Friday, February 24, 2006

David Irving's thought crime

I'm not a big fan of Holocaust denial. It's a stupid position, often intentionally hurtful to people who have suffered enough already, and it just plays into the hands of the Zionists, who use it as their main propaganda weapon in stealing land from Arabs. As a conspiracy theorist, I go as far as wondering who is actually supporting people like Zundel. We're supposed to assume it is rich neo-Nazi German industrialists.

The broad argument is that denial of the Holocaust implies that the Jewish people are lying about it, which means we might punish them for lying by having another - or, I guess I should say, a first (!) - Holocaust! Therefore, denial of the Holocaust is unique, and must be stopped using legal sanctions. The argument in favor of punishing Holocaust denial is even sillier than Holocaust denial itself. No one can really believe that David Irving's views are going to prevail, a fact clearly demonstrated by the universal reaction to him. The next Holocaust won't be caused by stories about the first one.

The striking thing about the Holocaust is that it is the only subject about which you cannot even voice an opinion that isn't completely in line with the orthodoxy. In fact, unless you have the seal of approval, you are not even permitted to investigate the subject. It used to be that human sexuality was similarly off limits, but, after Dr. Kinsey, the Holocaust is now the only intellectual taboo in the western world. If I wanted to study the metallic composition of the wheels of the trains on which Holocaust victims were transported, and I didn't have the correct permission, I would get in as much trouble as Bruno or Galileo.

The Holocaust is actually an amazingly under-studied subject, mostly because of the taboo. In fact, until the mid-1960s it wasn't talked about at all. The reason it became a big subject, and particularly a big subject in the American education system, is that the Americans started to become interested in selling arms to Israel to use it as part of their geopolitical strategy in the Middle East. The Holocaust was part of the PR spin to depict Jews as the eternal victims, and thus justify selling arms into an area which didn't need more arms. The Holocaust was part of an advertising campaign for arms dealers. It has subsequently been used as the main underlying excuse for the brutality against the Palestinians. The slightest perceived threat against the Jewish state justifies any and all responses. Never again!

The homeland of Hitler and Haider, not to mention Waldheim, has a bit of a chip on its shoulder, and the Irving circus was a bit of a show trial for Austrians to prove they are not as bad as everybody thinks. David Irving did what he thought his persecutors wanted, which is prostrate himself before the court and deny his life's work. He probably thought this abject submission would be enough. The judge said (or here):

"We've seen no evidence that he tried to come to Austria to say 'I've changed my mind' and to prove that he was a different person."

This is quite amazing. Stating in open court isn't sufficient to evidence that he had changed his mind, although apparently changing his mind would have been enough to absolve him. In other words, the judge found Irving guilty for what he thought. Holocaust denial is a pure thought crime. If you think impermissible thoughts, you go to jail. Someday they'll invent a scanner for it, and we'll all have to pass the purity test.