The dead tree media and the rest of the vanilla left used to support Israel – before they cleaned their enemy’s clocks in 1967 and 1973. That made it difficult to strike pious poses as Israel’s “saviors.” After all, the Jews could defend themselves. Ergo, they switched sides to the Palestinians, who made much better “victims.” If your whole ideology is about ostentatious displays of superior righteousness, that’s all that matters. There’s no more intellectual depth to their hatred of Israel than that. Once the “victim” was identified, rational analysis of the conflict became superfluous. All that remained was to rationalize a forgone conclusion, and indulge in the usual orgy of self-righteousness.
I’ve written about the Amity/Enmity Complex in earlier posts. The term describes the dual nature of the innate human behavioral traits generally associated with morality. Simply put, it describes our tendency to associate other human beings with “in-groups,” which are associated with good, and “out-groups,” which are associated with evil. The moral rules one is expected to observe in interactions with members of ones in-group are generally those we associate with moral good. Completely different rules apply to the out-group, whose members are generally viewed with hostility and can be treated accordingly. Occasionally this takes such extreme forms as mass murder and genocide, as, for example, in the case of the Jews during the Holocaust, or the “bourgeoisie” under Communism. In America, the phenomenon commonly manifests itself as irrational hatred of those with opposing political beliefs, as the “liberals,” or the “tea-baggers.”
For those still having trouble seeing the obvious, the “enmity” side of the Complex is once again on display in Kyrgyzstan, where, at last report, 75,000 members of the Uzbek minority were fleeing their homes, and scores were killed and hundreds injured. It is another data point to add to the many thousands of others that have occurred throughout recorded human history. One would think it had happened enough by now to convince even the most obtuse among us that human morality is a dangerous nostrum to apply in dealing with the relations between nation states, ethnic groups, political parties, and the other types of social groups of unprecedented size that have emerged very recently in human history.
Morality is, inevitably, a two edged sword. For every “good” defended, an “evil” must be identified and defeated. The identification of those who are “evil” is typically arbitrary, and can quickly change to include those who were previously seen as “good.” Consider, for example, the Jews in Israel, who were the darlings of the left, and “good” at the time the movie “Exodus” was made, but have now become “evil” for those of the same political persuasion because they are no longer well suited to play the role of “victims” to be “saved.” Similarly, those who were only considered different a few years ago can quickly be perceived as the evil enemy in response to any number of stimuli in the form of social or political change, heightened competition for resources, ideological and religious propaganda, etc., and, literally overnight, become the victims of bloody witchhunts.
This sort of thing has been going on for a very long time, and is becoming increasingly murderous and destructive. Is it not high time for us to finally learn to know ourselves and climb off the treadmill?
The Lid has the goods on them: In a photo released by Reuters, an Israeli commando is shown lying on the deck of the “aid” ship, surrounded by activists. The uncut photo released by the Turkish group that staged the propaganda stunt shows the hand of an unidentified activist holding a knife. In the Reuters photo, the hand is visible but the knife has been cropped out. Reuters is “shocked, shocked”
that it was caught in the act that its “layers of editors and fact checkers” didn’t catch the mistake.
At 95 years and counting, Turkey cries “murder” over a propaganda stunt, but continues to deny responsibility for the genocidal murder of 1.5 million Armenians in World War I. Those murders are amply documented, for example, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
According to the Turkish regime, this is murder:
This is not murder:
If you’re interested in the dead tree media’s narrative of the day, just check The Washington Post’s designated propaganda column on the upper right of the front page. You’ll usually find all the talking points that are fit to print. The headline of today’s column sums it up in five words; “Nations decry blockade of Gaza.”
The article might have been written by a Hamas press agent. The byline; White House Urges Change. Right, we all know how that “change” thing works. In this case, “change” means the unchecked flow of rockets and other war material into Gaza from the sea, to supplement the more limited supply coming through tunnels from Egypt. The first sentence reads,
Israel’s botched and deadly commando raid on an aid flotilla has set off widespread international criticism of the Gaza blockade, with popular opinion in many countries swinging heavily against Israel and even the United States urging its ally to find new ways to allow aid shipments to reach the Palestinians.
