The Shotgun Blog
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
If there is one thing people seem to be good at in contemporary society, it's fake outrage. You know, the kind of outrage where you are really not mad, but you find it either politically or morally imperative to at least act outraged. Yeah, that.
People on the left within the blogosphere are in one of their characteristic anti-Kate McMillan fake tizzies. Predictably, Warren Kinsella and Jason Cherniak are fake outraged.
Now, I don't doubt that these people are mad. But they are not mad about what they portray. They are mad about something else, all together. They're really mad that Kate McMilllan exists at all. But that's another story.
What did Kate McMillan say? Well she said: "Nazis didn't carry out the holocaust. The german state did that".
She was making a philosophical point. That, without the powers of the state, the ability of the Nazis to carry out the holocaust would have been slim-to-none. Their ability to wage war against the rest of the world would have also been slim-to-none. But you see, you're not allowed to make philosophical points like this. Why? Well, because it's insensitive.
Now, I'm not sure if Kate McMillan is an anarcho-libertarian. . I could probably e-mail her and ask her, but it's not really material to the discussion. But here's how James Bow breaks down her logic over at Cherniak's:
All of this argument is turning on the suggestion that you can ascribe a moral value to a thing rather than a person, because that's what the State is: it is a tool, and in my opinion the responsibility for evil rests not with the tool, but the intentions of the people using or misusing the tool. Nothing we create is good or evil until we use it.
But let's take Kate's argument, as reiterated here, to its logical extension:
1. the Nazis were evil, but their evil could not have been implemented if they did not have the apparatus of the state to enact there evil.
2. therefore, the state apparatus is inherently dangerous to leave in place because it enables people to enact great evils.
3. ban the state apparatus, and thus block the Nazis' abilities to enact evil.
1. Murderers are evil, but their evil could not have been implemented if they did not have guns available to enact that evil.
2. therefore guns are inherently dangerous things to have around, because it enables people to enact great evils.
3. ban guns, and thus block the murderers' abilities to enact evil.
So, based on this analogy, I welcome Kate McMillan's support for stricter gun controls.
Now, James Bow has been very reasonable in the past. But his logic is not exactly on-game here.
This logic is at best, a hasty generalization, and at worst, a straw man. It consummates in a false anology. Given James seems to be honest fellow, it's more likely he has a very poor understanding libertarian ethics. So let's educate him.
This is the crux of his argument: if a person thinks something is bad and should be considered immoral, that all bad things should be considered immoral. Therefore if a person who thinks one thing is bad and immoral, and another bad thing is not immoral, that person is a hypocrite.
It's a circular argument, and a formal syllogistic fallacy in logic to make an argument like that. We might also call it begging the question. Another example of this type of logical error would be saying "Everyone thinks Andy is a good guy. Therefore, everything Andy does is a good thing". This one is more simple than James' argument. But it's actually the same logical error.
You see, libertarians believe that government is a generally bad thing. But they don't think everything bad should be banned—actually James, it's socialists and Warren Kinsella that think that.
Your gun analogy is particularly poor, because how could a libertarian simultaneously be against government intervention and for government intervention? It doesn't work. James, libertarians are not hypocrites for viewing one bad thing immoral and the other not. It's a philosophical position, of which has many adherents, and a system of ethics based on that philosophy.
From a libertarian position of ethics: it is unethical for the state to interfere in the matters of the person, if that person is not interfering with another person. Therefore, if a person owns a gun, but is not using it to interfere with the liberty of another person, gun ownership constitutes a legal practice. Libertarian ethics dictate this.
Also, libertarians don't generally believe that anything should be banned simply on it's potential to do harm. To this extent, they are also generally against: laws restricting recreational drug use, compulsory car seatbelt use, compulsory helmet use, etc.
To a libertarian, the fundamental precept of morality is that: the person is sovereign unto themselves, and free of external coercive force. From both government and other persons. If a government is directly exercising physical, coercive force against a person, who is not, directly exercising physical, coercive force against others, libertarian ethics would deem this: unethical, and therefore bad.
Libertarians are generally against governments even having the legal ability to initiate force against it's people, because the government is viewed as accountable to individuals, not to the majority. When the majority of people in a democracy, use their majority in government to initiate force against a minority, we call that: tyranny of the majority. In Libertarian ethics, this is unethical and bad.
