Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Holocaust Remembrance Day Redux - And Mohammed Morsi

I haven't made it my life's work to condemn antisemitism, although I'll occasionally say something, as I did in my last post.  I must be either lazy or a coward, maybe both.  Anti-Semitism has always seemed like, I don't know, just an evil history.  Like racism and the Klan in the American South.  Yes, I know that both still exist but really, aren't they just the ramblings of a few twisted leftovers? Turns out, they're not.

Antisemitism is not merely the embittered mutterings of a dwindling few.  There are world leaders (besides Silvio Berlusconi) who proclaim themselves not only anti-Semites but are Holocaust deniers.  And not just in anti-west failed-or-failing countries.  (NB:  I know an American Holocaust denier but I have always been content to blithely dismiss him as just another crackpot.  I'm going to have to re-think that weak-kneed attitude.)

Today's hate speech comes (yet again) from Egypt, that home of the Arab Spring.  From a Fox News story today:
A key figure in Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's government called the Holocaust a hoax cooked up by U.S. intelligence operatives and claimed the 6 million Jews who were killed by Nazis simply moved to the U.S.
The outrageous claims, by Fathi Shihab-Eddim, a senior figure close to President Morsi who is now responsible for appointing the editors of all state-run Egyptian newspapers, came as the world marked Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27, and also as the U.S. continues to assess its relationship with the increasingly radical Arab state.
And he couldn't have stopped there.  Oh no.  He went on:
“The myth of the Holocaust is an industry that America invented,” Shihab-Eddim said, leaving no room for doubt that the Egyptian government -- like Iran's -- has at the very least significant elements that deny one of history's best documented genocides.

“U.S. intelligence agencies in cooperation with their counterparts in allied nations during World War II created it [the Holocaust] to destroy the image of their opponents in Germany, and to justify war and massive destruction against military and civilian facilities of the Axis powers, and especially to hit Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the atomic bomb
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Moved to the US?  Seriously?

This wasn't simply an aberrant moment, either.  Like Berlusconi, Morsi has a long history of anti-Semitism.  Maybe that is de rigueur for an Arab leader.  I don't  know.  But once Anwar Sadat had his epiphany - 'I think these guys are here to stay... and they've got a really good army' - I thought that anti-Semitic pronouncements from world leaders would fade away like a monster's death throes.

Those words words were spoken by a Morsi underling, true, but a very highly placed underling.  They carry the ring of endorsement, though, and they are consistent with things Morsi has said in the past, things like:
Jihad is our path... And death for the sake of Allah is our most lofty aspiration.
It is shameful that the free world accepts, regardless of the justifications provided, that a member of the international community (Israel) continues to deny the rights of a [Palestinian] nation that has been longing for decades for independence.
* * * * *

Ike saw this madness coming as soon as he saw for himself the extent and true nature of the Final Solution.  He ordered immediate and full press coverage of the camps, ordered his men into the camps as witnesses and forced locals to parade through the camps to see the truth about the Third Reich, truths they had told each other were lies.  Ike is the reason we have so much proof of the horrors of the camps.  'It happened,' he told all of us in essence, 'and everyone needs to know the truth so it won't happen again.'

It did happen again, of course.  I was simply too naive to believe it for a long time.  Who could believe stories about the gulags, about North Korea, Cambodia, Rwanda, Argentina, Kosovo... the list goes on and on.  But doesn't America expect its leaders to at least know the global realities, if not deal with them?  I do.  

I have long since been disabused of the idea of rational government, but some things make me think our leaders intentionally work against our national best interest.  Like sending 20 F-16s... to Morsi, under a 2010 deal with Hosni Mubarak... in addition to the 200 he already has!  FREE!  Cost to us?  $213mil and a piece of our national honor.

People whine that it's hard to tell which side are the good guys.  No, it's not.  We've got at least some eyes on pretty much every situation in the world, even though we often don't do much.  (Hello, Benghazi.)  

