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"flying high, into the sky..." by aemathisphd (10/13/11)       ⇌ (@jayn0t)       



>Thanks for your reply. I'm unaccustomed to intelligent criticism.


You're quite welcome.


>I don't take much notice of how 'offensive' something is. Let's take a concrete example. If a group of skinheads outside a London pub shout racist taunts at a Bangladeshi heading home on a dark rainy night, arguably, their language may constitute an actual threat. If they sing songs about gas chambers (actual example) when visiting the allegedly Jewish football club Tottenham Hotspur, that is more offensive but not a threat at all. Therefore I think the latter behavior should not be illegal, but it is.


I think the latter should not be illegal either, and I agree with the below sentiment as well:


>Someone doing a Nazi salute is offensive, but completely irrelevant to the real world.


I think I should state that I misunderstood the nature of the circumstances under which the whole Sieg Heil salute took place. Having read up on it a bit more, I understand now that this was not an event at which PF was having its own point of view on display courtesy of Marr. So I've re-evaluated my point of view.


That being said, I think that it's a dicey kind of game to have that kind of person spouting his rot. I understand, on the one hand, being a civil libertarian myself, that it's important that heinous points of view not be squelched, but on the other hand, I just wonder what that kind of thing actually brings to the debate.


I have no problem, e.g., with honest anti-Zionism, which I think characterizes (sadly) only a small portion of the rhetoric on display at any given time. Much anti-Zionist rhetoric, as I'm sure you're aware, crosses the line right into anti-Semitism without giving it much of a thought. Other anti-Zionism is more clever or subtle but, in the end, no less anti-Semitic. I guess where I tend to begin to wonder about motives is when people disproportionately criticize Israel and turn a blind eye to nations that violate human rights on a far greater scale (China, e.g.) or who are comparable recipients of American largesse (again, China, if you take into account most favored nation trade status).


What some yutz with a genuine desire to gas every Jew in the world, even if he denies simultaneously that such a thing was ever done, brings to the table is beyond me. He's against Israel? No shit! I wonder why!


To sum up, give the Nazis their due when a situation like the Skokie March arises, and free speech is truly under assault. In other circumstances, just ignore them, and maybe they'll go away. 


>You are right that the Allies were not trying to wipe out any particular race, and the Nazis were. But you end up saying the Russians did much the same as the Nazis in Poland, the Baltic states and Germany. As I said in my pamphlet, the Germans' specialty was genocide. The Russians came close, but as you say, never tried to actually exterminate an ethnic group.


I may have misstated precisely what I meant, so I'll elaborate.


In the first two years or so of the war, the Soviets went into Poland and conducted themselves against Polish nationalists in much the same way the Nazis did: They rounded up the Army and shot them, they rounded up priests and shot them, they rounded up intellectuals and, well, you get the picture. The Soviets didn't target the Jews per se, although they did crack down on public displays of religion, so that the Jews in those regions fairly hard, if they were religious. In the Baltic States in that same period, the Soviets were unopposed and they used the NKVD rather freely. Lots of people murdered, tortured, sent to Siberia. That kind of thing. But not genocide in either case.


The situation in Germany in the last year of the war was one of systematic rape of German women. Not murder, but very nearly as bad. Not genocidal, but a serious crime against humanity nevertheless. Strangely, when faced with severe criticism for what was amounting to a policy in the Red Army to rape German women, Stalin ordered the practice stopped.


So the Soviets did some really bad shit. No surprise there. Again, so did the Japanese in Nanjing, but I think only the Holocaust amounts to genocide within the specific context of WWII.


>We're having a discussion. Powerful forces want to make us unable to discuss just one of the crimes of World War II - the Holocaust. In some countries, it's illegal to underestimate it. The battle to be allowed to achieve a more balanced view of the war than the viewpoint of the victors is more important than worrying about a Seig Heil salute.


I agree. And I'm equally against any laws trying to criminalize Holocaust denial. Nevertheless, I really wonder to what extent pure denial, without the trappings of something much larger (sedition, in rare cases, incitement much more often), is really prosecuted.


Take the case of Fritjof Meyer, who estimated that the death toll at Auschwitz was far lower than the standard historical consensus. He wasn't prosecuted for doing this, in a mainstream academic journal no less, despite his living (and continuing to live) in Germany.


Not that even those people who are inciting in a vague kind of way (as opposed to your example of the Bengali above) should be prosecuted either, mind you. Rather, I just wonder whether anyone not inciting in some fashion is ever actually prosecuted.


Also, I think the prosecution is often being deliberately provoked. See my thoughts on this here:







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