Libertarian ethics also hold freedom of expression in the highest regard. Something like hate speech, does not qualify as physical, coercive force. Therefore, libertarians are against any laws limiting freedom of expression.
So libertarians generally prefer a government which is based around strong constitutional law with negative rights. Meaning, where all rights are assumed, except for those explicitly removed.
So when James Bow and others, find hypocrisy in this statement from Kate, it is only when viewed through the lens of their own ethics, using spurious logic. There is nothing hypocritical or illogical in her position insofar as it is a philosophical statement. Most libertarians and anarchists would actually agree with her sentiment. So, save the fake outrage.
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Well said but be prepared for blow back. Some individuals do not play well if you know what I mean. Cheers.
Posted by: SOR | 2008-03-25 9:45:55 AM
"What did Kate McMillan say? Well she said: "Nazis didn't carry out the holocaust. The german state did that". "
Interesting philisophical/political debate but not one worthy of outrage.
Did the United States bomb Dresden or did the Democratic Party (as led by FDR)?
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2008-03-25 9:55:50 AM
>"Did the United States bomb Dresden or did the Democratic Party (as led by FDR)?
h2o273kk9 | 25-Mar-08 9:55:50 AM
That would be the U.S. Army Air Corp and Bomber Command in collusion with the law of gravity.
Also, it wasn't Michael Moore that made himself fat, it was Big Food in collusion with a gravy boat.
Posted by: Speller | 2008-03-25 10:10:08 AM
A government can create conditions that allows for despotic groups in a society to do horrid things with impunity. They make the rules.
A gun just sits in a night stand drawer or in a holster and does not allow or permit anything. It cannot for it is an inanimate object, a tool, much like a hammer or a pair of pliers or a liberal..
Posted by: John West | 2008-03-25 10:28:58 AM
What is missed in the analogy of the Nazi's being able to do what they did because they had guns is that they had the "only" guns. The citizens had been disarmed after registering their guns. This will tremendously expedite tyranny in any country.
56 million people were exterminataed in the 20th century by regimes that had implemented gun control, which isn't about guns at all...its about control. So in the mean time we'll settle for our rights to self defense being taken away and replaced with electronic and video surveillance as our new security. God help us.
Posted by: JC | 2008-03-25 11:19:26 AM
I must have missed a crucial lecture somewhere in my education, or maybe it is due to not majoring in philosophy. I am very confused about causal explanations. Casual explanations don’t seem useful when quantum mechanics comes into play, and casual explanations don’t seem useful when systems become very complex such as human behavior. It seems to me that it is only within a fairly narrow band of phenomena that casual explains are particularly useful, such as in modeling canon ball trajectories. Consider the following common occurrence. This morning in reaching to turn off my alarm clock my wrist watch was knocked off my nightstand onto the floor. What is the causal explanation for my watch falling onto the floor this morning? Was it that gravity pulled the watch down? Was it that my hand bumped my watch? Was it the contractions in my muscles that moved my bones and skin that knocked the watch? Was it motor never signals to my arm muscles that caused the watch the fall? Was it the never signals in my brain than caused the cascade? Was it the fact that I set the alarm the night before that caused the watch to fall? Was it a lifetime habit of relying on alarm clocks to wake me that caused the watch to fall? Was it my socio economic status that required me to wake when I did that caused the watch to fall? Was it my choice of major in college that lead to my current job that caused the watch to fall? Was it our cultural peculiarities of Tuesday being a routine work day that caused my watch to fall? Was it the fact that some decades ago my parents joined sex gametes that triggered the cascade that lead to my watch falling this morning? Was it a German printing invention over five centuries ago that lead to a political-religions cascade the caused my ancestors to settle in this part of the world that caused my house to be built as it was and my dresser to be positioned as it was that caused the watch to fall? Was it a virtual particle quantum function in a volcanic water pool 3.8 billion years ago that caused a self-replicating molecule to form which by a lengthy series of causally connected events eventually caused my watch to fall onto the floor this morning? Doesn't everything in the light-cone preceding an event effect it. Whenever we proffer casual explanations for anything aren’t we engaging in a titanic oversimplification? Where have I gone astray? It seems to me that most of the causal explains I hear proffered from all sides are rather transparent ideological filterings of that vast light cone of preconditions down to a small list that the particularly ideology prefers to think in terms of. People have radically different basis concepts that they prefer to think in terms of. Some people like to think in terms of power struggles, some like to think in terms of economics, some like to think in terms of freedoms, some like to think in terms of religious concepts, some like to think in terms of technological changes, some like to think in terms of individual choices, etc. I feel lost and confused, I don’t see how we can function without routinely using these stupendous over simplifications, called causal explanations, and I don’t see how those these simplifications can avoid being extremely ideological. Somewhere I have missed something very fundamental; what is it about causal explanations that makes them so stable that people of different ideologies and who prefer thinking in terms of different basis concepts find it worthwhile to spend time arguing about them?
