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View Diary: Instapundit Makes Stuff Up Too (184 comments)

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  •  Really? (none)
    From Churchill's rebuttal about the controversy:

    Finally, I have never characterized all the September 11 victims as "Nazis." What I said was that the "technocrats of empire" working in the World Trade Center were the equivalent of "little Eichmanns." Adolf Eichmann was not charged with direct killing but with ensuring the smooth running of the infrastructure that enabled the Nazi genocide. Similarly, German industrialists were legitimately targeted by the Allies.

    It is not disputed that the Pentagon was a military target, or that a CIA office was situated in the World Trade Center . Following the logic by which U.S. Defense Department spokespersons have consistently sought to justify target selection in places like Baghdad , this placement of an element of the American "command and control infrastructure" in an ostensibly civilian facility converted the Trade Center itself into a "legitimate" target. Again following U.S. military doctrine, as announced in briefing after briefing, those who did not work for the CIA but were nonetheless killed in the attack amounted to "collateral damage." If the U.S. public is prepared to accept these "standards" when the are routinely applied to other people, they should be not be surprised when the same standards are applied to them.

    It should be emphasized that I applied the "little Eichmanns" characterization only to those described as "technicians." Thus, it was obviously not directed to the children, janitors, food service workers, firemen and random passers-by killed in the 911 attack. According to Pentagon logic, were simply part of the collateral damage. Ugly? Yes. Hurtful? Yes. And that's my point. It's no less ugly, painful or dehumanizing a description when applied to Iraqis, Palestinians, or anyone else. If we ourselves do not want to be treated in this fashion, we must refuse to allow others to be similarly devalued and dehumanized in our name.

    The bottom line of my argument is that the best and perhaps only way to prevent 9-1-1-style attacks on the U.S. is for American citizens to compel their government to comply with the rule of law. The lesson of Nuremberg is that this is not only our right, but our obligation. To the extent we shirk this responsibility, we, like the "Good Germans" of the 1930s and '40s, are complicit in its actions and have no legitimate basis for complaint when we suffer the consequences. This, of course, includes me, personally, as well as my family, no less than anyone else.

    This is about "defending" the attacks of 9/11, but putting them in a more realistic context. We as a nation are far from innocent, and have directly or indirectly killed the equivalent of hundreds of 9/11 over the past few decades alone.

    What was done in 9/11 is a natural response to that. Equally ugly and brutal as what we have done abroad with near impunity for decades. Pointing that out, and pointing out the complicity we as a nation, and specifically many of those who push those policies for reasons of economic empire, is not only legitimate, but I posit necessary.

    cheers,

    Mitch Gore

    Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

    by Lestatdelc on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 01:03:49 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Little Eichmanns? (none)
      With due respect Mitch, you gotta be kidding me.

      We'll just have to disagree then. I find it offensive and repugnant.

      "Just say no to torture." -Semi-Anonymous Blogger.

      by Armando on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 01:07:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then you are willfully ignoring the point (4.00)
        German industrialists were legitimately targeted by the Allies in WWII.

        How is pointing out that American industrialists, who have directly or indirectly been complicite in the killing of the equivalent of HUNDREDS of 9/11 around the globe, and specifically in the ME any less "valid" comparison?

        Is the chosen comparison incendiary?

        You bet.

        But is the underlying point valid or not?

        You tell me Armando.

        Madeline Albright back in 1996 did not dispute that 500,000 Iraqi children had died as a result of economic sanctions, but stated on national television that "we" had decided it was "worth the cost."... and that was not even the result of military invasion and armed operations.

        So 500,000 Iraqi children means nothing?

        Just the cost of doing our business around the world?

        I don't have the answer to that one Armando, but being flippant and indignant when confronted by numbers representing just a small slice of what we do abroad as being offensive and repugnant is off base in my view.

        I suggest we find a better perspective than claiming that what Churchill said was wrong or repugnant. Having 500,000 children die as the result of our actions abroad is a little more offensive to me than someone having the nerve to point that out via incendiary language.

        I get your point about how the Fright-WingTM will and does use this to unfairly attack people, and smear "the left"... but to attack legitimate points and arguments is attacking truth as a service for those on the right who want to destroy those who seek to stop the immoral, illegal and illegitimate actions done in our name.

        To attack Churchill because the Fright-WingTM are in a lather of rightly being called to the carpet and putting in proper perspective what they have perpetrated (and many on our side of the aisle as well I might add) is playing the part of useful idiot for fascism.

        cheers,

        Mitch Gore

        Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

        by Lestatdelc on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 01:28:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your analogy (none)
          does not make sense to me.

          My objection is to the argument itself - that the WTC was "legitimate" target, as I read it, and to the labelling of the government people Churchill doesn't like as "Little Eichmanns". If you don't see why, I don't know how to explain it to you.

          "Just say no to torture." -Semi-Anonymous Blogger.

          by Armando on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 01:42:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Would an Iraqi trade building (none)
            that was publicly known to house a branch Iraqi Secret Police and Intelligence agency be deemed by Pentagon standards as being a legitimate military "command and control" target...?

            Would you consider German industrialists who had direct ties and vested interest in the Germany military and the apparatus of German Wehrmacht, morally and ethically culpable for what the German Wehrmacht did in WWII...?

            I think Churchill overstated the argument, using provocative hyperbole (to be sure) but his point is valid and certainly a legitimate point of debate.

            I don't believe in collective guilt or collective punishment, and I find the crimes of 9/11 horrific, but I find the horrors of what has been inflicted on other peoples around the globe in my name even more horrific, just not a singularly spectacular or easy to point to.

            cheers,

            Mitch Gore

            Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

            by Lestatdelc on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 06:52:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  You wouldn't argue (none)
        that that wasn't how Al-Qaeda saw the workers in the financial district? The New York financial institutions have been in their sights for years, obviously.

        Would I say that the WTC workers were accomplices in any wrongs committed against the Islamic world? No, I would say they're far, far from little Eichmanns in being co-conspirators. They were focused on putting food on their own tables. Nevertheless, Churchill brought up some points that made me think about it all from another perspective, so he did his job there.

        Sorry, I know I just contributed to taking this farther away from your focus on Instapundit et al. trying to label us to suit their agenda.

    •  ugh... (none)
      Typo alert:

      This is about "defending" the attacks of 9/11

      Should read:

      This is not about "defending" the attacks of 9/11

      cheers,

      Mitch Gore

      Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

      by Lestatdelc on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 01:36:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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