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View Diary: National Review outraged that Obama called Holocaust 'senseless violence' (155 comments)

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  •  Violence against innocent, inoffensive people (9+ / 0-)

    is not senseless. It makes perfect sense, if one recognizes that the object is to intimidate and subordinate those who witness this destruction, so they'll behave themselves and become compliant. Targeting innocents makes perfect sense. How else are you going to intimidate humans and make them do your bidding, except by providing an example of what will happen, if they don't? Why else were the children of slaves sold away but to remind the parents that the children could have been killed on the spot, if the adults didn't become more compliant.
    The victims of aggression quite naturally believe that the aggression is directed at them--that they have been important enough to anatgonize their aggressor. The thought that they might just be pawns in a power-play is depressing and an insult to their natural sense of pride. It's something the perpetrators of apparently wanton aggression count on, since it deters the witnesses from taking retaliatory action. The witnesses to evil, instead of taking action to avenge the innocent, console themselves by thinking, "there, but for the grace of God, do I," comforted by their special status.

    The President's remarks were, no doubt, drafted for him by someone who looked in the historical record to see what's typical for the occasion. For the National Revue to quibble suggests that someone is not very familiar with how the complex and multitudinous tasks associated with the White House are carried out.
    There's no point in rushing to the defense of the victim (the President, in this case), when the perpetrators are quite handy to retaliate against. Besides, "yes he said that, but...." is not a very good defense. Responding to a half truth never is. Better, IMHO, to call the National Review to account for a rude, insensitive and gratuitous attack on our President.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 07:08:25 AM PST

    •  What are we talking about? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Val, Minnesota Deb, CA wildwoman

      The Prez was talking about the Holocaust.  The Holocaust was not an attempt at control or intimidation.  It was mass murder.  The Nazis wanted to kill Jews.  It was meant to be the eradication of an entire ethnic group.  At its core it was a highly irrational act for a nation involved in total war with implacable enemies.  As I said above, immense resources were poured into the construction and operation of the death camps at a time when Germany was losing the war in part because of a lack of sufficient resources.  Thousands of men were kept busy operating the camps while the German state was reduced to sending old men and boys into combat.  That's just one tiny example of a process that put irrational racial hate before national survival.

      So yeah, senseless.

      Tell me what to write. 'To know what is right and to do it are two different things.' - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin

      by rbird on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 10:29:49 AM PST

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      •  It was just as senseless if they'd not been at war (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Minnesota Deb, rbird, CA wildwoman

        Why not left-handed folks?  Blue-eyed?  Those with any finger longer than their middle finger?  People named Smith?

        To invest all hatred in any group of people defined by something so common and typical as maternal lines, to attribute supernatural powers to them, and yet to believe them inherently inferior, is senseless and irrational at any time, in any circumstances.  

        To comiitt genocide is monsterous.

        To commit genocide against such a group, on such a basis, is the most mosterous of irrationality or senseless monstrosity.

        Any time, any place, in any context.

        •  Indeed (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CA wildwoman

          You're absolutely right.  Why destroy a part of your culture because of magical thinking about an ethnic group?  At least for me it's a given that such thinking is not only morally corrupt, but highly irrational and senseless.

          My point, the Prez was absolutely dead-on about the Holocaust being senseless for a whole host of reasons, including the waste of valuable resources in wartime.  It's a good demonstration of just how irrational such hate is, to put it before survival.

          Nazism had many non-rational components to it, so many, to someone looking at it from the outside, it takes on many aspects of a religion.  Some Germans, interviewed years after the war, described their feelings toward the Nazi state and Hitler in almost religious terms, a "fever" that had taken hold of them.

          It's important, I think, to push back against the idea that the Nazi state was in any way "rational" or "efficient."  This strange idea is embedded in our culture, you can even see this theme at work in an old Star Trek episode.  It's everywhere, even in recent shows on the History Channel.  Nazi Germany was neither rational nor efficient.  They weren't supermen.  They were evil men whose brains were full of shit.

          Tell me what to write. 'To know what is right and to do it are two different things.' - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin

          by rbird on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 03:41:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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