Posted by: Marco Polo | 2008-03-25 12:03:19 PM
This kind of useless temporizing is the reason philosophers, academics, and the various species of eggheads are so ridiculed in our society. Such empty banter solves no problems and adds no value to society. They are, of course, free to indulge in it, just as I am free to ignore it.
The Nazis and the German state were not separate entities; the Nazis were the governing body of the state (by popular vote!).
Before we completely go off the deep end here, let me boil this down its irreducible essence.
On the matter of the Holocaust, the Nazis perpetrated it for the following reasons:
1. They wanted to.
2. Nobody stopped them (until 1945).
On the matter of firearms and murder:
1. A firearm is a tool; left alone, it does nothing but rust.
2. Most any object durable enough to be a tool is a deadly weapon.
3. Murder predates all tools.
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-03-25 12:45:47 PM
What silliness. I disagreee with you, so I'll pretend you don't really believe what you're writing.
Explain to me what evidence you have that Kate is speaking as a libertarian. How does that explain her support for state intervention in areas of Aboriginal matters?
Mike, you're trying to defend Kate by assuming that she believes exactly what you believe. Even so, you never really explain why should would write the sentence "Nazis didn't carry out the Holocaust". What evidence do you have to assume that she really meant "Nazis couldn't have carried out the Holocausts without the state"? She never wrote it.
Posted by: Jason Cherniak | 2008-03-25 12:48:58 PM
Odd, usually bow is just boring. I guess he's adding stupidity to the repertoire.
Posted by: christopher rivers | 2008-03-25 12:55:24 PM
Comparing the state to a gun is a poor analogy. The persons working as part of the state have free will and the ability to think for themselves.
The molecules that make up the gun do not.
Or do they think that individuals should never say no to their political masters?
Posted by: Stan | 2008-03-25 1:07:09 PM
Okay Jason. I guess I'll have to explain it to you. The holocaust involved most members of German society at the time, either implicitly or explicitly. From those who took an active part in ratting out the Jews, those who drove the trucks, ran the trains, printed the leaflets, sewed the uniforms, etc. etc. etc. But not all of those Germans were members of the Nazi party. The German state was bigger than the Nazi party, regardless of the fact that the Nazi party identified themselves [b]as[/b] the state.
Remember all of those people after the war who claimed they were not really Nazis, but were "just following orders?" And those who refused to follow orders (eg: Dietrich Bonhoeffer) found the state against them, outlawing their organizations, censoring their radio broadcasts and writings, and finally imprisoning and (in many cases) executing them.
To say that the German state was not implicit in the holocaust would be akin to saying that the Canadian state bears no blame for the treatment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War, but instead the blame rests solely with the political party (the Liberals in case you've forgotten) in power at the time in which the incidents occurred. In which case, the settlements ought to be coming out of party coffers, rather than taxpayer funds. Is this really the case you wish to make?
Posted by: Karl | 2008-03-25 1:27:18 PM
There's an interesting and curious phenomenon to attribute power of influence events to inanimate objects.
Chreniak's example of guns and the suggestion guns can act on their own volition is bizarre, IMHO.
The National Socialists, a group of human beings, were a party able to carry out their agenda by convincing German voters to trust them with the apparatus of the state.
The guns analogy begs a general question.
When was the last time you were outsmarted by an inanimate object?
Steady now, Jason. Your writings tell us it happens to you all the time.
