Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Want Me To Post?

Then get me angry. Callimachus has just such a post on the International Red Cross.

Just a reminder that the same International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) that is so aghast over America's "war crimes" knew about the Nazi atrocities during World War II and essentially did nothing, allowing itself to be fooled by transparent ruses and official denials.

It knew about the concentration camps as early as 1942. In February 1945, the President of the Red Cross wrote to a U.S. official: "Concerning the Jewish problem in Germany we are in close and continual contact with the German authorities." How chilling that the ICRC pretended to care about the Holocaust while in the same sentences adopting Nazi phraseology ("the Jewish problem") to euphemize it.

The Red Cross also knew about crimes against POWs...

A ICRC report on Stalag IX-B noted the same segregation, but the report said "no other discrimination was made against them." No, indeed, unless you count the Jewish-Americans -- along with about 330 non-Jews -- being sent to a slave labor camp associated with Buchenwald, where American POWs died at a higher rate than they would anywhere else during the war.

But Gitmo, now that's a war crime!
Not a single penny from me (and I will seek to convince those close to me) will go to the International Red Cross or any of its chapters. They obviously haven't changed an iota: once water-carriers for genocidists, always their water-carriers. Scum.

UPDATE

More of the same, this time from Amnesty International.

UPDATE THE SECOND

Just for "joey," here's more on Amnesty International. And still more.

And looky here! Even the vaunted Left is drawing similar conclusions.

David at Cronaca puts it well:
It doesn't take any particular political slant to be concerned about what is going on in Guantanamo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. But at the same time, it should be obvious that these are cases of military detention, the byproduct of actual shooting warfare -- despite the Amnesty report's constant attempts to scare quote this fact away. There may be some ugly stuff going on, but excesses in war are fundamentally different from abuses of power in times of peace.

The labeling of Guantanamo as "the gulag of our time" shows just how far Amnesty has lost its compass. Compare Guantanamo to Colditz or Andersonville or Hoa Lo, if you will; the Soviet comparison is as obscene as if the referent had been the Holocaust. And if Amnesty's obsession with indicting the USA has led it to trivialize the worst crimes of the 20th century, we shouldn't be surprised to see it similarly diverted from giving due weight to the worst of the 21st.
Comments:
It certainly says something about American political discourse and the gang of right-wing fools who have hijacked it when Amnesty International and the International Red Cross are "scum".

Good job.

PS: Before getting all snarky and "BOO BOO BLAH BLOO" about how Amnesty International hates America, maybe it would do you a world of good to actually READ the Amnesty International Report for 2005 instead of relying on talking points.

You'd see that MANY countries (if not all) are on the list.
 
Heh. Nice.

Condemn the conclusion, ignore the content...
 
You're one to talk. You went on wild tangents regarding the "gulag" comment, which i said nothing about. Nice try to derail the conversation.

Oh, btw- it's not good to comdemn humanitarian organizations as "scum", regardless of what your personal political beliefs are. I guarentee they have done more to attempt to alleviate human suffering and deal with crises than you have ever done.

As for the concentration camp argument: a few points and maybe some history lessons for you.

Prior to the Nuremberg Trials and the body of law that came out of it, the International Red Cross committed itself to remaining a non-partisian and neutral observer, with the belief that they could do more behind the scenes by exerting pressure on governments, or leak reports to aid agencies, with the rationale being that even if there were widespread abuses, it was better to have the Red Cross giving some help. Silence would guarentee that the Red Cross would have access to the concentration camps as well as the POWs. An open condemnation of a country they were a war at would likely see all observation and Red Cross aid cut off.

Secondly, though the Red Cross was aware of German concentration camps which housed mostly political/religious prisioners, homosexuals, POWs, criminals as well as Jews, Gypsies/Roma and Slavs were exploited for slave labor. Intrestingly, you cite examples of the Nazis going to elaborate lengths to cover up their crimes with Potemkin villages as proof of the Red Cross's complictly in the Shoah, where as most would use it to prove how the Red Cross was duped by the Nazis.

