, David. I am neither an expert on the Hitler Order nor do I really care all that much about it. Nevertheless, I do have some opinions.
On the existence of a murder order:

(1) What do you think of the statements from Ohlendorf, Eichmann, Hoess, Bradfisch, Streckenbach, and Jeckeln that Himmler and/or Heydrich told them that the Fuehrer had decided to solve the Jewish Question by physical extermination? (I'll leave Wolff and Kersten out of it for now.)
I'm not familiar with the latter three. Ohlendorf and Höß were captives of the Nuremberg trials which were of a highly-political nature. I would not say that anything they said constitutes an independent convergence-of-evidence anymore than witnesses testifying about the Devil having horns so many times in medieval trials constitutes consilience. There were many complex psychological and polemical aspects about the trials to blanketly say that in the mouths of two or more witnesses there is truth, IMHO.

Furthermore, Eichmann was speaking decades later in another highly-political trial. By then an orthodoxy had clearly emerged, with him as a central character. Höß had made him a villain and Eichmann was going to set the record straight within the parameters of that orthodoxy. Eichmann-the-witness knows as much about what happened as he knew then and learned in the newspapers and from Höß. That is not "independent convergence" either, IMHO.

It is hard to say exactly from whence the evidence stream flowed and what can be untangled from what everyone really knows and what one thinks they know.

Far more convincing arguments can be gleaned from studying documents that have not changed or developed since the day they were written or discovered. Here again, however, there are problems because most of the documents were gleaned by the Nuremberg prosecution team to present their version of the passing of the events. And even without any forgery or destruction of evidence, this selection unbalances the picture for the historian, who must look very deep indeed.

But to say that the lack of expected documentation therefore means that something must have been "verbal" is a cop-out, IMHO. Too many premises are left assumed, the heretic says. And as Erik notes, why did Hitler care whether historians got ahold of his orders? He had made plenty of bellicose statements, which we are not allowed to dismiss as mere rhetoric. Wasn't his word by definition the law?
(2) Do you think the conversations those folks recounted actually happened? If not, why would they all have the same story?
The events may have happened or they may have been embellished, or the story told as to what they thought was the truth as collectively assembled after the fact--in captivity, I might add.
:roll:
(3) Whether or not Hitler gave the order to Himmler and Heydrich, do you think that there was a murder order as described by Ohlendorf, Eichmann, Hoess, Bradfisch, Streckenbach, and Jeckeln? If not, why do you think they'd say such a thing?
No, I don't think there was a Führerbefehl unless there was one and it was somehow transmitted by telepathy--or what Goldhagen might call a "common mentality of eliminationist German anti-Semitism" that predated Hitler--and therefore it all just worked out that way. Or we may simply have a pattern of atrocities within the context of a very brutal world war, and millions of victims to go around--no Hitler Order at all.

In any case, I'm sure that the Nazi minions wanted to please their captors; furthermore, saying that their actions were only a Hitlerbefehl passes the buck pretty well. When one tries to nail-down the precise chain-of-command it soon becomes vague and verbal. Oh, Himmler said that Hitler said so, and he was the Führer. Orders are Orders, Sir. Pure hearsay.
:roll:
(4) If Hitler never gave such an order, do you think he knew that large numbers of Jewish civilians were being singled out, collected and killed by the SS? (per your statement, "Nor do I buy the argument that it was 'whisper only.'") Do you think Hitler ratified these acts by acquiescing in them?
To the extent that atrocities happened (a skeptic cannot deny what he does not definitely know not to be fact) then, YES, of course, I think that Hitler acquiesced in them, even if only passively. He was fighting a vicious war and he was going to see that the enemy-alien suffered greatly, as he knew that Germans would suffer greatly. Any disinterest in what was going on is not a testament to the wisdom of his leadership by any means.

Functionaries like Himmler were especially useful because they did not bother Hitler with icky details and endless problems, and this let Hitler concentrate on the war itself. It does not speak well of either Hitler or Himmler. With Hitler, I do not hold the "Little Father" myth of the proverbial Russian peasant, where the godlike Tsar WOULD fix all the Evils that his officials do IF-ONLY he knew the truth.
8O
(5) If Hitler did not authorize these killings, do you think that Himmler and Heydrich had legal authority under German law to do it?
If Hitler did not authorize these measures then I think they went far beyond the normal authority of the people making the decisions, and therefore they were not lawful. However, Hitler should have known, and if he didn't it reflects upon his leadership as much as his subordinates.
(6) If Hitler did authorize these killings, do you think he deliberately avoided giving written orders? Why?
It is not logical to me that he would do this. But that is the paradox that must be worked out by the believers in the Hitler Order.

If we want to find out if Santa Claus is real we look at the evidence supporting this view, not that we want him to bring us presents; if we can't find any evidence supporting Santa, then we reject the Santa Claus paradigm and find a theory that does explain the evidence. The lack of a Hitler Order is a problem for the standard story--so do we just suspend disbelief because we still want our presents on Christmas morning? In other words, we need the standard story to be real; therefore, since we have no written Hitler Order, it must have been a verbal (or a telepathic) order.
(7) If you believe such a murder order was lawful within greater Germany, what is your opinion about its legality when applied to foreign nationals outside Germany?
If it was Hitler's order and Hitler was an absolute Head-of-State, then it wouldn't matter if it was applied to Germans or non-Germans in German civil or military jurisdiction; it was lawful. Period.

That does not mean that foreign sovereignties have to tolerate the laws and actions of another sovereign state (internally or externally) however, because that is what wars are for, "a continuation of policy by other means" as Clausewitz put it.

If I am the Führer I can declare war on Singapore for not allowing their people to throw used chewing-gum onto their sidewalks if I want. Or, I can invade Iraq and not even bother to declare war and proceed to take their oil as "reparations."

In democracies it is especially necessary to justify State-actions publicly; this usually involves more emotion than rational arguments. If Saddam is eating babies it will be a better argument than if I just want to control his oil. Or, if American teenagers are being caned in Singapore then I will call it a "human rights" issue, but really because protecting citizens from all enemies, foreign or domestic, is the supernumerary obligation of a sovereign power, according to Hobbes.

I'm not arguing that sovereignties SHOULD do anything they want, especially if it is wrong. But it is not illegal. And giving an issue the high-and-mighty cloak of atrocity-propaganda is particularly disturbing for democratic processes, AFAIC. How can the people truly have self-rule if they do not have unfettered access to the truth to make the decisions?
I don't want you to think I'm trying to dodge your other points. I'm interested in discussing them as well. This is just a first effort. More later.
No problem. This is just a discussion forum not a contest. I am not always right and neither is anyone else.

Best Regards,
Scott

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