Rock, paper and Jason? Rock and paper apparently always win.
Posted by: set you free | 2008-03-25 1:36:05 PM
To suggest anyone other than the National Socialist membership, leadership and the Germans and other nationalities who planned and participated in the Holocaust are to blame is as shameful as it is historically ignorant.
The blame belongs to the people involved, the people that planned out murder on a mass scale and made it happen – not some abstract state. Anything else allows the guilty parties to evade responsibility for their actions.
Part of the long-term National Socialist project was to politicize every aspect of German life along Nazi lines. They wanted to make the German state Nazi. The SS, for example, was intended to be a politicized alternative to the regular army and if the Nazi project hadn’t ended up in failure, the SS would have replaced it, which explains much of the opposition, such that there was, toward the Nazis in German regular army circles.
A core tenet of inter-war right-wing German thought was that Jews and Communists and other internal enemies of Germany had conspired to defeat her in World War One (the stab-in-the-back thesis) and the National Socialist leadership, once in power, took steps to avoid a repetition. All of this is well-known.
The German state wasn’t some Kafkaesque, bureaucratic automation, Speer and Himmler had to do more than simply push a button to shift the country toward holocaust. They actively planned it. In fact, the scary thing about the Nazis was the detail with which they planned the holocaust.
They debated the ‘Jewish problem’, discussing what to do and, ultimately, how best to ship people to the death camps. They put out propaganda demonizing Jews. They hired builders to construct the camps and assigned soldiers to guard them, experimenting on the most efficient methods to murder large numbers of people and dispose of their bodies. They took the pre-existing machinery of the German state and twisted it to their purpose.
I guess none of that matters when your anti-state, know-nothing agenda compels you to slander an abstract noun (the state) – regardless of the real people who were murdered in service of an abhorent ideology.
But what else would one expect from some lonely spinster who considers the kitschy dog portraits she airbrushes art? If the people posting on this thread represent the Western Standard’s readership I understand why it folded.
In case nobody here was paying attention, Rwanda demonstrated genocide is possible absent a modern state and all the accompanying apparatus.
Posted by: Feces Eating Buddha | 2008-03-25 2:51:06 PM
>"In case nobody here was paying attention, Rwanda demonstrated genocide is possible absent a modern state and all the accompanying apparatus."
Feces Eating Buddha | 25-Mar-08 2:51:06 PM
The genocide in Rwanda wasn't "absent a modern state and all the accompanying apparatus" it just happened that the government responsible convened in Paris rather than Kigali, so unknowledgeable people like you drew the wrong conclusions.
Posted by: Speller | 2008-03-25 3:08:56 PM
"The blame belongs to the people involved, the people that planned out murder on a mass scale and made it happen – not some abstract state. Anything else allows the guilty parties to evade responsibility for their actions.":
I am so glad you wrote that. May I quote you the next time some idiot Leftist blames the United States for allowing Saddam to murder Kurds, et al because Donald Rumsfeld once shook his hand?
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2008-03-25 3:20:01 PM
The ignorance on this site is so ingrained it appears to be structural.
Rwanda was and is absent the kind and level of state apparatus that Nazi Germany used to exterminate Jews. For example, an extensive rail system capable of moving people around the country, or large bureaucracy to organize the country’s resources and execute its leaderships’ plans. There were no Rwandan marshalling yards, herding people to death camps as with Nazi Germany.
The distinctive feature of the Rwandan genocide was that it was perpetuated by machete-wielding mobs. There was little central control, except for radio personalities egging the killing on. The exact opposite of what happened in Nazi Germany.
This explains why it was so hard for Daillaire, a professional soldier, to witness. He pleaded with Canada, the UN, however, to send him one tank. Maybe he was wrong, but with that, he felt, he could have ended the killing. I guess Rwanda doesn’t fit your preferred anti-state story line so you’ll have to slander those people who were murdered as well. Congrats. What’s next? Jesus deserved to be crucified?
Usually criticism of US behaviour vis-à-vis Saddam centre on his status as a US ally at the time of his attacks on the Kurds, and the fact Rumsfeld, apparently, privately assured Saddam the US didn't care about his gassing of the Kurds. But I agree. The fault belongs with Saddam, not Donald Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld merely said it was okay. It is the same as how Rumsfeld and Bush are directly responsible for the war crimes which were committed under their leadership.