Most mass murders (though starvation, disease and other horrors such as medical experiments took place, in addition to murders and executions) did not take place in these camps, but in field operations, such as Babi Yar, and in extermination centers such as Treblinka, Sibodor. Auschwitz-Berkinau, the largest and most lethal, was a joint a concentration camp and extermination center, which explains why so many prisioners were held there and still alive on its liberation day. (Most extermination camps operated on skeleton crews with minimal guards and prisioners. For instance, thousands survived the war in the series of nazi concentraion camps, but survivors of camps like Treblinka and Sibodor number less that 50)

Concentration camps had been operating since the early 1930s and were fairly common knowledge to government officials and aid agencies- in fact, most Allied countries had concention camps as well- they just called them "internment camps". The Red Cross was, in all likelyhood, unaware of the extermination camps in the East, or at the very least the extent at which they were operating. At the very least they knew as much abou them as the Allied goverments did, were rumors that- at that time- could not be believed as anything but wild propoganda and what was then seen as wild exageration.

Furthermore, since most extermination centers did not open in Germany but in Poland and Soviet satillites, they could easily be hidden from the world- which is exactly what the Nazis wanted-a point you oblique allude to in your post.

They knew that war crimes were being committed on a large scale, but they ,and allied goverments, were wary of making such claims in public (not that it mattered, as they were already at war with the Axis)

The discovery of the Holocaust and the fall out afterwards created our modern regime of international rights and international law.

Nuremberg illustrated that goverments were no longer allowed to remain above the law and claim sovereign immunity for their actions. They had higher standards to hold fast to in the form of international law. Hence the creation of the UN and the notions and prohibitions on crimes against humanity and genocide. Standards and beliefs that the United States itself not only championed, but helped to develop in the first place.

That is why Amnesty International and most humanitarian agencies are repulsed by Gitmo. Because it violates the standards that the US helped champion. The fact that the US claims to be fighting a war for freedom and democracy and in its own backyard ignores the principles of liberal democracy (fair courts, habeus corpus, access to lawyers, freedom from torture and bodily harm) with people who MAY HAVE DONE NOTHING AT ALL.

Does that make Amnesty International bad? or does a humanitarian/human rights agency secretly want to install a group of relgious fascists to lord over us all?

As for the gulag comment, it may have been in bad taste, but you know what? At least the people who suffered under Stalin got a show trial before they were sentenced AS OPPOSED TO NOTHING AT ALL.
 
You're one to talk. You went on wild tangents regarding the "gulag" comment, which i said nothing about. Nice try to derail the conversation.

Ahem. "Tangent"? "[You] said nothing about..."? Look at the structure of the post again. The first link (after updating) is to varifrank, who is explicitly discussing the Amnesty International "gulag" comment, which is so similar in content and tone to the ICRC issue that I included it in the update, after which you raised your objection. Hence, I can assume (perhaps incorrectly, but then a writer should be able to ask that a reader read everything, no?) you have read the posts to which I've pointed, and have taken them fully into consideration - therefore, 1) they aren't tangents, and 2) it doesn't matter if you never mentioned 'gulag's, because it was of primary concern in the linked posts (which I was assuming you had read - though I see now that I was incorrect in that assumption).

Oh, btw- it's not good to comdemn humanitarian organizations as "scum", regardless of what your personal political beliefs are. I guarentee they have done more to attempt to alleviate human suffering and deal with crises than you have ever done.

Heh heh. Lecture me all you want on morality and charity, please. I'm content to laugh at you for the next few minutes.

Whatever irrellevant ad hominem you'd like to drag, kicking and screaming, into this discussion, the fact remains - they did and do coddle dictators and excuse genocidists. I don't know what your code of morality is, but under mine, that earns them the title I previously bestowed.

As for the concentration camp argument: a few points and maybe some history lessons for you...

*Clears Throat* "BOO BOO BLAH BLOO." There. How'd I do? DId I meet your expectations?

Prior to the Nuremberg Trials and the body of law that came out of it, the International Red Cross committed itself to remaining a non-partisian and neutral observer...

*Looks at his watch*
Teacher, can I go to the bathroom?

Secondly, though the Red Cross was aware of German concentration camps...

You know, I'm really interested in your explorations of moral equivalence - no really, I am - but, well, I'm going to go over here and do something interesting for the next few moments. Like pick the wings off a fly.

Most mass murders (though starvation, disease and other horrors such as medical experiments took place, in addition to murders and executions) did not take place in these camps, but in field operations...

