WHAT NOT TO READ BEFORE GOING TO CHURCH
Before going to Holy Communion yesterday morning I decided to look over the Winnipeg Sun. In the op/ed pages there was a column by Warren Kinsella entitled “Doors barred to Israel hater, but Islamophobe ushered in”. Against my better judgment I decided to read it.
I say that it was against my better judgment because Warren Kinsella is not a man I like very much. I generally disagree with everything he has to say and the way he says it. Reading a Kinsella column can produce one of two negative emotions that should not be brought into Holy Communion. The first is anger, an emotion the Master expressly warned that we should not take to the altar with us. The second is pride. It is very easy to get a sense of personal superiority when one reads Kinsella’s column, and we are to take the Sacrament with a spirit of humility and repentance not a spirit of pride.
So against my better judgment I read Kinsella’s column. I was not surprised to find that he took pretty much the exact opposite position on everything I took in my last essay “The Long War Against Free Speech In Canada”. I would be horribly disgusted with myself if that were not the case.
In his column Kinsella accuses the Harper government of letting a “Muslim-hating white supremacist” into Canada. He is referring to Geert Wilders, Dutch politician, and leader of the Party for Freedom. He also calls him a “creep” and a “lunatic” but we need not concern ourselves with that. Being called names by Kinsella is a compliment and Mr. Wilders should consider it a badge of honour.
Calling someone a “white supremacist” is a bit different than calling someone a “creep” or a “lunatic”, however. The last two terms are just insults. Few people take them seriously. Calling someone a “white supremacist” can ruin that person’s reputation and/or his career, place him in danger of violence, and possibly even put him at risk of legal harassment.
Is Geert Wilders a white supremacist? No. He is a classical liberal who wants restrictions on immigration to the Netherlands, particularly Islamic immigration, not for racial reasons but for cultural reasons. He believes Islam to be incompatible with the liberal tradition of individualism and democratic institutions which he defends. Is he right or is he wrong? That is a matter of debate and Kinsella is, as he should be, free to disagree with Wilders.
To call him a “white supremacist”, however, is absurd and low, although not unexpected when one considers the source.
Kinsella goes on to contrast Mr. Wilders recent visit to Canada, with George Galloway’s having been barred from the country two years ago. Note that Kinsella supports the ban on Galloway:
When kooky anti-Israel British politician George Galloway wanted to visit Canada in 2009, the Conservatives (appropriately) denied him entry, citing his extremism as justification.
Why was the denial of entry to Galloway appropriate? His supposed “extremism” consisted of remarks critical of the government of Israel and a humanitarian mission to bring relief supplies to the Gaza Strip (which is governed by the terrorist organization Hamas thanks to the American government’s foolish insistence upon bringing democracy to these regions). How can anyone take seriously the Harper government’s absurd claim that he poses a security risk to Canada because of this?
George Galloway is a leftist ideologue. He is a lot closer to Kinsella’s political beliefs than he is to mine, yet I say he should have been allowed into Canada to speak, just as Mr. Wilders has been. Neither man is a threat to Canada, both have unique perspectives and people in Canada who wish to hear them speak. There is no good purpose that could be accomplished by banning either man.
That, of course, is the difference between my position and Kinsella’s. I support the freedom of speech even of people like Galloway whose views are diametrically opposed to my own.
Blast it all. There is pride sneaking in.
The next time I decide to glance at the Winnipeg Sun before going to the Eucharist I am going to have to avoid Kinsella’s column and flip directly to more wholesome material like the Sunshine Girl.
In my last essay “The Long War Against Free Speech in Canada” I described how Canada’s defamation laws are currently biased in favour of the complainant creating great potential for their abuse. Labels like “white supremacist”, “racist”, and “neo-nazi” are popularly associated with violence and racial oppression, can ruin a person’s social status and career, and can lead to that person being targeted for violence by anti-racist terrorist thugs.
One would think, that in a country where defamation laws are so strict, that people would be extra careful about how they use these harmful labels. On the contrary, however, these labels are carelessly thrown at anyone who disagrees with multiculturalism and liberal immigration by the media, liberal and leftist politicians, and progressive bloggers.
Why is this the case? Are the labels accurate?
Take “neo-nazi” for example. The National Socialist party was a revolutionary party in Germany, with its own private army, known for its violence even before it was elected to office in 1933. Once in power it established a dictatorial police state, demanded absolute loyalty from its citizens which it encouraged to spy on one another, and frequently murdered people that it considered a threat to itself. In this, it was remarkably similar to the Communist Party. The Nazi party, however, was committed, not to an economic utopia, but to a Darwinist ideology in which life was regarded as a struggle for existence between rival races and a belief in the “Aryan” race’s destiny to come out on top of this struggle. The Nazi party considered the Jews to be the Aryans’ worst enemy, regarding them as a racial fifth column.