The Post doesn’t further describe the magical and instantaneous polling process that allowed it to discover that “popular opinion in many countries” was “swinging heavily against Israel” a mere one day after the incident. There is no mention of the responsibility of Hamas and its dupes in the “peace movement” for deliberately provoking a violent incident that cost the lives of nine people. It is all the fault of Israel and its “botched and deadly commando raid.” No mention is made of the fact that the promoters of this propaganda stunt made no attempt whatsoever to negotiate with Israel on the delivery of aid, and that Hamas is refusing it in spite of Israel’s agreement to let it pass through the checkpoints. It’s all Israel’s fault. It must “find new ways” to get the aid through in spite of the demonstrated intransigence of its enemies.
Reading on we find that the raid “has endangered the push for sanctions against Iran and peace efforts in the Middle East,” as if such sanctions weren’t an effort in futility that will have zero effect on the government of Iran whether “the push” succeeds or not, and as if the “peace efforts in the Middle East” were not pabulum for idiots who can never seem to grasp the fact that there would be peace in the Middle East tomorrow if Israel’s enemies conceded her right to exist, and that any “peace process” that doesn’t insist on that right is nothing but a charade.
We learn that the raid “tarnished Israeli relations with onetime allies, especially Turkey,” as if the Erdogan regime hadn’t been leading Turkey away from secular democracy towards an Islamic theocracy for years. There’s the usual, mealy-mouthed he said, she said,
Israeli officials say the demonstrators attacked the commandos with axes and metal rods, while flotilla organizers say the troops used excessive force on unarmed civilians.
No matter that video footage of the incident clearly shows these “unarmed civilians” swarming the Israeli boarders and beating them with iron bars and clubs. As usual, Israelis aren’t allowed to act in self defense, no matter that six of her soldiers were hurt, including two with life-threatening injuries.
We get the usual imbecilities about the “legality” of the Israeli blockade, as if international law were not perfectly clear on the point:
Central to the criticism of Israel were questions about the legality of its actions. The raid took place on a ship that was apparently unarmed, in international waters. But Allen Weiner, a former State Department lawyer and legal counsel at the U.S. Embassy at The Hague, said Israel was technically operating legally.
Israel wasn’t “technically operating legally.” It was operating legally, period. The last time I looked, the international law relating to sea blockades had changed very little over the last 150 years, and it unequivocally supports Israel’s right to blockade Gaza.
It goes without saying that WaPo “doesn’t notice” the strong support for Israel in venues such as the blogosphere, talk radio, and Foxnews. That would only confuse her readers, who are expected to believe that “peace activists” with big mouths have a monopoly on deciding “world opinion.”
In a word, the narrative hasn’t changed. Regardless of the facts, it’s always Israel’s fault, her enemies share none of the blame, she has no right to defend herself, the fact that hundreds of rocket attacks were launched against her from Gaza doesn’t matter, nor does the fact that her enemies have the power to bring peace to the region immediately, simply by accepting Israel’s right to exist. Many inside and outside Israel have been pointing out that her leaders should have known the purpose of the flotilla was not to deliver aid, but to provoke an incident that could be exploited for propaganda, and reacted accordingly. True, but that’s not really the story here. The story is the willingness of the western media to serve as uncritical propaganda mouthpieces for people who have launched thousands of attacks deliberately intended to murder civilians. The story is that media’s studied indifference to those crimes as long as their intended victims are Jews.
Israel has a right to exist. Unless she prevails, her people face another Diaspora in an increasingly hostile world at best. If the “peace activists” have their way, it is more likely that they will face another Holocaust. I and many other gentiles may not count in the Post’s assessment of “world opinion,” but we wish her well, for all that. May her people never lose their nerve or their courage.
There has, of course, always been an undercurrent of anti-Americanism in European society. Our rapid expansion across the continent and rise as a potential competitor, our form of government, our heterogeneous mixture of races and ethnic groups, and religious idiosyncrasies, our geographic distance, and many other factors have acted to reinforce the sense that Americans were “others.” Our brains are hard-wired to have a dual system of morality, which I have elsewhere referred to as the Amity/Enmity Complex. We reserve “good” moral behavior for those in our “in-group.” The “other,” however, is perceived as evil, unclean, and contemptible. Ask the European Jews who survived World War II how that works. The collapse of the Soviet Union reinforced the sense of our power and significance. Instead of just one among several others, for many Europeans we became “The Other.” Predictably, human nature took its course, and hatred of Americans reached new extremes.