But we do know how to tell the difference.  Here's how:  When one side is killing children and the other side is building hospitals and water plants for enemy non-combatants (Hello, Gaza), the kid killers are the bad guys.  The other guys may make a ton of mistakes along the way but they're building hospitals!  See, it's not that hard.  How do we get it so wrong, so often?
There are very few moments in our lives where we have the privilege to witness history taking place. This is one of those moments. This is one of those times. The people of Egypt have spoken, their voices have been heard, and Egypt will never be the same. … Egyptians have inspired us, and they’ve done so by putting the lie to the idea that justice is best gained through violence.
--Barack Obama, February 11, 2011
Rania Rifaat is the ultimate secular-oriented, social media-using, Egyptian "Arab Spring" activist. During a recent demonstration in Tahrir Square she complained:
"We, the youth, did the revolution. We didn't say that it should be Islamic or whatever. And people felt good. They felt relaxed here. And then suddenly these Islamic liars came, and they want us to go back 300 years."
Good so far, right? Sounds just like Western counterparts. But there's more.
How did she characterize the Islamists? "They are like the Jews—-they always break their promises."

--Rania Rifaat, from Tahrir Square, from The Rubin Report, July 21, 2011
"For the United States, supporting democratic transitions is not a matter of idealism. It is a strategic necessity," she said. ... And she pointed to the "undimmed promise of the Arab Spring" in the backlash against extremist groups in Libya and Tunisia, saying that in many cases newly empowered Arab societies were standing up for peaceful, pluralistic democratic principles.
--Hillary Clinton, October 12, 2012 (Thank you, Reuters)
"Though it took a decade to find bin Laden, there is one consolation for his long evasion of justice: He lived long enough to witness what some are calling the Arab Spring, the complete repudiation of his violent ideology."
--John McCain, May 11, 2011
But a few, darn few, got it right, albeit not at all in a timely manner:
I think some of this fascination with the "Arab Spring" is just a grand experiment with Israel's survival
--John Bolton
The Arab Spring is dead - and Syria is writing its obituary
--Headline to a Richard Engel story published September 7, 2012
* * * * *

So, what's the point here?  

The point is that we're allying ourselves with evil world leaders in order to confront or contain other evil world leaders.  Morsi vs Ahmadinejad, for instance.  The only thing this insures is that an evil leader will prevail.  Is that the best our leaders can do?

And we're not justifying it as choosing the lesser of two evils.  Maybe it is, maybe it isn't.  Consider the incessant Hamas rocket attacks vs the killing of American troops.  Is one more evil than the other?  

We justify our failures to act firmly as a hands-off policy for fledgling democracies vs. nuclear containment.  But that's not the whole truth.  We are presented with the false choice of one despotic leader who denies the Holocaust and hates Israel vs another despotic leader who, um, denies the Holocaust and hates Israel.  Where is the "Choose peace" choice, the "Let's go home" choice, the "Let's oppose evil everywhere" choice, the "Stand by Israel" choice or the (God forbid) "Bring it on" choice?

Yet again, our leaders at every level (but perhaps not every one of our leaders) have led us in the wrong direction.  Are you satisfied with that?

* * * * *

Either [you accept] the Zionists and everything they want, or else there is war. This is what the occupiers of the land of Palestine know—these blood suckers who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, these descendants of apes and pigs.  
--Mohammed Morsi 

As I have said before the quotes were taken out of context.
--Mohammed Morsi (I put that one in for laughs.) 

As the Imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map.
--Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

When you have a regime that would be happier in the afterlife than in this one, this is not a regime that is subject to classic themes of deterrence.
--John Bolton

If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise.
--Robert Fritz

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
--John F. Kennedy 

1 comment:

  1. As usual, you pull it all together in ways that make sense more than the usual news outlets. I think that's because you pay attention to what's going on and what people in power are saying. Most people just hear or read things that they agree with. What a waste of time. Why bother thinking if you already have all the answers. Might as well turn on "American Idol" and let your biggest worry of the week be who is going to be eliminated. Personally I'm very worried about what Joffrey will do to Sansa and about whether Gollum will ever sort out his dueling personalities. What? You're not?