Friday, October 29, 2004

Straw kittens and Holocaust deniers 

Tim Blair very ably defends yours truly from the assault by two leftie Australian bloggers, John Quiggin and Tim Dunlop, who don't like very much the "Good news from Iraq" series (see the top of the sidebar for links). I won't rehash the arguments - go and read Tim's post as well as his readers' comments - it's pure gold (thanks guys!) - but I can't leave without mentioning two quotes:

John Quiggin: "Arthur Chrenkoff has made it his mission to report the good news [out of Iraq]. A lot of the time this consists of impossibly cute kitten stories..."

Which prompted Tim to write: "Dunlop and Quiggin have invented a new argumentative tactic: the straw cat. Take a look through Arthur's exhaustive compilations, which cover all manner of developments in Iraq, from investment and rebuilding to diplomatic agreements and humanitarian aid. No kitties, however..."

I've defended myself
often enough, so I won't bother again, except to repeat: John Quiggin has a right, just like every other reader, to assign any weight he considers appropriate to stories I compile - and that includes dismissing all the good news as "impossibly cute kitten stories." I write not to convince that all is rosy but to provide the other side of the story so that people can make an informed assessment. On a personal note though, history will judge who's right. I'll bet on a cute kitten. Cute kittens grow up to be cute cats; dead horses just keep on decomposing.

And this fascinating analogy from Tim Dunlop: "Life went on pretty normally for a lot of German people while Jews were rounded up into ghettos under Nazism but was there an Arthur Chrenkoff blogging away somewhere in Australia telling us all that we shouldn't put so much emphasis on all that nasty stuff? Would there have been a chorus of other bloggers happily linking? And tough luck if you find the comparison offensive."

Tough luck, indeed. I happen not to find the comparison offensive; not to me personally - but that probably says less about me than making this comparison says about Tim Dunlop.

An Arthur Chrenkoff probably would not be blogging away somewhere in Australia but in the occupied Poland. My great grandfather was killed by Gestapo, my grandmother willed herself to death (lack of medicines also didn't help) not wanting to go through another Soviet occupation of what used to be eastern Poland (first in 1939-41, then in 1944). My grandfather was wounded in the September '39 campaign; the other grandfather fought from the first to the very last day of the war in four campaigns across Europe; both came within an inch of being killed by drunken Red Army officers just after the war. All this doesn't personally make me a better person, a hero or a sage, but it certainly makes me able to spot a bullshit argument when I see one.

Now, I don't think Tim Dunlop is actually comparing me to a Holocaust denier - more of a Holocaust minimiser or ignorer, but his argument shows just how far the moral bankruptcy of the left has progressed. Throwing the Holocaust analogy with the reckless abandon of drunken sailors has done nothing to illuminate the present but much to debase one of - if not the - greatest tragedy of the last century. Ditto with the obsession about comparing, implicitly or explicitly, anyone on the right to Hitler and Nazis. One doesn't have to be a Jew - a modicum of common sense will suffice - to be disturbed that anyone sane can compare the American actions in Iraq with the Nazi actions in Europe.

German Pastor
Martin Niemoller is often quoted for his famous warning "First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew..." Sadly, people like Tim Dunlop and much of the hysterical left who think that Bushitler is already coming after them will not be able speak out when the real bad guys come because it's difficult to speak out when you have long time ago pissed against the wall your intellect, judgment and moral sense.


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