Posted by: Feces Eating Buddha | 2008-03-25 3:42:42 PM
"Usually criticism of US behaviour vis-à-vis Saddam centre on his status as a US ally at the time of his attacks on the Kurds, and the fact Rumsfeld, apparently, privately assured Saddam the US didn't care about his gassing of the Kurds."
I'm glad that
"The ignorance on this site is so ingrained it appears to be structural."
but it hasn't affected you.
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2008-03-25 3:52:14 PM
>"Based on testimony given at public hearings by genocide survivors and former soldiers trained by French forces, plus evidence from piles of official paperwork left by the fleeing Hutu regime, the commission believes it has enough proof to convince the international community.
Dr Kimonyo said: "France was directly involved in the preparation of the genocide. They were training the Interahamwe in a systematic manner. They were training them to kill, to kill as fast as possible as one witness said, using knives and machetes. What were they training them for? It is very disturbing."
>""The French supplied weapons; they gave orders and instructions to the perpetrators of genocide," he said.
"The French were there when the genocide took place. They trained those who carried it out.
"They had positions of command in the armed forces who committed the genocide.
"They also directly participated in operations by putting up roadblocks to identify people by ethnic origin, punishing the Tutsis and supporting the Hutus."
Journalists who covered Rwanda in the early 1990s reported that French peacekeepers appeared to side with the Hutu government and against the Tutsi-based Rwandan Patriotic Front, led by Mr Kagame, which had been responsible for an armed incursion into Rwanda in 1990 from exile.
In at least one case, French troops moved United Nations peacekeepers away from a college where they were protecting 2,000 Tutsis. After the peacekeepers were moved, the Tutsis were slaughtered. Mr Kagame said the police report blaming him for Mr Habyarimana's death was a politically motivated attempt to deflect blame from France.
"In '91 or '92 I was in Paris at the invitation of the authorities and an official said to me, 'If you do not stop the war, by the time you arrive in Kigali you will all be dead'."
>"Not only did French soldiers fail to prevent the massacre, says the Rwandan government, they actually facilitated it.
Starting today, a seven-person panel headed by former Justice Minister Jean de Dieu Mucyo will hear testimonies from people alleging French soldiers actually took part in the genocide. The Rwandan government has alleged since 1994 that French soldiers trained and armed some of the Hutus that carried out the massacre, and also allowed Hutu extremists to enter camps set up to protect Tutsis. French soldiers were sent to Rwanda under a UN mandate during the height of the killings to secure a humanitarian buffer zone. The New Times in Kigali says some 50,000 people are reported to have been killed after French forces brought Tutsis out of hiding under the false pretext that they had secured the peace."
So let's look at this.
The French trained the Interahamwe militias to kill quickly with machetes.
The French provided the machetes.
The French created the incident by shooting down a plane with government officials.
The French sent in their military to round up the Tutsis, under false pretence of protecting them so that after the Tutsis were massed the Hutus could kill them.
Check out my links and look for your own, FEB, but without the "help" of France i doubt the Hutus could have organized a corn roast in a crematorium.
Also I think it is a very good example of how the French state was responsible for the Rwandan genocide, so thank you, FEB, for raising the example.
Posted by: Speller | 2008-03-25 4:19:29 PM
"Rumsfeld merely said it was okay."
As you were there to hear this then why didn't you object then?
Otherwise, where is your proof?
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2008-03-25 4:38:00 PM
Brilliant takedown! Hats off to you.
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2008-03-25 5:00:12 PM
Why do people miss the obvious
Kate was making the point that the state can be used for evil as well as good. Its the old division between those that think the people were made to serve princes and those who think princes were made to serve the people. Without control of the state the Nazi where just another faction.
The gun analogy is particularly Liberal. It simply ignores that guns are also used for defense and to prevent murder. A completely one sided strawman
Posted by: Bruce | 2008-03-25 5:28:04 PM
"""""Also I think it is a very good example of how the French state was responsible for the Rwandan genocide,""""
and here I thought it was G. Bush!!!!!
