Sunday, March 01, 2009

Hitchens, beaten up by Nazis in Beirut; the "Left" celebrates.

But I am a liberal has the goods:

Some really classy folks over at the Huffingtonpost. Who would have thought that a "lefty" site would attract so many people celebrating fascist goons beating up a journalist?

By their words they shall be known.

Update: There is this small message board I lurk in, for no other reason that it provides some high-quality examples of the moral dementia that has taken over much of the so-called "Left" today, in America and Canada. I say "left" because most participants (one of whom, MM, can be met here or here when she visits to drop her comments on my blog) on that message board pride themselves on being on the "Left" side of politics. So it was no surprise whatsoever that the discussion of Hitchens' recent exploits in Beirut took a somewhat surrealistic Left turn on that message board when one participant graciously volunteered to explain the ancient meaning of the swastika, why it was impolite of Hitchens to deface the sign in a country in which he was a guest, etc etc, here it is:

Another article I read claimed the swastika was among the most important symbols of the Hopi Native Americans, as well as other tribes.

Nothing I read about the Syrian Socialist Party would indicate any allegiance or connection to Hitler's Nazi Party. But the information was rather confusing, and the party itself seemingly much divided. I couldn't make any authoritative statement as to whether the flag in question was in fact intended to be a swastika, which seems overall historically to have been a symbol of hope, or the spinning cyclone they claimed it to be. Since spinning has a significant place in Muslim religions, such as Sufism, I suppose it could be as they say. Perhaps someone else can figure that one out as my time is a bit limited today.

As to whether Hitchins had the right to tear down a sign in another sovereign country, especially without questioning first why it was there or whether the legitimate government of Lebanon knew and had permitted it to be there, I'd suggest that, no, he didn't. It's not a whole lot different than Islamist extremists making violent protests against western cartoons depicting their leaders in an odious manner, or against Europeans using their mosque symbols in secular structures. All these protests should be made through the proper channels of the host government, not by a foreign guest ripping them down or throwing rocks at them, or murdering their leaders in revenge. IMHO.

UpdateII: Upon being corrected that the poster was defaced rather than "ripped down":

It seems to me that writing obscenities on the poster would be worse than just tearing it down, because of course that particular obscenity would probably be something Lebanese children would recognize, children being as they are, and almost certainly Lebanese adults. It would tend to paint the British and Americans in a rather vulgar light.

Somewhere on the same message board another participant said about the swastika:

It is a beautiful symbol and I think it should be taken back and should not belong to the nazis. They had no right to it and to have them own it for all time gives them power.

What do you think is the meaning of this sudden solicitude for the resurrection of the hopeful symbolism of the swastika?

As I said:

By their words they shall be known. We cannot shame such persons into understanding the irrationality and obscenity of such pronouncements but we can point them out to others as examples of a wider type of crippled thinking, which I tend to associate with the "Rancid" Left.* Of course, the resurrection of the swastika as a benign symbol can just as easily be taken up by neo-Nazis, the difference being that Neo-Nazis do not pretend it is a sign of hope but are pretty straightforward about endorsing the expression of hatred represented in it. The latter cannot be too far from the minds of those who extoll "the beauty of this this symbol" and its meaning in modern history, especially to Jewish people. Any attempt to rehabilitate any symbol that carries such a weight of evil on it points to a deeply-seated hatred of Jews and the pathological need to inflict even more pain upon them. Any association by ostensibly "decent" people with the kinds of people who spend time defending such a move is itself a de facto admission that they see nothing morally wrong in pursuing such a goal. On being given an option to choose between sickness and health, they choose a middle way...

And that's all I have to say about this sick conversation on that rather sickening message board where I found these quotes.

*Of course the Rancid left does not have a corner on stupidity, absurdity, and ignorance. Here is a quote from another participant in that message board, also in the habit of dropping comments on my blog from time to time:

I think it would be great if Christianity assumed primacy in public life. Unfortunately, its been under attack by the Western Neo Marxist Left for centuries.

Neo-Marxist Left? Is there a neo-Marxist Right? Is there a neo-Marxist anything? For centuries???


At 10:59 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Nothing I read about the Syrian Socialist Party would indicate any allegiance or connection to Hitler's Nazi Party."

he hasn't read much, has he?

what a pathetic and ignorance defense.

Let him read "Jihad and Jew-Hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11"
by Matthias K√ľntzel if he is interested in an historical connection.

At 12:04 PM EST, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

The speaker is a woman and there is nothing she dislikes more than to be disabused of her fantasies, certainly not by facts and records.

At 1:39 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Of course, the resurrection of the swastika as a benign symbol can just as easily be taken up by neo-Nazis..."

I don't want to sound like some sort of pomo but it is important to contextualize the symbol because it definitely has different meanings in different places.

In a western context the symbol will always be associated with Nazism and for good reason.

But in India, it is a good luck sign. I think swastika literally means "luck mark" (or something similar) in Sanskrit. This is an image of a Siva temple:

At 11:03 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In a western context the symbol will always be associated with Nazism and for good reason."

Should be:

In a western context the symbol *should* always be associated with Nazism and for good reason.


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