Well, Pat Buchanan is at it again. Now he’s saying that, apparently, the real fault for the Holocaust lies at the feet of Winston Churchill.
Now, I think I know what Pat’s trying here, and it’s something I’ve done myself: he’s starting with his conclusion, and then working backwards to make it work with established history. The difference is, when I did it, it was for something I clearly labeled fiction.
When I started writing my tale of the fictional “USS Manchester,” I chose to have my ship have the lightest possible footprint on actual historical events as possible. My goal was to have the story come across as an “untold tale from World War II,” and only those people who actually studied the first year of the war in the Pacific would be able to tell immediately that it was fiction. So while my ship was in the middle of two of the most important battles of the war, her actual effect on their outcomes was negligible.
The difference is, though, I knew — and admitted — that I was writing fiction. Pat is attempting to create history.
Now, I’m no historian, but neither is Pat. (His degree’s in journalism.) So I’m about as fully qualified to critique his analysis of the history of Nazism as he is to make it. But unlike him, I’m willing to admit my limitations and defer to those who know better. And while she’s no historian, either, Meryl Yourish has far more compelling reasons than either Pat or I have to actually look at the details of the Holocaust, and she’s done yeoman’s work debunking some of the bullshit Pat’s peddling.
In brief: what Pat points to as a key decision in the Holocaust was not so much about whether or not to commit genocide, but how to do so most efficiently. That it would happen was a foregone conclusion, utterly divorced from the state of the war.
OK, that’s the “how” taken care of. But there’s a more fundamental question at work here: “Why?”
Why does Pat Bucahanan feel this overwhelming need to constantly re-examine the Nazi era and find new ways to minimize, downplay, rationalize, excuse, and justify their atrocities?
For those of you who haven’t made an in-depth study of Nazism, let me sum up all you really need to know about them: they were the most arrogant pricks to ever walk the earth, utterly convinced of their absolute superiority and their right to dominate — and destroy — all those “lesser” people who stood in the way of their “natural right” to rule the world. Couple that attitude with the legendary German traits of perfectionism and industriousness and attention to detail, and you have the most efficient and successful genocide machine the world has ever seen. They were, to a one, sick, evil, twisted, brutal fucks who should have been stopped long before the world finally manned up and took them out. They were pretty much everything that is wrong and bad and evil and sick about humanity — ourselves, at our very worst.
OK, that’s that. So, why is Pat so eager to argue that the waging of war against these human monsters was premature, if not unneeded?
There are some that say Pat is just a natural gadfly, a contrarian. He’s spent his entire life hearing about how awful the Nazis were, and he feels the need to poke at that conventional wisdom, to challenge our longstanding assumptions and beliefs, to make us re-examine just what we all “know.”
There are others who say that this is simply Pat’s lifelong anti-Semitism peeking out from behind the mask he’s spent decades hiding behind. That this is a backdoor way of de-villainizing the Nazis, the greatest enemy the Jews have ever known. That he is working on making the Nazis seem not quite so bad as they’ve been portrayed, and in the process stripping the Jews of one of their greatest proofs of their persecuted status throughout history.
Then there are those who say that Pat is a fascist himself, and he is trying to redeem that ideology from its best-known adherents. If we can somehow separate the worst of the Nazis’ atrocities from their fascist ideology, then perhaps we can give it another chance — and see that it is, indeed, the best possible political system.
Of course, there are also those who think that Pat’s just plain batshit crazy. That he’s finally gone around the bend and has become a hateful, bitter, deranged old man who has lost his sense of discretion and a bit of his reason, but still commands his vocabulary and rhetorical skills.
Personally, I happen to think that there’s a bit of truth in all those. But more importantly, I don’t really give a shit about the why.
What I do care about is why this asshole is constantly being given such prominent fora as Town Hall and Fox News and lord knows where else to push his propaganda. Why do these people keep lining his pockets to spew his so-readily-disproven venom?
Hey, Pat, here’s a news flash: even some real Nazis have apparently given up on Jew-hating. Isn’t it time you gave it a whirl?
Meryl Yourish, who I cited above, has a catch-phrase that she trots out on a fairly regular basis that I’ve stolen for my title. But it’s worth repeating, as a conclusion:
“Anti-semites of the world, just die already.”