SFB (aka; feces EB)
hate to burst your bubble, but there is no such thing as a "state" without people
effectively, the people are the state
as , if the were no humans on the planet, there would be no states
Posted by: GYM | 2008-03-25 6:07:35 PM
Karl wrote: "To say that the German state was not implicit in the holocaust would be akin to saying that the Canadian state bears no blame for the treatment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War, but instead the blame rests solely with the political party (the Liberals in case you've forgotten) in power at the time in which the incidents occurred. In which case, the settlements ought to be coming out of party coffers, rather than taxpayer funds. Is this really the case you wish to make?"
Yes. That's the case I wish to make. I don't go for that vicarious liability crap. The only reason it exists in the first place is to allow hustling lawyers to go not after the party most directly responsible, but the party with the deepest pockets. Or do you think we should have executed the entire German population at Nuremberg?
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-03-25 7:53:37 PM
This Nazi thingy from Kate is a philosophical opinion that was Kate's. I don't see it as anything more. It give us all something to think about from a different perspective. That is the sort of thing that makes my daily visits to SDA and other great blogs so interesting.
Then entertainment value and never-ending comedy comes from the reactions she gets from fools on the Left who just cannot take things at face value. They are soooooooo deep.
Posted by: John West | 2008-03-25 10:53:04 PM
>"hate to burst your bubble, but there is no such thing as a "state" without people
effectively, the people are the state
as , if the were no humans on the planet, there would be no states"
GYM | 25-Mar-08 6:07:35 PM
1) You'd like to burst my bubble, but you have neither a clue what it is nor can you express it coherently.
2) People are not the state, they are subject to the state, which is a state of mind put to paper, and enforced with arms.
3) If there were no humans on the planet, there would be a state of vacancy, just like your mind.
Posted by: Speller | 2008-03-26 7:03:46 AM
You clearly suffer from psychological problems. Your errant spelling and syntax (where is Easter Europe, by the way? Is that south of Christmasland? West of Shamrockville?), not to mention your incoherent sentence structure, indicates a deep longing for maternal authority. In short, you have boob issues.
I really tried to read your ‘retort’ but couldn’t manage to get through it. If conventional written English is too difficult for you, maybe listing your objections in point-form would be easier. I’ll check back.
That elements of the French state may or may not have been involved in training Rwandans and, you claim, actually directing the Rwandan genocide, doesn’t raise Rwandan state infrastructure to the level of Nazi Germany’s. To clarify, as this is obviously a difficult concept for you to grasp: the point was: a modern state and all the bureaucracy and infrastructure that entails isn’t necessary to commit genocide. Rwanda proves that. This is widely accepted as fact in the historical community.
Before the Rwandan genocide, historians who studied such things felt a modern state was needed to commit atrocities like the Holocaust, or, to a lesser extent, the Armenian genocide. For example, the brilliant Israeli military historian, Martin Van Creveld, famously argued against the modern state, feeling only a powerful, organized state like Nazi Germany possessed the wherewithal to carry out something like the Holocaust. Unfortunately events have proven him wrong.
You do raise an interesting point, however unintentional your insights must be.
If the French are in fact responsible for the Rwandan genocide, because French army officers trained Rwandans, then what responsibility does the US have for the South American death squads it trained? In Honduras, Guatemala and San Salvador, US operatives trained, armed and, it is alleged, directed right-wing groups who are well-documented as having committed atrocities. Nobody denies that groups the US funded and trained committed atrocities throughout South America. Atrocities that were committed in the service of US goals.
What level and type of responsibility do US and presidents from John F Kennedy, to Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan shoulder? Should Jimmy Carter be charged with war crimes? He ordered Managua harbour mined in contravention of international law? Should Kissinger?
The US trained Iraqis during the Iran-Iraq war; some of those Iraqis were involved in operations against the Kurds and the Shia in the south. Undoubtedly even lily-white Canada has trained foreign soldiers, some of whom have surely gone on to commit crimes.
What about the Sunni Iraqis presently on the US payroll and carrying US-provided weapons? Is the US responsible for their crimes?
You got to do better than you’re doing buddy.
