Wednesday, January 4, 2006

A Reaction to the BBC Interview [disagrees with me]

Dr Lipstadt is being most gracious and magnanimous by extending good will toward David Irving. However, she ignores the essence of her writings by doing so.

David Irving is a threat because he incites and supports hatred of the most pernicious kind by providing support for neo Nazis with pretend scholarship that can easily mislead many people if it were not for those like Dr Lipstadt's meticulous and painstaking research.

Hate crimes are outlawed in the UK for the most part. That's why we've seen the arrest of BNP types more recently. There is an effort to address hate crimes by the police and other authorities. David Irving represents hate crimes which are the essence of Holocaust denial as I am beginning to comprehend thanks to Deborah Lipstadt's books.

There is not a free speech issue here. Although there is some problem with driving these people underground, it's the same as driving any other criminal underground. It keeps them subdued and establishes a standard for those who support truth and honest disagreement when it comes to hate crimes such as he


Dr Lipstadt removes the smokescreen from what these people do and say in her books ...but that is not enough. Their hatred and their incitements need to be seen for what they are and dealt with by democracies who need to protect against those who would deliberately mislead in order to unermine the democratic process.

These Holocaust deniers are the very ones who yell about free speech and then are the first to deny free speech to others who do not agree with them.

Gary D Chance
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BenP said...

I don't agree that "Dr Lipstadt is being most gracious and magnanimous by extending good will toward David Irving" - in fact, I don't think she's extending good will toward him at all. What I understand her to be saying primarily is that there is a danger of turning him into a martyr by locking him up, and that this could have worse consequences than letting him go and continue preaching his nonsense to 6 people in a room.

I have a great deal of sympathy for Dr Lipstadt's position, but I have to say I think she's wrong. The rule of law - for which of course the nazis have b*gger-all regard - requires us to be consistent and principled, not to make tactical decisions about when to procsecute and when to ignore a crime: after all, that is precisely what Hitler's government did. And the evidence is that David Irving has committed a crime under Austrian law.

The "don't make martyrs of them" argument is used too often by apologists (of whom we know Dr Lipstadt is definitely not one) to be credible, Dr Lipstadt. Let David Irving answer (again) for what he has done, and let the nazi apologists bleat: at least we have law on our side.

Dave said...

Both of the above comments have good points...and Gary Chance is right...if neo-Nazis like David Duke and Glenn Miller and Louis Beam came to power in America -- things they were busily plotting to do for decades and still are, I presume -- they would indeed deny free speech, not to mention life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to millions of the countrymen they despise.

Court testimony indicated that Miller's minions planned to overthrow the US government and ship millions of black to Africa on "leaky boats." And to make sure the boats "leaked," they intended to blow them up. I guess their story for their kids would be that the blacks were all "sent back to Africa."

So there is something to be said for rubbing the neo-Fascists' noses in the dirt of their own evil and the system they despise -- yet try to hide under. Make them confront their own hypocrisy. See themselves in the funhouse mirror.

One of the ironies I found was that a noted neo-Nazi, embroiled in federal legal action against his operation, required the services of a court-appointed attorney...who was Jewish.

I don't know how I feel about this situation. But as I said in my other note...I'm glad Irving is not getting any support.

It shows what humanity really thinks of his so-called ideas, and how he really stands among his fellow men. He's not a great historian...he's just an obnoxious bully.

curious06 said...

I just don't see it. I am certainly not a Neo-Nazi but I am curious about some of the issues raised by David Irving. So do i get name-called now too?