As I happen to speak German, I was able to watch the phenomenon as it developed in that country firsthand. It became impossible to overlook when the German mass media, with Spiegel magazine in the forefront, began to discover just how lucrative it could be to feed the growing undercurrents of anti-American hate. The rest of the media soon caught on. Towards the end of the Clinton administration, the German media started becoming choked with expressions of rage, hatred, and denunciations for any number of trumped up claims of US “immorality.” Spiegel’s editors became positively obsessed with the game, to the point that it became difficult to find any news about Germany on their website mixed in with the daily dose of intemperate railing against the USA. This quasi-racist Amerika bashing went on well into the Bush administration, until a growing number of decent Germans, and the few Americans who were paying any attention, started pushing back. David of Davids Medienkritik was prominent among them, and one can find some of the more egregious and vicious attacks documented on his website.
Gradually, the word spread, and more Americans began to notice, including influential players in our own mass media. It became increasingly obvious to the “respectable” elements in the German media that, if they kept it up, they would soon enjoy reputations similar to that held by Julius Streicher and “Der Stürmer” during the Third Reich. This, of course would not do. It might seriously jeopardize their chances of raking in any future international prizes for “objective journalism.” They began moderating their tone, until today one only sees the occasional chunk of red meat still tossed out to the legions of Amerika haters.
Of course, this remarkable change in tone makes it quite obvious that the editors of Spiegel and the rest were quite conscious of the game they were playing all along. If not from that, one could detect it in the day and night difference between the occasional English articles on their site and the German stuff intended for domestic consumption. While the unabashed hatemongering was still going on unabated, however, they were quite disingenuous about it. One of their favorite phrases was “objective criticism.” Any slanted, half-baked attack on the US was fobbed off as “objective criticism.” I don’t doubt that many Germans still rationalize their hate as “objective criticism.” To them, I can only recommend that they take a look at the real thing. They need look no further than Niall Fergusons, “The War of the World.”
The book is anything but a pro-US panegyric. On the contrary, we come in for some harsh criticism touching such matters as our pervasive habit of shooting enemy prisoners of war, our bombing of civilians in World War II, our less than generous response to the European persecution of Jews and other minorities before the war, and any number of other real or perceived shortcomings. There’s more than enough to make the more thin-skinned of my countrymen squirm as they read it. To read it, however, is to learn the difference between the “objective criticism” of the hate mongers and the search for truth of a conscientious historian.
Balance is always one of the best tip offs. Ferguson is well aware of the opposing arguments on either side of the issues he discusses, and has a deep grasp of the relevant history. No one can be perfectly objective. Our world view is bound to mediate the way we perceive historical facts to a greater or lesser extent. However, Ferguson doesn’t ignore half of the facts because they conflict with a preferred narrative. History plays a much different role in the “objective criticism” of the Amerika haters. For them, it is just a sewer one wades through to pick up choice tidbits that fit the narrative. To them, its end is to villify. Facts that conflict with that end are ignored. As a result, the hater’s grasp of history is necessarily shallow. Challenge one of their choice tidbits, and it’s obvious. They never waste much time trying to defend the indefensible. They just hop ahead to the next tidbit. Read the book and you’ll see the difference.
There is another good reason for reading “The War of the World.” In the process of demonstrating the difference between a serious history and propaganda, Ferguson has created a virtual case study of the Amity/Enmity Complex in action. Of course, the manifestations of anti-American hate referred to earlier are an excellent example of a recent manifestation of this destructive aspect of human nature. “The War of the World” chronicles many more, although Ferguson himself hasn’t grasped the connection. The book cites instance after instance of slaughter and destruction inflicted on the “other” in recent history. The Jews are, of course, the quintessential “other” of our time, and Ferguson reveals the incredible and unforgivable misery they have suffered from the irrational hatred of their neighbors, not only in Germany, but in pogroms and murders that were every bit as vicious in Russia, Poland, Ukraine, and a host of other countries. Read the litany of horror, and it may begin to dawn on you why the existence of Israel is necessary.