Posted by: Feces Eating Buddha | 2008-03-26 9:50:29 AM
It seems that "Devil's apprentices" 'brain camp'(Kinsella, Cherniak et al) would not pass yet another tough, rigor academic analysis of:
'Group of people'/political group
Genocide/crimes against humanity/war crimes .
Namely, Marko Attila Hoare of Kingston University (previously of Faculty of History, University of Cambridge) in his 9th March 2007 paper
"The International Court of Justice and the Decriminalisation of Genocide"
was powerfully harsh against the ICJ's travesty of justice
(possibly 'contaminated', among other, by above "Devil's apprentices" of world power grab (neo)Lib 'elite')
when it let the "State of Serbia" incomprehensibly off the hook, in its Feb 26 2007 historic ruling on 'Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Serbia/Montenegro'.
Full text can be found at many places, here is just one link:
A Court that achieves this level of hair-splitting in its efforts to avoid calling a spade a spade is one that has abandoned objectivity and
ceased to pursue justice.
It has been pointed out that the ICJ set its standard of proof too high, but this is the least of the problems with its judgement.
The ICJ has, in fact, made the definition of genocide so restrictive that the phenomenon of genocide effectively disappears altogether.
If genocide ceases to be genocide provided the deliberate destruction of a group in whole or in part can be excused through reference to a ‘higher’ aim, such as ‘rendering an area ethnically homogenous’, then even large parts of the Nazi Holocaust cease to be genocide.
On the basis of the ICJ’s logic, the Nazi perpetrators of the Holocaust could have pleaded that they did not intend to destroy
the Jews as such, merely ‘to render the Reich racially homogenous’.
The Nazis initially tried to create a Jew-free Reich through pressurising the Jews to emigrate, and this policy overlapped with the policy
of extermination. Jewish emigration from the Reich was not prohibited until late October 1941, by which time the mass extermination of the
Jews was already very much in progress. Even the minutes of the Wannsee meeting of January 1942, the closest thing that exists to a
blueprint for the Holocaust, uses the word ‘evacuation’ as a euphemism for ‘extermination’.
And the Nazis could have come up with a whole string of other ‘excuses’ to satisfy the ICJ’s new exemption clause:
on the basis of the ICJ’s logic,
they could have argued that their massacres of Jews were intended merely as reprisals for partisan activities among the occupied populations of Eastern Europe;
as a means of lessening the burden on food supplies;
or as a means of containing epidemics in the ghettoes.
They could have argued that the working to death of Jewish slaves at Auschwitz was motivated by the desire to provide munitions for the German armed forces.
They could even have argued that their extermination of Jews in the death camps was motivated by the desire to acquire the raw materials to produce lamp-shades, bars of soap, dolls’ hair and other consumer goods for the German civilian population.
The ICJ’s decision has opened up whole new vistas for the acquittal of states and individuals for genocide.
Posted by: Devils apprentices | 2008-03-26 10:05:47 AM
Pardon me for noticing, but most of your voluminous post seem to be base on one underlying presumption ... responsibility for any individual act can always be blame-shifted onto somebody else.
It's a Flip WIlson type of “the devil made me do it,' analysis with one big difference.
Flip Wilson was making fun of it. Contrast that to your underlying theme of ‘all actions resulting from individual free will can be attributed to the most powerful nation on earth.'
I can only guess you have trouble correcting your own imperfections, so you use your energies to find fault with everybody else in a futile attempt to find some worth in your own life.
Nobody ever got bigger by making somebody else smaller and pretending you're important in some kind of internet ‘king of the castle' game is as pitiful as Stephane Dion's ‘leadership' of the LIberal Party.
Posted by: set you free | 2008-03-26 10:21:11 AM
First, FEB, I'm not your "buddy".
Second, you are the one that insists that a state has to have modern infrastructure to commit genocide, not I.
My position is that there has to be a state organized along efficient lines, like the Roman Legions who wiped Carthage and ALL of it's people out of existence in the year 146 B.C.
France was that state in Rwanda that provided the plan and the organized efficiency in Rwanda that was otherwise lacking or the Hutus would have massacred the Tutsis long ago.
Death squads are nothing new in the world.
It takes an army of death squads to commit genocide.
It also takes a state of mind.
