August 9, 2009

It's like being an anti-genocide activist and a Holocaust-denier at the same time...

I was inspired by this story to put certain things a bit more bluntly than I have in the past.

I love history. And I'm a real book&blog-devourer. As a result, I know a lot of stuff, especially in history and world affairs. (Don't rush to make me a job offer; my grab-bag of history seems to have no practical worth.)

Here's one simple fact. The regime of Saddam Hussein was to mass torture, as Hitler's regime was to mass killing, and Stalin's was to mass imprisonment. In all of history there has been no government that tortured people on the scale of Saddam's Iraq. None even comes close. I won't give you any stomach-turning examples, but they are out there if you want to look them up.

We are probably talking hundreds of thousands of people hideously tormented in a country about the size of California.

Any person who claims to make torture their big issue must be aware of this. To claim ignorance would be like someone (let's call him Mr X), in say the year 1947, whose big issue was genocide, or persecution of Jews—yet who seemed to be ignorant or indifferent to what had just happened in Europe! It is insane to even think about it. Right?

In truth, FDR and Winston Churchill are the two men who have prevented more persecution and murder of Jews than any other individuals in history. That's a simple fact, right?

If you care about Jews, or genocide, you must honor them, even if you hate everything else they stood for.

SO, gentle readers, suppose our "Mr X," in the year 1947, demands stridently that Franklin D Roosevelt (if he'd been still alive) and his men should be investigated and prosecuted because during its tenure American Jews were harassed by hate-groups like the KKK. What would you think, hmmm?

You would think Mr X was deranged with hatred of FDR. (You might say he has RDS, Roosevelt Derangement Syndrome.) Mr X is very sick, very twisted man.

"That's a preposterous hypothetical!" I hear you saying. NOT SO. A very similar thing is happening right now. It is a simple historical fact that former president George W. Bush, by inspiring and leading the coalition that overthrew the torture-obsessed fascist tyranny of Saddam Hussein, prevented more torture than any other human being who has ever lived upon the planet Earth.

And yet, farcical though it seems, we actually have our own "Mr X's." [Link] We really have people who claim to be anti-torture zealots, but are nonetheless ice-heartedly indifferent to the unprecedented sufferings of the Iraqi people. Who simply act as if that holocaust of agony never happened—they never mention it.. And at the same time they drool over the possibility of prosecuting the greatest "anti-torture activist" of all times.

Posted by John Weidner at August 9, 2009 9:08 PM
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