Monday, February 23, 2009
Good Nazis, Good Muslims: The Moral Equivalency Debate
A note from Radarsite: This afternoon I received the following email, forwarded to me by Susan Duclos, owner and editor of Wake Up America. After giving it some thought, I decided that the cogent questions raised by the respondent were worthy of an article of their own. If I am correct, it appears that I am the author of both articles in question, AA for Islam and Albert Speer: The Moderate Nazi, both of which were cross posted to WUA. Here then are Michael's comments, and below, my response. - rg
The other day I read in Wake up America about the unconditional terms of surrender of Nazi Germany in comparison to the middle east. It opened my eyes to certain truths I had never before thought of, as such I thought it was a brilliant piece. In contrast, today's piece about Albert Speer: The Moderate Nazi? seems to be narrowly focused upon one single theme. Persecution, which is one thing Ive always been oppossed too. The fact that Mr. Speer increased the production of arms inspite of Allied bombing could be viewed by many as Patriotic, even inspite of the ways he had to accomplish this. No doubt the Third Reich was stained with the blood of many innocents but not all those that fought on the side of the Nazi`s fought for the same goals or even shared the same ideals. Many fought for their Country, family and fellow commrades in arms. This holds true for not only the German soldiers but all the other nationalities that fought on either side. War is always ugly and can bring out the best as well as the worst in man, but one thing becomes clear after the shooting starts is the side that you fight for. I am glad that Hitlers regime was stopped and it is a shame that Stalin went on to commit even more crimes against humanity.
Then we have Albert Speer who as far as I can see did not design the death camps or instigate the Final Solution or even personally kill anyone, so what did he do to deserve 20 yrs in prison? Served on the wrong side when vengence was being handed out by the victors is all that I can see. The last paragraph of this edition it is stated what can we learn from this "Its the ideolgy, stupid" and "all those that adhere to it are our enemies." agreed. However in WW2 we, the Allied forces immediatelly found our selves facing the enemy of our enemy and as such used many former axis members to that end. The Gestapo, ect. were excused for "the greater good." Here we have people far worse than mr. Speer given a pass. ( would like to know the lesson to be learned there.) The Nazi`s and other Axis Allies were not fighting a religous war, if anything it seems that one may call Hitler and Himmler pagans.Muslims on the other hand I believe are even more insideous. I personally believe that ALL MUSLIMS are a threat to both Christians and Jewish people. Even athiests and anyone else who doesnt join in with them. Besides trying to convert them, which doesnt seem like an option for those who are Jewish, how can we deal with them ?????? I have found in the past couple weeks some of the most enlightened articles that I have ever read here at Wake up America. In sharing my beliefs and asking a couple questions I hope that I have not offended anyone here. I enjoy reading Wake up America and think you are doing a great job.
Michael from Missouri
Dear Susan, Thank you for forwarding this response to my article.
This is an interesting email. It is, however, yet another example of that same old moral equivalency argument, well-constructed but based on faulty logic. On Speer, Michael misses the main point -- he is to be judged not for his successful armaments production, but rather for his ruthless use of forced labor to achieve these ends. This (primarily racial) policy was at the very core of Nazi ideology. Speer's adherence to this abhorrent system makes him unquestionably an active participant in the horrors of the Third Reich. Anyone who takes the time to read his self-serving autobiography will almost certainly come to the same conclusions.
As to the German people's culpability in the Nazi atrocities, I would suggest that your respondent read Hitler's Willing Executioners, by Daniel Goldhagen. He has, I believe, proven, mathematically, beyond the shadow of a reasonable doubt, that it was virtually impossible for the German people not to know what was going on all around them during the monumental prosecution of the Holocaust.
Furthermore, in referendum after referendum, the good German people enthusiastically supported their darling Fuhrer by an overwhelming majority - this, while all the time knowing full well of his plans for global conquest and his promise to eliminate the Jews, once and for all. Following Hitler's lightening-fast victories in Denmark, Norway and France, he was welcomed back into Berlin by wildly enthusiastic crowds, cheering him as a conquering hero. Only after the enormity of the losses suffered by the German people by the Allied bombing of 1944, and their horrific losses on the Eastern Front, did the good Volk even begin to question their Fuhrer. And, even after that, they willingly followed their charismatic leader into the depths of destruction.
The bottom line here is this. When a government takes control of a nation -- especially if that government is freely elected (as the Nazis most assuredly were), and when that government declares war on, and then attacks, another nation or nations, then ALL of the people in that nation become complicit in that enterprise, like it or not. It may have been the Nazis who precipitated that fateful plunge into WWII, but it was the German nation which had to be defeated. After hostilities began, who was a loyal Nazi and who wasn't quickly became a moot point.
As for Germany's allies, those mostly Eastern European countries played their cards close to the deck. They essentially waited on the sidelines to see which side seemed to gain the advantage, the Nazis or the Allies. Eventually, and unfortunately, they made the wrong choice and ended up dying on the frozen tundra of the Russian Steppes.
It is my view, that the so-called moderate Muslims of today are playing the same sort of waiting game, biding their time, trying to remain uncommitted, until they see which way the wind is blowing. Where are all those Muslim street protests against Muslim violence? Am I missing something?
In an earlier article in Radarsite I wrote about the question that I had submitted to two of the world's most preeminent historians of WWII, Sir John Keegan and Prof. Gerhard Weinberg. The question was simply: Considering all of the revisionist history written since 1945, which basically attempts to portray the Second World War as merely the morally-neuter conflict between empires, do you still believe that WWII was a battle between good and evil. Tellingly, both experts answered, Yes. Although Prof. Weinberg added the caveat that we had been forced to make common cause with an evil (the Soviet Union) in order to defeat an evil. This answer, I would suggest, would also apply to our enlistment of former Nazis to help us in our newly developing Cold War with the USSR (Operation Paperclip).
As to the moral culpability of the "good German people" or those "moderate Muslims", I repeat, "If it is the ideology which drives our enemy, then all those who adhere to it, no matter how directly or indirectly, are also our enemies". This holds true whether we are considering those WWII morally-conflicted Germans, their Romanian, Bulgarian or Arab allies, or those present-day illusive moderate Muslims.
For anyone to better understand the enormity of the Islamic threat we are facing I would strongly suggest reading the Koran and the subsequent hadiths and suni.
And finally, I'm sorry, but the comforting illusion that all men are basically good is at best naive, and at worst dangerously self-destructive.