Needless to say Nazism and its ideology was and is repugnant. It is almost as repugnant as the ideology of progressive liberalism.
One would think that the term “neo-nazi” should be applied to similar people who hold to the same ideology today. It is not. All it takes to be labeled a “neo-nazi” by many progressives in Canada is for you to oppose multiculturalism, diversity, and liberal immigration and take the position that white people have a right to a collective identity and have legitimate interests of their own. The same people, can be non-violent, life-long defenders of free society and such fundamental freedoms as freedom of speech, and yet progressives feel free to call them “neo-nazis”, associating them in people’s minds with the violence and oppression of the Third Reich.
In many cases, the very progressives who are so loose with this life-destroying, defamatory label, are themselves the type to sue at the drop of a hat over the slightest exaggeration of their own views.
How is it possible that in a legal system which makes it far too easy for people to successfully sue others for defamation, the only exception is that of the most damaging defamation of all?
SPEAKING OF PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT NAZIS
Last Thursday, John Demjanjuk was convicted in a German court of being an accessory to the murder of almost 30, 000 Jews. Nobody testified to his having taken part in committing a single murder or other atrocity. He was convicted on the theory that his presence in Sorbibor as a guard during WWII establishes his guilt as a participant in the crimes that went on there.
Demjanjuk was not a Nazi. He was not even a German. He was a Ukranian, who was conscripted into the Soviet army during WWII, then captured and made a POW by the Germans. He was one of a number of POW’s trained to be guards in the Nazi camps. It is well known that the Nazis secured obedience from the POWs they made into guards by threats against them and their families. I often wonder what is wrong with people to make them think that it is appropriate for such men, who served the Nazis under duress, to be prosecuted.
Demjanjuk is the man who had been stripped of his American citizenship, extradited to Israel, and then charged with and convicted for the crimes of “Ivan the Terrible” of Treblinka. It was a case of mistaken identity, although Patrick J. Buchanan was virtually the only journalist who was willing to say so. Ultimately, Demjanjuk and Buchanan were vindicated, when the Israeli Supreme Court overturned the conviction and aquited Demjanjuk, upon hearing evidence that demonstrated that Demjanjuk could not possibly be Ivan the Terrible. Here are Pat Buchanan’s remarks upon the outcome of the trial in Germany: http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/2011/05/13/the-persecution-of-john-demjanjuk/
There are a number of similar cases here in Canada, of Ukranian or Polish origins, captured by the Nazis in the war and conscripted into service as camp guards or translators, who emigrated to Canada after the war. Certain organizations have demanded that they be stripped of their citizenship and deported, accusing them of “war crimes”. See Kevin Michael Grace’s “Who needs evidence? The Odynsky case proves Canadian citizenship is a meaningless protection” from the July, 8, 2002 issue of Report Newsmagazine (pp. 26-27) for the story of one of these men. Peter Worthington, columnist for the Toronto Sun (of which he was founding editor) has reported on several of the other cases in his column over the years. Here is a fairly recent example: http://www.torontosun.com/news/columnists/peter_worthington/2009/12/08/12075761-sun.html
It has been a little over one year since I opened this blog. The essays that I have posted here are a continuation of a series that I started the year previous to opening “Throne, Altar, Liberty” and which I privately distributed to my friends via e-mail and Facebook. The earlier essays were written in more of a newspaper column format – shorter, commenting on current events. Some of these I have reposted here, others I have opted not to because they pertained to things which were no longer current in the news. The first of all of these essays, from March of 2009, was about the Demjanjuk case. Since that case has just concluded, making it timely again, I will complete this post by reproducing my first essay.
True Justice and the Strange Case of John Demjanjuk
By Gerry T. Neal
March 13, 2009
So they are after him again. 33 years ago, John Demjanjuk, a Ukrainian-born auto worker in Seven Hills, Ohio, was accused of being “Ivan the Terrible”, a brutal SS guard at Treblinka. The accusation led to his being stripped of his American citizenship, extradited to Israel, convicted and sentenced to death. He was later exonerated by the Israeli Supreme Court after that body heard evidence that Demjanjuk could not have been “Ivan the Terrible”. The overturn of his conviction did not result in an apology to Demjanjuk from the organizations that had pressured the US Justice Department into deporting him. Nor was there a word of apology to Pat Buchanan on the part of the self-righteous commentators, like Norman Podhoretz and the New York Times' Abraham Rosenthal, who had accused him of being an anti-Semitic Nazi sympathizer, because he had maintained all along, what the Israeli Supreme Court eventually decided – that it was a case of mistaken identity.