The Jews had plenty of company in the 20th century. Ferguson tells us of the Armenian genocide, the rape of Nanking, the slaughter of Serbs by Croats and of Moslems by Serbs, and countless other manifestations of the Complex. Read his book. Then read what Robert Ardrey, Arthur Keith, and many others have been trying to tell us since the time of Darwin about the dual system of human morality, and think about it. Unless you’re blind. You’ll see they were right. One day, perhaps in the not too distant future, they’ll be proved right. Wait and see.
In the ancient times before the blogosphere, when even Internet forums were still a novelty, and blogs nonexistent, one occasionally ran across mainstream media types who would hilariously claim, with a perfectly straight face, that their news reporting was “objective.” Nowadays such specimens have become a great rarity, seldom encountered outside of circus side shows. Even the lowliest of trolls are now well aware of the existence of what is referred to as the “narrative.” The narrative requires that reality be “adjusted” to conform to a particular ideological point of view. These adjustments are seldom applied in the form of blatant lies. In these days of instant Internet fact checking, it has simply become too risky. Rather, one only reports stories that conform to the narrative, perhaps after trimming them of certain “irrelevant details” and adding some “interpretation” by “experts” to make sure readers don’t miss the point. In other words, the story is massaged until, as the Germans put it, “Es passt in den Kram” (It fits in with the rest of the crap).
Sometimes events of such a shocking nature occur that even the most carefully crafted narratives must be adjusted to account for them. One such event was, of course, the demise of Communism. As one might expect, it left the narrative of the “progressive left” in a shambles. A new, somewhat ramshackle version had to be cobbled together, from such ideological flotsam and jetsam as bobbed to the surface after the Soviet Titanic slid beneath the waves, combined with some interesting new twists. One of the more amusing of these is the left’s increasingly steamy love affair with the more extreme Islamists. It seems odd on the face of it that ideologues who once posed as champions of women’s liberation and gay rights, and vehemently denounced the agenda of the Christian right, are now found in such a warm embrace with misogynistic, homophobe religious fanatics. However, Homo sapiens has never really been a rational animal. We are simply better than the other animals at using reason to satisfy our emotional needs. When it comes to emotional needs, there are those among us whose tastes run to “saving” the rest of us and making us all “happy” by stuffing the messianic world view du jour down our collective throats. These are the familiar types who love to strike heroic poses on the “moral high ground.” Marxism scratched their emotional itch admirably for many years, but has lately fallen out of fashion. When it did, it left something of a psychological vacuum in its wake. Mercifully, no brand new surefire prescription for saving humanity was waiting in the wings to take its place. Instead, radical Islamism has rushed in to fill the vacuum. When it comes to messianic world views, it is, for the time being at least, the only game in town. Incongruous successor to Marxism that it is, it still scratches that itch. The “progressive left” jumped on board. It should really come as no surprise. After all, back in the day, they managed to convince themselves that they were “saving the world” by collaborating in the mass murders of Pol Pot and Ho chi Minh, not to mention Stalin.
Artifacts of this Islamist – leftist love affair are not hard to find. When it comes to the European news media, for example, it takes the form of anti-Semitism Lite, often euphemistically referred to as “anti-Zionism.” It manifests itself in the form of obsessive, one-sided bashing of Israel for the slightest real or imagined infractions of the left’s version of “morality,” combined with a the turning of a blind eye to the far more egregious misdeeds of her enemies. For example, deliberate attempts by the Islamists to murder Israeli civilians with barrages of rockets are reported with as much emotional detachment as the next day’s weather, but grossly exaggerated accounts of atrocities in Gaza and “blood libel” fables about the harvesting of organs from Palestinian victims become the stuff of persistent propaganda campaigns without the slightest shred of proof.
The process is nicely illustrated by the manner in which the news about the recent assassination of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai has been reported in Europe. There, as in the US, the “progressive left” tends to be over-represented in the legacy media. It is overwhelmingly the case in Germany, where no equivalent of our talk radio or influential bloggers exists to restore a semblance of balance. Consider, for example, the coverage in Der Spiegel, Germany’s leading news magazine. A story about the assassination that appeared last week began with the ominous headline, “How Israel Covered Mossad’s Trail.” The opening blurb reads, “The Israeli secret service will neither ‘confirm nor deny’ its involvement in the murder of Hamas weapons dealer Mabhouh. However, the Dubai assassin who went by the cover name Michael Bodenheimer left a trail behind him: In Cologne and in Israeli Herzliya.” The rest of the article is a collection of circumstantial evidence combined with suggestions that the crime had all the earmarks of a Mossad hit.
