Wednesday, January 4, 2006

BBC Interview Generating Lots of Comment

You will find on Metafilter a interesting set of comments responding to the BBC interview.

2 comments:

Kashesan said...

I have to agree with Dr Lipstadt-to let Irving go home and drop out of public conciousness would be the best. Keeping him locked up adds a sense of importance to him, and will feed into the martyrdom syndrome-as well as lend a convoluted validity to his cause and his "research" Any publicity this guy receives is only serving his means.

Dave said...

As I said in another post on this page, I'm split on whether he should stay in jail.

But I do agree that he cannot be allowed to become a "martyr for free speech." He is not a martyr, nor does he support free speech for anyone...except himself.

I will also reiterate...it's important to note that we have not seen a massive outpouring of support from either free speech advocates or neo-Nazi advocates to free Irving. He seems to have been abandoned by his core constituency.

I'm intrigued by that...one of the character traits of the extreme right wing is its lack of loyalty. We have seen bigshots in the Klan and other outfits readily sell out their brothers in trials, and they usually try to raid from each other for members and money. We have also seen ugly splits in their movement -- the Southern Poverty Law Center reports on this -- with ugly scenes, including lawsuits. The neo-Nazis, for all their blabber about racial pride and loyalty, can't seem to form a united front for as long as it takes to hold a rally.

This shows an essential philosophic weakness in Nazism and its assorted manifestations...as we saw in the Third Reich, Hitler deliberately created a nation where his lieutenants feuded amongst themselves in overlapping spheres of responsibility, so they could not overthrow him. Everyone was plotting against each other.

Getting back to Irving...this behavioral trait is probably a reason why the neo-Nazis haven't banded together to free their biggest noisemaker. Paranoid and secretive by nature -- yet firmly convinced that everyone is on their side -- they can't seem to get their act together.

They might not want to. I believe these faux Fascists are quite angry with Herr Irving for the admissions he's made, both in the trial and more recently, in which he back-pedaled from his usual stances.

Nor did he bring in Germar Rudolph, Fred Zundel, and Fred Leuchter to testify on his behalf...if their material was so good and reliable, that they were the basis for Irving's books, why not stand them up in court and back up his claims? Answer: Irving knew Leuchter, Zundel, and Rudolph were full of rubbish, and Richard Rampton would eviscerate them. Leuchter, Zundel, and Rudolph probably resent that they didn't get a chance to testify. Especially Zundel.

I think this could be it for Irving...at age 68, discredited as a historian, all he has left for fans are a few clackers in Doc Martens boots, Hitler tattoos, and shaven skulls. It's a long trip from addressing a conference of Ph.Ds. at Oxford or topping the best-seller lists. He must be rationalizing his lack of importance to the world by assuming it's just part of the conspiracy against him.

If he wasn't so despicable, he'd be fascinating. Sometimes evil is not necessarily banal.