The people who wanted Demjanjuk deported and tried, you see, were the type who simply cannot admit they were wrong. They immediately fell back on the “well, maybe he wasn’t ‘Ivan the Terrible’ at Treblinka, grumble, grumble, but he was a guard at Sorbibor and he must have committed war crimes there” position. That kind of argument usually convinces no one other than the person making it, but in this case they have had no problem getting others to listen to them. Although his US citizenship had been restored, the US Justice Department, which had withheld evidence the first time around, went after him again, and again they managed to get his citizenship revoked. They obtained a ruling that he was to be deported to the Ukraine. Now the German government has charged him with 29 000 cases of accessory to murder and called for his extradition. He is almost 89 years old.
63 years ago, when the Nuremberg Trials concluded, Senator Robert A. Taft of Ohio, the leader of the conservative wing of the Republican Party, and the son of former US President William Howard Taft, condemned the trials as unjust. They were a kangaroo court, in Taft’s opinion, which violated the sacred principles of Anglo-Saxon justice, upon which the legal systems of countries such as Great Britain, Canada, and the United States were based. At Nuremberg, the victors in the war, were judge, jury, executioner, and prosecutor, all rolled up into one. The court did not exist at the time the crimes it was sentencing took place, and thus, had no legitimate authority to pass sentence. Neither victor’s justice, nor ex post facto justice, was true justice.
It was not a question of whether or not the Nazi leaders deserved punishment. Taft was simply pointing out that the courts doing the punishing had no legitimate right to do so and that they were setting a dangerous precedent. Many did not like to hear these uncomfortable truths. Senator, and future President, John F. Kennedy, although a detestable man in many ways, had the decency to laud Taft for his stand, in his 1956 Profiles in Courage.
In 1960, Adolf Eichmann, the SS officer who had been in charge of transporting the Jews to the camps and who had escaped following the War and ended up in Argentina, was captured in Buenos Aires by the Mossad, and taken to Israel, where he was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death in 1961. He was executed the following year. As Taft had done 14 years earlier, the editors of the conservative journal National Review, among them William F. Buckley Jr. and James Burnham, took a principled stand against these proceedings. Again, it was not a matter of whether or not Eichmann deserved his fate. The state of Israel was non-existent at the time Eichmann committed his heinous acts. Nor, was the state of Israel the successor government, to the territory in which these acts took place. Eichmann was charged under statutes that did not exist in the 1940s. This was clearly a case of ex post facto justice. Israel had no legitimate authority to try this case, and had in fact acted illegally to capture Eichmann, which understandably led to a protest of their actions by the government of Argentina.
Taft in the 40’s, and Buckley, Burnham, et. al., in the 60’s, took their principled stands during periods when the people being tried and condemned were genuine villains, the high command of the tyrannical Third Reich. Today, 64 years after WWII ended, none of these are left. Yet the professional anti-Nazis are still going strong. Having long ago run out of real Nazis to hunt, they are now going after anyone they can find, who they can connect to the SS and its camps, regardless of how minor a role they may have played. Like most single-mindedly obsessed fanatics, these people care very little about the genuine facts.
Here in Canada, the Canadian Jewish Congress, Binai B’rith Canada, and the Canadian version of the Simon Wiesenthal Center have lobbied the Canadian government for quite some time, to deport several men the CJC calls “war criminals”. These men include Helmut Oberlander, Wasyl Odynsky, and a few others. Oberlander is a man of German ethnic background, born in the Ukraine. Odynsky is ethnically Ukrainian, born in what was then a part of Poland. Both were conscripted into the service of the SS when the German army captured their home towns. Oberlander served the SS as a translator. Odynsky served as a guard in the forced labor camps of Trawinki and Poniatowa. Both men served only under duress. In Odynsky’s case he was told that his family would be killed if he did not cooperate. In both cases Judge Andrew MacKay found that there was no evidence that either had participated in any war crimes. Nevertheless both men were order deported (the deportations have not taken place, thankfully) on the grounds that they lied on their application to come here. This was not proven, as the records no longer exist, but merely inferred in each case. Both cases make a mockery of every principle of justice in the long and proud English tradition in which our country stands.
I wonder if something similar is the case for Mr. Demjanjuk. He also was from the Ukraine. He had been conscripted into the Soviet army, and was captured by the Germans. Perhaps he too was forced to serve under duress. Even if he did voluntarily join up with the Germans, it would not have been unreasonable for him to regard the German army as liberators. Lets not forget that he was living in the Ukraine, at the height of Stalin’s regime. The Terror Famine had taken place only a decade earlier. Of course we can only speculate as to what happened in Mr. Demjanjuk’s case. But one thing is certain, the man is no Hitler, no Himmler, no Eichmann.
The parties calling for his deportation are not asking for justice. They are demanding a complete and total revolution in the Anglo-Saxon justice system, which over the course of centuries developed, to protect the rights of the innocent. It is in the interests of all of us, that they not be allowed to get their way.
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