Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Exploiting the Holocaust

Writing for Tablet, James Kirchick commented on those who were comparing the Trump immigration order to the way that Franklin Roosevelt made suree that European Jews could not gain entry into America before and during most of World War II.

Funny, but I don’t recall American liberals denouncing FDR for his appalling dereliction. During or after the war.

Kirchick wrote:

Countless comparisons were made to the plight of Anne Frank, whose family was also denied entry to the United States. In the self-congratulatory bubbles of social media, the JFK arrivals terminal, and The New York Times op-ed page, the stakes of moral validation are continually being raised such that the tweeting glitterati must outdo one other in expressing their righteous indignation. As there is no greater moral currency than the plight of Jews during the Holocaust, it was naturally the historical analogy upon which everyone settled.

Never mind the evident flaws in equating Jews forced to flee Nazi extermination to Syrians voluntarily leaving United Nations-administered refugee camps in Turkey. More galling was the sudden rush for Holocaust analogies from people who in 2015 turned over the Middle East to a Holocaust-denying regime. It has been quite a sight to behold, Obama administration alumni and their sycophants, who, having upended four decades of American foreign policy by emboldening Iran and laying the groundwork for Russia’s return to the region as a military power, guilt-trip the rest of us into seeing Trump—barely a week in office—as being somehow responsible for the upheavals of the Middle East. 

1 comment:

Ares Olympus said...

This is a good phrase: "preen hysterically, signal their virtue and engage in collective bouts of competitive moral vanity", worthy of reflection.

That is to see that Trump's appeal has always been to do big showy things that provoke cheers for his supporters, the Islamophobes in this case, and outrage for the opposition, who risk using up unnecessary energy now which will be needed later on bigger fights after Trump has been normalized, if the sky doesn't fall this time.

For me it's always been clear that overreaction is more dangerous than underreaction. On the other hand, the Nazi/Fascist analogies will always seem to suggest overreaction is the safer bet, and at least you get "I told you so" rights in the concentration camps.

So I'd more support the "document" approach, gather information about the poor implementation, the foolish secrecy, and all the negative consequences of actions like this, and otherwise let the courts take their time ruling on the constitutionality.

But maybe I'm wrong in part, and mass protests can serve a more practical purpose than preening and moral vanity. I mean first there is the whole problem of apathy, and so if you join in early, you'll likely get connected to others who are also concerned, and be better able to mobilize next time. Of course in a protest itself, it becomes like the pep rallies I disliked in High School, with tribal pride, and glossing over any real details, satisfied with "The other side is bad."

But when the details can be included, things like confusion over green card inclusion, and the unnecessary chaos of not giving proper warning and clarity for implementation, and the craziness that none of the 9/11 attackers or even the Boston marathon bombers were from those countries, that's all fair game, and shows an administration that is uncaring and incompetent who is caught in their showmanship games so Trump can pretend to keep his word by wasting time, energy and money while accomplishing nothing. And he'll never be able to prove he kept us safe, since you can't prove a negative.

And right now I presume it is simply illegal to discriminate based on religion, so its hard to know if a crisis, like a new terrorist attack, what can be done. But Trump has proven himself to be a paranoid since, like distrusting an Indiana Judge with Mexican heritage, so who can say what he'll do.

So if 10 White supremacists shoots up or burns down a Muslim church, its just lone wolves with mental illness. But if it a lone native-born or refugee Muslim has mental illness, and does the same thing, its proof the enemies are upon us, and we need to punish tens of thousands of people from the same country of origin.

But on the other hand, there is something unifying in being collectively bullied, and it might be Muslims under President Clinton might think they're safe, and get isolated and confuses what they're doing. While now we have President Trump acting like a bully, and unifying people to show kindness towards the scapegoated Muslims, and if the hate crimes keep increasing, the empathy will continue to increase, as long as Muslims have enough smarts to not act badly in response. And if they can follow the MLK approach to oppression, and be willing to die for their freedom, patience can win for some of the people.

I've heard Mexico also has gained a new unity against Trump, so as long as Trump remains a cowardly bully, he's his own worst enemy, and his targets merely need to wait for his self-destruction. But then again, when was the point people knew Hitler was trouble, and when was it too late?