Posted by: Speller | 2008-03-26 10:47:11 AM
This thread started after right-wing hero and dog portrait artist, Katie, wrote: "Nazis didn't carry out the holocaust. The german state did that."
My contribution aimed to correct this intellectual kitsch: blame should be placed, not with the impersonal German state, but with the Nazi leadership who planned, organized and murdered over 6 million Jews, along with Gypsies, homosexuals and political enemies like the German Communists and Liberals who dared oppose them.
I am arguing the exact opposite of what you claim. Learn to read. Think. I am arguing that the people who articulate, promote and act on ideas are responsible for those ideas. I would have thought this was a position Conservatives shared. I guess not, at least not on this embarrassment of a website.
Ideas and their corresponding actions have consequences, consequences for which we are accountable. Blaming the German state solely for the holocaust lets off the very real people who planned and carried out that crime. I brought up the example of Rwanda to correct the implication resting behind Katie’s original statement: namely that absent the state genocide, the holocaust wouldn’t be possible.
To misconstrue what I wrote as an attempt to shift blame away from the Nazis and also, in the process, to imply that I am somehow anti-Semitic takes a special talent. Being condemned to live inside your head must be terrible.
Posted by: Feces Eating Buddha | 2008-03-26 11:28:50 AM
"My contribution aimed to correct this intellectual kitsch: blame should be placed, not with the impersonal German state, but with the Nazi leadership who planned, organized and murdered over 6 million Jews, along with Gypsies, homosexuals and political enemies like the German Communists and Liberals who dared oppose them. "
Then it follows that it was the Republican party who freed the slaves (LINCOLN) and it was the Democratic Party that bombed Hiroshima.
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2008-03-26 11:51:59 AM
>" I brought up the example of Rwanda to correct the implication resting behind Katie’s original statement: namely that absent the state genocide, the holocaust wouldn’t be possible."
Feces Eating Buddha | 26-Mar-08 11:28:50 AM
Explain why, absent the French state's support of the Rwanda genocide when the Hutus and Tutsis were just cannibal savage tribesman with bones through their noses, the Hutu's didn't massacre the Tutsis to the point of genocide earlier.
I say it is because their wasn't any state to organize it.
What is your explanation, FEB?
Where did I suggest you were anti-semitic?
Or even mention Nazis?
Read to learn, Mm'kay?
Cut down on the empty calorie preconceived half-baked fantasies in your fool head.
Posted by: Speller | 2008-03-26 11:52:20 AM
"... the Hutus and Tutsis were just cannibal savage tribesman with bones through their noses, the Hutu's didn't massacre the Tutsis to the point of genocide earlier."
That quote says a lot about you. Again, I feel sad for you, being trapped in your racist, small-minded and ignorant little brain must be intolerable. No wonder you are so angry.
Historically Rwanda was a Belgium colony. Belgium colonial administrators issued the infamous ID cards dividing Hutus and Tusis into different, hard and fast, ethnic groups – where before Hutu and Tusi had been a malleable, changeable distinction, more akin to what we would understand an indicator of class. Sort of like your rambling, barely coherent opinions and scattershot arguments indicate you are an uneducated hick. Labelling someone Hutu or Tusi was a way to determine someone’s class. (‘Their’ is possessive. Learn to write. How do you expect anyone to take your ideas seriously if you don’t? Inability to follow the basic rules of written English makes you look like a dummy because an inability to follow the basic rules of written English probably means you are a dummy, that or dyslexic).
I never wrote there was no state, I wrote no modern state such as Nazi Germany possessed existed in Rwanda. This is like arguing with a three year old. Na!Na!Na!Na!
Your argument the French state and/or its agents organized the Rwandan genocide is preposterous. Anyway, it is an opinion being argued in court and is not yet fact. But does this mean you hold the US responsible for the South Americans it trained, armed and encouraged? Of course you don’t. You aren’t interested in Rwanda. Your interest starts and stops with advancing your anti-state, Albertan separatist agenda. In short, you are 100% intellectually dishonest. Worse, you aren’t even very good at it.
Poster up top wrote I was anti-semitic. I’m sure you would too if you thought you could get away with it.
Posted by: Feces Eating Buddha | 2008-03-26 7:50:15 PM
Posted by: runescape gold | 2008-04-07 1:46:47 AM
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