Friday, February 18, 2005

More Churchillian rhetoric

It only adds to his charm that, as the Jewish Collegiate Review points out today, Ward Churchill was throwing the "Eichmann" epithet around even before he published his 2001 incivilities. This time, though, in an article he wrote for the journal Other Voices in 2000, Churchill named a particular "little Eichmann": the respected Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt.

I know. He's scum; scum does stuff like that. But it's illuminating to learn why Churchill hates Lipstadt, and especially how David Irving, the bloviating Holocaust denier Lipstadt dared accuse of Holocaust denial--Irving sued for libel and lost--figures into Churchill's thinking.

In the current issue of Socialism and Democracy (which, oddly, devotes the rest of its endless pages--18 articles in all--to examining "hip-hop culture"--what's Ward doing in there?), Churchill unlimbers his logorrhea to complain about, among much else, Lipstadt and Irving.

In the article, "An American Holocaust?" Churchill says accusingly that Lipstadt, in her book Denying the Holocaust (the book Irving sued her over), "repudiat[ed] the idea that the camps in which the U.S. put Japanese Americans during World War II might be comparable to some of the nazi concentration camps." No. A reputable historian says the internment camps weren't the American equivalent of Dachau? Unbelievable. What is wrong with the woman? Churchill continues:

A couple of points are worth highlighting here, beginning with the fact that a page after they’re first mentioned the Japanese Americans have somehow been transformed into “Japanese.” From there, they quickly mutate into a sort of “racial fifth column,” real or potential, at least in the quite reasonable perception of U.S. policymakers, and thus their mass internment is presented as an “unfortunate” but entirely justifiable national security measure. Unfortunately for Lipstadt, the nazis often used an identical rationalization, picked up by postwar deniers like Harry Elmer Barnes, to explain why it was “necessary” to intern the Jews.
Churchill's aim here is to show that Lipstadt is a "Jewish exclusivist"--a historian who believes that the Holocaust was a unique and uniquely horrible event in human history. This "exclusiveness," says Churchill, requires that historians like Lipstadt ignore the multitude of other holocausts as bad as or worse than the Holocaust--including, of course, the "genocide" against American Indians that, Churchill says, continues today. Lipstadt and mainstream historians like her, in short, are worse than David Irving. Where "neonazis" like Irving deny merely a single genocide, "those embracing the exclusivist posture of 'Jewish uniqueness' deny many."

Churchill goes even further: the refusal of mainstream historians to call what happened to Indians genocide akin to the Holocaust (or to acknowledge that Japanese-American "concentration camps" like Manzanar were as bad as the German sort) makes them complicit in genocide themselves. Just before Churchill calls Lipstadt an "Eichmann" in the Other Voices piece he says:

Denial of genocide, insofar as it plainly facilitates continuation of the crime, amounts to complicity in it. This is true whether the deniers are neo-Nazis, Jewish exclusivists, renowned international jurists or provincial Canadian judges. Complicity in genocide is, under Article III of the 1948 Convention, tantamount to perpetration of genocide itself.
Okay. Which historian should we prosecute first? (I nominate Doris Kearns Goodwin.)

Churchill's rather genial contempt for Irving is pretty odd too, considering how similar their historical methods are. As Richard J. Evans details in his account of the fight over historical methodology in the Irving libel trial, Lying About Hitler, Irving in his many books on the Nazis often manipulated sources, mistranslated documents, and grossly exaggerated German civilian casualties, most egregiously in his account of the Allied bombing of Dresden in 1945. He did all this, as the judge in the libel trial found, in order to minimize the Holocaust and portray it as just one barbarity among many committed by both sides.

Churchill, as Paul Campos pointed out last week, has also played fast and loose with his sources, in his case in order to accuse whites of genocide against Indians. Does anyone think he confined such practices to just the two incidents Campos mentions? As one who has actually read some of Churchill's smaller piles of word turds and lived, I can safely say: no way. Just like Irving's, Churchill's mendacity is his defining characteristic. It will be found in everything he's written, and in his every public act.

(via Instapundit and Ed Cone)

Update: Quote of the year already? Ward, in the above-noted Socialism and Democracy article: "I don't want to be accused of leftwing bias here, especially since I'm not by any stretch of the imagination a leftist, so I'll note that the record in the socialist countries [in admitting and making reparations for their very own genocides] is no better" (page two, last paragraph). What's the name of the rag this piece appears in again? Oh yeah: Socialism and Democracy.

Update II: Where else but the blogosphere would I learn that there exists a publication called the Jewish Collegiate Review? Rah!

Update III: The Socialism and Democracy link seems to be dead. Very odd. You can still find at least the first part of Churchill's "An American Holocaust?" here. Very, very odd.

Update IV: It's back up. Darn. Thought I might have me a little midnight redaction scandal there.

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