*Yawn*

Are we there yet?

Concentration camps had been operating since the early 1930s and were fairly common knowledge to government officials and aid agencies...

No, I'm not sleeping. I'm just resting my eyes. Wake me when you're done.

Furthermore, since...

*Snnnkkkkkkkkaaaaaccckkkk*
*rrrrrrrRRRRRrrrrrr*
*SSssssnnnnkkkkaaaaaaccckkkkk*

They knew that war crimes were being committed on a large scale...The discovery of the Holocaust...Nuremberg illustrated that...That is why Amnesty...

*SSSkkkkkuuuuuuuckkkk-wheeeeeeee*
*SSSkkkkkuuuuuuuckkkk-wheeeeeeee*

... people who MAY HAVE DONE NOTHING AT ALL.

AAAAHH!!! What? Where? Who? What's the yelling? Why?

Does that make Amnesty International bad? or does a humanitarian/human rights agency secretly want to install a group of relgious fascists to lord over us all?

Ummm...yes? Or no? Maybe? What was the question again?

As for the gulag comment, it may have been in bad taste, but you know what? At least the people who suffered under Stalin got a show trial before they were sentenced AS OPPOSED TO NOTHING AT ALL.

Ooh, ooh! I know this one! I do...there! I even own that one. It's a big book, too. Nice and impressive looking. And the funny thing is, it's supposed to be read. Imagine that! A book that one might actually read!

I'm sorry, did you say something of import while I was asleep? Something you wanted to discuss?

Huh. 'Cuz all I heard was "I'm going to be extremely condescending now, and assume that you are a five year old just starting grade school." I figured I'd better act the part - I didn't want to hurt your feelings.

Lecture all you want, monsieur. Just don't expect me to listen. Come back when you're ready to engage in a discussion between equals.
 
"Lecture all you want, monsieur. Just don't expect me to listen. Come back when you're ready to engage in a discussion between equals."

I read this as you not wanting to be confronted with a more accurate picture of history that you are familiar with. Put down the Regency text and read a REAL life actual book for a change, instead of "98 blogs a day"

I tried to talk to you, reason with you and debate with you, and you act like the aforementioned five-year old. I responded to you with a detailed post illustrating my position and tried to let you understand it (much like your blog does with yours). You turn around with cheap cop outs like "MORAL RELATIVISM" and "DON'T LECTURE TO ME".

Now that we know where we stand, can we talk? I guess not.

It's hard to actually try to talk with someone when they think they're being witty and clever, but really they just want to make a fool of themselves.

Maybe you shoudl actually try to defend your position and and stand up for yourself instead of acting like a joke.

Oh and as for this coming from Mr. RAH RAH USA # 1! :
"they did and do coddle dictators and excuse genocidists."
Ha ha.

PS: "Gulag" is a good comprehensive introduction to the Stalinist era, so you should be in agreement with me regarding the fact that even the most despisded Trotskyite was entited to a show trial with the pretenses of "impartiality", whereas a goat hearder from Kandhar doesn't even have that luxury afforded to him.

PPS: You need to read more on Stalinism and Soviet history before you can act like an expert. Since you are a tiny bit to the right, I recommend the works Robert Conquest. Both similar in outlook to you.
Just a suggestion.
 
Anything they do at Gitmo is not going to be as bad as Sadam did to his own people or the Germans did in there camps. It's too bad that this is all getting blown out of perspective.
I'm a native Texas from Houston. It's hot and sticky down here.
 
Austin, pal, you are all over the place here. Just to condense this, you're mad at the Red Cross for what not being vocal enough in 1945 and now 60 years later you are mad at them for being too vocal. Would you have preferred them to write a really, really mean report in 1945? Would that have helped you? Even without your pennies, the Red Cross is an advocate for humane treatment, not an enforcement tool or adjunt to US military policy. They were not in a position to invade Poland, if perhaps that is what you thought they should be doing.

Just to clarify, for which genocidists does the Red Cross carry water these days, with regard to criticisms of GitMo, that is?
 
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A webjournal of ideas, comments, and various other miscellany from a Texan university student (with occasional input from his family) living in Toronto, Ontario. Can you say "culture shock?"

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