The “news” here is hardly that Mossad wasn’t involved in the hit. It’s the disconnect between the way Spiegel reported on this story, which happened to fit its anti-Israel narrative, and the way it reports on similar stories that don’t. Take for example, the involvement of Al Qaeda in 911. This was a story that most decidedly did not fit Spiegel’s pro-Islamist narrative at the time. It also came at an inconvenient time, as Spiegel was in the forefront of a quasi-racist German jihad against the United States that reached levels of obsessive viciousness at about the time of 911 that would scarcely be credible to Americans who can’t read German. Nevertheless, all the same circumstantial evidence was there, complete with a trail leading back to Germany. In this case, however, instead of accepting the obvious, Spiegel’s editors dug in their heels, and tried to create an alternate version of reality. They began what I referred to at the time as the “Spielchen mit den Beweisen,” or “cute little game with the proofs,” coming up with ever more contrived reasons to dismiss the increasing mountain of evidence pointing to Al Qaeda’s guilt. Even when bin Laden appeared on tape, practically jumping up and down and screaming, “We did it! We did it!” the editors refused to throw in the towel. They were nothing if not stubborn. Reality was what they said it was, and the rest of the world be damned! They pointed out that (aha, oho), the translators of the videotape had been in the employ of the evil Americans. They produced their own “translators” from the enormous pool of experts they have constantly at their beck and call, ready to “prove” the most absurd concoctions. These came up with a “corrected” translation on demand which (surprise, surprise) exonerated bin Laden. Only after a chorus of native Arab speakers in countries that could hardly be portrayed as “friends” of the United States pointed out that Spiegel’s “translators” were sucking canal water, did the editors finally give over, muttering dark comments about the “exegesis of videotapes.”
In a word, then, as far as ideologues are concerned, be they on the left or the right of the political spectrum, the “real world” is what fits the narrative. When it comes to dishing out blame, let him beware whom the ideological shoe fits.
UPDATE: It’s odd that Spiegel didn’t pick up on this. Looks like prime material for another “Spielchen mit den Beweisen” to me.
In earlier posts, I have noted the remarkable paradigm shift that has recently occurred in acceptance of the fact that human behavior, including moral behavior, is highly dependent on predispositions that are hard-wired in the brain. It did not come easy. The concept of innate behavioral traits flew in the face of a good many cherished ideological myths, not the least of which was the myth of Marxism. We have made great progress, but we have not reached our journey’s end.
Not all the myths are dead. Legions of psychologists, anthropologists, sociologists, theologians, philosophers, and other “experts” of every stripe are still fighting a delaying action. They will continue to insist until the bitter end, or, to put it more concretely, until the facts finally drag them back to reality, that, while some aspects of human behavior may be innate, we are only wired to be “good” and “moral.” Once upon a time they told us that, because the “gentle” chimpanzee was our closest relative in the animal kingdom, then, obviously, our nature was to be “gentle” and “unaggressive” as well. When it turned out that, after all, the chimpanzee is not as “gentle” and “unaggressive” as first imagined, and, in fact, displays some character traits that are distinctly politically incorrect, the hapless beast was tossed overboard in favor of today’s favorite, the lately fashionable bonobo. The bonobo, we are told, is a paragon of cooperative behavior, with sexual habits that are in perfect harmony with the most advanced views on the topic. In a word, we have made progress, but only partial progress. Instead of being fully buried, our heads are now only half buried in the sand.
All this gushing over bonobos ignores some hard facts. Among them is the Amity/Enmity Complex. As I noted in an earlier post, Robert Ardrey once described the Complex as
…the resolution of a paradox posed by Darwin, solved by Wallace, explored by Spencer and Sumner, revived and extended by Keith, and for the last twenty years cast aside under the pretense it does not exist. The paradox may be simply stated: If the evolutionary process is a merciless struggle among individuals to survive, with natural selection determining the fittest, then how could such human qualities as altruism, loyalty, charity, and mercy have ever come into existence? If Darwinian evolution presents a picture of dog eat dog, then how did dogs ever get together?
…What seems to have occurred to no one, excepting possibly (Arthur) Keith, is that the animal is a moral being, and that human morality is a simple evolutionary extension of a form of conduct which has existed in nature for many hundreds of millions of years. But unless we inspect both the history of the falsehood and the history of the truth, we shall not in least part grasp our contemporary predicament.
…Human nature has a dual constitution; to hate as well as to love are parts of it; and conscience may enforce hate as a duty just as it enforces the duty of love. Conscience has a two-fold role in the soldier: it is his duty to save and protect his own people and equally his duty to destroy their enemies… Thus conscience serves both codes of group behavior; it gives sanction to practices of the code of enmity as well as the code of amity.
It does not take a mental giant to figure out how the predisposition to acquire such a dual morality would have promoted the survival of ancestral humans. It served to spread populations out, optimizing their exploitation of available territory. Ardrey has included several interesting descriptions of related behavior in other primate species in his books. At a time when we possessed only crude weapons, the survival value of enmity between adjoining groups was enhanced by the fact that it was unlikely to have lethal consequences. Times have changed. Our weapons are no longer crude.
The complex is the fundamental human behavioral trait behind such “isms” and other related evils as racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, xenophobia, and religious bigotry. However, rather than admit something as unpleasant as an innate behavioral trait that might predispose us to be other than perfect angels, we have refused to accept the obvious. The obvious is that the enmity half of the Amity/Enmity Complex is the unifying fact that explains all these behaviors. Rather than accept it, we have instead experienced the devastating effects of each of these “isms” in turn, only giving them a name that associates them with “evil” after the fact. Would it not be better to understand the underlying phenomenon than to continue on this eternal treadmill, constantly closing the barn door after the animals have already fled? There have been many Cassandras among us since the time of Darwin, thinkers who pointed to the abundant evidence for the existence of the Complex, and the dangers of ignoring its existence. One would think that, if the preceding centuries of violence and warfare were not enough, the scales would surely have dropped from the eyes of even the most stubborn doubters after the genocide and mass slaughter of the 20th century. Alas, bonobos are still in fashion, and we’re still not quite there yet.
I remain optimistic, however. I have witnessed the paradigm shift referred to above in my lifetime. The other shoe will eventually fall. Facts are stubborn things. They don’t go away, and we continue to accumulate them. The Amity/Enmity complex is a fact. As long as we retain the freedom to inquire and to research the truth, it will become, like innate human behavior, a fact that is increasingly difficult, and finally, impossible to ignore. It may be that we will have to beat the last, recalcitrant, “progressive” psychologist over the head with the last quantum fluctuation in the last electron in the last molecule in the final neuron that proves, once and for all, that the Complex is real, but one day he, too, will be dragged kicking and screaming back into the real world.
Meanwhile, the manifestations of the Complex, countless as they are in our history, remain obvious to anyone with a mind open enough to look at them. Besides much else that recommends it to the interested reader, there are many interesting examples in Niall Ferguson’s book, “The War of the World.” For example, referring to anti-Semitic pogroms in pre-WWI Russia:
What happened between 1903 and 1906 was quite different in character… The catalyst was a classic “blood libel”, prompted by the discovery of the corpse of a young boy,…In the violence that ensued, hundreds of shops and homes were looted or burned. This time, however, many more people were killed… Between October 31 and November 11 there were pogroms in 660 different plances; more than 800 Jews were killed.
To the persecution of the “bourgeoisie” in the Russian Civil War:
The Bolshevik newspaper Krasnaya Gazeta declared: “Without mercy, without sparing, we will kill our enemies in scores of hundreds. let them be thousands, let them drown themselves in their own blood… let there be bloods of blood of the bourgeoisie – more blood, as much as possible.”… Between 1918 and 1920 as many as 300,000 such political executions were carried out.
and, finally, to the genocide committed against the Armenians by the Turks:
Like the Jews in Central and Eastern Europe, the Armenians were doubly vulnerable: not only a religious minority, but also a relatively wealthy group… In the mid-1890s irregular Kurdish troops had been unleashed against Armenian villages as the Ottoman authorities tried to reassert the Armenians’ subordinate status as infidel dhimmis, or non-Muslim citizens. The American ambassador estimated the number of people killed at more than 37,000… The murderous campaign launched against the Armenians from 1915 to 1918 was qualitatively different, however; so much so that it is now widely acknowledged to have been the first true genocide… the men and boys older than 10 were massacred… The number of Armenian men, women and children who were killed or died prematurely may have been even higher than a million, a huge proportion of a pre-war population that numbered, at the very most, 2.4 million.
Is it really so hard to see the common thread here? Is the truth really so difficult to recognize and accept? The damage we have done to ourselves boggles the mind. One day we will learn to understand ourselves, and grasp the reasons why we do these things. May that day come sooner rather than later.
Not all Germans are obsessed with hate – only enough of them to make a lucrative clientele for the peddlers of hate, such as the editors of Spiegel magazine. If you thought the haters didn’t learn anything from the Holocaust, you would be wrong. It goes without saying that it wasn’t the seemingly obvious lesson that hatred of entire peoples is a bad thing that can lead to mass murder and self-destruction. Rather, they learned that open expressions of hatred directed at the Jews were inappropriate, and should take the form of “anti-Zionism.” One could, on the other hand, hate Americans, not only openly, but with impunity.
Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.” So it is with the German haters. They have never been behind hand in coming up with flimsy rationalizations for their hatred. For a while, they fobbed off their obsessive interest in anything negative about America as “objective criticism.” When that became too ludicrous, even for them, they seized on the hapless George W. Bush. Every mindless, bitter, frothing-at-the-mouth expression of anti-American hate, no matter that it was directed at the American people as a whole, and not at any specific sin of the Administration, was glibly passed off as “opposition to Bush.” I suspect many of the haters believed their own lies. German haters have never been adept at looking at themselves in the mirror. Now Bush is long gone, but their hatred remains.
The latest artifact thereof is a charming piece that appeared on Spiegel’s website today entitled, “United Nightmares of America.” It is essentially a “68er’s” wet dream. The 68ers are the German equivalent of the “New Left” of the late 60’s in the US. As those of us who were around at the time will recall, they were noble idealists who served the cause of social justice by collaborating with Pol Pot and Ho chi Minh. One of these 68ers, a Dane by the name of Jacob Holdt, happened to become side-tracked in the USA while on his way to South America to bring a brave new world to Chile after the fashion of Castro’s Cuba. While here, he wallowed in every cesspool he could find, snapping pictures all the while. This, of course, became the substance of the “nightmare” referred to by Spiegel. According to Spiegel, “These are pictures that bear witness to poverty, violence, and despair: a prostitute giving herself a fix, a grim, aged white woman guarding the entrance to her hovel with a revolver, a young black, cleaning his valuable gun in the midst of poverty.” You get the idea.
One would think that the citizens of a country guilty of one of the vilest episodes of mass murder, destruction, and racism the world has ever witnessed would have been chastened by the event. One would think that, instead of attempting to relieve themselves of that historic guilt by obsessing about the sins of others, they would look for the reasons for that debacle within themselves, and seek to root it out once and for all. However, far from seeking to root out the hatred that once manifested itself as the Third Reich, they continue to cultivate it today. In Germany today, hatred is not a reason for shame. Rather, it is given free reign, redirected at Americans and tarted up in such threadbare garb as a “fight for social justice.”
One would think that, if the legions of haters in Germany were honestly concerned about social justice, they would look at problems closer to home, problems that they could actually do something to solve. Instead of obsessing about racism in the US, one would think that they would seek to fight their own far more blatant and open racism. Comparable in its contempt for minorities with anything ever encountered in the old South, it bars them from access to decent housing, and keeps them in their own mini-ghettos, euphemistically referred to as “quarters for asylum seekers.” Instead of obsessing about poverty in the US, one would think that they would work to alleviate poverty in their own cities, where one can find beggars on any street corner. Instead of obsessing about social inequality in the US, one would think they would seek to eliminate it in Germany, a country stratified into classes according to wealth and social status beyond the imagination of anything ever seen by Americans.
Spiegel has posted a whole series of the photographs of the noble Jacob Holdt, their facilitator of hate du jour. In response, I will post only one.